Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-23-2014, 02:31 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
1994 30' Excella
Mississauga , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 786
Battery water levels

I checked the water levels in my two batteries today. They have been in storage for four and a half months. They are hooked up to a solar array that keeps them charged.
In one battery all cells were low on water but still above the plates.
The other battery had two cells that are still topped up and four that were down. Is this an indication of faulty cells.
The batteries are five years old and have worked well so far.
Al
__________________

__________________
Al and Jean

TAC ON-3
BigAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 05:58 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
richw46's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 466
Images: 1
You can buy a hydrometer and check the charge on each cell of each battery. If one or more of the cells is weak it will draw more charge and other cells might boil out the acid. It just means you need to keep an eye on the water level more frequently.

I'm still new in the AS area but I've had deep cycle batteries in my boat for a very long time. Using the hydrometer helps you monitor the charge in each cell and locate weak cells so you know a battery replacement is on the horizon.
__________________

__________________
Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE
2004 4Runner SE

richw46 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 07:55 PM   #3
3 Rivet Member
 
SSquared's Avatar
 
2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 157
Hydrometer recommendation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by richw46 View Post
You can buy a hydrometer and check the charge on each cell of each battery. If one or more of the cells is weak it will draw more charge and other cells might boil out the acid. It just means you need to keep an eye on the water level more frequently.
Can you recommend a brand/model of hydrometer? I have a little cheap one with five floating balls I got from an auto parts stores. It doesn't give a very precise reading, and it doesn't compensate for temperature.
__________________
SSquared is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 08:14 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
 
1976 27' Overlander
Hartford , Alabama
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 74
Sounds like they need equalizing. The hydrometer will tell you.
TomJ
__________________
Valacidor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 08:41 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
1994 30' Excella
Mississauga , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 786
Thanks for the info. I will dig up the hydrometer and go check next weekend when it's supposed to be warmer.
Al
__________________
Al and Jean

TAC ON-3
BigAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2014, 10:31 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,200
The batteries may last you a bit longer, but if the cells are using water at differing rates, my experience is that they are probably going to need replacing soon. One indication of failing batteries is higher than normal water consumption.

Someone suggested an equalizing charge, which also may be in order, if you have equipment to do it, but most of the RV charging systems don't have that capability. Some solar charge controllers do, but not all, and often the panel capacity is not sufficient to provide a proper equalizing charge in any event.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 07:06 AM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
richw46's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 466
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquared View Post
Can you recommend a brand/model of hydrometer? I have a little cheap one with five floating balls I got from an auto parts stores. It doesn't give a very precise reading, and it doesn't compensate for temperature.
I bought mine quite some time ago and I'm surprised at how difficult it is to find a good one locally anymore. It's a very good tool to have.

I found a nice one at Amazon, with temperature compensation and very reasonably priced if you can get free shipping. Suggested items include the squeeze bulb battery filler and the auto shutoff 2-qt battery filler. I think I'll look at getting those for myself.
OTC 4619 Professional Battery Hydrometer
Amazon.com: OTC 4619 Professional Battery Hydrometer: Automotive
__________________
Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE
2004 4Runner SE

richw46 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 07:11 AM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
richw46's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 466
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
The batteries may last you a bit longer, but if the cells are using water at differing rates, my experience is that they are probably going to need replacing soon. One indication of failing batteries is higher than normal water consumption.
I agree. The weaker cells are going to keep the charger running longer and boiling out the acid from the stronger cells. Charges will take longer and water will be required more often. The charge won't last as long either. It's kind of like mixing old and new dry cell batteries.
__________________
Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE
2004 4Runner SE

richw46 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2014, 07:38 PM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
gandttimes's Avatar
 
2014 25' FB International
Kelowna , British Columbia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 240
Batteries constantly need topping up.

We traded our 2008 20ft in last August to a 2014 25ft International. My batteries in the 2008 were still in great condition when we traded after 6 years and I only had to top them up twice a year. I was very surprised when I went to winterize the new trailer in November that one of the batteries had the tops of the plates showing and the other one was close.I had never had that happen to a battery before. I brought them in,topped them up and put them on the charger to top up the charge. I checked them 2 weeks ago when I put them back in the trailer and one was low again.Topped it up and then today after the trailer had been plugged in for about 14 days checked again. Again I had to add water.
When this first happened in the fall I took them to Interstate to have them checked as the charge levels were all over the place,as checked with a good hydrometer..They monitored them for a week and told me that there was nothing wrong with them,and that I must have done something wrong.I told them I had treated them the same as my last 2 Airstreams with the same batteries and had had no problems.
Could it be a problem with the charging unit in the trailer? Has anyone else had as much trouble with the stock Interstate batteries,or the converter charger boiling batteries?
George
__________________
gandttimes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2014, 08:30 PM   #10
3 Rivet Member
 
2015 16' Sport
ottawa (greely) , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 225
Blog Entries: 1
Yes I had to replace my stock interstate batteries after 5 months ,and they were out of warranty because the batteries were installed in the trailer over a year (sat at the dealer)and there's only a one year warrantee on batteries, well the reason the batteries failed is the batteries were always low on charge while at the airstream dealer,if the batteries are always below 50 % charge they will never get fully charged as these batteries are not a real deep cycle batteries as there plates are thin the way you can tell if the battery is not a true deep cycle battery is if it states cold cranking amps it's not a real deep cycle battery.
__________________
scamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2014, 09:40 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Mexray's Avatar
 
1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,572
I've sold a great hydrometer in my battery shop for years that's made by
EzRed co....

Amazon sells em...:

http://www.amazon.com/E-Z-Red-SP101-...keywords=sp101

Heres the data from EzRed's site...

http://www.ezred.com/product/battery-hydrometer/

I like these hydrometers as they are unbreakable, lay flat, easy to read...
__________________
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
Mexray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2014, 10:32 PM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
gandttimes's Avatar
 
2014 25' FB International
Kelowna , British Columbia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 240
On my past trailers I have always checked the battery levels at least once a month during the season when it is plugged in which is why the have lasted for 6 years in the case of my previous trailer.
This trailer was a factory order which was picked up just days after it's arrival to the dealers lot. Part of the PDI they performed was to check the levels of the battery cells.
What I am trying to find out before I go back to the Interstate dealer is whether or not this could be a fault of the Magnatec 7355 or not?
George
__________________
gandttimes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2014, 06:21 AM   #13
3 Rivet Member
 
2015 16' Sport
ottawa (greely) , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 225
Blog Entries: 1
The on board charger works to charge batteries but doesn't do a equalize charge this is very important because off season the battery is not bounces around to stir up the acid mix in the battery ,a equalizing charge brings the voltage up somewhere around 16 volts (this depends on the settings of charger if adjustable) and the battery type ,flooded acid ,gell,or glass mat,this higher voltage causes bubbles in the acid and stir up the acid,it also cause each cell of the battery to equalize through normal chemical action of a lead acid battery but because of higher voltage it cleans the lead plates (desulfication) lead acid batteries should go through this process at least 3-4 times a year also this higher equalization charge should last from 1-2 hours on normal lead acid batteries some agm batteries this could be 8 hours ,depends on battery type and the use of your battery also you should never discharge your battery less then 50% and if your always putting water in your battery I would check your on board charger it could be overcharging your batteries ,you must have a good battery installed to check voltage,
__________________
scamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2014, 07:07 PM   #14
3 Rivet Member
 
gandttimes's Avatar
 
2014 25' FB International
Kelowna , British Columbia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexray View Post
I've sold a great hydrometer in my battery shop for years that's made by
EzRed co....

Amazon sells em...:

http://www.amazon.com/E-Z-Red-SP101-...keywords=sp101

Heres the data from EzRed's site...

http://www.ezred.com/product/battery-hydrometer/

I like these hydrometers as they are unbreakable, lay flat, easy to read...
Thanks for the heads up on the hydrometer. I have another style that works, but is a bit more cumbersome. I found an E-Z-Red today at a parts store. Wow, US price on Amazon $7.65. Parts store here, $21.( Canadian )
Have to find an in at the store. LOL
George
__________________

__________________
gandttimes is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water heater access door a mess! awetsch Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 1 03-20-2014 12:35 PM
Fresh water tanks leaks fixed! chiefneon Fresh Water Systems 1 07-31-2011 08:02 PM
Water pump running with no water! Michigander Fresh Water Systems 11 07-25-2011 04:04 PM
Battery Bank Upgrade Gwuk Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 5 03-24-2011 09:18 AM
Only one battery charging heslinhotel Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 11 02-21-2011 09:49 PM





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.
Modal Click