Battery shelf life

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 17:08
ThreadID: 54401 Views:2382 Replies:10 FollowUps:2
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Does anyone know the shelf life of a new lead acid battery that has never been discharged

greenant
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 17:19

Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 17:19
What type? Wet cell, sealed lead acid or AGM?
AnswerID: 286561

Reply By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 17:20

Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 17:20
Im interested in hearing the answer to that one to.

Was in SC two years ago had a look at a Bosch deep cycle battery. It was still there last week.

Know its the same because of a couple of marks on the label and the dust around it has not been disturbed.

Cheers.....Lionel.
AnswerID: 286562

Reply By: obee - Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 20:59

Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 20:59
all batterys will die on the shelf eventually. My mate wondered why his boat batterys were dead after a year of sitting out in the weather for a year no top up charging. Other influencing factors include; the maker, the ambient temp.


Owen
AnswerID: 286598

Reply By: Mainey (wa) - Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 21:37

Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 21:37
If there ever was a reason for buying a battery from a 'battery specialist' supplier then it's seen in some of the replies posted here.

The staff at SC would not be trained to the degree that those working in 'specialist' battery dealers are, a battery would not be permitted to be "left on the shelf" it would be discounted out to eliminate future warranty problems.

In reply to the original post, I would not buy a battery that did not have its fill date stamped on it.
The chemical reaction that takes place with-in the battery does decrease over time *if* the battery is not recharged.

Mainey . . .
AnswerID: 286606

Reply By: 96 GXL 80 series - Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 22:41

Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 22:41
I was told if a battery was sold off the shelf in under 3mths you could get a 3yr warranty.

The ones that only came with a 12mths warranty have sat on the shelf for 3mths or more.

Not sure how true but stands to reason.
AnswerID: 286623

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 01:57

Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 01:57
Are you suggesting a battery that states it has a 12 month warranty stated on it's label, will actually have a 3 year warranty if purchased in less than 3 months ??

Eg: an Exide Extreme with a 3 year warranty (joke joke)

Mainey . . .
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FollowupID: 551834

Reply By: Stu050 - Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 22:52

Saturday, Feb 09, 2008 at 22:52
Can one still buy batteries dry? i.e. the acid is in a plastic bottle beside the battery in the box?

I used to do that years ago when out in the bush...just put the acid in it, a night on the charger, and bung it in the vehicle or machine the next morning.
AnswerID: 286626

Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 07:39

Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 07:39
Hi Stu,
Dont know about dry batteries but I did see the bottles of acid on display at SC.
This brings me to another question if I may.

About a year ago I purchased a cheap 12v battery at SC just for a quick job, used it once and let it sit in the shed since. The other week decided to charge it but it wouldnt take it.

Would changing the acid be of any benefit ?

Cheers.....Lionel.
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FollowupID: 551842

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 10:32

Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 10:32
Read somewhere that a fully charged battery will lose up to 10% of its charge a month if left sitting without a charge.

I had 2 marine batteries in my van which has been sitting for a year with just the solar panels charging them.
Brought it home and put a smart charger on them.
The first one boiled in 6 hours and had 2 volts when tested.
The second one seemed to charge OK but when left for a couple of days was blowing bubbles thru one of the cap vents.
It also failed under a load test.
These were both just under 4 years old so probably at the end of their life anyway.
Have temporarily replaced with a battery out of the cruiser that is 3 years old and has been sitting for 4 months. It charged Ok and seems to be working Ok in the van.
Even my electric razor if left in drawer and not used reduces in time of use on the screen.
AnswerID: 286665

Reply By: RobAck - Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 16:01

Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 16:01
Greebant it is impossible to answer the question until you identify exactly what kind of batter it is. Batteries pretty much look the same and a lead acid could be any of the following; calcium-calcium, calcium antimony, calcium lead. Then you move on to sealed lead acid and the variation of heavy duty or light duty. The differences there relate to; the specific gravity of the battery acid and plate capacity (thickness of the lead) amongst other things. We will leave out gel batteries for the moment.

If you look at the top of the battery it should offer several clues. CCA or cold cranking amps and the bigger the number the better, reserve capacity and amp hours. Whilst useful the big question is when the battery was made which is difficult as each manufacturer uses a different code system but if you look at the top or side of the case there should be a series of numbers stamped into the case itself.

If you are looking at purchasing a battery that is not from a reputable supplier then I would get it checked out by an auto elec who can do what is called a carbon pile test, amongst other things, to determine if the battery internals are still OK

Regards

RobA
AnswerID: 286714

Reply By: RobAck - Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 16:05

Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 16:05
Greebant it is impossible to answer the question until you identify exactly what kind of batter it is. Batteries pretty much look the same and a lead acid could be any of the following; calcium-calcium, calcium antimony, calcium lead. Then you move on to sealed lead acid and the variation of heavy duty or light duty. The differences there relate to; the specific gravity of the battery acid and plate capacity (thickness of the lead) amongst other things. We will leave out gel batteries for the moment.

If you look at the top of the battery it should offer several clues. CCA or cold cranking amps and the bigger the number the better, reserve capacity and amp hours. Whilst useful the big question is when the battery was made which is difficult as each manufacturer uses a different code system but if you look at the top or side of the case there should be a series of numbers stamped into the case itself.

Batteries discharge from the moment they are filled with acid so with SLA they are discharging from the factory. Shelf life before a simple SLA requires recharging is three months and you can get away with that process around four times before the battery should be returned to the factory for rebuild. Calcium batteries have a more rapid discharge rate when not used. Around two weeks and they need a special battery charger to bring them back to fully charged due to the higher imprint voltage required to get the plates ready to take the charge again.

If you are looking at purchasing a battery that is not from a reputable supplier then I would get it checked out by an auto elec who can do what is called a carbon pile test, amongst other things, to determine if the battery internals are still OK

Regards

RobA
AnswerID: 286716

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 21:36

Sunday, Feb 10, 2008 at 21:36
Here is some expert advice from William Darden's Battery FAQ

"Unless it has been periodically recharged or is "dry charged" (shipped without electrolyte), NEVER buy a wet Standard (Sb/Sb) or Low Maintenance (Sb/Ca) battery that is MORE than three months old or a wet "Maintenance Free" (Ca/Ca) battery that is MORE than six months old.
Dry charged batteries are shipped without electrolyte, but usually have "sell by" dates of one to three years. Depending on the temperature, AGM (Ca/Ca) and Gel Cell (Ca/Ca) batteries that can be stored six to 18 months before the State-of-Charge drops below 80%."
.
AnswerID: 286793

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