Deep Cycle Battery

mike_kaiser_gwFebruary 27, 2012

This isn't "electrical wiring" but you guys are pretty knowledgeable so I thought I might ask this here.

Four months back I replaced a battery back-up sump pump battery for a friend. I had told her to periodically check the water level but for whatever reason she didn't get around to it. Yesterday we added a little better than 3 quarts of distilled water to the battery (it's a size 27). That seems like a quite a bit of water. This is an ordinary deep-cycle type battery.

Any thoughts?

Thank!

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bus_driver

I have no experience with deep-cycle batteries. But with conventional batteries that permit the user to add water, it is good to slow-charge immediately after adding water to be sure the battery is fully charged. A partially discharged battery will sulphate and the ampere-hour capacity is reduced.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 9:08AM
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lbpod

Deep cycle batts. can be discharged quite
a bit and not be harmed, unlike typical
motor vehicle batts. However, the loss
of that much water may have permanently
damaged the battery. I would guess it
was overcharged, or charged at too high
a rate. Now that you have the electrolite
level back up, hook up a charger and
check the charging rate. A battery for
this application should be on a trickle
charger, which should keep it fully charged
without over charging. It is best to charge
it at 10% of the amphour capacity of the batt.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 12:39PM
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ionized_gw

People like that are better off with an AGM battery. She will have this one ruined in no time if not ruined already.

Was the pump used in the backup mode that required discharge and charging of the battery? If so, how much? This seems like excessive water loss for a stand-by or lightly used battery. It indicates that the battery charger is not operating properly. I advise you to check into it and get help while it is still covered by warranty.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 2:30PM
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brickeyee

Since that battery holds less than ~12 quarts of fluid, it sounds like it received a sever overcharge.

It may have been damaged, and the most common damage reduces its reserve capacity (amp-hour rating).

Even a simple load test for a few minutes may not detect changes in reserve capacity.

It might be time to check whatever charger it was connected to.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 4:12PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

A little more background. It's a Blue Angel back-up system by Wayne. When the battery was replaced, I also replaced the charger (a wall wart) and the circuit board.

To the best of my knowledge the battery back-up has not kicked since the battery was replaced.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 9:26PM
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Ron Natalie

A size 27 battery is pretty big one, but I agree with Brick: either long long neglect or overcharging. If you added that much water I'd check the electrolyte SG (you can get the tester at the auto parts store for a couple of bucks) as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deep cycle info

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 8:14AM
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ionized_gw

A battery in stand-by mode, that has lost 25% of its fluid in 4 months has been both overcharged and neglected.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 2:58PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

If the battery is being overcharged, is there any way to test that? As I said, the both the power supply and circuit board are new.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 6:40AM
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lbpod

You need to use an 'amp meter', also
called and 'ammeter'. Most DMMs
have an amp function. Take a reading
and let us know what you find.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 2:54PM
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yosemitebill

Well, while measuring current using a DVM in series will give an idea of the charge current - at that particular moment - it does not tell you if the controller circuit board is is regulating the charge being applied to the battery.

A one amp float charge (which is what the wall wart looks like to me) ran continuously on a deep cycle battery will cause loss of electrolyte, but three quarts in four months does sound like quite a bit. Maybe the battery was a little low to start.

If the electrolyte level in the new battery was correct when installed, then I'd suspect the controller board is not correctly regulating the charge - either a bad board or possibly a connection error.

However, why did you change the board in the first place? PM (preventative maintenance) or was there some other problem?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 8:33PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

I have a digital multimeter but not one that measures DC current.

The original circuit board was replaced because it failed. The manufacturer recommended replacing the power supply at the same time.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 7:56AM
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yosemitebill

I think your best option would be to contact the manufacturer about this for their opinion and advice. I'd be interested to hear what they say.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 4:59PM
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mike_kaiser_gw

As I mentioned, the battery is at a friend's house. When I get a chance I'm going to check the electrolyte level and see if it has changed significantly before calling the manufacturer.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 10:00PM
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brickeyee

"When I get a chance I'm going to check the electrolyte level "

Not just the level but the acid strength.

Adding water can result in a low acid concentration.

The battery will not deliver its rated current load current (or capacity in amp-hours) if the acid concentration is low.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 10:16AM
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