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Old 05-06-2021, 05:23 PM   #1
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Battery Equalization/Disulfating with RC7

Battery water level got low during our absence while parked in Phoenix, guess since we were on shore power i forgot to check prior to leaving.

Took about a gallon to top off the chassis and 2 house batteries with the bulk being used in the house batteries

Thinking I should disulfate the house batteries but have a few questions.

Should I let the batteries charge up a day? Although the RC7 says float charge?

Then should I utilize the equalization function on the RC7? I believe it just equalizes the 2 house batteries and not the chassis battery?

I plan on having the inverter shut off during equalization no DC devices are on as we are on shore power

Will the equalization also disulfate the batteries? or should I pickup a charger and disulfate before I equalize.

Oh and how long after adding water should specific gravity be tested?

Thanks for any and all input..
greg
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Old 05-06-2021, 06:42 PM   #2
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An EQ cycle will help serve to stir the electrolyte, so I would do that before testing battery merit.

"Desulfating" is kind of wishful thinking, it can help sometimes but running a battery dry is different from "sulfation". Maybe you'll get lucky and the damage is minimal. Whatever charging situation exists that caused so much water use has also taken a toll. My take on it would be to do a timed discharge test and get a hard Ah number, and know where they stand.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
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Old 05-06-2021, 06:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_K5LXP View Post
An EQ cycle will help serve to stir the electrolyte, so I would do that before testing battery merit.

"Desulfating" is kind of wishful thinking, it can help sometimes but running a battery dry is different from "sulfation". Maybe you'll get lucky and the damage is minimal. Whatever charging situation exists that caused so much water use has also taken a toll. My take on it would be to do a timed discharge test and get a hard Ah number, and know where they stand.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM

Thanks Mark,
Batteries were not completely dry but some cells were alot lower than others and I suspect dropped below plate.
Going to take specific gravity tomorrow and run equalization. If things have improved
Greg
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:11 PM   #4
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Water level dropping below the top of the plates is bad news. There was sulfation in that case. Sometimes it can be corrected, but odds are that you'll going to be needing new batteries in the near future.
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:34 PM   #5
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Yeah figuring a good strike on em
Lots to learn about how tast fluid levels drop in the desert
Maybe some sort of auto water system?
But then that resivoir will need to be topped off.....squirrel!!
Thanks Fred
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:27 PM   #6
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We keep both RVs in our driveway at home. Thus I can also keep them plugged in whenever at the house. The 5th wheeler's 12 volt system is 100% solar for last four years. The MH does not have any solar, yet.

I check all those batteries at the first of each month and top off the water as needed. I also exercise the generators at the same time. Because of the highly modified battery compartment on the 5th, you can not access the tops and pulling them out is an effort. Thus those have a watering system plus I have volt meters on each battery that gives me some rough idea of battery health with the flip of a switch. The MH batteries are easy to access and service in a pullout tray.
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Old 05-07-2021, 06:02 AM   #7
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Going to take specific gravity tomorrow and run equalization.
Run the EQ, then check SG. Equalization will promote stirring the electrolyte which will improve those sections of the plates which were wounded by exposure to air to the extent that they can. A few sequential EQ and discharge cycles, while measuring cell to cell SG and Ah capacity will reveal the status of the patient and if there's a general trend toward improvement. You've got nothing to lose by trying.

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Old 05-07-2021, 09:28 AM   #8
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OK. First time running EQ
Is it best to shut off the salesman switch to isolate the DC components and also shut inverter off at the rc7 panel?

We are currently staying in the coach..but have alternate living coming up soon
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Old 05-07-2021, 05:39 PM   #9
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The issue is whether the battery acid dropped below the plates. I don't know what you have for house batteries, but my 6 golf cart 6 volt batteries can easily take a gallon alone without the acid having dropped below the plates, that's not getting into chassis batteries. I have two 8D's for my chassis, which happened to be Lifelines so I don't water them, but a gallon of distilled water for say six golf cart batteries plus chassis batteries is not that much at all.
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Old 05-08-2021, 07:49 AM   #10
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Is it best to shut off the salesman switch to isolate the DC components and also shut inverter off at the rc7 panel?
I don't have that system so can't guess as to what it's supplying to the batteries. Equalization is with a constant voltage, for trojan FLA it's 2.7VPC. If the system can apply that voltage to the batteries while also powering the coach then I would say you can leave them connected. If there is any equipment on board that would be sensitive to a ~16V house supply then maybe you should shut it off. Watching the batteries with a voltmeter during the cycle will tell you if you're hitting the EQ mark or not.

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Old 05-08-2021, 09:33 AM   #11
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Birdhunter,

Batteries are 8d Flooded. It just seemed like one of the cells took alot more.

Mark,
Running equalization now shut off 12 volt systems like AC/Heat.
Voltage hit 15.1VDC but is slowly dropping off
As I understand the xantrex will stop the equalization automatically after about 3 hours
Voltage is holding at 14.25 batteries are bubbling as they are suppose too

I do not believe 14.25 volts could harm most 12 volt devices....starting not to sweat so much

Thanks,
greg
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:28 PM   #12
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Greg, I use an automatic watering system so I can't know which cells are taking what but a gallon of water for four 8D batteries does not mean your plates were exposed unless it was one cell that was much lower than all the others.

My Xantrex Freedom 458 equalizes at around 16 volts. Just the bulk charge for most FLA batteries is around 14.8 volts at 70F.
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Old 05-09-2021, 01:34 AM   #13
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Fully charge.
Check specific gravity.
Equalize.
Check specific gravity. Compare for cell improvement and tighter distribution.

Note the data for next time comparison.
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:16 AM   #14
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Ok ran equalization
One house battery got significantly hotter then the other

Equalization stopped after 2.5 hours. Other battery still hotter
Let all cool over night and went and bought a laser thermometer
Battery that was hotter is still 5 degrees hotter all accross
Will check specific gravity in awhile
Have a chassis service coming up at Silverleaf RV in chandler will have them do a load test as well
Going to check specific gravity later but it was looking good after equalization
Bird hunter what watering system do you have ?
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