Is it the battery charger???

Submitted: Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 12:59
ThreadID: 54221 Views:2629 Replies:9 FollowUps:9
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I have a Projecta AC1000 Automatic 12v 10amp 6200mA Battery Charger. I am using it to charge a 100ah AGM. This AGM is used to power my 80l waeco fridge only and is set up in my triton as a dual battery. This was done some 6 months ago and worked fine until recently. The battery was lasting 5 days before charging was required and now it is barely lasting 1 1/2 days after charging. Is the battery charger suffiecient to get it up to full charge or is something else draining the battery? I have an isolator in my dual battery set up with auto reset circuit breakers at each end.

Help is much appreciated.
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Reply By: Member - Franga (QLD) - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 13:12

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 13:12
G'Day Grassparrot,
Could be your battery has been drained to far to many times and is now nackered.
Try fully charging your battery and then take it to a battery place to have it checked, althought it may appear to be charging up Ok, it's ability to hold charge may be down considerably.

Thats my 2bobs

AnswerID: 285518

Reply By: Gronk - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 13:17

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 13:17
Hard to tell without knowing voltages of the battery....but when you say it was lasting 5 days.......seems as though you may have been running the battery which case battery life may have been severely shortened !!

I would guess 2 - 3 days max out of a 100a/h batt running that size fridge !!

You need to put the batt on charge for at least 24hrs, then wait a day and see what voltage you have at the terminals ??

Thats a starting point to see if the battery is getting up to full charge....and if it is then run your fridge and see how it goes......keeping in mind that it shouldn't get much below 11.6V ( when fridge is cycled off )

I suspect your battery is stuffed and if it is, then ask on this forum the best way of looking after your new one.... they are too dear to mistreat them !!!
AnswerID: 285520

Reply By: Member -Signman - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 13:20

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 13:20
If it's not 'keeping' charge via a charger or the vehicle charge system??
I reckon the battery is stuffed.....
AnswerID: 285521

Reply By: Gerhardp1 - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 14:06

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 14:06
An AGM battery of 100ah should be able to run a Waeco for 5 days without going completely flat, but it would depend on how you are using your fridge.

If you are using sparingly (that means full and opened as infrequently as possible, not much warm stuff being put in) you would probably use 12-14ah per day, so 5 days = 70ah and leaving the battery at 30% charged.

This is completely within the operating range of an AGM, and you can do this over and over without stuffing it.

But - if your charger is not bringing it up to 100%, or you are using the fridge more heavily, you could easily slip below 25% charge at which level it will be damaged pretty quickly.
AnswerID: 285524

Follow Up By: Grassparrot - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 14:20

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 14:20
I was getting 5 days out of it without running the battery totally flat. I did not have the fridge full but opened it infrequently. I have about 5 litres of drinks in it I would open it once a week on average. I have a family of five so it gets used fully on our camping trips away.
Through my own slackness I have ran it completely flat a few times but thought these batteries would be ok as long as I was not doing it constantly. Maybe I was wrong. Not going to be happy if I have stuffed it as most seem to be suggesting.
It started playing up at and odd time when I was keeping it constantly charged and had not run it flat for a couple of months. It happened real suddenly as well. It seemed to go from 5 days to one and a half days in the space of two charges and I had not run it flat.
Thought I may have to buy one of those fancy 3 stage chargers but no-one so far seems to think that is the problem.
FollowupID: 550481

Follow Up By: Gerhardp1 - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 14:39

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 14:39
It's possible that the charger is not a 3 stage unit and this could be part of the problem.

It's probably a good investment to get a top notch charger that can do all battery types. A low voltage cut-out would be a good device as well, then you have two, one fixed and the fridge should have one.

An 80 litre fridge with only 5 litres of drinks in it that you open once a week???? Beats me why you have a fridge at all for that kind of usage :) Are you saying you run it off the battery at home while not camping? If yes, and you have the charger running full time on the battery while being so used, if your charger is inputting too much charge you could be killing the battery that way.

If you have your family of 5 using the fridge pretty hard while camping, there is no way that 5 days won't run the battery completely flat.

This plus that sounds to me that the battery is stuffed now, but to really make sure get a different charger on it and test as already suggested.

FollowupID: 550485

Follow Up By: Grassparrot - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 14:53

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 14:53
I have it in my vehicle for convenience more than anything. Drinks when Im on the road working and for the missus to go to the butcher and get cold stuff from the supermarket(once a fortnight). Shouldn't the cut out on the fridge have stopped the battery from draining too low? The fridge is the only thing that runs from the battery.
FollowupID: 550492

Follow Up By: Gerhardp1 - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 14:58

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 14:58
The cutout on the fridge should prevent flattening, it might be faulty?

Do you have a redarc or similar, so the AGM can be kept topped up every time you drive. If not, I'd get one - you can use an anderson plug outlet in the tray to allow easy connection.
FollowupID: 550494

Follow Up By: Grassparrot - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 15:07

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 15:07
I have an isolator that does top up whilst driving. Thanks for your help I have a few things to look into now. I didn't think of the cut out being faulty. and I will need to recharge battery and do some testing and monitoring on voltage levels.
FollowupID: 550497

Follow Up By: Axel [ the real one ] - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 16:13

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 16:13
Not in this lifetime will an 80lt waeco only use 12 to 14 amp hrs in a day / 24hrs ,,, try more like 64 ,, only possible way for an 80 to use only 12-14 would be in the snow country mid winter ,, dont believe me ?? look at the actual waeco power usage testing site ,,
FollowupID: 550517

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 15:51

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 15:51

Your statement "I have ran it completely flat a few times" is probably your answer.

AGM or not, no battery will survive complete draining on more than a couple of occasions. The chances are the battery has become severely sulfated and no amount of charging will get it to recover.

Mate, for what it's worth, I stuffed two batteries, one an expensive Exide Orbital, before I took appropriate measures to stop it happening again.

I now use a low voltage cutout device, which disconnects the battery from the fridge when the voltage reaches 11.6 volts, or 30% remaining capacity.
The Projecta one (ODP500 Discharge Protector) is available from Kmart, Repco, etc. for around $30 but the plug and socket need replacing with something like a merit brand.

Derek Bester from ABR, who advertises on this site, also has a similar device and by the looks of the site photos, already include a quality plug and socket.
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AnswerID: 285547

Follow Up By: Grassparrot - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 16:13

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 16:13
$30 to save my $300 battery sounds like good advice learnt the hard way. Ouch, to the hip pocket. When I said ran completely flat I meant that the fridge stopped working because there was not enough charge in the battery. Now what I'm not sure of is that because I have drained the battery or has the cutout in the fridge kicked in and prevented it from going competely flat and wrecking the battery?
This brings me back to where I started and wondered if my battery charger was not up to scratch or have I ruined the battery?
FollowupID: 550516

Reply By: BorisK - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 19:51

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 19:51
Six months ago when you say it worked fine it was winter and the temp inside the car would have been a great deal cooler than now. In summer(50+degrees in vehicle) when I have the Waeco in the Prado I leave the rear side windows opened when parked and window shades on the widows and windscreen to keep the inside of the car cooler. I'm not qualified to comment on chargers but I prefer my Jaycar 4 stage charger over the Projecta.
Good luck
AnswerID: 285613

Reply By: Mainey (wa) - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 20:40

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 20:40
Fully (as in totally) charge the battery with what-ever method you like, then take it to a BATTERY store and ask for it to be checked by them on a "deep discharge tester" then you won't have to guess as to it's use to you.

Mainey . . .
AnswerID: 285630

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 22:26

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 22:26
A Digital Multimeter will cost you $15 from Dick Smith or Jaycar.

When the battery has been on the charger for a day it should read 13.8 volts - if not the charger or battery are stuffed.

Without doing a voltage test, we could suggest sixteen possible things to explain the symptoms.
AnswerID: 285676

Follow Up By: Gronk - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 23:45

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 23:45
And after being charged and been rested for a day it should read 12.8V ( or better )
FollowupID: 550688

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 09:44

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 09:44
Even if it does read the correct voltage it needs a load test to see if it is fact any good. I have just had two caravan batteries die and both were reading over 12 volts on a meter but put the load tester on them and poof they were gone.
AnswerID: 286118

Follow Up By: Grassparrot - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 10:13

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 10:13
Thanks Graham. Have charged the battery two days ago and had it volt tested this morning. Read 13.2 straight up. Connected Fridge and dropped to 12.8. Disconnected fridge and it read 13. All looks ok so my next test is to put it on one of these load testers the next couple of days. Hoping for the best at $300 a pop but not holding my breath based on what has been said in this thread.
FollowupID: 551166

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