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Old 01-27-2014, 03:30 PM   #1
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House batteries, dead after 8 days.

House bat. disconnect problem repaired, BUT

Re-charged batteries on shore power .
( they were dead because of above problem)
then pulled the shore power after 4 days.

The two 6 volts read 7.1 volts each after re-charge.
Figured that was good. Everything worked fine.
10 days later, batteries dead.

Being that the batteries at one point were brought down to 1.5 volts ea. did they get ruined?
Won't keep a charge??
Was 4 days on shore power enough?

The batteries are 8 months old. Wal-Mart golf kart bat.
today I just hooked up to shore power again to see what happens.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frederick w View Post
House bat. disconnect problem repaired, BUT

Re-charged batteries on shore power .
( they were dead because of above problem)
then pulled the shore power after 4 days.

The two 6 volts read 7.1 volts each after re-charge.
Figured that was good. Everything worked fine.

10 days later, batteries dead.

Being that the batteries at one point were brought down
to 1.5 volts ea. did they get ruined? Won't keep a charge??

The batteries are 8 months old. Wal-Mart golf kart bat.
today I just hooked up to shore power again to see what happens.
Thanks in advance.
An overly discharged deep cycle battery(s) may need to go through several cycles to fully recover capacity. They also periodically need an equalizing charge to keep them healty.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:14 PM   #3
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Did you leave the auxiliary switch on or the main switch on after pulling the shore power?
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:20 PM   #4
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Did you leave the auxiliary switch on or the main switch on after pulling the shore power?
X2!
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:27 PM   #5
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Ref. to my Battery problem.

Yes I did leave the house bat. disconnect switch
in the ON position after pulling the shore power.

Thank you.
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:47 PM   #6
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I would suggest that you disconnect them from the coach and charge each one until fully charged while they are sitting on your workbench. Take a SpG reading of all of the cells in each battery once they are fully charged and record the readings. Then wait a few days and take another SpG reading of the cells. Compare the difference and that will tell you whether your batteries are toasted or not. You may also want to do a load test. Most O'Reilly's will perform that test using their load tester.

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Old 01-27-2014, 11:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frederick w View Post
Yes I did leave the house bat. disconnect switch
in the ON position after pulling the shore power.

Thank you.
IF by on you mean you left the batteries in circuit where they are providing power to the coach you probably do not have a problem. There are all kinds of parenthetic pathways for current in a coach. Plug shore power back in. Let charge 24 hours pull shore power off turn off the disconnect where the batteries are not in circuit. Go back in 10 days and then measure the voltage. If they are dead after ten days while disconnected you probably have a problem.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:22 PM   #8
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How's the water level? Have you added anything but distilled water? Did you measure the specific gravity of each cell? Do you have poorly matched batteries wired in parallel? How long did the batteries sit fully discharged? After checking the specific gravity, did you have to equalize any of them?

Check the above then do the following:

After charging for 48hrs, disconnect them and let them rest for 3hrs then measure the voltage. Measure again 3 days later.

What instrument are you using to measure voltage? A multimeter with a low battery may give incorrect readings.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:22 PM   #9
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Yes I did leave the house bat. disconnect switch in the ON position after pulling the shore power.
Thank you.
Just leave the rig plugged in for about a *week*, with the disconnect OFF. That should get rid of any recent sulfation and bring the batteries back up to capacity.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frederick w View Post
Yes I did leave the house bat. disconnect switch
in the ON position after pulling the shore power.

Thank you.
I agree with posters who say they might not be dead yet.

You've received good advice in all of the above posts, I copied most of it, just re-arranged a bit to give you an idea of how I'd go about it:

  1. Check the electrolyte level in each cell and add distilled or de-ionized water as required.
  2. Charge the batteries using the coach charger fully for a week, but I'd leave the disconnect on unless you know the charger is connected directly to the batteries.
  3. Check specific gravity (SpG) of each cell with your handy battery hydrometer and make sure all cells are correct for a charged battery. Mfr's specs may be slightly different for SpG for a fully charged cell, commonly it is 1.265.
  4. Check and maintain electrolyte levels again. I believe adding water may change SpG so I always check it before adding more water (DI or Distilled, or course). I always charge batteries if I add water to top them off if I'm not going to leave the coach plugged in.
  5. If the SpG is good you're done!
  6. Only if the SpG is lower than spec equalize the batteries using one of two methods:
    • If your charger has an equalize setting make sure it is set up to apply the proper voltage (I believe Trojan, for example, wants 14.6 to 14.8V) and do a few equalization on them, re-checking electrolyte level each time.
    • If you don't have an equalization setting, disconnect both the batteries and charge them singly. Some of the older chargers have a 6V position, I have a couple in my garage, if you can't find one you may be able to find a buddy that does. If it is a manual charger use a DMM to monitor the battery voltage carefully and make sure you cut off the charger when (or if) it exceeds the equalization voltage recommended by the mfr. Usually manual chargers will go over the equalization voltage, you really want this because that is what will fix what is ailing the batteries (there is lots of info on the 'net regarding sulfation and other things that cause battery degradation and what equalization does to fix or mitigate it). Again, check and maintain the electrolyte level religiously.
  7. Check and maintain electrolyte levels yet again.
  8. Repeat the charging/equalization cycle until the SpG comes comes back up to the spec. The battery mfr should have some advice on how often to do an equalization so you may want to do this over a couple of weeks, using the coach in the meantime to get some charge/discharge cycles on the batteries.

The good thing about flooded batteries is you should be able to equalize relatively often, just check and maintain the electrolyte level. The reason why I go on so much about this is because I've ruined more than my share of batteries by not checking the level, when the plates are showing it is not good.

Some of the newer chargers have desulphator modes, they are supposed to sent pulses of current through the batteries, supposedly knocking the sulphation off the plates. I say supposedly because my experience with them has not been good, I've not been able to resurrect a single battery with the two desulphators I have owned. Others swear by them, so YMMV, try one if you can get hold of one.

If not successful after a few attempts, you may have to admit defeat and buy new batteries. Fortunately 6V Golf Cart batteries are relatively affordable at places like Sams and Costco and other forum members have reported good results using batteries sold by both.

As other posters have said you can get a good idea of the batteries charge level by measuring voltage at rest (i.e. not charged or discharged for several hours) but IMHO the best method of determining a flooded electrolyte battery's state of charge is measuring SpG with a hydrometer.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:55 AM   #11
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"Wal-Mart golf kart bat" . . . Really? What is the rating on those battery's, in Amp Hours (AH)?

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Old 01-31-2014, 03:07 PM   #12
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In Canada they are 200Ah
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:25 PM   #13
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I suggest you first check to see if the batteries are good to begin with by putting a charger on them and then taking them to an Auto parts/battery store and get a free load check done. If the batteries will not hold a charge, get it documented and then return them to WalMart for exchange/refund under warrantee.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:56 PM   #14
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If your batts ARE salvagable...here's how to do it.

Put a full charge on them...using a smart charger (like this...Shipn Shore 12 Volt 2/10/15 A Charger)

that will bulk charge them (14.4V in 12V configuration) and then float charge them ( 13.4Volts) is the FIRST step. It might take all day to bring them up to a full 100% charge on float. You'll know when you are done because your batts will be drawing only 1 or 2 amps in the 13.4V mode. Do NOT rely on voltage readings to assume you have a 100% charge.


Next you need to put an equalizing charge on the batts...you'll need a charger that can do this. Some chargers call this desulfation mode like the one linked above.
This is necessary with ALL deep cycle wet cells at least every few months...especially those that sit a lot so it is a good investment anyway.
An EQ charge is at least 15.2 V and should be done with the battery caps OFF and result in the battery fluid bubbling lightly. Do this for at least 3 hours starting with fully charged batteries AND monitoring temperature to insure it does not go over 140 degrees. Temp gauge is useful... but even your hand can work. Wear goggles...that is H2So4 that is bubbling!

Step 3 is refill any missing fluid using distilled ONLY water to fill any fluid that has boiled off. Don't re-install. Wait 24 hours and test voltage with neither battery hooked up to anything else. Should read 6.3V or possible 6.4. Anything below 6.2 = significant battery loss of capability. Anything below 6.1 is toast in terms of practical use. Alternatively...you can use the Turkey baster gauge to take your readings.
*******************

Suggest the addition of a decent battery monitor to your coach so that you don't discharge below 50% ever ...and so you can see current draws and amp hours left. Try the Victron BM602.
Good luck reviving them!
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