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Leisure Battery Issue


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Hi all, Any leisure battery users able to give me an idea of what is going on with mine.

I have a Numax 105AH 12v Leisure Battery charged via a split charge relay (I do a lot of miles so don't bench charge it)

Off it I run 2 pumps and a power up HD

Today for the first time since I got it in February I have noticed a couple of issues. The hose reel was running really slow so I checked the controller and it was showing 9.6!! Turned the van on and it showed 13.5 then once I got to the next job it worked fine and then my oppo said he had lost pressure so he turned the van on. At the next job it was showing 12.6 at the start then 11.9 by the time we were making up the gear, and would visibly drop as the reel was used...

I don't think it;s the split charge and its charging it, but it seems to be getting drained way too quickly... As I said i've not had this issue before today, and not done anything different. Could it be a knackered battery?

Thanks

Max

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If it's dropping to 9.6v then that will damage it if you keep doing it!

First off double check all connections are tight and clean of corrosion. 

2 pumps and a 3d reel might be using more than 55 amps during your day which could be damaging the battery. It depends on if you are driving about just at the start and end of the day and just a little bit during jobs. Taking more than 50% of the capacity out of a lead acid will damage it over time. 

How much current used during a day depends on a few things. A 100 psi sureflow probably pulls 5 amps on 8mm hose maybe 8 amps on 6mm. So say during a 8 hr day say 4 hrs of pump = 20 to 32 amps per pump. Add in a power reel which will pull lots of amps. Even just on pumps you could be pulling over 50 amps during the day!!

So my guess, without testing, is you need a bigger battery or 2 in parallel and your existing battery may be beyond help. Ideally you need someone with a current clamp meter that can measure current draw and work out what battery capacity you need.

Hope that gives you some ideas?

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10 hours ago, Mx19 said:

Hi all, Any leisure battery users able to give me an idea of what is going on with mine.

I have a Numax 105AH 12v Leisure Battery charged via a split charge relay (I do a lot of miles so don't bench charge it)

Off it I run 2 pumps and a power up HD

Today for the first time since I got it in February I have noticed a couple of issues. The hose reel was running really slow so I checked the controller and it was showing 9.6!! Turned the van on and it showed 13.5 then once I got to the next job it worked fine and then my oppo said he had lost pressure so he turned the van on. At the next job it was showing 12.6 at the start then 11.9 by the time we were making up the gear, and would visibly drop as the reel was used...

I don't think it;s the split charge and its charging it, but it seems to be getting drained way too quickly... As I said i've not had this issue before today, and not done anything different. Could it be a knackered battery?

Thanks

Max

your battery is knackered....a little tip....BENCH CHARGE YOUR BATTERY EVERY NIGHT regardless of having a split charge relay fitted.....

You ve probably discharged it too low(less than 50%)too often.....you shouldn't discharge it lower than 75% ideally for long life

 

 

  • Agree 2
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The higher voltage you are reading after driving is probably just because it takes quite a while to drop down to the true voltage after charging. 

What does it read 1st thing in a morning before starting the engine? 

If it's pretty high, as in over 12.5v then dies within a few hours then it's no good. 

Your split relay alone doesn't charge it the same way an intelligent charger does which is necessary for keeping a leisure battery in good condition. 

Even if you drive a lot, you should still bench charge it pretty regularly. 

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15 hours ago, Mx19 said:

Hi all, Any leisure battery users able to give me an idea of what is going on with mine.

I have a Numax 105AH 12v Leisure Battery charged via a split charge relay (I do a lot of miles so don't bench charge it)

Off it I run 2 pumps and a power up HD

Today for the first time since I got it in February I have noticed a couple of issues. The hose reel was running really slow so I checked the controller and it was showing 9.6!! Turned the van on and it showed 13.5 then once I got to the next job it worked fine and then my oppo said he had lost pressure so he turned the van on. At the next job it was showing 12.6 at the start then 11.9 by the time we were making up the gear, and would visibly drop as the reel was used...

I don't think it;s the split charge and its charging it, but it seems to be getting drained way too quickly... As I said i've not had this issue before today, and not done anything different. Could it be a knackered battery?

Thanks

Max

Please see this post. And notice how long it takes to fully charge a discharged leisure using a SCR in a motor home - 750 kms. Hence the reason why @dazmondsays you have to bench charge you leisure battery regularly, at least every second day.

https://windowcleaningforums.co.uk/topic/22375-split-charge-relay/#comments

You didn't say what Numax battery you have. Some Numax leisure batteries are exactly that. Other batteries Numax sell have a CCA rating which means that they can be used as starter and leisure batteries. But they are a compromise. They aren't good leisure batteries and they aren't good starter batteries.

A standard leisure battery is only designed to feed power to a device at a slow rate. An electric hose reel will can draw up to 25 amps, albeit for a short time. Unfortunately a standard leisure battery isn't designed for that amount of current draw.

Edited by spruce
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I've got the same battery on a SCR and it works for 27 hours per week and also runs an electric reel and have used it for 3 and a half years and have NEVER bench charged it and if it dies tomorrow I'll just buy a new one and do the same however I am a one man band but it does sound like you have a duff battery so send it back.

Just don't tell them you're a Window Cleaner as we're battery abusers and they wont honour it, tell them you've got a caravan or something. 

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Thanks all for your advice. It all makes sense and seems I have destroyed the battery, although I've only been using it since February and only a 2 or 3 days a week. Unfortunately I don't have a place to charge the battery as I don't want to charge it in my flat due to the dangers involved and don't have an external power supply to charge in the van. Not really sure what I can do, Maybe it might just have to be a cost I absorb and realise it as a consumable... Although terrible for the environment!! 

Would a larger battery help, or having two in parallel or will I still need to bench charge every day? 

@spruce it is a Numax XV3MF

Thanks again All

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2 batteries in parallel will increase that capacity and should stop you destroying the battery by over discharging it.

The thing you need to know is the voltage at the start of the day and monitor it during the day. If it drops too low generally a reading of any less than 12v is BAD! This is rested voltage not while you have a load on the battery.  Ideally you should measure voltage 4 hrs after you have taken the load off but that's not practical. So measure the voltage after say 10 mins of stopping pulling any current will give you a good idea.

Basically if you say use 70 amps a day then you need 140 Amp hr capacity of batteries to avoid damage. You also need the batteries to be charged back up to 100% (12.7v) before the next day. So after you have driven home give it an hour or so and see what voltage the battery is. If it's below 12.7v then it's not fully recharged!!!

If your current system can't replace the charge you are using each day then you either have to fit a more efficient suitable Battery to Battery charger or take the battery in and charge it off mains.

Charging a lead acid battery indoors isn't dangerous if you use a decent charger, something like a Ctek. If you try and charge a battery too fast then it will gas and the gas is flammable. So use a good quality charger and you should be fine.

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2 hours ago, Mx19 said:

Thanks all for your advice. It all makes sense and seems I have destroyed the battery, although I've only been using it since February and only a 2 or 3 days a week. Unfortunately I don't have a place to charge the battery as I don't want to charge it in my flat due to the dangers involved and don't have an external power supply to charge in the van. Not really sure what I can do, Maybe it might just have to be a cost I absorb and realise it as a consumable... Although terrible for the environment!! 

Would a larger battery help, or having two in parallel or will I still need to bench charge every day? 

@spruce it is a Numax XV3MF

Thanks again All

Numax XV31MF is a combination battery so should stand up to the current draw of an electric hose reel.

I personally believe you need to bench charge that battery at least every second night. I had a SCR on my other van just driving 2 pumps. In winter I charged the battery every night and in summer every second night. If the battery has gone 'bad' due to under charging then its not recommended you add a new one in parallel. Its best to have 2 batteries as closely matched age wise and size wise if you are going to link them together.

You can't rely on a SCR to keep your batteries fully charged. The issue is to do with the charging curve. The fuller a lead acid battery gets the lower the charge it will accept.

If you take 10 amps from your battery during the day and your battery will only accept a 10 amp charge then its going take an hour's driving to charge that battery up. But the charge rate will drop to 9amps, then 8, then 7, then 6, then 5 the fuller the battery gets. So replacing 10 amps at a 5 amp charge is going to take 2 hours.

Many years ago I had a 110 amph leisure battery in my other van. I used my van to go to London from the North East. My leisure battery was 75% charged when I set off the following morning. After 4 hours on the road with some stop start traffic my leisure battery was still receiving a 2 to 3 amp charge. After 5 hours on the road it was probably fully charged as it was receiving just less than an amp.

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9 hours ago, spruce said:

Numax XV31MF is a combination battery so should stand up to the current draw of an electric hose reel.

I personally believe you need to bench charge that battery at least every second night. I had a SCR on my other van just driving 2 pumps. In winter I charged the battery every night and in summer every second night.

Pretty sure I have this battery,  I am using a PowerUp reel and one pump and the battery is discharged by around 50% after each full day so it gets charged every night with my Numax charger.

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Can you leave your charger connected to the battery all the time (Not pugged onto the mains)even when not charging? Was wandering if it would damage the battery or charger. The reason I ask is that I like to charge my batteries every night and now I have 2 leasure batteries and a backpack so connecting em all up every night is gettin a bit of a drag. I wanted to leave all the chargers connected up and plugged into my extension lead so that when I get home all’s I need to do is grab the the extension lead run it out the back of my van and into my outside plug. 

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36 minutes ago, Cleanco said:

Can you leave your charger connected to the battery all the time (Not pugged onto the mains)even when not charging? Was wandering if it would damage the battery or charger. The reason I ask is that I like to charge my batteries every night and now I have 2 leasure batteries and a backpack so connecting em all up every night is gettin a bit of a drag. I wanted to leave all the chargers connected up and plugged into my extension lead so that when I get home all’s I need to do is grab the the extension lead run it out the back of my van and into my outside plug. 

Depends what charger you are using you could use something like this Torberry battery lead  

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7 hours ago, Iron Giant said:

Pretty sure I have this battery,  I am using a PowerUp reel and one pump and the battery is discharged by around 50% after each full day so it gets charged every night with my Numax charger.

yep ive got 2 of these batteries (in tandem) and charge them every night..they run a 9kw diesel heater,electric reel and one pump...ive also got a battery to battery charger fiitted...mine are nearly 3 years old and still going strong......

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19 hours ago, Mx19 said:

Thanks all for your advice. It all makes sense and seems I have destroyed the battery, although I've only been using it since February and only a 2 or 3 days a week. Unfortunately I don't have a place to charge the battery as I don't want to charge it in my flat due to the dangers involved and don't have an external power supply to charge in the van. Not really sure what I can do, Maybe it might just have to be a cost I absorb and realise it as a consumable... Although terrible for the environment!! 

Would a larger battery help, or having two in parallel or will I still need to bench charge every day? 

@spruce it is a Numax XV3MF

Thanks again All

Possibly have a large solarpanel on the roof of van, could help in the summer months maybe not so much in winter. 

I have two-electric reels and two pumps on the same battery but I charge every night without fail.

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13 hours ago, Cleanco said:

Can you leave your charger connected to the battery all the time (Not pugged onto the mains)even when not charging? Was wandering if it would damage the battery or charger. The reason I ask is that I like to charge my batteries every night and now I have 2 leasure batteries and a backpack so connecting em all up every night is gettin a bit of a drag. I wanted to leave all the chargers connected up and plugged into my extension lead so that when I get home all’s I need to do is grab the the extension lead run it out the back of my van and into my outside plug. 

Many caravans are equipped with a charger that immediately starts charging when the caravan is connected to 'shore power' (electrical hookup.)

As long as you have an intelligent battery charger that can be left on for days as it goes into float mode, then I see no problem. All you are basically doing to switching the charger on at the plug the extension cable is plugged into rather than on the on off switch on the charger.

My Numax 10 amp charger is suitable for leisure batteries up to 165amp. If both your leisure batteries combined are more than that and you regularly discharge them, then a 20 amp charger is probably better.

 

Edited by spruce
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Thanks again everyone for your input! I've got some things to think about and will come up with a plan! Will definitely be bench charging when I move soon! Guess I better get on to tanya and order a new battery 🤦‍♂️

Cheers

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Just to let you know Halfords do Class B 100 leisure battery with 2 year gtee (not sure it covers windys) for £110. While that's not cheap it's not bad for high street.

If you are looking for batteries NCC Class A is best as it's designed for deeper discharge and more cycles. 

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1 hour ago, ched999uk said:

Just to let you know Halfords do Class B 100 leisure battery with 2 year gtee (not sure it covers windys) for £110. While that's not cheap it's not bad for high street.

If you are looking for batteries NCC Class A is best as it's designed for deeper discharge and more cycles. 

There is something that is really churning over in my head.

We had a poster recently with a leisure battery with 2 electric hose reels and 2 pumps. If those reels were being wound in at the same time, it could be well over 40 amps being drawn from the battery. Leisure batteries just aren't designed for this.

My advice has been to go for a combination leisure and starter battery, but now twin electric reels are becoming more popular.

I'm starting to ask myself if a 110 amp starter battery isn't the way to go. A combo battery running 2 hose reels isn't going to last as long as a standard leisure battery just running 2 pumps. A starter battery works well with high amps output for a short cycle, but will never outlast a leisure battery under normal usage.

The next question involves recharging. If a starter battery is able to deliver a large current in short spurts, won't it also accept a faster charge than a leisure battery? I'm considering trying out a starter battery in place of my leisure battery for a few days and see if I can answer some of my own questions.

I believe that Lithium Ion batteries would be better for us window cleaners as they tolerate a high charge rate and will easily cope with our power needs requirements. However, freezing weather is a charging issue and heat protection could be necessary to protect the alternator during recharging. The other major draw back is the cost.

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38 minutes ago, Mx19 said:

@spruce I'd be intrigued to hear what you find out. Maybe a combination of a starter battery running the hose reels and then a leisure battery for the pumps may be the way to go?

But the only way to link them together in a battery bank would be with a split charge relay. A battery bank should only be made up with batteries on the same variant and amp rating.

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