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Old 10-28-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
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are house batteries dead?

i have 3 batteries - 1 for chassis and 2 for house. the batteries are identical 908D with 1400 CCA, installed 2 years ago per receipt. since i acquired the coach, i have kept running genny for 30+ minutes each week, then turned off switches. a week later, the chassis battery was always good at 12.5v so engine could start right up, but the house batteries were always depleted, about 2v left. last night i charged those up to full, then disconnect the positive terminals on house batteries, just now i measured them again, here are the numbers:

yesterday when i left:
chassis battery: 12.7v
house battery 1: 14.5v
house battery 2: 14.4v

today:
chassis battery: 12.51v
house battery 1: 11.15v
house battery 2: 11.10v

obviously chassis battery retains the power pretty good, but both house batteries won't hold long. does it mean the house batteries are no good?

i have read threads on golf cart batteries. if i need to replace the house batteries with golf cart ones, will they be able to provide equivalent CCA? I read some recommendations of trojan t-105/125, USB US2200, US-125, exide E-3600 and GC2-H. Anyone is using one of these? any comments? much appreciated.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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Those readings on your house batteries from yesterday look high... as though a charger was still feeding them. At any rate, if your house batteries have discharged as low as 2v I think they're in trouble.

I'm sure one or more of our experts will chime in soon.

Good luck.

rick
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:50 PM   #3
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SDL if you ran the batts down to 2 volt very many tines and now after charging them up they drop to 11.2 volts in one day they are very likely bad. Taking batts down below 50% is the fastest way I know to realy shorten there life.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:53 PM   #4
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thanks rick. i was using a multimeter to measure the voltages about two minutes after shutting off genny. a minute later i disconnected the positive terminals and measured again, the two were dropped to 13.90v and 13.94 respectively, immw.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by autofish View Post
SDL if you ran the batts down to 2 volt very many tines and now after charging them up they drop to 11.2 volts in one day they are very likely bad. Taking batts down below 50% is the fastest way I know to realy shorten there life.
yeah i agree. it was from day 1 since i got it. i am sure the house batteries have been dead at that time already. the po told me he shore powered it at home (50a). if what i was told was true, a 908d battery lasting for only about 2 years is disappointing.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:08 PM   #6
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If you batteries readings are much over 13.5 vdc take a reading at your charger's output as the gassing point of a battery is 13.8 vdc. Charging for long periods of time over this voltage will shorten the life of any battery and kill them dead. Charging rate should be around 13.5 vdc.
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:51 PM   #7
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dumb question. is the top of your battery clean and dry ? dirty wet top gives a route between posts allowing it to drain the batteries.
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:15 PM   #8
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dumb question. is the top of your battery clean and dry ? dirty wet top gives a route between posts allowing it to drain the batteries.
yes clean and dry. when i first got it, there was heavy corrosion on the terminals therefore i used battery cleaner to clean them out thoroughly.

now i think i need to look around for new batteries. walmart is a place, costco is another, battery outlets may be 3rd.... any other suggestions?
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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thanks rick. i was using a multimeter to measure the voltages about two minutes after shutting off genny. a minute later i disconnected the positive terminals and measured again, the two were dropped to 13.90v and 13.94 respectively, immw.
My dad once welded his wedding ring to a wrench, destroyed the ring cutting it off his finger and scared his ring finger. All this by removing the positive terminal off a battery and having the wrench strike a metal bracket. Since then he always removed the ground terminal first. A practice I still follow.

Do not do the following current check just after charging the batteries!
This is because there may be explosive hydrogen gas still hanging around and you will make some sparks disconnecting the batteries. Also, just in case, wear eye protection while working on batteries. If you have the proper Amp meter(s), with everything supposedly OFF, lift the ground terminal from the battery. Connect the amp meter between the minus terminal and the ground cable (you just removed) to see how much current is flowing. If you have more than about 0.1 to 0.2 amps being drawn while everything is supposedly off, you have something somewhere that is still on or is miss-connected.

My RV has about 0.35 Amp draw with everything supposedly off but the house battery disconnect still on. And, slightly less than 0.1 Amp draw with the house disconnect off (the fire/carbon monoxide and propane detectors are not ever turned off on in my RV).
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:49 PM   #10
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If the batteries have a CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) then they are starting batteries and will not last using them for house batteries. What you have are designed for heavy loads over a short time. House batteries are designed for smaller loads over a longer time.
Depleating starting batteries below 50% charge just a few times can ruin them, unlike a 6 volt deep cycle which can withstand that abuse many more times.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:38 PM   #11
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Such wonderful information shared. GOOD job guys.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:01 PM   #12
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If the batteries have a CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) then they are starting batteries and will not last using them for house batteries. What you have are designed for heavy loads over a short time. House batteries are designed for smaller loads over a longer time.
Mr_D is on it. CCA means little or nothing in regards to house batteries. They make deep cycle 908D models and what you're looking for is an amp/hour rating.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:10 PM   #13
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First readings right after charging often have a surface charge and will read high. A couple hours later yields a more accurate reading.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D
If the batteries have a CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) then they are starting batteries and will not last using them for house batteries. What you have are designed for heavy loads over a short time. House batteries are designed for smaller loads over a longer time.
Depleating starting batteries below 50% charge just a few times can ruin them, unlike a 6 volt deep cycle which can withstand that abuse many more times.
Agree 1000%. If you have batteries in there that are CCA rated, they are starting batteries and no doubt they are now shot. You want true deep cycle batteries which are rated only by amp-hours (AH).

12v deep cycles are getting more popular but still pricey. The best bang for the buck are still 6V GC2s.... Trojan T-105, Interstate U2200. Sam's Club and Costco are now selling GC2s at a real good price.

John...
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