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Old 01-29-2014, 06:44 PM   #1
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My battery, water level and charger - it's surprising what I don't know

Ok, since my battery was so dead last week that it wouldn't run my landing gear, I brought it home to charge it up.

Here is my Walmart special battery charger:
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I bought this back when I had my pop-up. I didn't know what I was doing then an still don't! I normally don't pull my battery out and generally let my converter charge it and disconnect to keep it from being depleted.

I first checked my water levels (YouTube educated!). I think they're ok:
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I think they look OK and not frozen (my book told me not to charge a frozen battery, so I was checking).

Finally, here's my battery. Can anyone tell me anything about it? It doesn't seem to have amp-hours listed. Being a starting + deep cycle battery, it doesn't seem best suited for an RV, but we so rarely use battery power only, I think it's OK for now.

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Old 01-29-2014, 07:43 PM   #2
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Here is some info on Deka Marine Master.

http://www.dekabatteries.com/assets/base/0181.pdf

Also I find this to be a good site for battery info

http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/artic...-basics.html#4
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:56 PM   #3
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If the battery is 5 years old or older I'd replace it with a true deep cycle battery.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
If the battery is 5 years old or older I'd replace it with a true deep cycle battery.

It's the battery from the dealer. Should be about 2 years old. But it sure isn't well marked on the battery:
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:28 PM   #5
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If you are looking for a built date, then look underneath the battery for two stamped year and month...the top one is usually for when it was put in service by the dealership.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by fonzie View Post
If you are looking for a built date, then look underneath the battery for two stamped year and month...the top one is usually for when it was put in service by the dealership.

That makes sense. I can't imagine my dealer taking the time to mark the top. I'll look after it charges for a while.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:07 PM   #7
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I know scale is hard to see- but does the water level look right?
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:30 PM   #8
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Yes water level is OK. It should cover plates by at least 1/4 inch electrolyte.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
I know scale is hard to see- but does the water level look right?
Kind of hard to see, but looks good with the water covering the plates. Ideally, the water level should be no higher than just below or to the bottom of the tubes, but the main thing is to always have the plates covered.

Remember, though, only use distilled water.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:21 PM   #10
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Here is your batter specs:

Battery Specifications:

Cold Cranking Amps at 0F : 550amps
Marine Cranking Amps at 32F : 685amps
Minutes at 25 Amp: 120min.
10-3/4" L x 6-3/4" W x 9-3/8" H

This battery should provide you with a 2.5 amp draw for 20 hours or 25 amps for 2 hours. This should be a 50 Amp/hr battery.

I think I am correct.

NOT TO GOOD!
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:41 AM   #11
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I contacted my local agent at Deka Batteries for information when I was programming my battery monitor:

The agent for Bucks county is :

DAVE ECKHART
Phone : 610-944-3140 ext. 3800
Email : deckhart@dekabatteries.com

EAST PENN MANUFACTURING COMPANY INC
DEKA ROAD
LYON STATION, PA 19536

I also have a pair of Deka DP-24's

He said my battery is 75 AH and that seems to work OK as a setting in the computer; but is in reality "high" for this Dual Purpose Marine battery. I have been waiting for them to die - or even get sick - (5 years on the pair now) but they seem to want to live forever.

To convert RC (Minutes of Reserve Capacity at 25 AMPS - the "Industry Standard") to AH (Amp Hours - hours capacity at 20 amp draw) the minutes available at 25 amps is multiplied by 0.4167.

Trying to use the 110 minutes at 23 amps (stamped on the battery) is tricky due to the Peukert Effect which makes AH capacity non-linear based on actual demand. (See chart and document on the effect.)

Using Awwall's 120 minutes at 25 amp RC; the calculation results in a 50 AH capacity as he states and seems much more correct than the 75 AH quoted by the Deka Rep back in 2009 when the batteries were new.

My performance is most likely even worse when you conciser the charge/discharge cycles my battery has undergone in 5 years.

See capacity reduction vs charge cycles graph as well.
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File Type: pdf Convert RC to AH.pdf (141.3 KB, 41 views)
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:43 AM   #12
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For some reason my JPG is not showing on my PC so here goes again.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:15 PM   #13
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Given this charger/maintainer - it has switched over to "maintain" mode. Is it safe to leave hooked up for another couple of weeks until we get the camper back?

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Old 02-03-2014, 03:19 PM   #14
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Given this charger/maintainer - it has switched over to "maintain" mode. Is it safe to leave hooked up for another couple of weeks until we get the camper back?

I don't see why not...
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:34 PM   #15
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I would say yes, fully automatic. Also did you find built date underneath battery?
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:54 PM   #16
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Completely forgot about it. I'll check shortly...
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:04 PM   #17
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With a battery that you can take the caps off. check each cell to see if you have any weak ones after you have charged it up.



https://images.search.yahoo.com/sear...rometer+tester
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:09 PM   #18
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Doug - Looks like that charger will maintain with a very low current for an extended period so you should be fine to leave it connected.

But, you could also just leave your batteries in storage unconnected. A healthy battery will take months to self-discharge in storage where they are not hooked up to anything.

Plus, you can test them in a couple of weeks to see if they are still holding the charge. Make sure to add distilled water if needed before you store.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:25 PM   #19
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Doug - Looks like that charger will maintain with a very low current for an extended period so you should be fine to leave it connected.

But, you could also just leave your batteries in storage unconnected. A healthy battery will take months to self-discharge in storage where they are not hooked up to anything.

Plus, you can test them in a couple of weeks to see if they are still holding the charge. Make sure to add distilled water if needed before you store.
Understood and that's actually how I have handled the last two seasons. Whenever I would store the camper for more than a couple of days, I would disconnect the battery using the battery disconnect my father-in-law and I installed (when you read that, understand that he did 90% of the work and I held the flashlight).

I may get a hydrometer to test the battery itself. Thanks for the idea, if nothing else.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:28 AM   #20
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Here you go.

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Harbor Freight

I caught these on sale for $2.99 a couple years ago. Keep one on my mower all winter and on the ATV if not using it for a while.
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