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Phone: 503-362-2684
Fax: 503-362-2787

2725 Portland Rd. NE,
Salem, OR 97301


Battery School

General Battery Care Procedures

General deep cycle battery care procedures

Reasons Why Batteries Fail

General Difference Between Gel and Wet Batteries

State of Charge and Sulfation

Connect Your Batteries for Optimum Efficiency

Just A Little Corrosion Causes Big Voltage Drops

Don't Be Misled By Battery Ratings

Which Deep Cycle Battery Do I Choose?

Daily Amphere-Hour Consumption For Your RV

Safety Tips on Charging Batteries

Specific charging rates or times cannot be specified for batteries due to several factors that can vary, such electrical capacity of battery, temperature of electrolyte, state of charge and battery age and condition. We recommend the use of a hydrometer which measures specific gravity to monitor "how much" to charge.

These following tips can be used as a general guide for safe charging.

  1. Charge batteries in well ventilated area. Don't smoke around charging batteries, they can explode.

  2. Wear protective goggles and clothing. The National Society to Prevent Blindness reports, for instance, that in 1984, 14,238 people suffered serious eye damage mishandling batteries. Most were "Do it Yourself-ers".

  3. Always assume that explosive mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen gases are present near the battery at all times.

  4. Don't remove caps when charging a battery. Most vent caps are now designed to be flame resistant.

  5. Cover the vent cap area of battery with a wet cloth to inhibit sparks from igniting escaping gas.

  6. Connect charger to battery terminals while charger is turned off. The turn on the charger. This reduces the chance of sparks being generated.

  7. Charge single batteries at a specific rate for a specific time determined by the battery's Reserve Capacity Rating:
    Reserve Capacity Slow Charge Fast Charge
    80 minutes 10 hrs at 5 amps 2.5 hrs at 20 amps
    80-125 minutes 15 hrs at 5 amps 4.0 hrs at 20 amps
    125-170 minutes 20 hrs at 5 amps 5.0 hrs at 20 amps

  8. (If batteries are connected in parallel for charging, the output of the charger will be divided equally among the number of batteries being charged and the charging time will increase).

  9. Recharging at the slower rate will prolong battery life.

  10. If a battery fails to test "good" after two charging and load test cycles, replace the battery.

Determining When A Battery is Fully Charged

Why Are My Batteries Discharged

What is the difference between series battery connections and parallel battery connections and how do they increase battery capacity and voltage?

Jump start procedures

Preparing your batteries for winter

Advantages and Disadvantages of using two 12 volt batteries connected in parallel or two 6 volt batteries connected in series.

Testing the battery