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 > Check water level on new battery! And screw-on lids??

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profdant139

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Posted: 11/27/20 07:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just got two new batteries today from NAPA -- brought them home and checked the water. Each cell needed about two ounces of distilled water.

I'm guessing that they ship them with low water so that they are less likely to spill during shipment. So my point is that you gotta check 'em yourself. My guess is that anyone reading this already knows that! [emoticon]

Also, these batteries had screw-top fill ports. I am used to the snap-on, snap-off lids, in which three cells are exposed at one time. These screw-on lids were one per cell. A little tedious to unscrew each one, instead of popping the cap.

But I think that they provide a better seal. (I assume that there is some sort of a safety valve so that the battery can outgas when needed??)


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ktmrfs

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Posted: 11/27/20 07:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

did you fully charge them before checking water level? If not you may have overfilled them. Water level should be checked on a fully charged battery. Water level will go down as the battery discharges.


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jkwilson

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Posted: 11/27/20 08:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You may have overfilled them. Most marine/RV batteries are full 1/4” to 3/8” below the ends of the split tubes. Avoids splash out during bouncing and charging.


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pianotuna

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Posted: 11/27/20 11:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Charge first if plates are not exposed.

Since it is a little late to take fluid out--monitor the levels as you charge the batteries.


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 11/28/20 04:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How full did you fill them
Many preach "to the bottom of the filler tube"
Proper level is 1/8 to 1/4th inch BELOW the tube. Give it room to breath.


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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 11/28/20 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jkwilson wrote:

You may have overfilled them. Most marine/RV batteries are full 1/4” to 3/8” below the ends of the split tubes. Avoids splash out during bouncing and charging.


X2!

That is what my Dad taught me.

As long as the top of the plates are covered your batteries will be fine.

Adding water to touch or go high into the split tubes is going to cause the battery to expel more water than it should and appear to use more water than expected. That water will get into the caps vent and slowly weep all over the top of the battery.

Basically, you need "headroom" as the battery charges, it will "boil" when charging..

You need a place for any boiled vapor to recombine back into water droplets..

That happens in that empty head space..

Recombined droplets happens too far up the tube and the water vapor escapes..

The excessive water vapor escaping is what causes most of the terminal corrosion also that folks complain about..

Lynnmor

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Posted: 11/28/20 11:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That split ring is the maximum fill indicator, if you fill so the water just comes to the bottom of it, you will see the water form an eye shape. There is ample room above that level and the slots prevent capture that might cause venting out of the caps. This has been common knowledge for about a century, but the advent of “maintenance free” batteries left many with no clue about how things were done.





BFL13

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Posted: 11/28/20 12:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The OP seems to have missed his first chance to recharge the new batts as soon as he got them home and get his "baseline SG" as the target SG for future recharges to True Full.

The new batts would not be at True Full after being on the shelf. They need to be charged right up and even equalizing would be a good move when getting them home.

Doing that now will likely make them spill some water, but it still needs doing. With the added water, the SG will not be quite correct as the baseline, so have to wait till the next cycle or two and then get to True Full for a good baseline SG.

How can you tell if you are at True Full if you don't know the SG for that? you ask. One way is with an ammeter. When amps stop flowing after tapering to zero, that is full. There is SG lag so you have to wait till the battery cools down to get the baseline SG.

Otherwise just do an equalize after the next recharge and take the SG and then see the SG after the equalize after that one. If it is higher, see the next one. Eventually, you will know how high the SG can get.

If you do that on the first recharge when getting home and do not then add water to screw up the SG, then it is easier--but too late for that. Doesn't matter for now--but it does matter if you don't get them to True Full ASAP so the sulphation they have now does not harden.


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theoldwizard1

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Posted: 11/28/20 03:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You must be under 50. Screw caps on battery were "standard" for many, MANY years "back in the day" !

profdant139

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Posted: 11/28/20 06:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many interesting tips! My amateur Internet research had indicated that the tubes should be filled just enough so that an "eye" or curved meniscus shows up at the bottom of the tube -- but there are quite a few knowledgeable folks on this forum who prefer not to fill to that point.

So, I will see if I get any splash -- I never have before, in 15 years of using deep cycle batteries and filling them up to the bottom of the tube. But if I do get some splash, it is easy to drain a little water out of each cell with my hydrometer. (And yes, I know it's sulfuric acid!)

In terms of specific gravity, my hydrometer usually maxes out at 1300 when the battery is fully charged. So I will check the batteries at that point. I assume that the batteries, even though they are brand-new, were not fully charged at the factory. They each had a sticker saying it was manufactured this month (November of 2020), so I assume they have not been sitting around sulfating for more than a couple of weeks.

And oldwizard, I am not under 50. But I did not start paying attention to battery maintenance till I was in my early 50s, 15 years ago. So my "battery awareness" is fairly recent, much like a younger person's would be. I guess that is why I never saw a screw-on battery cap -- it turns out that it is old-school technology! [emoticon]

One more thing about sulphation -- I have these two batteries charging in parallel on a BatteryMinder Plus, which pulses in order to reduce or eliminate sulphation. I know that there is some controversy over whether such a thing is possible. (Mexicowanderer is skeptical, and I value his opinion.)

But the manufacturer of the device has made a factual representation that the unit really can stop and even reverse the process of sulphation. (And there are quite a few reviews in which the review swears that the device cures sulphation.)

I don't have the expertise to evaluate this claim. But I can tell you that if this claim were demonstrably false, the manufacturer would have been sued for fraud.

I have checked, and no such suits have been brought. So my conclusion is that if no trial lawyer has challenged the manufacturer, these devices work as advertised.

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