Battery Care Advice

Discussion in 'Water Fed Pole Cleaning' started by Praha, Nov 16, 2013.

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  1. Praha

    Praha Newcomer
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    Hey folks. Just had to replace my leisure battery. Only had it two years. I don't know if that's good or not but just wanted to hear others advice on keeping the new one working for as long as possible.

    What I initially done was to fully charge the battery and use it until it died. Initially it lasted 2 days but that slowly decreased.

    Is that the best way to do it? Should I charge it after every day?

    The other other option I know is to have some kind of setup that charges the battery in the van. I have an inverter connected to my van battery that let's me plug my charger ( it's a basic halfords one). Is it fine just to plug the charger into that and have it charge the battery as I'm driving? Most of my work is within a few miles of my house. Will that be enough to keep the battery charged with enough power to work all day?

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
     
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  2. spruce

    spruce Grand Master
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    Do a search on split charge relays. The subject has been discussed before.

    As far as battery maintenance is concerned we have 2 x 85 amp batteries in the single operator vans and I have a 110 amp in my van - mainly single operator (me) but has facility for 2 operators.

    I battery is just over 2 years old, the second 85 amp hour is over 3 years old and mine is getting close to 3 years old. All batteries are Numax.

    The van with the Numax battery just over 2 years old is hardly ever charged with a battery charger, probably 3 or 4 times a year. The van travels a bit of mileage, about 25 miles a day with the odd bit of private mileage (doesn't clean windows full time) and the battery charge is near enough full when I've checked it.

    The other van is charged every so often, but as my son prefers to use his packpack rather than his hose reel, the battery is used to fill a 25 litre plastic container on slow which he decants into his backpack when empty. Mileage is less than 10 miles per day to and from work so find that I give it a charge once a week, but as he doesn't draw much power, it doesn't take much.

    My van is van mount and again I don't do much mileage but give the battery a charge every couple of days.Each time I put the charger on I expect the battery to be on charge for at least a couple of hours, but as its an intelligent charger, I leave it connected all night.

    Each battery is in a battery holder but has a thick rubber mat (1/2" thick) to keep it off the freezing van floor. If you look at PureFreedom van kits, you will see the battery holder is mounted 1/2 way up the side of the tank frame. Nothing kills batteries faster than freezing weather.
    The only time I had issues with leisure batteries was when I owned a trailer and the battery was exposed to the elements on a frame on the draw bar. I couldn't get a year out of them.
     
  3. spruce

    spruce Grand Master
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    Sorry, the discussion was on another forum - apologies.

    Here are a couple of points I made from our experience.

    I have a 110 amp leisure battery powering my system with a split charge relay.
    I have this in a Citroen Relay SWB van with a 150amp alternator.

    The reason why we have to charge our leisure batteries regularly is that we mostly don't drive enough miles to put back into the battery what we take out.

    Each of my Shurflo pumps draws about 3.4amps with the digital controller setting we use. The battery will accept a recharge of about 10 amps at best, but usually between about 5 - 7.5 amps with a fairly full battery - remember a battery nearing a fully charged state will accept an ever reducing charge until the battery is fully charged.

    So if we travel 10 minutes to and from the day's work, a 20 minute charge of 7.5amps ( = 2.5amps) won't come anywhere near replacing the 13.5 amps we have used assuming the pump runs 4 hours (and that's just one pump).

    The split charge relay wiring from the main van battery is protected by a 15 amp fuse which has never blown in the 3 years this system has been in this van. This means that the amps drawn by the leisure battery has never been more that 15 amps even when the battery was flat. If it had exceeded 15 amps, then the fuse would have blown.

    My son in law has a Ford Transit Connect LWB with the latest Varistream digital controller and he drives a round trip of about 30 miles a day and he now manages to keep his 85amp leisure battery pretty much fully charged travelling this distance with his split charge relay. (The new digital Varistream draws current even when the controller is switched off, and it is only since we have put an isolator switch on the supply to the Varistream that we have been able to achieve this. We estimate that the draw on the battery was about 25 amps over a week.)

    I have found that my battery will still be charged at the exact same rate whether the engine is reving at 3000 rpm or just idling at traffic lights. With a split charge relay, its efficiency isn't about distance travelled but rather time taken to travel that distance. Being stuck in a traffic jam is good for a leisure battery being charged with a SCR provided the engine is running.
     
  4. Praha

    Praha Newcomer
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    Thanks for that. I'll search for a spilt relay. I think I'm going to have to still charge the battery as I don't do enough driving.

    Will the spilt relay do any more charging than my charger plugged into the battery inverter?
     
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