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Author Topic: Rebuilt Lead Acid Batteries...and How to!  (Read 8502 times)
Eric
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« on: June 11, 2009, 08:09:12 AM »

Gentlemen of the board...lol Has anyone tried Rebuilding there own house/engine batteries? I've been doing this with our golf carts for about a decade with no issues doing the old hot water and epson salt trick...What i'm after here is have any of you done this in your Bus?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2009, 10:55:38 AM by ekhedge » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2009, 08:14:50 AM »

Nope - but could you go into detail on how you do it?

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Eric
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2009, 08:27:22 AM »

Sure I've been doing this for years! Take your old crappy lead acid battery remove the caps and VERY CAREFULLY dump contents into a bucket I usually let them sit for  an hour or so...You should be able to see a tremedous amount of sulfate buildup on the "Plates&Paste" inside...

Next Take a gallon of DISTILLED water and 2 of those dollar store Boxes of epsom salt...This is the trick the epson salt is magnesium sulfate wich in turn will eat the sulfates off the "Plates&paste"  I normally will bring the epsom and Water mix to a boil...this is where the grill comes in handy! Next dump the contents into your "retired" battery.

Set the battery on charge overnight @ THE LOWEST AMP SETTING YOU HAVE usually 2 amp

Rember that bucket of battery acid? It's going to need some doctoring.. Head to your Local Parts house and get yourself some battery acid usually a pint will do several batteries worth. Mix it into the bucket.*ADVISORY* The bucket is going to get pretty warm @ this point. After it sits a while pull out your handy dandy Battery Gravity Tester and verify your bucket is in the 1230-1250 range.


Day 2 Your battery should be a whole lot happier then when you started at this point Check the gravity in all the cells if they are low siphon off some of the epsom mix and replace with the contents of your bucket. Trickle charge again over night and you should be good to go!!

* Battery acid is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS* be careful guys this will work 90% of the time. You do this @ your own risk!
« Last Edit: June 11, 2009, 08:32:14 AM by ekhedge » Logged
Mrbill4108
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2009, 03:40:57 PM »

I have a question.   
Does the Epsom salt turn into battery acid?  Or are you suppose to drain out the Epsom salt solution, then fill the battery with the old battery acid, then charge the battery?  I have an old battery Id really like to try this on.   

Thanks,

Mrbill4108

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Tony LEE
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2009, 03:46:05 PM »

April 1 was some time ago.
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2009, 04:12:58 PM »

I always heard that process was called spiking, I watched people rebuilding batteries before and they removed the plates,but I never bet against another man tricks       good luck
« Last Edit: June 11, 2009, 04:22:23 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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Eric
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2009, 04:17:08 PM »

I have a question.  
Does the Epsom salt turn into battery acid?  Or are you suppose to drain out the Epsom salt solution, then fill the battery with the old battery acid, then charge the battery?  I have an old battery Id really like to try this on.  

Thanks,

Mrbill4108


Only remove enough of the epsom mixture to top it off with your battery acid the remaining epsom salt will continue to recondition with every charge of the battery. Also make sure you leave the caps off when your charging it the first 2 times

What does april 1st have anything to do with it?
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2009, 06:08:46 PM »

Just a couple of links that show it does work and is not an April Fools Joke!

I googles battery restore epsom salt and found a bunch of links!

I have not tried it myself, only passing along some info from the net!

http://ysuusy.com/Lead_Acid_Car_Battery_Repair.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_4855050_recondition-car-battery-home.html

Paul
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Eric
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2009, 06:15:44 PM »

What's everyone think i'm crazy???!!! Anyhow Spiking is just adding the Epsom or desulfate and not doing anything else! If anyone is interested in a TRUE lead acid battery rebuild let me know! I can walk you through the Plates and Paste and how to recover materials from End Life Batteries, The Epsom Salt trick is a lot quicker and works often enough If you catch your batteries early you shouldn't have to do a True Teardown and Rebuild of your Batteries.. My 36 Volt Golf Cart has had the same Batteries in it since 1999! and I still have about 85% Out of the batteries!
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2009, 07:16:14 PM »

I don't think you are nutso, anymoreso than the rest of the misfits here. None of us work within the normal parameters of what our media thinks an RVer should be, however....

I've been playing with my batteries for years, (OK guys, get your minds out of the gutter), My last set was comprised of normal lead acid batteries that had been in many different venues... all were in my trucks, but with trucks, if I changed one, I changed them all. These batteries lasted 9 years, and the only reason I got rid of them was that I decided to rebuild the space for the batteries and one of them went FUBAR due to a short in the plates.
I've been using EDTA for years, which, although not the same as the Epsom Salts, has always seemed to work better for me.
A few years back one of our members gave me an electrical desulfator that he builds, and it works pretty good, but I did find that if the sulfates on the plates are too much, I need to use both methods to get a satisfactory result.

Keep doing what your doing Ekhedge, we all learn something from every post!
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2009, 07:53:04 PM »

HHMMM...I wonder if I can bring back to life those two 8-D's that sat in the FL sun for over 25 years?HuhHuh??
Jack
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2009, 08:30:44 PM »

I have a couple of sealed group 31's, what is the best way to bring them back to life?

Paul
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2009, 02:01:15 AM »

I've often wondered whether batteries can have a second life if the acid is renewed and there is enough lead is left after the lead sulphate is removed. I cannot think why it wouldn't work, but if it does how come there isn't worldwide industry dedicated to rebuilding the things? There must be tens of millions of lead acid batteries discarded every year, with all the associated costs and environmental damage. I would like to believe that this process works, and I can't necessarily think of a reason why it wouldn't, but it's hard not to be slightly cynical when such a simple process must have been known about for over a century.

Jeremy, hoping to be convinced
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2009, 04:47:01 AM »

My 2c worth.  The simplest way to prolong lead acid battery life is to avoid discharging down to nuthin' and  don't let them set in a discharged state.  One other important point.  This has been said but I'll stress it again; wear goggles, not just regular glasses.  Our old eyes might not be what they used to be, but they're the only pair we have.  Also, use plenty of ventilation around these suckers and don't smoke or have another ignition source around.  Batteries will explode, and it ain't pretty.  BE CAREFUL!  Ok, that's two things.

Marilyn and I are heading home from Gettysburg today.  Been bussin' for two weeks.  Have a great day, everybody!

Dennis
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Eric
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2009, 07:02:49 AM »

I have a couple of sealed group 31's, what is the best way to bring them back to life?

Paul

Hit your local parts store you can buy aftermarket battery caps you just drill out the cells . You'll notice on the "Sealed" batteries there are indents on top where you can see the holes under the battery casing! use those as your guide! Message me if you have any problems
I've often wondered whether batteries can have a second life if the acid is renewed and there is enough lead is left after the lead sulphate is removed. I cannot think why it wouldn't work, but if it does how come there isn't worldwide industry dedicated to rebuilding the things? There must be tens of millions of lead acid batteries discarded every year, with all the associated costs and environmental damage. I would like to believe that this process works, and I can't necessarily think of a reason why it wouldn't, but it's hard not to be slightly cynical when such a simple process must have been known about for over a century.

Jeremy, hoping to be convinced
There is a HUGE MARKET OUT THERE! You guys don't have the crazy scrapper guys picking up your batteries? Most battery rebuilders offer 5-10 bucks for Junk batteries wich they in turn either Complete Rebuild or "renew" back home in ohio there are a million battery guys!
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2009, 07:40:18 AM »

Yes, but the question is whether those battery rebuilders are just de-sulphating old, dead batteries, or are actually 'rebuilding' them by installing new plates etc. I don't know the answer to this, but would be interested in reading about, for instance, the measured current capacity and lifespan of a new versus a 'rebuilt' battery.

Jeremy, still hoping to be convinced
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2009, 12:26:08 PM »

Jeremy - my local Interstate dealer has a whole area set up to "rebuild" batteries on site, and sell them as such - I assume they take the best candidates from their take outs and do what is necessary to bring them back to life, and the rest are recycled - I'm not sure how many of these involve replacing the plates - but they have alot of them - FWIW
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