Where to buy a good hydrometer?

John XW NYJohn XW NY Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
Hi, Where can I buy a good accurate hydrometer which will not break easy? I bought one from Autozone for 5 buck but it does not work well and the hose ripped on it.
Is there a good sturdy digital one that i can get reasonably priced?
Where can I purchase one?

Thanks 4 the other help 2

Jah Guide

Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Where to buy a good hydrometer?

    What is the matter with NAWS, our site host?

    Tony

    Ps I have never seen a digital one,, let me know if you find one.
  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    Re: Where to buy a good hydrometer?

    I too had that same dilemma. And, I did buy it from NAWS, the host of this site. There are some others out there, mainly from scientific stores, but I couldn't really see any huge benefit for just measuring specific gravity of battery acid.

    I did the research between the two they sell, the Freas 98 and the Freas 99. They are both about the same price, and the Freas 99 seems to be the better deal based on the MSRP price of $65 and the discounted sale price from NAWS of $35.

    However, I chose the Freas 98, even though it was a dollar more. It has a built in thermometer, which is definitely needed for an accurate reading. I suppose you could stick another thermometer into the battery, but that seems to be much more work. Also, as far as I know, since I just ordered it during the 5% Black Friday Discount, it is graduated in 0.002 increments, while the Freas 99 is graduated in 0.005 increments. I think too that the tip for sticking into the battery is a bit longer in the 98, but maybe that really isn't important. I'm not really sure either if the 98 holds more volume than the 99, but that might not be important either if both are equally as accurate.

    It seems to be possible to get different "sets" for the Freas 99, if you wanted to measure the specific gravity of something else, but it was impossible to find anybody selling them or what the price was.

    So I went with the Freas 98. I'm hoping that I'll be happy with it. A couple of others here have stated that they own one too.

    Also, you'll have to look here for how to properly store one, which Cariboocoot said at http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=6330 . Basically, make sure to lay it down flat when not in use, instead of standing it vertically on the tip.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Where to buy a good hydrometer?

    i'm a bit confused here. what would be sharp enough on a battery to rip the hose as i've used cheapo hydrometers in the past (taking the readings with a grain)? i hope there wasn't any attempts to push the hose between the plates.:roll:
  • John XW NYJohn XW NY Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Where to buy a good hydrometer?

    Yeah i tore a little hole in the rubber tube when i pushed i down to the bottom not forcefully so that i could fill it up. It got a little snagged on something as i pulled it out(gently). In order tp fill it up to level you need to insert it down the side of the plate otherwise it doesn;t fill up enough to get a reading.

    I think it shouldn't be made with soft rubber(hey it was 5 bucks at the auto store, what do you expect eh?). I think it should be made of hard plastic or tougher.

    I think im gonna get o of the Ez red as they seem to be ok


    PS im gonna have to find my reciept and return the other one i bought and say it was defective LoL
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Where to buy a good hydrometer?
    John XW NY wrote: »
    In order tp fill it up to level you need to insert it down the side of the plate otherwise it doesn;t fill up enough to get a reading.

    There should be enough electrolyte on top of the plates to take reading. The fluid level should be at least 1/4" above the plates, but no higher than the vent slit in the fill tube.
    I think it shouldn't be made with soft rubber(hey it was 5 bucks at the auto store, what do you expect eh?). I think it should be made of hard plastic or tougher.

    I've used these El Cheapo hydrometers for years without problems. That is, once I finally learned to stop standing them up in a glass jar for storage. :blush:
    Can't imagine what in a battery might snag the tube. Of course I've never tried to push one down past the plates.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Where to buy a good hydrometer?

    One problem I have had with hydrometers (and in fact I embarrassed myself with the retailer, claiming it was defective!) is filling them too full, allowing the float to come in contact with the top of the bulb, leading to really crazy readings.

    Tony
  • hillbillyhillbilly Solar Expert Posts: 334 ✭✭
    Re: Where to buy a good hydrometer?

    I've had a few hydrometers, and my relationship with them had a rather rough start:
    #1-glass tube broke before I got home
    #2-glass float broke while taking readings
    #3-had trouble "assembling", while attempting to attach the rubber bulb the tube slipped from my hands and... you guessed it ... broke when it hit the ground. GRRRR!!!
    #4-no more F-@*!%#&!!! glass hydrometers for this cowboy!!! bought a nice "solid dependable all plastic" do dad with a dial that spins magically and tells me how full my batteries are, WOOOHOOO
    this one lasted a while and was less than $10... but I started to become more and more convinced that the SG readings were NOT in line with reality when everything else seemed to be indicating a different SOC. It always seemed to read MUCH higher than the batteries really should have been... I finally, and skeptically purchased another hydrometer-
    #5- a Frea's, another glass tube and float (holding my breath when I first lay eyes on it that wont break if I sneeze by accident). This one is much easier to read, and so far so good, has not broken (thank you NAWS). The bad thing is that it informed me that I had NOT been charging my batteries up nearly as much as I had thought due to placing too much faith in a piece of junk plastic hydrometer.

    To sum things up, don't drop glass hydrometers on a tile floor, don't handle them too roughly, don't sneeze or even think harsh thought within a 10' radius of any glass hydrometer... and you tend to get what you pay for...
    I think that *some* cheap hydrometers can work perfectly fine, especially if you have a standard reference point you are starting with like a new set of batteries; I did not have this and so the high readings the cheap plastic thing was giving me totally fooled me for a while. I doubt I'll ever buy another cheap one personally, and I handle good ol' #5 with very tender loving care all the time.
    HB
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Where to buy a good hydrometer?
    icarus wrote: »
    Tony

    Ps I have never seen a digital one,, let me know if you find one.

    There are digital ones, and they are quite accurate. They also start at around $1000 and go up from there. They are basically intended more for lab than field use. For example: http://www.coleparmer.com/catalog/product_view.asp?sku=2575520
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Where to buy a good hydrometer?

    Windsun,

    There is no substitute for quality,,, can you go ahead and ship me three? One to use, one to check the first with, and a third to check the other two?

    Thank you very much. The check is in the mail.

    Tony
  • John XW NYJohn XW NY Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Where to buy a good hydrometer?

    LoL Guys , LoL

    Hillbilly made some good comments, are you sure you are not employed by NAWS?
    LoL. yyou made me crack up thinking about it cause its a pain in the but with the SP reading, nonsense.

    Any hu, I returnred the one from autozone and they gave me another is a K tool-
    5 dolla and i went to Sears and got one of their (also 5 dolla) its big and glas with some crazy thermometer type thingy on it. I dont even know if i can figure out how it works cause theirs no manual.

    I tried to get an Ez red 101 but they didn't have any instock( have to order online which doubles the price to 16 dollars.

    I know one of the cells is sulfated cause i can see it growing on it. the others i dont see any on top but that doesn't mean its not there. I gotta figure out whats wrong and how to get Rolls to take care of it so my system runs like it should cause right now its not holding a charge for more than 1 hour. DoH!
  • mfbcesu36mfbcesu36 Registered Users Posts: 1
    Re: Where to buy a good hydrometer?

    These guys have a TON of Batteries and Battery Testing Equipment...

    http://www.sbsbattery.com/products-services/by-product/battery-test-equipment-1/digital-hydrometers-density-meters.html

    I called them and they are releasing a PV Battery catalog with testers and batteries by March, 2014 I am told.


    Cheers!

    icarus wrote: »
    What is the matter with NAWS, our site host?

    Tony

    Ps I have never seen a digital one,, let me know if you find one.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,520 admin
    Re: Where to buy a good hydrometer?

    Hmmm... Looks unrelated to a question from the guy that sometimes sells used batteries here:
    ajbelcher wrote:
    I possibly have a new contract with alot of batteries coming out this year would or who at naws sould I contact to possibly work out a situation where they could sell some of these pulls - we would then start storing and maintaining instead of just pulling and quick sales - there is a company in Cali GSE solar that sells alot of batteries in this way - but personally his prices u might as well buy new - you have always been good to me on this site and would like to offer naws a chance at a partnership

    I sent him Rick's contact information. I have not heard anything back from either AJ or Rick about this.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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