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Author Topic: Batterys interesting/confuseing  (Read 2982 times)
jjrbus
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« on: September 10, 2008, 06:51:30 AM »

I have had some starter/ battery issues and found something confuseing but interesting. It seemed to start with the death of a 7 year old starter battery, 2 group 31 batterys @ 24 volts.
 One battery died, the one connected to my disconnect switch, battery #1. I purchased 2 new batterys and noticed they would not hold a charge, battrey #1 being the worse. I took them back, batterys test good.   Batterys will still not hold a charge, I spend much time looking for drain, can find nothing!!  These batteries are draining with the positive cable unhooked!!!! It seems Ace is the only other person to experience this. I take batteys back and #1 will not pass load test and is replaced.   They still will not hold a charge. I decide new batterys are junk and start useing maintainer.
 Next I have starter problem and couple other issues. I am convinced now that I will never buy cheap batterys again and am ready to junk the ones I have.
 Several things happen here, I take batterys back and they replace #1 again. I have starter rebuilt. Replace lug on battery cable. All terminals have been unhooked and cleaned 27 times now.
 Since putting everything back together the batterys are holding thier charge with no maintainer. I checked them everyday for 10 days and the voltage varies by 1 or 2 tenths. Befor this in 10 days they would be down 2 volts!!
  When the starter was rebuilt they told me the fields were grounding to the case. I am electrically challenged and this may be a stupid question but could the starter fields grounding have been draining the batterys??  This drain was occuring with isolator switch off and at one time with positive cable unhooked from battery. The only thing hooked up was the ground cable.
 Gremlins, ya gotta love em!  Jim
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2008, 07:26:44 AM »

JR: the problem most of you guys have is caused by not enough amps a starter should last 20 years or more .The starter is a 12hp electric motor and a 24 volt starter will draw from 1000 amps min and with 2 group 31 batteries that is iffy use 4 and your troubles will go away.I read here where people are replacing the starter every 2 or 3 years unheard of if you have have the right CC amps and plus the low amp are going to shorten the life of your batteries.   
  Have a great and wonderful day
« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 07:45:54 AM by makemineatwostroke » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2008, 07:48:02 AM »

Electricity has to have a complete circuit for the little electrons to travel.  If you disconnect the positive cable, the electrons can no longer travel since there is not a complete circuit from them to use.  I have no idea how the electrons got out of your battery.  Jack
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2008, 08:08:08 AM »

Flooded lead batteries will usually lose 1 volt about every 2 days till they reach about 11 volts depending on the manufacture a natural process AGM batteries have a less drop over the same time frame fwiw   

Sorry guys but I forgot it is not always the case in other parts of the USA I live in AZ and TX and the voltage drops like a rock in a few days
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 07:18:51 AM by makemineatwostroke » Logged
jjrbus
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2008, 08:27:14 AM »

Mike after reading your post I thought I had a problem. However I cannot find a 1000 amp figure anywhere for a starter.
 I tried the ampacity charts to see what size wire should be used for 1000 amps at 24V @ 5 feet it appears that it would take 2 4/0 and 1 2/0 ?
 Again I am not electrical, so this is a question.
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2008, 08:51:28 AM »

JR; when my grandson comes home I will get him to scan the page from the Delco book and email it to you showing the HP and amps for the 50,42 and 37 Delco starter always the minimum amp draw shown for 32 and above 32 degrees there is a page in the DD  manual that shows the minimum amp for the 50 starter  have a great day
« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 08:54:18 AM by makemineatwostroke » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2008, 09:23:13 AM »

Wow JR that's hard to understand. I know that ever since I installed my on-board marine battery charger/tender, I have never never ever had a start problem or issue of any kind! I found that I can leave the charger disconnected for 2-3 days and my batteries will be down enough that they won't start the coach but when I plug the charger up and let it do its thing, the next morning, the coach is good to go! While the coach is parked in my driveway I leave the charger connected until I am ready to leave!
It made a believer out of me!
Like you, I exhausted every effort to find out why I was experiencing what it was! It wasn't until I talked to the guyds at Marathon coach and another busnut that persuaded me to install a charger. The guys said that our coaches sit more as a motorhome than they do when they are seated coaches and that goes even for the million dollar coaches so that is why they have the on-board charger/tenders. The best money I have ever spent and I REALLY mean that!

Ace
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2008, 09:52:23 AM »

Hi Jim,

I think it's time to get your Hydrometer out and test each cell. They should be consistant..

If one cell is shorted, it will bring the whole bank down very quickly. The batteries will still take a charge and seem normal with

proper voltage and all but, that one shorted cell will drain your bank even with the batt cables removed.

Good Luck
Nick-
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2008, 09:56:25 AM »

Nick,
     I had that exact thing happen with a 3 battery bank.  I thought that they were all bad, finally tested them and found one bad cell.  When I got rid of that one battery, the others popped back like new.
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2008, 10:07:00 AM »

Flooded lead batteries will usually lose 1 volt about every 2 days till they reach about 11 volts depending on the manufacture

I have to disagree with this statement. Flooded lead acid batteries do not lose 1/2 a volt a day if they are maintained properly.
It's true that a fully charged battery will naturally lose voltage over time, but it's more like hundredths of volts per month.
A good battery with no load on it in normal climatic conditions will retain a starting charge for up to a year or more.

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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2008, 10:16:04 AM »

Flooded lead batteries will usually lose 1 volt about every 2 days till they reach about 11 volts depending on the manufacture a natural process AGM batteries have a less drop over the same time frame fwiw


The 2 batteries in our Ford Dually with 7.3 liter diesel engine sometimes sit for 12 weeks (84 days) while we are traveling. When we get home, I can get in it and it spins right over.  These batteries are about 2 years old and although I have not checked them with a voltmeter, I am sure thay are higher than 11 volts, based on how the engine spins and starts.  We do not keep any kind of trickle charger or manitainer on them.  Jack
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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2008, 10:30:30 AM »

Take 1 12 volt battery charge it 13.5 and see how fast it will drop to 11.5 to 11 volts the cheaper and light weight batteries will discharge faster
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Blacksheep
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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2008, 10:52:32 AM »

I'm a firm believer that all batteries will drop in voltage over a period of time some sooner than others and some longer but as long as they are connected to source/s the time usually accelerates this is if nothing at all is done to replenish them!

Prevost regional tech told me that ALL electronic buses have voltage drain in the start batteries as a result of many possible different items and that is when the batteries are in the disconnect mode better known as phantom drain! Could be a simple digital clock or a light in a radio, speaker, or the radio itself.
With the looks of some bus wiring, it could lead to almost anything shorting out on the frame to cause a drain! It doesn't end there! It can even result from a LOOSE terminal!

Ace

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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2008, 11:56:30 AM »

A fully-charged 12-volt battery, allowed to "rest" for a few hours (or days) with no load being drawn from it (or charge going to it), will balance out its charge and measure about 12.6 volts between terminals.
(from Phred's Poop Sheets -   http://www.phrannie.org/battery.html  )

I have an 8D that has been sitting since February & it reads 12.5V on a digital multimeter.
I must have gotten a 'good one'  Grin

The battery is CLEAN & DRY & stored inside my shop.
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2008, 12:32:35 PM »

 A new curve, I did not check my voltage this morning becuse it was raining! The voltage has been  measureing over 25.5 volts everyday for the past week.
 This afternoon it measures 24.6 volts, that is a 1 volt drop in one day!  So now I am thinking rain = wet + electricity, I wonder  Huh  Yes there is water on the batterys.  Jim
 
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2008, 03:27:40 PM »

If your battery tops are not clean, the crud can actually conduct energy out of the batteries. It's unuaual, and typically doesn't discharge a high current, but it can have an effect.

Still normal batteries do not discharge at a significant rate when not connected.

I had a problem with mine when I first got the bus. One battery was draining. It turned out to be a phantom load on the 12v side. I never found it, but I installed a cutoff switch and the problem stopped. Now, I just leave the inverter plugged in on float, and the crossover switch activated, so I'm floating my coach batteries along with my house bank.

craig
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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2008, 04:25:29 PM »

Hi Jim
As long you had turn the main power off (master switch), no other tapping connected and batteries are free of acid coating around the battery case. There is no reason to cause a run down. However, old battery will normally build up deposit under plates to cause shorts after many heavy discharges and recharge. This is not the case because it brand new.

In the mean time, keep the batteries acid free on outside of case & hold down. Watch your voltage at least once a week for several times and without a floater charger on. Then tell us the results.

Remember your pass problem with corride wire end and fuel pressure switch has a lot to do with the confusion for blaming battery & starter condition.

BTW…purchase 2 new group31 at wally world 3 years ago and it still over 12v from sitting….even jump start a car 2 month ago and never charge since 3 years ago. Would it be the cause for been locate in Elloree, Sc.? ? ?…LOL

BTW…try never to purchase starter battery with refill capable…more prone to parasite drainage from acid coated case and weaken electrolyte by adding water at the wrong time.  Deep cycle must be refillable due to heavy discharge & recharge.

About Gremlin…I am not afraid of them because I chase them out after the step by step diagnostic check points to repair the problem. LOL

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald
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« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2008, 05:27:31 PM »

JERRY DO NOT MOCK THE GREMLINS, they will get you!!!!!

 I've considered useing the selector switch to hook the bus batterys to the inverter, but I use12V and 24V from the house batterys daily and am concerned that it would be detremental to the bus batterys. Also this is a new problem and should be solveable, something is different, something had to change??
 I would like to check the batterys with a  hydrometer, but these are sealed, I know I can open them but that will void the warrenty, so will be the last thing done.
  Here are one week results, I knew Jerry would ask this!!
                                                Positive battery       Negative battery
 charged to 26.3 volts                  Bat # 1 12.8            bat #2 13.2 
 Removed surface charge 25V                   12.5                      12.5
                                  25.6                   12.8                      12.8
                                  25.7                   12.8                      12.9
                                  25.7                   12.8                      12.9
                                  25.7                   12.8                      12.9
                                  25.6                   12.7                      12.8
                                  25.6                   12.7                      12.8
                                  25.5                   12.6                      12.8
  Today                        24.2                   11.7                      11.9                   
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« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2008, 07:22:03 PM »

JERRY DO NOT MOCK THE GREMLINS, they will get you!!!!!

 I've considered useing the selector switch to hook the bus batterys to the inverter, but I use12V and 24V from the house batterys daily and am concerned that it would be detremental to the bus batterys. Also this is a new problem and should be solveable, something is different, something had to change??
 I would like to check the batterys with a  hydrometer, but these are sealed, I know I can open them but that will void the warrenty, so will be the last thing done.
  Here are one week results, I knew Jerry would ask this!!
                                                Positive battery       Negative battery
 charged to 26.3 volts                  Bat # 1 12.8            bat #2 13.2 
 Removed surface charge 25V                   12.5                      12.5
                                  25.6                   12.8                      12.8
                                  25.7                   12.8                      12.9
                                  25.7                   12.8                      12.9
                                  25.7                   12.8                      12.9
                                  25.6                   12.7                      12.8
                                  25.6                   12.7                      12.8
                                  25.5                   12.6                      12.8
  Today                        24.2                   11.7                      11.9                   


Thanks Jim for your report. There is either an error in the last day reading or was the weather change to freezing temp Buffalo, NY's winter in southwest Florida? ? ?

The last report should be at least half of 24.2v.

And from 25.5v to next day 24.2v is some reason that needs to be explain? Is it an error or actual?

Otherwise at given temperature of 77°F, it should level out at 12.6v per battery.

You need Excel viewer to open temperature & voltage chart: http://jgdarden.com/batteryfaq/SoC.xls

The higher the battery temperature while in storage, the quicker it will self-discharge.

Waiting for your answers?

Take Care, Gerald
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« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2008, 05:00:22 AM »

Thanks Jerry, there is no error is last days reading, I checked it two times!! The battery switch was off, there was no use of any bus power!!

Todays numbers I checked three times

   24.7 volts          12.1V          12.3     

 I know it does not add up, but I checked three times!!
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« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2008, 06:28:39 AM »

Are you sure your meter is correct?  Maybe need a new battery in it?

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« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2008, 07:21:07 AM »

I am not sure is mutimeter is correct. I have checked it on different voltages and it seems to be ok.
 I got out new battery, checked voltage 9.3 volts replaced old battery and checked it 8.1V
 Rechecked batteries  This morning reading was 24.7V  now shows 25.2V  changed back to old meter  battery and got 25.2V. Wish I would have checked befor changeing battery!
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« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2008, 07:26:15 AM »

Are you sure your meter is correct?  Maybe need a new battery in it?

Good point gumpy! Thank you!

Now about digital meter it self....replace its battery and recheck to see if it read the same. If it does or not, I would not be comfortable with that reading yet. I would try to barrow a another good digital meter within store such as Sears or Radio Stack or auto parts, to compare a new 9v battery reading. If it doesn’t match within point 1(.1) volt, you may have an out of calibration meter.

Whatever you need to do if it is the meter error, than try to purchase one with a 10 + days return policy. Example 19.95 Sears http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_03482345000P?mv=rr

Or check Radio Stack. Or call me anytime while in store or wherever you are…almost likes me being there with you. I promise to be very reasonable…LOL

Take care, Gerald

PS…I appreciate what anyone like Craig (gumpy) suggestion….Thanks…after all I am only human.

Oop....Jim already responded while I was typing this post.
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« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2008, 07:37:20 AM »

Allright, I'm going to jump in on this.  I always test for battery drain, or short in wiring , after doing electrical system repairs on tractors. I have trained the four mechanics  I employ to remove battery negative cable and insert a test light between post on battery and battery cable end. If there is any draw (or short) the light will light up. It has worked for me for over 40 years.  
  Big John
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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2008, 11:59:11 AM »

Rechecked batteries  This morning reading was 24.7V  now shows 25.2V  changed back to old meter  battery and got 25.2V. Wish I would have checked befor changeing battery!

Jim,
  Are you sure you are getting a ggod contact between the meter test lead and the battery?  Jack
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« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2008, 01:23:44 PM »

Jack I am not sure of anything at this point. I move the probes around on terminals to get several readings, I keep getting same numbers!!  I could find nobody to borrow a mutimeter from so bought a new one for comparision.
 Even for the electrically challenged the rise in voltage from 24.7 to 25.2 makes no sense. Maybe in Barffalo Ny when it is 10 below in the morning and 60 in the afternoon.
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« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2008, 07:14:36 PM »

This is all getting pretty scientific here. I'll just report that on my MC-5 which is still 24 volt, I have two Group 31 Optima Deep Cycle batteries for coach. Basically engine start only. They are not connected to the house battery charger in any way. The batteries are at least three probably four years old; they were in the coach when I bought it. I know deep cycles are not ideal for engine start applications. But living in Minnesota, they will start the 8V71 down to 45 degrees without ether. They have sat for up to two months in the winter and they will still start the engine if I plug it in.

Point is, they certainly are not loosing one volt per day. FWIW - FRED
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« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2008, 07:45:58 PM »

This whole battery deal confuses me, I have own heavy equipment for 30 years and have been told by many of battery manufactures that a battery will lose 4% to 5% of it charge every week and will lose more if the temperature is over 80 and yet people are saying that a battery will start your engine a year later and one has 2 batteries 3 years old that have over a 50% charge.   
This has never worked for me when we stored the equipment with fully charged batteries you were lucky if it would start in 2 months with the batteries disconnected.I did a job in Az 1 year and spent 1000's of dollars on batteries because they would drop so low in a week or 2 and I didn't buy cheap batteries most were from CAT. I am missing something here or all these years  have I been buying the wrong batteries.If you guys come to AZ it's a good place to test batteries they do not last long here a battery in 110 degree heat will be dead in 30 days if it is not charged daily. Friday I am going to SAM's and check the voltage on some of the batteries with different dates on them just to see were the voltage is after 2 months   good luck on your chase JR
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« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2008, 09:38:51 PM »

luvrbus.....you are so right about temperature kill battery. Up in native lower Michigan area, we don't wear out batteries like in hot climate state but we some time have put battery in a warm room or light bulb next to battery over night for very cold morning start.

At work (General Motor Tech Center), one of my job is under hood heat study. Install 9 Chromel® Alumel thermocouple in 12v battery to record temperature as well with the other parts with thermocouple under the hood. Tested in Arizona room at GMTC. Amazing what the poor battery has to go through this cycle time after time. In just a few time of heat cycle...it is bulge shape and quit taking healthy charge.
Thanks for your report.
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I typing the following after 5pm but didn't finish it till now.
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Thanks Lee for bring up the reason why battery need to be free of acid coating. I was assuming most of here on board known about getting voltage by scanning around the battery. Good that you brought that out. This is what I do (clean battery) with my customer’s car before computer equips to tune-up as well repair dead cars.

About “self-discharge” is another way to run it self down which normal due to nature of its electrolytic with lead dioxide. It about high temperature, idle too long with no charge, many cycle of discharge & charge will breakdown battery quicker than steady 77°F, very few cycle and fewer idle times with float charger.

http://www.mca-battery.com/Technology/sla-faq.htm

Jim…keep checking with meter and if you will IR (temp gun) to add temp in report. Temperature will cause to vary voltage too.

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald
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