battery advice

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by bonniechris, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. bonniechris

    bonniechris Funster

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    sorry this has probably been covered before but we have a elecsol 100 aph leisure battery just under 2 years old and it let us down this week end whilst offline so did an experiment today after returning home. battery showing 12.7 with nothing on and no hook up turned tv on and bat showed 12,2 left tv running 1 hour later still 12.2 , 30 mins later still 12.2, 30 mins later battery showing 7.7 . turned tv off. slowly battery returns to 12.1 over the next 2 hours. obviously something wrong and what are we doing wrong? return journey yesterday 1.30 mins surely that should have charged battery fully. when not in use normally kept on ehu. is that the correct thing to do
     
  2. Peter A Forbes

    Peter A Forbes Funster

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  3. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    Simple answer with the times above is: get new battery.
     
  4. Bobby22

    Bobby22 Funster

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    Have you checked and topped up your cells, unless you have a special battery, the acid may be low.
    Check and top up with bottled water (if you live in a hard water area) to cover the plates.

    Edit......maintenance free????
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  5. bonniechris

    bonniechris Funster

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    hi only had the van for 2 years and this is the second battery and due to circumstances van has hardly been used. charged via ehu and engine. are we doing something wrong?
     
  6. Clarky

    Clarky Funster

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    Well known people in the industry who are much more knowledgable on electrickery than me (not difficult) have said that Elecsol were nothing but a con trick.
    I understand that one was cut in half during a test of several brands and the plates only filled part of the large case.
    We had problems with the ones fitted to our AutoTrail by the factory and the dealer replaced them with a pair of Banner's under warranty.

    Richard.
     
  7. Bobby22

    Bobby22 Funster

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    Batteries have to be kept charged to condition them if they are kept in the van and they are allowed to discharge fully ......they will let you down.
    If you can't charge the battery, while off the road, for any length of time. It may be better to take it out and store it in a frost free place. But you mustn't let it discharge fully.
     
  8. bonniechris

    bonniechris Funster

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    it is on ehu al the time therefor on charge all the time
     
  9. Bobby22

    Bobby22 Funster

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    You must be unlucky or you charger is stewing your batteries.
     
  10. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    Google Elecsol problems - it makes depressing reading. I've just binned 3 that would have been three years old this July. Elecsol no longer exist.
     
  11. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    What year is your van? Someone will know what charging system Swift were fitting at the time.

    Unless it's a very good system, an hour & a half of engine running wouldn't fully charge a flat battery. If it's a basic split charge system, it certainly wouldn't be long enough.

    As to keeping it on ehu, again it depends on the mains charger fitted. Most modern ones are fine left on permanently, but older ones overcharge the battery & ruin them if left on.
     
  12. bonniechris

    bonniechris Funster

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    it is a swift kontiki 600 based on a fiat ducato 15 jtd swb 2.8lt first registered march 2004
     
  13. iceclimber

    iceclimber Funster

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    This could possibly the problem ?
    I to have had the mains on my Burstner most of the time since November, (as I installed a 120W tubular heater & I wanted the heater on all the time)
    BUT so was my battery charger ! which is a Electrobloc EBL 99, with a form of 'intelligent' charging. Unfortunately the lead acid batteries will use up liquid when on permanent charge ….. I totally forgot that this is what happens & I had not checked the cell levels since last summer ! …… when I checked them this weekend the batteries were virtually dry !
    The batteries are now definitely knackered, as after refilling them and giving a 24 hr charge (they charge at just over 14v). With mains off, they then fall from 13.5 volts to under 11v in a matter of hours with virtually no load connected.

    I should have checked battery cells regularly, and then if I want mains permanently onto the motorhome, I should have switched the charger OFF and then for 2 days every month switched the charger to ON.
    I confess, I was lulled into a false sense of security due to the CTEK charger on my BMW bike being permanently ON ….. BUT the CTEK is a super intelligent charger, and its charging a GEL battery !!

    So, two new 115A batteries now required …….
     
  14. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    This is pure speculation on my part, but my guess is that Swift were not fitting intellegent chargers back in 2002. So while it was ok to leave it on EHU for the heater, the charger should have been switched off for most of the time - as iceclimber says, 48 hrs a month would be enough to keep the batteries topped up without overcharging them.
     
  15. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    As many leave including myself their batteries on charge whilst on EHU when in storage without problem for weeks or months on end I cannot see it being the onboard charger, unless it is faulty.
    The very fact that it is an elecsol battery ( many many people have had problems with them and I know some have had no problem! ) makes me think get new battery and all will be well.
     
  16. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    This is not the case with a proper intelligent charger (3 or 4 stage)

    The maintenance voltage is 12.6v....the same voltage as a fully charged battery at rest.

    A constant current charger may boil the electrolyte
     
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  17. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    It isn't possible with any van PSU in recent history. Non-intelligent chargers were always set at 13.8v maximum. This is the correct float (and non-gassing) voltage for a lead acid battery. What such PSUs didn't do was fully charge the battery to get the best out of it. They would not cause damage.
     
  18. iceclimber

    iceclimber Funster

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    I am now a little confused ……. I thought I had rationalised in my little mind how my batteries could have gone completely dry. Perhaps it is a combination of …...
    1.) leaving them on charge permanently for 3 - 4 months (even though the ELB 99 should back off at somewhere between 12.6 & 13.2 volts ?)
    2.) my NOT regularly checking the cell levels (in truth I probably didn't check for over 1 year !)

    Am trying to decide between the Varta A28 Leisure battery (110a) and an Exide PP115 Leisure battery. Weights of both similar at around 27-29kg.
     
  19. iceclimber

    iceclimber Funster

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    Job done; went for the 2 x Varta's; battery locker needed a good clean + took every connection apart, filed / emery cloth on all connectors, renewed some; then vaseline on everything and connected back up. Also managed to repair a 3" hot air hose that ran through the base of battery compartment that had some holes in it from battery fixing brackets corrosion.

    Now if only I could change the starter battery on the Burstner 660 so easily …….. it looks (& is according to reports) an absolute nightmare to get out !
    Engine bay access for 'bog standard' things …….. A definite big downside to the A class motorhomes ?
     
  20. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    I use a seven day timer on my EHU and have power on for four hours on Thursday so batteries should be fine for a Friday set off.
     
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