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Old 11-12-2014, 07:44 PM   #1
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Need some info on load testing batteries

I removed my house batteries (2 6volt GC2-XHD-UTL Workaholic Interstate) and filled them with distiller water. They were very low. I charged them individually at home on a smart charger. I went to an auto parts house to have them load tested but since these are not start batteries there was no CCA on the batteries to input into the load tester. How do you guys do this?

I also want to install a knife switch shutoff for the house batteries. Anyone have a link or a recommendation for a good quality one?

Thanks
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:20 PM   #2
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The GC2 batteries are approximately 220 amp hour batteries.

If your looking for a state of charge, buy a hydrometer, and measure specific gravity in each cell, if one (or more) cell has a different gravity than the other cells, it would be suspect
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:37 PM   #3
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The GC2 batteries are approximately 220 amp hour batteries.

If your looking for a state of charge, buy a hydrometer, and measure specific gravity in each cell, if one (or more) cell has a different gravity than the other cells, it would be suspect
Would a load test also be advisable?
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:56 PM   #4
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Are you having problems?

How old are they?

How long were they low on water?

Did they sit with a low charge for an extended period of time?

Best Load test is to use them, if they hold up to your use, there good. if not, they are probably bad.

Sam's club or Costco has GC2 batteries for around $85 each.

One of the best things I bought for my MH was a Trimetric battery monitor. I think all MH should have one. I have the 2025 model but there is a newer 2030 model that has been getting good reviews. About $200 with a shunt and wiring.

http://www.bogartengineering.com/products/TriMetric
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:56 PM   #5
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"noserider".....Harbor Freight has a combination volt meter/load tester that runs about $20.00. It works well for a Harbor Freight product.

Remember, only fully charged batteries can be tested.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:24 PM   #6
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"noserider".....Harbor Freight has a combination volt meter/load tester that runs about $20.00. It works well for a Harbor Freight product.

Remember, only fully charged batteries can be tested.
Thanks Don. What I'm really trying to find out is what input to use on a load tester for my house batteries since no CCA are listed. They have been fully charged.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:38 PM   #7
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Are you having problems? Yes

How old are they?

Coach is new to me. Battery dates codes not punched and no stickers on them.

How long were they low on water?

No telling

Did they sit with a low charge for an extended period of time?

Previous owner kept them on charger but since they were low on water they could be damaged.

Best Load test is to use them, if they hold up to your use, there good. if not, they are probably bad.

Different coaches will drain batteries faster than others due to many factors. I'm trying to start with a known baseline by testing them.

Sam's club or Costco has GC2 batteries for around $85 each.
Have not heard good things about those.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:12 AM   #8
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When servicing flooded batteries the manufacturers recommend adding distilled water after the battery is fully charged. If any of the plates are showing above the acid level prior to charging, fill with enough distilled water to cover the plates, charge the battery, then fill with distilled to the recommended level.

If your battery is not marked with it's CCA, I suggest you call Interstate and ask them for the data you need to do an accurate load test. They may recommend another method of testing as well. Here's a link to a web site with more specific information about battery maintenance and testing.

Battery Basics: A Layman's Guide to Batte | BatteryStuff Articles
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:34 AM   #9
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A typical 6v golf cart (GC2) battery will have a CCA of about 650-750, but the shop may not have a tester for 6v.

CCA measures the ability of a battery to deliver a lot of current (amps) for a very short time, e.g. several seconds, so a load test based on CCA is doing the opposite of what we expect of a deep cycle battery. Thus an automotive battery load tester isn't the ideal way to check deep cycle battery capacity, but they will quickly spot a battery with a dead/shorted cell, and the CCA setting is not crucial to that. Just pick a mid-range value, probably anything in the 500-700 range will work fine.
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:01 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replys guys. I put them back in the coach and will use them for a bit and see how it goes now that they have been filled and charged. I'm currently not able to keep them on charge at storage. I am going to install a kill switch to help with the parasitic loads while not in use. I use the store switch on the panel and also turn off the LP detector thanks to 007's warning but I know I still have some loads in store mode.

My storage is close by so I'm able to check on things weekly and run the generator to keep things charged. I would expect a good set of batteries fully charged to last several weeks if properly isolated. Mine were going down in days. I think that is partially from the batteries low on water in addition to the parasitic loads running them down. My start batteries are doing fine but they have a small solar panel to help them stay charged. I'm going to look at them next and clean them up.

I want to install a cut off switch on the house batteries. If anyone has a link or a name of a good knife style switch please post it up.

The coach is new to me and I'm going through all the items checking things out having fun.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:05 AM   #11
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I bought this one for my tow car but you might want one rated for a heavy duty load since it is for your house batteries.
Amazon.com: WirthCo 20108 Battery Doctor Knife Switch for Top Post Batteries: Automotive
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:27 AM   #12
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Would a load test also be advisable?
Since they're not starting batteries a load test wouldn't be terribly viable. It would show if you have a short or an open under a load but outside of that it wouldn't accurately show the health of what your battery is meant to do.

In our realm a hydrometer is a far better tool to establish battery health.

And don't add water then test them as you'll be testing water. Add your water, charge them fully then check the gravity. You have to give the water time to mix in and acclimate.
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:25 PM   #13
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I want to install a cut off switch on the house batteries. If anyone has a link or a name of a good knife style switch please post it up.


Not a knife style as I don't think they are rugged enough.

This one may be overkill, but a undersized one will heat up and could start a fire.


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