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Old 10-02-2015, 04:23 PM   #1
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Are my house batteries going bad?

Bought MH in February 2015.

Don't know if any maintenance had been done on the MH as the dealer didn't have any maintenance records from previous owner. The dealer did say they preped the MH for driving home from his lot. He is a reputable dealer. Pedata RV in Tucson.

We used the batteries for the water pump for 2 weeks, only while driving. Once in the park we plugged up to electric. We stayed 1 week in one park so it was only 5 days driving using the batteries for water pump.

Then home and plug up the trickle charger every month.

I have 4 interstate wet cell batteries for my house batteries. In July 2015 I filled each cell on the batteries with 7 ozs of distilled water. I then charged the batteries and every month thereafter I put the trickle charger on them, in series, and charge them.

Water was over the plates but just barely.

Now on 2 October 2015 I checked the batteries again and had to add 7 ozs of distilled water to each cell again. Water was over the plates but not up to the bottom of the cell hole.

I don't know what year the batteries are as the seller didn't punch the date out on the label on the batteries.

I am getting plenty of juice, inside the coach on the house batteries, as the water pump and even the lights work very bright.

I also checked my cranking batteries and only had to add 2 ozs per cell.

No over spill, no cooking off, no white acid residue on battery terminals or in the battery box.

My question is how much distilled water should be added to the batteries in a 2 month period if the batteries are barely used?

There are no cracks or any other damage to the batteries.
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Old 10-02-2015, 05:11 PM   #2
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You can determine how old the batteries are by the date code on each battery. Here is a link: Interstate Batteries FAQ :: How can I tell the age of my battery?
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Old 10-02-2015, 05:36 PM   #3
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I assume you have four 6 volt batteries, correct? I hope you didn't hook them into series. Four 6 volt batteries in series would net you 24 volts.

Many reasons why you are adding water. Maybe the charger is not a trickle type, or maybe the coach alternator regulator has gone bad, or maybe the batteries are installed incorrectly.
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Old 10-02-2015, 05:50 PM   #4
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Are my house batteries going bad?

Adding mineral oil to your batteries will greatly reduce the evaporation of the electrolyte. Many members which have done this report adding water only once or twice a year.

Here is a link to read

mineral oil
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Old 10-02-2015, 06:09 PM   #5
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There are other drains on the batteries than the water pump. The CO detector for one. The lights on the microwave (clock) for another. And there are more. If you don't have an inverter/charger in your coach, those batteries are getting a workout over a month's time. Mine has the charger on the inverter that keeps the house batteries charged when plugged into shore power.

If you are using an external charger then even though you state it is a trickle charger, it may be overcharging the batteries and doing it once a month may not be enough. They shouldn't be drained below 12.2 volts (50% charge) if possible. Regularly taking them below that point will definitely shorten their life.

Distilled water should be used to add water to the batteries and they should be checked once a month. Waiting 2 months to check the water level is too long an interval. Usually when you have to add that much water on a regular basis it is a sign that the batteries are going bad.

Since you state you have plenty of juice it sounds like they are reaching full charge. If you have a way to monitor them which you should, see how long they hold up from full charge 13.1 or so until they reach 12.2. If they hold the charge well then they are still good. If it drops rapidly they need to be replaced.

Have you tried to equalize them? Equalizing batteries gets them back in shape to a certain extent. Equalizing batteries is a controlled overcharge which pulls the chemicals off the plates and puts them back into solution.
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Old 10-02-2015, 06:30 PM   #6
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00BL Battery date stamp is what date? FEB 2012?
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:16 AM   #7
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Water rate of consumption indicates overcharging.

Measure your standing voltage about an hour after you get it connected as you described.

13.5 is the generic happy place for float voltage and float charge amps should not exceed 0.1% C.

C is the labeled capacity which looks to be 225 amp hours.

So 225 X 0.1% is 0.225.

It is difficult to measure that but voltage is easy.

As voltage rises above 13.5 the current rises.

And 1 amp can and will ruin them.

We had a 1 amp maximum output designed for floating a 36 volt flooded battery fail on a forklift parked in the corner and it wiped out the battery so keep checking the water until solved.

Also only cover the plates before charging then fill to bottom of ring after charged.

Get an automatic fill jug to make it easy or add a water kit.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:35 PM   #8
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Couldn't read the letters/numbers in the picture.
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:18 PM   #9
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I think mine are COOKED too. I plan on replacing as they don't hold a charge long anymore. I tested and the level is still in the white zone but getting close to red.
Anyway it is a 98 Pace Arrow. I have 2 6 volt batteries and considering adding 2 more to four since I will be changing anyway. Anybody have any past experience on how to fit them in. adding trays and brackets to hold them etc....
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okie143 View Post
00BL Battery date stamp is what date? FEB 2012?
My date codes were inscribed into the black ridge that went around the top of the battery. I had a couple of numbers like those that you show but they were not the date/ship codes.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
Water rate of consumption indicates overcharging.

Measure your standing voltage about an hour after you get it connected as you described.

13.5 is the generic happy place for float voltage and float charge amps should not exceed 0.1% C.

C is the labeled capacity which looks to be 225 amp hours.

So 225 X 0.1% is 0.225.

It is difficult to measure that but voltage is easy.

As voltage rises above 13.5 the current rises.

And 1 amp can and will ruin them.

We had a 1 amp maximum output designed for floating a 36 volt flooded battery fail on a forklift parked in the corner and it wiped out the battery so keep checking the water until solved.

Also only cover the plates before charging then fill to bottom of ring after charged.

Get an automatic fill jug to make it easy or add a water kit.
X2 on this one. Water usage has NOTHING to do with the condition of the batteries but DOES indicate the quality of the charger. A true trickle charger should not use ANY water at all, it is designed only to maintain the batteries.

I would question the quality of your onboard charging system, as well as the trickle charge method you are using. That is alot of water coming off.

I personally do not favor mineral oil, but many on the site do. I see no definitive scientific support for it, in a properly maintained system with a 4 or more phase charger of good design.. Many recommend the Progressive Industries products as replacements for the OEM WFCO and similar units, if that is what you have.

I also don't favor keeping a battery on trickle charge during periods of non use, but rather disconnect them and charge them once a month. Again, this is my personal experience and research, not the prevalent view.

I would not right off these batteries based on your posts, but rather would look to the charger(s) you are using.
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:37 AM   #12
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There may be no scientific support for mineral oil working, but it darn sure does. Used it for ten years in two different coaches. Add a little water once a year and never, never had any corrosion in the compartment.
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:16 PM   #13
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A battery could have cracked case and leak electrolyte out, but that would probably be noticeable. Therefore overcharging seems most likely, but one or two weak batteries can fool a charger into pushing more current than the others can stand, thus overcharging (boiling) the entire set. Are you adding several ounces to each battery, or mostly to one, or an equal amount to all 4 but totaling 7 oz? Makes a difference in the diagnosis, I think.

Nothing you have said convinces me these batteries are in good condition. While driving, the engine alternator provides plenty of 12v power to operate things. And when parked, the onboard charging system provides for all 12v needs. It's not clear to me that you have ever actually powered much from the actual batteries. Try it with shore power disconnected and the engine off.

Can you better identify that "trickle charger". Anything worthy of that label couldn't cause the water usage you described.
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Old 10-05-2015, 06:18 PM   #14
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Check the top of the negative post for a date code. According to Trogan it should be there.

Looking at the code on the picture you posted I would have read it as 7B00 and not as 00BL but neither one just doesn't make sense to me.
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