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Discussion in 'The Garage' started by indr, Oct 14, 2012.
Could be toast but I'd have it load tested first. Most places that sell batteries can test it for you for free. If it severely discharges under load and doesn't recover quickly, it's toast.
What kind of battery is this?.
Leaving a battery alone for 6 months could easily result in it being toast, especially if it wasn't fully topped off before sitting. I try to top off my batteries every couple weeks at a minimum.
Careful using a freshly charged battery to test a starter, doesn't take much of a spark to blow up a freshly charged L/A.Lesson learned a very long time ago.
:huh 14.4V for fully charged?
12.9V is fully charged. Anything over that means the battery is being actively charged at a high rate.
Possible just after unplugging the charger.For a few minutes anyway....! Supposed to let them sit for quite a while, as in overnight to let the charge equalize then take a reading.Or put a load on it and wait for the bounce back. Then check against the charge tables for that type of battery, whatever it is.The last is for the ones who like to measure Voltages at 2 decimals.
All out there somewhere. May even be in the C-Tek litterature/owner's manual. Most of it is there:
You are taking the "word" of a charger, without actually trying the battery?
Are you sure this charger is working properly? You're assuming it is, and it might not be. "Rest" the battery as suggested above and check the voltage with a digital volt meter (Harbor Freight gives them away). If it reads low (<12v) you could try a less fancy charger and see what happens. It couldn't hurt.
Really need to know what kind of battery it is (AGM, flooded wet cell). If it is a wet cell, is the electrolyte level correct?
A wet cell battery can be tested with a hydrometer (even the cheap "count the floating balls" version) and that will tell you the state of charge or if you have a weak or dead cell.
With AGM, you can't use a hydrometer, and some form of load testing would need to be done. (Load testing a wet cell is great entertainment, watching the bad cell fizz). Not that I'm their salesman, but HF has a 100amp tester for $25. The 500amp for $60 is overkill for bike batteries, but would let you load test bigger (car/boat) batteries as well.
We await more info...
Why don't you just put the battery in the bike and try it? If it works its good. Make sure to check the charge rate in the bike .
Harbor Freight....Eh! we are Canadians. Cheap at Canadian Tire and cheap all right I already returned 2 of them.
Funny thing is I was getting abnormaly high voltages out of a battery, did not make sense for that new Odissey. Hum....went inside and got my other exact same meter. Voltages back to normal.:huh
Low battery in the cheap meter was giving me higher voltages on testing.
Can't trust them cheap tools, got to have 2 of them to doublecheck the readings....
I'm no Thomas Edison, but I've never noticed a difference in the meters - I have a decent but rather low-end Circuitmate and a drawerfull of HF meters I got free with coupons. I'm intrigued (and a little worried). I'll have to do a test on them.
At work they sent some of our people to a troubleshooting class, and they were given some of the saddest tools and meters I'd ever seen - HF meters are like Flukes compared to those things - most of them broke during the class and none lasted more than a few months afterwards.
Every battery charger including the three battery tenders I use take a battery to 14.3 which is considered max voltage. From there its switches back and forth like your seeing. After a charger is unplugged it will come back to 12.6 or 12.8 (which is correct for a 12v battery) sooner than later. the 14.3 is considered what a good charging system will create at full service,below 12.6 after sitting its questionable of its serviceability. Stick a DVM on it while cranking the bike over for several seconds, if it falls below I wanna say 10.5 volts then its pretty much spent.
Buy a Hydrometer and....safety glasses....rubber gloves....and a big box of baking soda. Keep water hose handy and wear your old clothes just in case.
Trust me on the safety part....I use to fill batteries in my youth, nothing to be complacent about those however harmless they may look to some.:eek1
$20.00 meters from CT are more than good enough for what most of us will do with them. Good warranty anyway at CT.... I think they do have a low battery warning, I guess I'll have to read the manual(s) if ever again I get strange readings. Or ride next door and borrow his really good one.
Mind you....I have never counted my meters, I have a few, one permanently with the bike's tools. All good enough for what they are.And one to mount in the dash, very bad things can happen on my bike if attempting to start it with a low battery. Bad as in....very expensive to fix.No letting that "Magic Smoke" escape....:huh
Not much need for them with an Odissey battery altough I have done the tests with the battery left connected untendered for 5-6 weeks. All good....! And much safer to handle.
If, and only if, you go for the cheap(er) CT meter, try the switch in the store, that's what broke on mine twice. One never even worked right out the box, the other one failed early but you can tell if the switch action isn't smooth at first. The other twos.....no problems in 3+ years just have to remember to keep a good battery in there and turn them off after use.
Motors....batteries.....and maybe even meters, nothing should really sit for a long time and yes 6 months is a long time, without some preventive maintenance, much cheaper and lots less aggravating that way.
If you're going to buy a meter for shop use, spend the bucks and get a Fluke. It'll outlast you and possibly your kids. No need to go nuts and get one cal'd to NIST standards unless you're building a nuclear reactor in your garage.
For travel, I picked up an Extech DM110. Its small - about the size of a smartphone, accurate and easy to use.
most likely it's normal.
I have an "intelligent" charger too, manual says once the battery is fully charged it switches to maintenance mode, which is described as light discharging, followed by recharging etc.
this doesn't mean that yours is the same but there's a high probability. as long as it doesn't overcharge or anything, it's most likely ok.
one way to check it is by connecting a multimeter in series and one in parallel and measure current/voltage. normally it should first charge with a constant current equal to rated Ah/10 (for instance if it's 10Ah it should use 1A) or less (mine uses 0.6A since there's no way of knowing the rated Ah) and then switch to constant voltage (current drops exponentially) when a certain voltage is reached. this is the proper way of charging a lead-acid battery. if it's indeed an intelligent charger, chances are it does it this way. what should never happen is to have a voltage across battery higher than ~14.7V. and this figure should be even lower if the charging current is higher than Ah/10.
later edit: looked at the Ctek website, looks like it works just as I described (at the price, it really REALLY should, mine was much cheaper): http://www.ctek.com/Archive/ProductManualPdf/XS 0.8_EN.pdf
I just plugged my intelligent charger on a L/A battery I ahum... forgot to maintain. I should check the log...4-5 months. No worries.
Charged now but alternating on the lights every few minutes. I'll leave it on for a couple days, alternating will still happen but at a much slower rate if I judge from others I have charged with it. But I forget stuff sometimes....getting old sucks, more to remember.
Starting voltage on that ahum...forgotten battery was around 10.35V. Of the top of my head in line with the hydrometer readings I took first and the load test I did with the load tester.Just takes a little time properly assessing a battery with basic tools, can't be too impatient with them most times.
The cheap 5 years old battery in the garden tractor is still "in specs" and so is the battery in the bushcar, 12 years old Diehard but I'll let them sit for a few days and check them again. Someone did a "Courtesy Check" on that Diehard 4-5 years ago and told me it was dying. I respectfully disagreed and did my own things with it,things I will not tell here for safety reasons, still starts the car and runs the winch...!That car is hard to start in the winter after sitting for a few weeks. Need lots of cranking power.
I currently use the Optimate 6 for both my bikes. Batteries are going strong at 5-6 years now.