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Old 05-14-2016, 03:26 PM   #1
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12V battery health

What's the appropriate way to test a 3-4 year old 12V battery to see if it needs replacement? Not having any problems with it but would like to know its 'health'. Use a hydrometer?
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Old 05-14-2016, 03:36 PM   #2
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Battery reliability

Take it to an Interstate dealer and they will check and confirm for little or no cost to you. A hygrometer is about $8 and your batteries should never go below 11.5 v.
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:32 PM   #3
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If the battery is not a sealed battery you can use a hydrometer. The ones in local parts stores are small and difficult to read. I got a nice one from Amazon for $10 a couple years ago. You used to be able to buy these anywhere but now they seem to have those pencil sized ones. Bigger is better, I say. The hydrometer will tell you if you have a dead or weak cell and the state of the other cells too.
http://www.amazon.com/OTC-4619-Profe...ilpage_o00_s00

If the battery is sealed you can't get a hydrometer in to check the specific gravity. At Harbor Freight I got a battery load tester for $22. http://www.harborfreight.com/100-amp...ter-61747.html I've had it for about a year, check my batteries periodically. It's cheap but does the job. There have been some complaints about it wearing out in a short time but for $22 and over a year now, no complaints from me
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:15 PM   #4
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12V battery health

Fully charged my two 12V batteries wired on parallel using a trickle charger.
Unhooked and charger and the voltage reading was '12.6' 24 hours later.
8 days later the reading is '12.1'.
This pretty normal? Or a sign an aging batteries?
I tested all the cells using a hygrometer and they all registered in the 'good' range.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:08 PM   #5
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Run them...
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:49 PM   #6
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If you have a local shop, have them test it. Usually no cost. Deep cycle batteries test differently than starting batteries but they can usually tell if there is trouble ahead. Same with hydrometer - useful tool, but won't tell you the whole story, but it can give you some good clues.
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Old 04-06-2017, 01:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaeha View Post
Fully charged my two 12V batteries wired on parallel using a trickle charger.
Unhooked and charger and the voltage reading was '12.6' 24 hours later.
8 days later the reading is '12.1'.
This pretty normal? Or a sign an aging batteries?
I tested all the cells using a hygrometer and they all registered in the 'good' range.
Are these the same batteries you asked about back in the OP in May 2016? And are they installed in your AS and hooked up, with the voltage readings above taken on your monitor panel? In my lay opinion you should have gotten better than 12.6 after 24 hours, and better than 12.1 8 days later.

You may have phantom loads drawing down your batteries, other than the propane detector. Standard culprits include the stereo/radio/sub-woofer running in a stand-by mode in the background.

When you "unhooked" did you also put the Use/Store switch in the Store mode?

Have your batteries ever been discharged with voltage readings below 12 volts? And the year labeled on the batteries is . . .

Lots of possible variables, so please give more details.

You may need new batteries for peace of mind for the upcoming summer, in my opinion.

Good luck!

PS -- After fully charging our batteries, we can go 7-10 days in Store mode, before reaching 12.5 volts -- or about 90% of capacity. [Below 12.1 volts indicates <50%.]
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