To the Battery Guru's

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 06:48
ThreadID: 130097 Views:3300 Replies:4 FollowUps:28
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Hi all,
Just looking for some feedback for curiosity sake.

Have a Flooded Yuasa 100ah battery that's been slowly dying over the past 12 months & now it's dead.
It's always been hard on water & kept topped up pretty well.

Finally died last week & pulled it out yesterday.
It was completely dry, and would have been checked in the last 2 weeks.

Figured I had nothing to lose, so for interest I refilled it, only with tap water as I wasn't wasting the distilled on a dead battery.
It took 3 litres.

Sat it in the yard & put it on a 25 amp Ctek for the night. It seemed to be taking charge & gassing a fair bit.
Checked it this morning, & found 5 cells boiled dry again, an some loss from the 6th, which was the first cell connected to the Neg terminal.
The charger was still in bulk mode, terminal voltage was around 13.2 maybe.

I know it's stuffed, but am curious as to what is the actual nature of the failure.
O/C cell? Shorted cell?
I know the charger's Ok. I have 2 25A Cteks, along with a 10A & four 5A's.

Anyone got any comments on what physically happens in a failure like this?

Cheers

The one it was on last week did indicate battery failure before I disconnected it.
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Reply By: TomH - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 09:20

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 09:20
2 good answers on other forum
AnswerID: 589657

Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 09:31

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 09:31
First and most important is... I gather this is a normal screw top wet cell battery.
It must be understood that normal wet cell lead acids gas and lose water and an increasing rate as the charge voltage in increased.

13.8 volts is and has been for many decades considered the optimal voltage to charge normal wet cell lead acids ...... it provides the best compromise of charge effectivness and fluid loss.

Modern sealed batteries of many sorts will tolerate and some will argue require a higher nominal charge voltage typicall in the range of 14.2 to 14.5 volt reigon ...... and many of our charging systems ( smart chargers and alternators) are set for this.

Running a normal wet cell battery on a charge system with a higher charge voltage will result in increased if not rapid fluid loss, particularly on a high current charger.

So fluid loss in normal life of the battery explained.

As batteries age everything about them deteriorates ...... charge efficiency, charge holding AND fluid loss ...... if fluid has not been kept up to the battery damage to the plates occurs...... it is a slippery slope of accelrating deterioration.

Even with a new battery, it is possible to boil a "battery dry" in a few days with a modest increase in charge voltage and a high current charger.

Now if you have bunged this normal screw top wet clell battery on a "smart" charger .....it will try and bash as much charge into that battery as fast as possible. Particularly if that charge is designed for or set for sealed batteries .......so nothing is a surprise here.

Remember most of these "smart chargers" are most certainly not, and if they see certain conditions they my change to full up fast charge and not fall back to the lower stages.

If you are running normal screw top wet batteries ...... you must either ensure the charge voltage is no higher than 13.8 volts OR you must terminate charging when the battery gasses freely OR if you are trying to rejuvinate a battery by hammering charge in .... keep the fluid up to the battery.

If you have a vehicle with a modern alternator set for sealed batteries, it is a bad idea to run screw top batteries.

cheers
AnswerID: 589659

Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 10:20

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 10:20
What Bantam says is mostly correct, but I'm not sure where he gets the 13.8V charging voltage from ?
If you have a 3 stage charger, I'm not even sure any could be set that low....my Projector has 14.1 as the lowest ( gel ) and has a setting of 14.7 for wet cell.

My 200 series has a booster diode and it constantly sees over 14V ( as high as 14.5) and I certainly don't lose any fluid from the screw top batteries.
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FollowupID: 857562

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 10:57

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 10:57
13.8 volts is in just about every battery theory text, in most battery spec sheets lots of commissioning documents and preventive maintenence schedules. Its actually printed on the sides of many batteries.

In addition that is what you will measure in most pre sealed battery car alternator installations, just about every burgular alarm panel and pretty much all standby battery installations where batteries are permanetly on float charge.

Multi stage battery chargers are not constant rate chargers ..... they have a several stages the highest being a boost charge stage.

Multi-stage chargers vary in their settings and methods ....... but if you have one that has a float charge stage as the last stage, it will almost certainly be 13.5, 13.8 ish volts.

Multistage chargers work on the bassis of pushing as much charge in as fast as possible WHILE the battery will tolerate it, then stepping back.

IF a healthy battery is in a low state of charge, it will gas very little regardless of its charge voltage and resultant current ...... IF that charge rate is continued ...as it's state of charge increases it will increase gassing ....... once near full charge the battery will "gas vigorously" ( these are the words used in the texts).......If it is a non-sealedl battery if left at this charge rate it will "boil dry" and possibly explode ..... if it is a sealed battery of any type including AGM...... left on a high charge rate it will vent gas and acid vapor .....IF the vent valves do not work well due to age or heat (common) the battery will expand like a balloon, split at the seams or in extreem casses explode.

This is the whole point of multistage chargers ... they start running hard and back off to reduce fliud loss and other problems.

HOWEVER ..... if the battery does not show the responses the charger has been programmed for ( in particular terminal voltages that indicate increased state of charge) it will continue to to run hard with the possible consequences mentioned above.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 12:09

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 12:09
Aahh, now a different kettle of fish......you were saying 13.8V as the FLOAT voltage, which is OK, but I thought you were saying it was the CHARGE voltage, which is completely different !!
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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 12:39

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 12:39
For 24/7 float charge applications where charge time is generally not a consideration 13.8V@25 is considered the norm. For faster charging ie cyclic applications such as car use around 14.4V@25 is considered the norm.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 18:10

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 18:10
There is an interesting argument about what constitutes a float charge situation V's a cyclical situation but the fact remains .....

prior to about year 2000 it was pretty much accepted that the actual supply voltage of a nominally 12 volt vehicle with the engine running was 13.8 Volts .... and pretty much every vehicle I have owned or worked on up untill relativly recently has measured 13.8 Volts or there abouts with the engine running.

AND that if you fit a normal old school wet cell screw top battery to a car with 14.something Volt charging voltage it will run thru fluid at an anoying rate, if is driven for extended periods rather than to the shops and back.

A point that is pretty much surperfluous ..... because old school screw top wet cells are very poor value compared to similar reputable sealed maintenance free batteries .......

cheers
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Follow Up By: Phil 23 - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 18:58

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 18:58
I'm led to believe that the gassing of wet flooded batteries is largely attributed to the content of Antimony alloyed in the lead.

Apparently this is more common in Australian made products as we mostly used recycled lead which includes Antimony from scrap like wheel weights & is expensive to extract.

On the contrary I've been told that overseas products tend to lean more to a Calcium alloyed lead, as these countries import pure lead & are able to have it as a starting point.

Apparently the Calcium alloyed lead is much less prone to gassing.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 20:22

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 20:22
The OP was talking about batteries on a charger, so charge voltage for a wet cell will be in the order of 14.7V.....until it goes to float at approx 13.2 to 13.8V, depending on charger..

I already said I have a 200 series with a booster diode ( from Leigh ) that sees over 14 V most of the time, and even after 2,000K trips, it hasn't used any water..
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FollowupID: 857600

Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 18:02

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 18:02
Car voltage regulators can vary their output voltage from around 13.3V (latest high compensation type regulators) to 15.5V or higher depending on the ambient temperature. Older vehicles generally sit around 14.2V - 14.4V@25C newer vehicles can be as low as 13.2V at the same temperature.

If you had taken a car into an auto electrician around 10 years ago and for the alternator to be tested and it was outputting 13.8V@25C at around 1500RPM with a 50% load he would have told you you need a new alternator!

If one goes back and looks at the adjustment for an old electromechanical Lucas regulator for example your would see that the output voltage is specified at 7.2V-7.4V for a 6 volt battery ie 14.4V - 14.8V for a 12V battery, the temperature compensation is specified as .2V per 10C rise or fall. The charging voltage of cars has remained more or less the same since the days of generators and modern battery chargers still charge at the same rate, Redarc 20A DCDC charger 14.9V@25C for wet cell batteries, they use these tried and tested voltages because they are time proven and work though most modern batteries using ultra pure lead prefer charge voltages around the 14.4V@25C.

The following is a typical alternator voltage regulator temperature compensation curve courtesy of Bosch though the it can change from manufacturer to manufacturer:



Some modern vehicles charge at lower rates but mainly for fuel consumption and anti pollution reasons.

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 23:00

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 23:00
In FollowUp 5 Bantam said "prior to about year 2000 it was pretty much accepted that the actual supply voltage of a nominally 12 volt vehicle with the engine running was 13.8 Volts .... and pretty much every vehicle I have owned or worked on up untill relativly recently has measured 13.8 Volts or there abouts with the engine running."

I have been playing with batteries and chargers since I commenced work in 1957 and solar systems since 1974. Battery charge voltages way back then were over 14 V (or 7 V for 6 V batteries.) I remember borrowing an Avo 8 to do my Austin 8 generator (remember them.) The handbook instructed that a thermometer was to be used to measure the ambient temperature at the regulator. At 72 degrees the output voltage was to be set at a figure over 7 V.

Our wet cell solar batteries were charged at over 14 V. Then when we got multi stage chargers they ha charging voltages over 14 V with 13.8 V float settings.
PeterD
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Follow Up By: D-MaxerWA - Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 22:22

Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 22:22
Had a Morris 8 Postie van back when I was a young un, that was interesting. 2 doors on the passenger side and one on the drivers side. When the engine died, I replaced it with a Morris minor 1000cc OHV engine. People used to stare when I overtook them on the motorway doing ***mph, those 17" wheels sure made it go a lot faster than it was designed for with the big donk.
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Reply By: Notso - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 10:01

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 10:01
Internal shorts in the battery. Surprised that the Ctek even tried to charge it.
AnswerID: 589661

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 11:11

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 11:11
It may not be as simple as an internal short.

IF the battery is a simple, screw top wet battery, particularly if it has been run low on fluid and subject to vibration .

As the battery ages, small particles fall off the plates and settle in the bottom of the battery...... most batteries keep the plates well off the bottom to reduce this being a problem ...... but with time and neglect the accumulation of this sediment in the bottom, the contamination of the fluid and the loss of plate material of the battery represents a leakage path ........ this is one reason old batteries will not hold charge .... the charge leaks thru this path.

In the last stages of battery death this leakage path can represent more than the charge supplied ... very likley the situation in the OP's battery.

Back in the day when batteries where more expensive, people could be bothered and used car yards where dodgier than they are now.

It was common to get sad batteries, tip the fluid out .... fill the battery with water .... boil the stuffings out of it, drain it and either return the filtered fluid or replace with fresh acid ..with some added magic chemicals ....... definitely a short term solution.

I tried it a few times years ago with varied sucess ...... but wne you tip the fluid out a lot of solid matter is in the bottom of the drain bucket.

If a battery has a short in a cell ...... all the other cless will gass violently and the cell with a short in it will pretty much do bugger all....... some multistage chargers presented with this will just hammer at full charge ..... left alone in this situation the battery will almost certainly explode eventually.

if a battery has been run dry .... plate distortion and shorts are definitely a possibility.

cheers
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FollowupID: 857565

Follow Up By: Notso - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 13:08

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 13:08
Yeah mate that's what I said, internal short. I only took one line to answer the question!
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FollowupID: 857572

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 18:12

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 18:12
Yeh its easy to give an incomplete answer in one line. My answer explains why the Ctek charger did not refuse to charge it .... no surprise.

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FollowupID: 857587

Follow Up By: Notso - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 23:13

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 23:13
Yeah, There's those of us who answer the question and those of us who like to show everyone how much they know!
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 21:57

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 21:57
Plenty of people have said it before ...... try to be helpfull on this forum and you will probably get bleep on.

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FollowupID: 857658

Reply By: Phil 23 - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 18:48

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 18:48
Another Question for @Bantam,

Picked up a new battery for the other 1/2's Lancer today.
A Century 75D23L.

The Guy at the counter tested it & said it's a bit low, do you want to check for another one.

Said Nah, I'll charge it at home anyway.
Got it home & checked the fluids, & added 80mls of water over the 6 cells to bring it up to the markers.

What I did notice though, was the black deposit you usually only see on older batteries on the yellow caps when I removed them.
Thought this a little unusual for a brand new battery.

It's been on charge for 3 hours now, & the indicator has turned green, but SG across the cells still only ranges from 1225 to 1250, between fair & good on a quality hydrometer.

Other thing I noticed is a black film on the surface of the electrolyte, something I don't recall when filling empty batteries.

Other fact is their battery selector recommends a 55D23L & but the book also recommends the 75D23L.

The difference:=
$170.00 & 500CCA 2 years warranty
Vs
$210.00 & 650CCA 3 years warranty.

Got me wondering if the one I chose has been on the shelf a bit long being the more expensive on & the one not listed in the touch screen battery finder.

Interested in your comments.

Thanks

Phil.



Battery.
AnswerID: 589678

Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 20:29

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 20:29
Was that the only one of that model they had ?
I'd take it back and show him ........was he a battery bloke or a salesperson at supercheap etc ?

I wouldn't be happy walking out with a "low" battery, unless money had been taken off..

BTW, not best practise to add water before charging.....unless of course if it was below the plates...
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FollowupID: 857601

Follow Up By: Phil 23 - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 21:20

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 21:20
Figured 80 ml's over 6 cells was OK.
At least that way it started life out with the liquid on the markers.
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FollowupID: 857604

Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 22:13

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 at 22:13
Won't do much harm, it's just best practise to add water after charging..

BTW, it doesn't matter if water isn't up to the markers.....as long as it covers the plates.....but with a car battery, and a bit of sloshing around, it's not a bad idea !
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FollowupID: 857606

Follow Up By: Phil 23 - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 07:29

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 07:29
It's been on the charger overnight.
now sitting in the float phase.

Not all that impressed with the SG's.
4 cells made 1265 & the other 2 around 1240.

My Cen-Tech tester reports 4.79m? & 550CCA.
Usually see closer to the quoted rating than this on a brand new battery with this tester.

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FollowupID: 857616

Follow Up By: Zippo - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 10:02

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 10:02
Just how "new" it is could be the difference. Century usually have a sticker with the year/month ex factory on it.
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FollowupID: 857623

Follow Up By: Gronk - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 10:16

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 10:16
SG's are different.....take it back and don't tell him you've been playing with it....get your money back ( or exchange for another one ).
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FollowupID: 857624

Follow Up By: Phil 23 - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 14:03

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 14:03
Been off the charger for about 6 hours.
SG's are:-
1260
1265
1255
1260
1265
1250 & were around 1175 when I picked it up.

So the date code Zippo mentioned the 102113 under the part#?
Notice also the black on the caps.






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FollowupID: 857630

Follow Up By: Phil 23 - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 14:27

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 14:27
Or is it one of these codes stamped on the top?
A30KH & 19J4C?

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FollowupID: 857631

Follow Up By: Zippo - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 16:04

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 16:04
Once upon a time the dates were stamped on the terminal posts at point-of-sale. That practice died out - one supplier told me it was due to some post/case seal deterioration if the operator was heavy-handed. The date codes I'm used to on Century batteries were subsequently a sticker with M()MYY marking - an easy target for abuse/fraud. So they then stamped the case somewhere AT MANUFACTURE, but it is encrypted.

A quick phone call to Century would sort out what those codes mean, but not if you ask directly. Just say there is a problem, you can't find the receipt, and can they tell you if the battery is still under warranty.
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FollowupID: 857634

Follow Up By: Phil 23 - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 20:01

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 20:01
Took it back this arvo.

No questions asked at SCA.
Their tester showed it at 610 CCA, mine showed 554.
That's after I'd charged it for 12 hrs on the Ctek.
Their replacement showed 690 CCA, mins showed 605.

Have tested SG and when I hooked it up it went strait to absorption charge. Might post he full specs in the morning.

Cheers.

(Maybe I should simplify things? Just buy a bloody battery & bung it in).
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FollowupID: 857651

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 21:56

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015 at 21:56
you got a battery that either WAS second hand or mighat as well have been.

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FollowupID: 857657

Follow Up By: Phil 23 - Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 10:12

Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 10:12
Hi Bantam,
Battery was definatly not used.
Replacement spent overnight on the charger, & all cells showed 1275 to 1280 SG after 4 hours resting after charge.

Tests much better than the first one.

Don't mind buying them at SCA, have had 2 fail, both at about 2 years, & both replaced under warranty with no questions asked.

One replaced while in Noosa, 500km away, & didn't have a docket or warranty card.

Can't complain about their service, but would be nice to know how long some of the less popular ones have sat on the shelf.



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FollowupID: 857677

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 12:59

Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 12:59
A good battery stockist with good relations with the battery supplier will see aged stock rotated by the battery company rep.

That means the battery company will come on site audit the suppliers battery stock ..... remove batteries that have been on the shelf too long and replace them with fresh crisp stock.

Does this service cost the battery stockist? ....... do some retailers contract out of this service in favour of a cheaper price?

What happens to that aged stock ...... ahh very good question.

Does some of this aged stock get " re-manufactured".

Some battery companies offer such stock as seconds or down grades ........ who buys this down grade stock? ... good question does this downgrade stock get offered as firsts? ... hmmm.

Why are battery manufacture dates not printed in plain text on the top of the battery? ..... HMMM

AHH and what constitutes the date of manufacture ..... is this when the battery was assembled? ...... when the battery was filled with acid and first charged? ...... or when it left the suppliers wharehouse?

Ah there are many very interesting questions about batteries ...... and I am pretty sure a wide variety of answers.

cheers
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FollowupID: 857685

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