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Old 03-08-2016, 08:29 AM   #15
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Sorry a bit wordy...long day yesterday..

It is a process for evaluating a set of batteries with limited equipment.

If all are same and old it will not do much but if one is starting to fail the above will help find it quickly.

Longer to read it than do it kind of thing.

OP voltages may have damaged one, all or none of his batteries but indicated one with different voltage so op already had done above without knowing it, the above explains how to relate the readings the op reported.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:43 AM   #16
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My simple tests. Check water level, top up with distilled water. Check voltage while charging, 13 something volts. Disconnect batteries, check again 12.6V or so. (for 12V batteries of course) Buy a $22 load tester from Harbor Freight, read instructions and load test.

If you got five years out of flooded cell batteries, you didn't do so bad. If you have them tested at an auto parts store like Advance Auto, they may hand you a print out that says "does not meet industry standards" Right, for a brand new fully charged battery. Test them yourself first. If they pass the simple stuff then start looking at you charge system and stuff.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:00 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by csrrsr View Post
My batteries are either over charging or their bad. I have 4 6V house batteries that were made in May 2011. I have to continuously add water to them and when I'm near them you can hear them boiling. Is this a sign of bad batteries or is it time to replace my inverter/charger?....or both???
Do you have an equalization function on your charger? Read up on it before you do it, but some problems can be resolved by doing this.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:38 AM   #18
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The charger was set on Gel. I changed it to invert/wet since all four batteries are wet Trojans and the humm stopped. I cannot believe I have had this thing set on gel 1 for the last 3 years???? Hopefully the grocery store won't miss me buying so much distilled water!!! I hope there was no damage to the charger?
The setting for Gel puts the batteries through a higher voltage charge stage. This may have overcharged the batts considering the number of times it has happened. Overcharging reduces life span so be aware and or check your specific grav. to be sure. Interstate Battery has lots of good info, or google "check SG". It most likely has not damaged the charger.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:24 PM   #19
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The charge controllers I've had showed the gel/sealed batteries as having the same charge algorithm, the only difference I could tell was they went through all charge stages at .4 volts lower than wet cell setting to reduce gassing. And of course it disabled the high voltage equalization cycle.....
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:01 PM   #20
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I could tell was they went through all charge stages at .4 volts lower than wet cell setting to reduce gassing...
My TS-MPPT-60 solar controller floats wet cells " lower " then sealed AGM & Gel.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:21 AM   #21
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Update: We noticed our lights were dimmer than usual and the frig began a warning of "LOW DC POWER". We were losing all the power in the house batteries. I went out and put the charger on GEL 1 and the charger started humming again......and began charging the batteries. I'll leave it there till we get to AZ.....can't afford to lose our house batteries on the road. Have 1 1/2 gallons of distilled water which should last us. I think it's time for 4 new 6V batteries and will change them out when we get there.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:52 AM   #22
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This chart from "Battery School" shows the float cycle somewhat higher for wet cell charging. Chart is from Battery School | Batteriesnorthwest.com | General Difference Between Gel and Wet Batteries

General Difference Between Gel and Wet Batteries

Below are some general differences for the consumer to consider. GEL WET Requires stabilized, regulated charging system Conventional charging system OK 1.5 to 2.3 more expensive $ Less expensive $ Maintenance free, may operate in any position Requires maintenance (water) upright operation only May be shipped UPS FFA approved with restrictions Shipped common carrier only Cannot use for air travel Float charging voltage 13.5 to 13.8 Float charging voltage 13.0 to 13.5
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Old 03-10-2016, 08:02 AM   #23
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This chart from "Battery School" shows the float cycle somewhat higher for wet cell charging. Chart is from Battery School | Batteriesnorthwest.com | General Difference Between Gel and Wet Batteries

General Difference Between Gel and Wet Batteries
Not in the chart you sent.

Float Gel cell, 13.5 to 13.8

Float Wet cell, 13.0 to 13.5
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Old 03-10-2016, 12:25 PM   #24
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Not in the chart you sent.

Float Gel cell, 13.5 to 13.8

Float Wet cell, 13.0 to 13.5

Sorry twinboat, my wording is incorrect in the first sentence. I meant to say that the Gel charge was higher in float mode. I had made a statement earlier that I thought the wet cell could be damaged by charging on "Gel" and just wanted to back it up with a source. Thanks for catching that.
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Old 03-10-2016, 03:02 PM   #25
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Update: We noticed our lights were dimmer than usual and the frig began a warning of "LOW DC POWER". We were losing all the power in the house batteries. I went out and put the charger on GEL 1 and the charger started humming again......and began charging the batteries. I'll leave it there till we get to AZ.....can't afford to lose our house batteries on the road. Have 1 1/2 gallons of distilled water which should last us. I think it's time for 4 new 6V batteries and will change them out when we get there.
Let us know how you make out .
Keep a sharp eye on them to, cause I'd wager that the one that registered lower than the others is shorting. Problem is the house charger then sees lower voltage over the whole battery, and may never go from bulk charge to float. That is why there is so much water loss. This is a vicious circle too I think. Look for over heating and or very long/high bulk charge times, >10hr.
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:25 PM   #26
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Let us know how you make out .
Keep a sharp eye on them to, cause I'd wager that the one that registered lower than the others is shorting. Problem is the house charger then sees lower voltage over the whole battery, and may never go from bulk charge to float. That is why there is so much water loss. This is a vicious circle too I think. Look for over heating and or very long/high bulk charge times, >10hr.
Today, I purchased four new 6V Interstates at Costco and installed them....that should be another thread. I killed all electrical systems and unplugged. After starting up the whole system and checking the batteries they were all showing some bubbling, but nothing of the serious kind. Very small bubbles and intermittently. I'll keep a check on the water levels every day just to keep vigilant, but I believe the one battery that showed a 6.5 voltage compared to the other three that showed 7.8V while on the charger was making the charger continue to over charge the good batteries. Like I said earlier, that battery did not need water and never showed any bubbling. Hopefully, this episode is over. I will be calling Fleetwood to see if the charger is supposed to be on Gel 1 or on the setting that says, "invertor/wet cell". BTW....the weather here in AZ is quite uplifting from where we came from!
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:08 AM   #27
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Should be good to go now. Need to replace batteries in sets anyway, once one in a series/parallel goes bad it is time to replace them all because the bad one pulls the good ones down. The only time you would replace a single battery is if it goes bad early on.

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