Battery Problems?

dagr51dagr51 Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭
I have 6 - 5 year old Interstate U2200 220A/H golf cart batteries that I use to power my hunting cabin. I take them out of service in December and keep them on float until about now to put them back in service. This year, I foolishly forgot to check water levels and found perhaps half of the cells with the plates showing. I watered them, charged and equalized twice and now I'm getting some low specific gravity readings on the affected cells ranging from 1.235 to 1.256. Have I killed them? Will a low SG reading in itself tell me if they are shot?

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Problems?

    yup, you murdered them. the air exposed plates did them in. go ahead and use em, but you better plan on getting some new ones real soon as these won't hold much capacity and will get steadily worse. it does make me wonder if the float charge was set too high as well. what was your setup again and what were the settings you had?
  • dagr51dagr51 Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Problems?

    They are hooked up in series - parallel to give me a 660 AH, 12 volt system. I keep them on an Iota 75 amp 12 volt charger that has them in float @ ~13.6v and does a weekly equalization. I know I should check the water frequently, but life got in the way this year. I was afraid I killed them and was looking for verification. I'll replace them. Thanks.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Problems?

    when floating batteries it is not wise to force a scheduled eq charge. even with normal everyday use and charging you should not need this every week. the eq charge boiled the electrolyte out of them. at least you got 5yrs from them.
  • dagr51dagr51 Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Problems?

    Although I otherwise like the Iota DLS75 charger, the thing that does disturb me about it is that to my knowledge there is no way to "turn off" the weekly eq. Cost me this time.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Problems?
    dagr51 wrote: »
    Although I otherwise like the Iota DLS75 charger, the thing that does disturb me about it is that to my knowledge there is no way to "turn off" the weekly eq. Cost me this time.
    While it's called a EQ cycle ( I don't like it either ) it's just a full charge cycle, Bulk, Absorb and back to Float. The cycle in it's self shouldn't cause any harm, but it does effect the cycle life of your batteries. As you found out, if your low on water, it can do damage. Does your charger have IQ4 on it ?? You can get the plug in module, if you don't for around $25. There is also a pot inside you can turn the voltage down with.

    Since you mentioned Equalization, a true one might bring them back to life, unfortunately that charger cannot do it. You need 15-15.5 volts to do it.

    5 years is getting toward end life of those batteries.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Problems?

    If you want to try and salvage any of your batteries you need to get them out of the 3-string parallel circuit that they are in. If you try to charge them or equalize them now, it is likely that one string will take most of the charge and the other two will get very little. If you separate your battery strings and try charging them one at a time you might be able to salvage a working string. In other words, you might be able to find 2 working batteries out of your 6 batteries. You are unlikely to find the 2 good batteries if all 6 are being charged in a parallel circuit.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • dagr51dagr51 Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Problems?

    Yes, I do have the built-in IQ4 and I also took them out of the parallel circuit and equalized them twice, individually, with a different charger that brought them up to above 15 volts. I have isolated 2 or maybe 3 batteries that are the worst, but after 5 years it's probably best to replace all of them?
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Problems?

    Sounds like it's time for a trip to Sams. I just replaced a set that I installed for a guy 9 years ago. They were still trucking, but just barely. 5 years is about average on GC-2's . They still are the best bang for the buck.
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