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Old 12-15-2009, 04:29 PM   #1
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Should my battery be chirping?

I have a brand new Optima battery that has been sitting around for a couple of years now while I work on other aspects of my Airstream remodel. I am finally getting around to installing my power panel and starting to reconnect the DC circuits. I thought I would try charging up my battery with my trickle charger before I put it in the battery box. The charger had been running for perhaps a couple of hours when my wife asked me if it was OK that the battery was chirping. I went to where the battery and charger were sitting and sure enough the battery was indeed making a little chirping noise. I disconnected the charger with the thought that I wanted to know if this was normal behavior before I fried something.

So the question then is what is the chirping noise all about? Is it OK?

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:37 PM   #2
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what does a 200 lb canary say? CHIRP!

the optima's are sealed lead acid batteries-but they do have a "burp" valve in them-if overcharged, they will burp a small amount of hydrogen...if the valve was in a stingy mode, I suppose it could release the trapped gasses in a slow continuous stream causing the burp valve to chirp, instead. Overcharging is the key word, though-make sure you were trickle charging the bat, not overcharging it...
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:59 PM   #3
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check the voltage when you charge it, i have had acouple make various noises when over 14-15
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
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Maybe since it's a couple of years since you bought the battery, you forgot that you got the 'Chirping Battery' option.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:13 PM   #5
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I don't think that my trickle charger is capable of overcharging or charging too fast. It usually takes an overnight session to charge up a low battery. Is it possible that the fact that the battery has been sitting so long could mean that it is extra low and that this could contribute to the chirping?

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:52 PM   #6
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Only when charging?
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium View Post
I have a brand new Optima battery that has been sitting around for a couple of years now while I work on other aspects of my Airstream remodel. I am finally getting around to installing my power panel and starting to reconnect the DC circuits. I thought I would try charging up my battery with my trickle charger before I put it in the battery box. The charger had been running for perhaps a couple of hours when my wife asked me if it was OK that the battery was chirping. I went to where the battery and charger were sitting and sure enough the battery was indeed making a little chirping noise. I disconnected the charger with the thought that I wanted to know if this was normal behavior before I fried something.

So the question then is what is the chirping noise all about? Is it OK?

Thanks,

Malcolm
Has the battery been maintained over the last couple of years? If not it will likely not hold a charge.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:18 PM   #8
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Are you sure it's the battery that's chirping? Have you disconnected the charger and put it in a different room to ensure that it's not the chirper?

I mean, I've not yet heard any sound like that from a battery, but maybe I just haven't been around much lately...
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:03 AM   #9
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If your 'sealed' Optima is venting gas (chirping?) during charging, it's a bad sign! The vent valve is a safety device to allow any access pressure to be released during an 'overcharge' condition...

It could be that your Optima has one or more shorted cells and is therefore being 'overcharged' by the 12 volt battery charger...12 volt automotive type battery individual cells are rated at about 2.2 volts each - so if one or more cells are shorted, you no longer have a '12 volt battery', but a 10 volt (or below) battery that is then being 'overcharged' by a 12 volt charger, even a 'trickle' charger, as it's been described above...hence the 'chirping'...

IMHO, Optima batteries have no place in our AS rigs...if you read their specs, their Deep Cycle models are only rated at 55 amp hours...Group 24, 10 inch long equivalent flooded cell batteries are rated at about 85 amp hours, and are about 1/2 the purchase price of the Optima!

Don't forget, the AMP HOUR rating is the important spec to ensure longer usage at a given electrical load - not the COLD CRANKING AMPS (CCA) or CRANKING AMPS (CA), etc - that is only a short term rating used to see how much energy is available for short term STARTING bursts...

If you want a 'sealed' battery, look at the various AGM type sealed batteries on the market that are rated closer to the flooded cell types - however you'll still be paying OVER twice the price...

Optima batteries have their place, it's just not in RV rigs for house batteries, IMHO.
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:33 PM   #10
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off topic, but not even the blue top? one store out here the blue tops (deep cycle) for 20or 30 more for the same foot print.
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:23 AM   #11
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Finch...Say what? don't really understand your question...

The blue top Optima IS their Deep cycle version - and as I mentioned above, the 10 inch (GR-24 size) is only rated at 55 Amp Hours!

The GR-27 (12 inch) size blue top is rated at 66 Amp Hrs, and the GR-31 (13 inch) is rated at 75 Amp Hrs...

The yellow top is essentially the same as the blue top, in that it will deep cycle and has the same 55 Amp Hr rating in the GR-24 size.

The red top Optima is their 'starting' battery, and not recommended for deep cycle use...

Amp Hour rating is the name of the game when it comes to deep cycle batteries to run all your stuff when not plugged into AC - The more Amp Hours, the better! The Optima, due to its circular wound plate configuration, has lost space in those 'voids' between cells - just look at the bottom to see wheat I mean...

Regular rectangular cased batteries - you know, the type used by the rest of the world, use their entire enclosure to house the 'normal' type battery plates - very little 'voids' or wasted space, hence the much larger Amp Hr rating for the same 'footprint' as an Optima...

Again, IMHO, if you wish to spend that kind of money for a sealed battery for deep cycle use, look into the AGM types that look like 'normal' batteries for increased Amp Hr ratings...IE: MK Batteries, Lifeline Batteries, etc., etc...

Otherwise, save some $'s and use flooded cell batteries and a modern 3-stage charger that reduces water loss, and head out to the boonies and enjoy your AS...
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:49 AM   #12
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I know! I know!

Your battery has "chirpes"!
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