Battery floating voltage

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by Frosty, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I bought some cheap Century truck batteries 18 months ago --they are now stuffed. I have an automatic (expensive) charger maintaining 13.4 V

    Thing is I have done nothing with them only stand by on 4 bilge LED

    Whats most concerning is the black oil like substance in the cells mostly on the underside of the filler plugs.

    What is that stuff and where does it come from . Washing up liquid barely shifts it.
     
  2. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    18 months is pretty quick for the black substance to appear. It is lead sulfide, normally present in the plates; if it shows as a deposit on the walls and filler plugs, the battery is worn.

    The cause is constant low voltage charging, I've often seen it in solar systems. The truck batteries are meant to be used for starting, followed by high current charging above 14.2 volts.
    Sealed batteries with additives like antimony and silver can better cope with standby life. Several European battery makers have reduced the warranty period to one year for standby use while still offering 3 years for batteries used in vehicles.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Thanks for that I could not find anything on the internet about it.

    Thats just the explanation I was hoping for.

    Is it reversable --say charge the hell out of it followed by a discharge.
     
  4. powerabout
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    powerabout Senior Member

    you need a charger with built in desulphating feature
     
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    You mean unplug it and and charge the bollocks of it?

    Raising to over 15 16volts.
     
  6. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

  7. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I got a top dollar charger on it which seems to be what has caused this in the first place.

    The chargers in your link start at only 1.5amp mine is 40 amp 3 stage Mastervolt .
     
  8. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    yes but does it have the desulphating technology?
     
  9. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I don't know --I was under the impression that they dont come any more advanced than this.

    West marine catalouge has adise pages. It spoke of turning off supply and charge the hell out of it to 15-16V I did this occasionally until I bough this automatic charger
     
  10. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

  11. MechaNik
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    MechaNik Senior Member

    This has been touched on before where mastervolt and other 3 stage chargers were picked on. The light trickle charge means the battery should be ready with maximum amp hours when you need it. However it does not exercise the battery at all and you get your problems. IMHO your better off with a two stage charger like a Victron that lets a bit more fluctuation happen.
     
  12. pistnbroke
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    pistnbroke I try

    And I thought you were a technical genius Frosty ..you knew they were at 13.4v and you thought that was ok .....Best laugh I had for weeks.
     
  13. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    pistnbroke,
    Sorry for my ignorance mate, but I would have thought that Frostys charge float was as per manufacturers stated objectives, can you "please explain" for me. Ta, John
     
  14. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member


    Thats true. I can not adjust anything. Its a square box with a wire and plug on it and three little lights!!! There is a little switch under the connection cover to select for gell batts. Its sealed like that so people ( piston) cant mess with it and alter voltage then slag off the product on the internet with there own little opinions.

    Its working the same as the day I got it 4 years ago.
     

  15. pistnbroke
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Noosa.Australia where god kissed the earth.

    pistnbroke I try

    I think you will find frosty that the whole thing is programmable/adjustable .its certainly faulty or not suited to your needs .most of the information on these you will find on www.canalworld.net so why not ask some questions there .. ..But dont be Frosty with them or they will cut you off dead.

    I have never seen anything that gave a float of 13.4 for any lead based battery ...13.8 for some gelly types but you would say 14.2 for starter types as they gas at 14.4v .

    My advice for long life on any battery is to give it a charge to 15v every 3 months to ensure it does not get sulphated ( batteries on dynamos were set to go up to 15.3v so thats not a problem) The 14.4v given out by car alternators only brings the battery to 80% of its true potential capacity but reduces maintanance.....

    De sulphaters give a pulse of 30A and dont charge the bolllllocks off the battery as quoted

    Addition....

    looking at the spec http://www.mastervolt.com/marine/products/chargemaster-12v/chargemaster-12-35-3/#specifications

    it looks to me like they are expecting you are going to use the batteries every day for house loads which will send it into its charge /baulk/float cycle.....note that the modern version has programmable system to match your needs..ie it does a regular higher voltage charge if the batteries are not used ......

    Put it up to 13.8v for your next set of batteies...the makers of this charger assumed that if you used a wet battery it would be for starting and in regualar use and that a house battery would be AGM and hence need the 13.8v.....they would have been better to label it starting battery / house battery to give the two voltages.
     
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