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Old 08-16-2014, 07:33 PM   #1
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New battery: OUCH

Unplugged the trailer yesterday so I could check the charge today. I forgot to unplug my 12V Sirius radio dock, but it was turned off.
Nothing other than propane detector was on.
Got a reading of 12.02 on the voltmeter. Checked cells and all are topped up. Got out hydrometer and discovered it was broken, even though I stored it in pipe insulation tube.
Priced new Trojan 27TMX at Lordco. $352.72. That's about $80 more than I paid for the same in 2011.
An AC Delco 27 DC is $179.39. ( don't know amp/hours ).
Got a new hydrometer and put the battery on my Motomaster 10A/2A charger.
It's not looking like I'll get another trip out of this battery.
Any idea how I could go from full charge to 12.02 in 24 hours, other than that the battery is deceased?
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:45 PM   #2
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Just a suggestion. Get a Battery Minder and leave it on this charger for 30 days. It is a pulse charger which desulphates the plates. I have brought a couple of batteries, including a deep cycle, from the battery graveyard with mine. About $50. Your problem could be caused by sulphation.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:55 PM   #3
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I was in the battery-powered medical devices field for over 10 years; pulse cycling is the only way to desulphate wet batteries as it gives the wet chemistry time to rearrange electrons from the sulphated plates back into solution.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:11 PM   #4
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I was trying to equalize / desulphate as per a video on Trojan site. Basically, you unplug the charger, disconnect from the battery for a couple minutes and then reconnect and plug in. Does the same thing as a charger with that feature ( according to the video ). Searched for more info on their site without success.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:26 PM   #5
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I was trying to equalize / desulphate as per a video on Trojan site. Basically, you unplug the charger, disconnect from the battery for a couple minutes and then reconnect and plug in. Does the same thing as a charger with that feature ( according to the video ). Searched for more info on their site without success.
Except that it takes a long time to desulphate. I seriously doubt that procedure would work. Get a real desulphating charge. Google "Battery Minder," do your research, then decide. And no, I do not work for Battery Minder!
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Unplugged the trailer yesterday so I could check the charge today. I forgot to unplug my 12V Sirius radio dock, but it was turned off.
Nothing other than propane detector was on.
Got a reading of 12.02 on the voltmeter. Checked cells and all are topped up. Got out hydrometer and discovered it was broken, even though I stored it in pipe insulation tube.
Priced new Trojan 27TMX at Lordco. $352.72. That's about $80 more than I paid for the same in 2011.
An AC Delco 27 DC is $179.39. ( don't know amp/hours ).
Got a new hydrometer and put the battery on my Motomaster 10A/2A charger.
It's not looking like I'll get another trip out of this battery.
Any idea how I could go from full charge to 12.02 in 24 hours, other than that the battery is deceased?
This guy uses Epsom Salt to desulfate batteries with some pretty remarkable results:

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Old 08-16-2014, 09:32 PM   #7
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Unfortunately, your 10A/2A charger is not going to up to the task of bringing that battery back. You really must do a full 'equalize' charge cycle to have any hope of getting it back. The automotive charger is just not designed to drive the voltage up to the 16 volts required to to an absorption charge (15V for equalize) on the deep cycle wet batteries. The battery minder pulse system is also really effective, but only if used in conjunction with a full absorption charge cycle.

A 3-stage charger (common in the marine world) will do the job. I wouldn't swap the battery out. At 2011 it's still pretty young. I'm still using batteries from 2004 on my boat and hope to get another couple of years out of them.

Do you know anyone with a boat that you could borrow a smart charger?? If not, there is a really good 20amp, 3 stage charger available from Xantrex. Unfortunately, it costs around $250. Too bad you're in Van - I've got a portable unit here in Victoria.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:07 PM   #8
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Which battery minder would work for the 2 - 6 volt batteries?
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:21 PM   #9
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I use this 5 amp "battery Tender" for my 6 volt battery bank.

Battery Tender 12v 5 Amp Power Tender Plus Charger PT12v022-0157 Large View
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:21 PM   #10
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Two hours after disconnecting the trailer from shore power, I am getting 12.76 on the voltmeter that plugs into an outlet.
I'm gonna check it again tomorrow before plugging the trailer in and will report.
My mechanic can do an equalization charge with his equipment, but last time I discussed it with him he said in his experience it doesn't accomplish much.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Any idea how I could go from full charge to 12.02 in 24 hours, other than that the battery is deceased?
Actually, that is a good indicator of a near-dead battery. It will also charge rapidly to full voltage. Of course you aren't actually storing much energy, just moving the tiny remaining bit of un-sulphated lead back out of solution onto the plates. Or in other words, you have a 1 Amp hour battery in a 90 Amp hour case.

I'm betting you were coming to that conclusion.

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Old 08-16-2014, 10:35 PM   #12
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I use this 5 amp "battery Tender" for my 6 volt battery bank.

Battery Tender 12v 5 Amp Power Tender Plus Charger PT12v022-0157 Large View
Same here, seems to work well.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:57 PM   #13
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Are two different volt meters in use? Was the first reading taken with one volt meter at the terminals and the second with a different meter at an outlet?

A reading of 12.76 is hard to reconcile with your first reading.

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Old 08-17-2014, 12:58 AM   #14
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Both readings were from a 12V outlet in the trailer. I left the trailer unplugged from shore power and I'll take another reading tomorrow morning ( make that mourning ).
I'm also going to check cells with my new hydrometer and will report.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotfishtacos View Post
I use this 5 amp "battery Tender" for my 6 volt battery bank.

Battery Tender 12v 5 Amp Power Tender Plus Charger PT12v022-0157 Large View
The key is to get the battery desulphated and then KEEP it desulphated. While the Battery Tender (TM) is a "smart" trickle charger, it DOES NOT have the capability to desulphate.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:30 AM   #16
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Interesting article on this topic: Sulfation and How to Prevent it - Battery University
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:44 AM   #17
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:29 PM   #18
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Both readings were from a 12V outlet in the trailer.
I've never found 12V outlets to be all that reliable. The first reading could have been a poor connection. I've had to "wiggle and jiggle" (tech term) sometimes to get a good connection.

An inexpensive multi-meter measuring from the battery terminals probably gives a more consistently accurate measurement of the battery voltage.

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Old 08-17-2014, 12:40 PM   #19
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Interesting article on this topic: Sulfation and How to Prevent it - Battery University
Good read. Looks like you have to start with a healthy battery.
Have to dig out my multi-meter and the manual.
Cheap voltmeter is reading 12.60 from DC outlet this morning.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:55 PM   #20
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Tested cells this afternoon. Hydrometer read 12.75 or better on all cells (probably more like 12.71 if adjusted for temperature ). Electrolyte is clear.
Beats me.
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