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A Battery Question


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10 replies to this topic

#1 tkbowers

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

Today I topped off my house batteries with distilled water. They were fully charged a week ago after returning from a weekend away. Each cell required from 1/2 to 3/4 cup water. Does adding water to the batteries diminish the charge? Do I need to recharge them after adding water? I'm aware that it's not a good idea to store lead acid batteries in a discharged condition.

Thanks.

Tom
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#2 desertdeals69

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:02 PM

Do you charge the batteries with a inverter/charger? If so it usually has a 3 stage charger so when the batteries are fully charged it will float charge to keep them up.
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#3 tkbowers

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:25 PM

I do have an inverter/charger, but this does not operate when the coach is in storage.
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#4 hermanmullins

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:13 AM

Tom,
You stated that you added 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water per cell. Was the level below the top of the plates on any of the cells? Plates that have the level expose them will dry and flake when water is added. Those flakes can build up in the bottom of the Battery and short out plate there by ruining the Battery. It is called a Sulfated Battery. It is always best to be sure the water level is above the plates.

By the way I have a hint for folks out there. Rather then the squeeze bulb or turkey baster to fill my batteries I use a pump up sprayer. Fill the sprayer, pump it up and then all you need to do is fill without a bucket and bulb. All you need to do the the sprayer is remove the tip of the tube.

Herman
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#5 desertdeals69

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:03 AM

I do have an inverter/charger, but this does not operate when the coach is in storage.

I would fill the batteries and then charge until it goes to float and then store it.
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#6 desertdeals69

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:07 AM

Tom,
You stated that you added 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water per cell. Was the level below the plates on any of the cells? Plates that have the level expose them will dry and flake when water is added. Those flakes can build up in the bottom of the Battery and short out plate there by ruining the Battery. It is called a Sulfiated Battery. It is always best to be sure the water level is above the plates.
By the way I have a hint for folks out there. Rather then the squise buld or turkey baster to fill my Batteries I use a pump up sprayer. Fill the sprayer, pump it up and then all you need to do is fill without a bucket and bulb. All you need to do the the sprayer is remove the tip of the tube.

Herman

I have changed to caps with floats and have a gallon of distilled water higher than the batteries. When the level indicator says the water is low I just open the valve until they are full. A lot easier and quicker.
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#7 smokeater75

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:53 AM

I could be wrong but I think that anytime you top up your batteries, you should always use distilled water and you should always charge the batteries. When you are adding that much water I'm betting your batteries have been weakened quite a bit. If it was a minus temperature you would risk the acid strength being low enough that the batteries could freeze. Good luck, smokeater75
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#8 desertdeals69

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

I could be wrong but I think that anytime you top up your batteries, you should always use distilled water and you should always charge the batteries. When you are adding that much water I'm betting your batteries have been weakened quite a bit. If it was a minus temperature you would risk the acid strength being low enough that the batteries could freeze. Good luck, smokeater75

When you add distilled water you are not changing the makeup of the electrolyte but replacing the water that has evaporated. A charged battery shouldn't freeze.
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#9 tkbowers

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

Thanks to everyone for your posts.

It sounds like I do need to recharge my batteries after adding water.

Tom
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#10 IgorP

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:49 PM

BTW folks, do you think if it makes sense to replace wet batteries by "maintenance free" ones?
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#11 wolfe10

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:07 PM

Igor,

Lots of different maintenance free batteries out there.

I have use Lifeline AGM batteries for many many years in both sail boats and my RV's with excellent results.

About the only recommendation (and actually not that different from any type of battery) is that you have a "smart" charger or inverter/charger AND that it is properly programmed for the batteries you choose.
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