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Author Topic: Leisure battery  (Read 2210 times)

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TD

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Leisure battery
« on: 05 June 2016, 17:55:36 »

I have a 110AH leisure battery, that I was about to put on charge (I charge it every 3 months, just to keep it topped up)
Haven't used it for over a year, but you never know.......

Its not a sealed one and I noticed the electrolyte level was on the min mark on 4 of the cells and just below the min mark on the other  two.

So, I need to top it up.....question is....is distilled water the thing to use??  Or is there a better alternative?
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Ever Ready

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #1 on: 05 June 2016, 18:07:02 »

De-Ionised water is the current favourite

http://www.halfords.com/workshop-tools/garage-equipment/car-battery-chargers/halfords-battery-top-up-water-5l

Always used tap water my self but others swear by de-ionised or distilled water
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Bigron

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #2 on: 05 June 2016, 18:51:12 »

If it has taken a year or so for your battery to need topping up, it is very unlikely that tap water will harm it, unless you are in London or any other hard water region - I didn't check your location before typing!
A cheap source of suitable water is in your fridge/freezer - the ice that builds up is fairly pure, so collect it, let it melt and you are set to go.....

Ron.
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zirk

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #3 on: 05 June 2016, 19:07:41 »

Ive never used Top Water,  :-\, Ive used rain water or Snow to get me out of trouble though.  :)

Just dont drink De-Ionised water if your alone in the Garage and thirsty, it tastes disgusting.  :-[ it is more refreshing than Antifreeze though.  :)

« Last Edit: 05 June 2016, 19:11:22 by zirk »
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TD

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #4 on: 06 June 2016, 05:48:52 »

Thanks for the replies, distilled water it is then  :y

I live in Swindon, which is a hard water area and my fridge/freezer is frost free so no ice to collect there......
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TD

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #5 on: 14 June 2016, 18:14:23 »

Well, I bought some distilled water..and used about 3/4L to top up all the cells to the max mark.

Put the battery on charge (using a cheap (Lidl) smart charger), it normally takes about 12-24 hours just to top the charge up, but this time its being charging over 54 hours and still going  :o

I should add the battery hasn't been used, just been stood idle since its last top up charge 3 months ago.....

Presumably this is because ive added the water and have effectively 'flattened' the battery?  :-\
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dad1uk

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #6 on: 16 June 2016, 07:49:08 »

Being so long it's a good chance the battery will not survive.....
I've heard before that once a leisure battery has gone below 50% they are usually scrap.
I hope yours is the exception!
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Bigron

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #7 on: 16 June 2016, 10:34:04 »

"dad1uk", leisure batteries are made for deep cycling (that's why they are so bloody dear!), so discharging down to nearly emply will not harm them. Standard car batteries do not like to be treated thus, they are merely there as a "float" source for mdoerate discharge, the main source being the alternator - otherwise all of your journeys would be short ones!
That top-up amount over 6 cells isn't excessive (125ml per cell), so would not affect the recharge time; it's simply because you allowed ot to get completely empty.
Assuming that your pikey charger will output 2 amps, with your 110 A-h battery it will need at least 110/2 = 55 hours to charge fully.
If you are not in a hurry to use the battery, it will help recondition it if you put it through several charge/discharge cycled to sort-of exercise it. A pare headlamp bulb or two would be a good way to discharge it, at about 5 amps per bulb/ One bulp will take 22 hours and two bulbs 11 hours to empty the battery, ready for charging again, and again and.......

Ron.
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Kevin Wood

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #8 on: 16 June 2016, 10:56:38 »

If it's been charged every 3 months, then it should be fine.

Lead acid batteries of all types suffer sulphation if they are stored at less than fully charged for an appreciable period of time. Whilst leisure batteries can cope better with being fully discharged than vehicle batteries, it's best to ensure they are recharged as soon as possible afterwards.
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Bigron

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #9 on: 16 June 2016, 11:15:45 »

Agreed, Kevin, and if that pikey charger is as smart as the name suggests, it could be left on maintaining charge permananently, but ONLY if the instructions say so.
A recovery strategy that I have used in the past on sulphated batteries, if indeed this one is so afflicted, is to empty the electrolye out into a suitable container and retain it, refill with distilled water and charge/discharge for several cycles. Repeat with fresh distilled water and finally empty completely and refill with tour saved electrolyte and recharge. Tedious, but cheaper than a new battery!

Ron.
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TD

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #10 on: 16 June 2016, 18:09:13 »

I had the 'smart' charger plugged into 'consumption' device at the time.

It reckoned the charger took 50W for a few mins then it switched to 15W, where it stayed for the rest of the charging period (which was about 65 hours in the end, before the charger declared a fully charged battery and then went to 3W)

The 3W of power the charger was taking after it had charged the battery may just be the operating power of the charger ie the leds of the display and the electronics of it, if so, you may have to take 3W off the charging power

By my reckoning 50W was about 0.2A and 15W was about 0.06A, so presumably that's why it took so long..... :-\
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Entwood

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #11 on: 16 June 2016, 20:27:23 »

I had the 'smart' charger plugged into 'consumption' device at the time.

It reckoned the charger took 50W for a few mins then it switched to 15W, where it stayed for the rest of the charging period (which was about 65 hours in the end, before the charger declared a fully charged battery and then went to 3W)

The 3W of power the charger was taking after it had charged the battery may just be the operating power of the charger ie the leds of the display and the electronics of it, if so, you may have to take 3W off the charging power

By my reckoning 50W was about 0.2A and 15W was about 0.06A, so presumably that's why it took so long..... :-\

The "consumption device" is measuring AC power... ie current taken at 240 volts (nominal) .. the smart charger is inputting DC volts to your battery (or at least I hope it is !!! :) ), trying to correlate AC current to DC current is actually quite complex maths as the AC load is both capactive and resistive and forms a value known as the "power factor" (PF).
 
A 110 a/hr battery charged in 65 hours has taken an average current of 1.7 amps, a small smart charger can put out a max of 3 amps at the start which decreases as the battery charges (back EMF) so 1.7 average seems ok to me.

« Last Edit: 16 June 2016, 20:30:25 by Entwood »
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hercules

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #12 on: 16 June 2016, 20:57:50 »

take a car battery that is being driven over bumps and potholes so the acid is moving around all the time and being used and charged,now take a leisure battery that spends most of its time sat around doing nothing and no charge so as kevin says sulphation.it doesnt hurt now and again to give a leisure battery a few drops to the ground to knock some off the plates and a charge every month would do good,ive brought some batterys back by kicking their arse with a 20 amp boost and a good strong discharge and a good boost and 10 amp charge and so on
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Bigron

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #13 on: 16 June 2016, 21:30:15 »

Hercules, I apologise foir disagreeing with you, but giving a leisure battery a massive 20 amp charge is likely to buckle the plates and/ot cause them to shed active material which gathers at the bottom of the batter and causes a short circuit.
Sulphation isn't as common nowadays as it once was and only occurs after long periods of being discharges. I outlined a salvation strategem for sulphated batteries in an earlier post today; it works, but my guess is that it isn't a problem with the battery in question..

Ron.
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hercules

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Re: Leisure battery
« Reply #14 on: 16 June 2016, 21:42:32 »

Hercules, I apologise foir disagreeing with you, but giving a leisure battery a massive 20 amp charge is likely to buckle the plates and/ot cause them to shed active material which gathers at the bottom of the batter and causes a short circuit.
Sulphation isn't as common nowadays as it once was and only occurs after long periods of being discharges. I outlined a salvation strategem for sulphated batteries in an earlier post today; it works, but my guess is that it isn't a problem with the battery in question..

Ron.
its ok i dont claim to be a battery expert but modern caravans come with dual stage 20 amp psu's and i didnt mean stick it on 20 amp boost for hours its just to give em a kick up the arse
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