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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

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

Presented below are the “basic” testing procedures used by professionals to determine if your battery is “good” or “bad”.  These are presented in a “bullet format” for ease of reading and interpreting.  More detailed discussion can be found on the internet should you want to pursue it.

STEP 1:  VISUAL INSPECTION

  • Check the battery case for breaks and leaks
  • Clean corrosion off battery and terminals if present
  • Check to see if electrolyte levels (if low maintenance battery) are above plates
  • Check electrolyte color (if low maintenance battery) A dark color indicates overcharging)
  • If the battery is sealed, check for cracks or corrosion

STEP 2:  STATE OF CHARGE

  • Check with hydrometer (if low maintenance battery)
  • If readings are less than 50 specific gravity points between highest and lowest cell, go to step 3; if not, continue
  • Recharge if one or more cells are below 1.225 specific gravity
  • Remove surface charge with a load tester if battery has been on charge
  • If the battery is sealed, determine “state of charge” with an accurate volt meter
  • If voltage for sealed battery is below 12.6 charge the battery with automatic charger and then proceed to step 3.

STEP 3:  LOAD TEST THE BATTERY

  • Apply ½ the CCA rating for 15 seconds and compare resulting voltage with voltage chart
  • At 70 degrees the voltage should remain above 9.6 volts to pass; at 60 degrees passing voltage is 9.5; at 50 degrees passing voltage is 9.4; at 30 degrees passing voltage is 9.1 volts.

STEP 4:  ANALYZE RESULTS

  • Continue to observe bounce back voltage after load is removed.
  • If battery voltage fails to bounce back to 12.4 volts for 12-volt batteries and 6.2 volts for 6-volt batteries, recharge and recheck.