bubbling battery

Submitted: Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 23:20
ThreadID: 57905 Views:3370 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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After reading numerous threads on batteries and charging - I have gone and got an automatic multi-phase battery charger. Read the (very simple) instructions and connected it up. It seems to be going through its cycle as stated in the instructions - however I can hear the acid bubbling inside the battery- is this normal? I never noticed this before when using my old (ancient) charger. Although I must admit I never paid much attention to the battery before. Any comments appreciated.
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 23:57

Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 23:57
oz doc,

If the battery is bubbling, it is not long in this world.

It is on it's way out. It will appear OK until you put a load test on it or check the battery with a hydrometer.

From what you have said it sounds like you charge the battery often with a battery charger. I would assume that the battery must be running down and this plus age of the battery will cause it to bubble and then die.

Wayne
AnswerID: 305380

Reply By: oz doc - Friday, May 23, 2008 at 00:17

Friday, May 23, 2008 at 00:17
Oh dear. That doesn't sound good. I don't have a hydrometer - only a multimeter. I usually check the battery each month and put it on charge if it is less than 12.3 volts.Other than that it gets charged when the trailer is hooked up to the car and we are travelling.Where would I get a hydrometer and any idea of how much they cost?Thanks.
AnswerID: 305381

Follow Up By: dedabato (SA) - Friday, May 23, 2008 at 01:10

Friday, May 23, 2008 at 01:10
Hi oz doc,
You can get a hydrometer from any cheep auto store, Auto Barn, Repco,Cheep Auto Parts etc,etc and they are around $10 mark.

Regards
dedabato
PS: My condolence on your loss of battery.........Image Could Not Be Found
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Follow Up By: oz doc - Friday, May 23, 2008 at 08:56

Friday, May 23, 2008 at 08:56
Thanks for that. By the way- what is a load tester?(The 12 volt learning curve is very steep!)
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, May 23, 2008 at 10:30

Friday, May 23, 2008 at 10:30
Load tester is putting a heavy current draw onto the battery and measuring the volts with load on.

Most of the clever battery chargers actual charge at a much higher rate than older units in an effort to chagre quickly.

Then the drop back - all fine when things are working but prone to overcharging when things go wrong.

You may find you can set your charger for a slightly lower voltage charge or limit max current charge.

Best way to charge a battery is always with one of those little cheap top up chargers designed to be permanently connected , but trouble with this is that it takes a lot longer hence smart chargers.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Mainey (wa) - Friday, May 23, 2008 at 11:19

Friday, May 23, 2008 at 11:19
oz doc,
sometimes when you charge a 'good' discharged battery with a high output charger, as you probably have, it causes the battery to initially bubble (and gas) as it bulk charges the low battery.
This 'should' subside as the battery voltage increases and the charger automatically reduces it's output.

Mainey . . .
AnswerID: 305433

Reply By: Oskar - Friday, May 23, 2008 at 13:20

Friday, May 23, 2008 at 13:20
I think Mainey has it right.
Battery theory and practice is a black art to some.
Some experts agree that the bubbling phase is important and normal when using more advanced chargers. Some also say that taking a battery up to slightly higher than normal voltages is actually good for it.
AnswerID: 305453

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 00:09

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 00:09
What is your battery, deep cycle or cranking, is it maintenance free or is it one with caps so you can replace the water or gel or AGM? What is your battery charger? You did not specify what you are using. You could have the charger set up wrongly for the type of battery you have. If you give us the brand and model numbers we can give you a better answer.

PeterD
PeterD
Retired radio and electronics technician

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AnswerID: 305547

Follow Up By: oz doc - Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 08:56

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 08:56
The battery is a 130ah Trojan lead acid deep cycle. The charger is a Smart Logix quad phase automatic charger smc1205. I had the charger set to the "large" setting for batteries between 100ah and 200ah. It has been running for 36 hours and is still saying it is running in the bulk charge mode. This morning I have disconnected it and hooked it up to the second small(cranking) battery in the trailer and will see if it can cycle through its phases on this one. The Trojan was according to my calculations- about half discharged so I would have thought the charger would have cycled to absorption or float stage before the 36 hours. The specs say that it charges at 16a when set for large batteries. I will let the battery settle, get a hydrometer and check it further. At this stage I'm not sure if it is a problem with the Trojan (only 1.5 years old and very little use - but experienced a nasty short out 14 days ago) or the new charger.Any advice appreciated.
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Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 14:06

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 14:06
oz doc,
this could be the answer:-> ""At this stage I'm not sure if it is a problem with the Trojan (only 1.5 years old and very little use - but experienced a nasty *SHORT - OUT* 14 days ago)""

Mainey . . .
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