New battery - Have I activated it wrong?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by lstehbens, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. lstehbens

    lstehbens Adventurer

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    Hi all,

    I'm riding a VTR250 07 model at the moment. The old battery was having trouble starting the bike and I've actually had to roll start it including after buying my new battery yesterday. Just wasn't holding a charge and I assume just a battery problem.

    So I went and bought the correct type of battery (12V 6AH) and got a Katana YTX7L-BS battery. Katana seem to be made by Yuasa. The battery only came with instructions for how to add the electrolyte and it's one of those maintenance free ones once its good to go. It didn't come with any instructions for after filling the battery so I made a minor mistake (I hope it's minor).

    So I've filled it all right but then I've put the plugs (6) in and pushed them down. However after going online to Yuasa I discovered you're supposed to let it sit for an hour ("so it permeates the plates") without the plugs in. So I managed to get it back open and left it sit for an hour and a bit. The plugs were maybe in for 10-20 minutes at a guess. I'm just wondering if this did any damage because I've been charging the battery overnight with the plugs sitting loosely on top, as said to do so by the Yuasa guide. However the battery charger still hasn't going into auto-float mode and its been almost 12 hours now...

    I'm using a CBE battery charger. It's a 3-stage charger but I can't tell what it's putting out. I can't tell if it's a "trickle charger" as referred to in the Yuasa guide, which they recommend you not to use. It says: Input - 240V AC 50Hz ; output 12V DC ; Current max 350mA on the actual charger where you plug it into the wall. There's no settings it just charges and goes into auto-float mode when full.

    Links
    Battery charger details - http://www.kenma.com.au/12v_battery_charger.html
    Yuasa guide - http://www.yuasa.com.au/data/portal/00005500/content/57439001174454818658.pdf
    http://www.yuasa.com.au/data/portal/00005500/content/75505001174454818674.pdf
    Battery link - <cite><cite>http://www.centurybatteries.com.au/search/index.php/batteries/ID-419</cite>
    </cite>
    Could I have damaged the battery by having the plugs in for this 10-20 mins? Or is my battery just taking longer to charge than expected? Apparently it should be at around 80% after filling with electrolyte so why it's not filling yet is a bit of a mystery. Any advice? Have I stuffed the battery? Any advice appreciated. Thanks, Lee.
    #1
  2. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    Hi,

    You can do several things.... many of them will work. :deal

    Information A.
    Some batteries when flat will not be recognised by those 'intelligent' battery charges. They therefore won't charge them. Solution, place the flat battery in parallel with a good battery and let that sit for say an hour, you could even hook up that battery charger to both batteries. By this stage the 'flat' battery should have sufficient charge for the battery charger to recognise it.

    Information B.
    A good battery can be flattened over night by an unexpected discharge. In other words your bike can be flattening your battery ... even if the battery is fully charged to start with. You need to do some measurements to determine this. Measure the current out of the battery into the bike when the bike is switched off. Should be less than say 10 milliamp.

    Information C.
    While you have stated what you have done and with what (all helpful by the way), you have not given us any measurements. What is the battery voltage? When sitting? When connected to your battery charger? What about the 'old' battery - does that still have some voltage?
    #2
  3. lstehbens

    lstehbens Adventurer

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    Problem is I don't have a multimeter or anything to measure the battery with.

    Should I go riding my pushbike to the local shop to get one? I haven't hooked the new battery up to the bike it's just on cardboard on the ground hooked up to the charger. So my bike can't be flattening it....
    #3
  4. opmike

    opmike Choosing to be here.

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    I'm pretty sure using a small amperage trickle charge isn't going to cause any problems, and I'm not sure why Yuasa would advise against it. They will take quite some time to be sure, especially if it's a 1.5 amp model or something. The front of my Yuasa says to expect 5-10 hours of charging at low amperage. You didn't let the electrolyte sit in it for the full hour, but I don't think you ruined it. Back when I was still new to bikes, I filled up a couple of batteries and plopped them immediately on the charger not knowing what the hell I was doing. Still got 5+ years out of them. However, you'll need to get some measurements to confirm.

    Anyone with a modern motorcycle needs to have a digital multimeter in their toolbox. I'd pick up a decent one (try to find one with a diode test function as well) and check out the voltages on the battery. It's the only way you're going to know its charge level and you can use it to diagnose potential electrical issues with your bike and the charging system.

    Also, putting the battery directly on the ground WILL NOT affect it whatsoever unless you're buying batteries made in the 60's.
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  5. strongbad

    strongbad Been here awhile

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    A multimeter and battery hygrometer all always handy to have, but your battery is probably fine. In my experience, it takes about a dozen hours for a charger to fully charge a new battery.
    #5
  6. lstehbens

    lstehbens Adventurer

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    Yeah well I hooked it up around 7.30pm last night and its still going (8.40am now). Definitely hooked up right as I double checked to make sure I hadn't been dumb. So I'll let it keep going with the plugs on loosely and wait for a result? haha.

    I'll check my local supercheap auto store to see what multi-meters they have too so I can give it a test. I can't seem to find any specs to say what amperage this CBE chargers puts out...... is that strange?
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  7. opmike

    opmike Choosing to be here.

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    This was taken from a retailer that sells that CBE charger:

    I don't know what the hell unit "Ma" is supposed to be. Amps is supposed to be a capital A and the capital M would denote "mega" and I'm pretty sure this isn't a 50/750 mega-amp charger unless it was designed for the Enterprise.

    Looks like you're using a 750 mA (milliamp) or .75 A (amp) charger with a .05 amp float mode. Considering my 1.5 amp takes 8+ hours on new batteries, the thing you're using would take a LONG time if at all. Now, a newly filled battery isn't a "completely dead" battery, but your charger may simply not be able to handle it.
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  8. lstehbens

    lstehbens Adventurer

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    In my earlier post I said it said "current max 350mA) - would this suggest it is even less (.35 amp?) than what you say above that and I am wasting my time? The lingo on the charger says it wont charge a flat battery, but then this battery is supposed to be around 80% after you put the electrolyte in, suggesting it should be able to do it?
    #8
  9. Switchblade315

    Switchblade315 Long timer

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    I agree sounds like you have a battery tender type charger. it will probably charge the battery but it might take two days. at this point I'd stick it in the bike and go ride it a few hours tomorrow. i would also invest in a bigger charger for the next time you need it. :lol3
    #9
  10. lstehbens

    lstehbens Adventurer

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    Would something like this be okay? http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/on...-Digital-Standard.aspx?pid=156451#Description

    Says it has diode test function. What do you use that for? $45 seems reasonable.
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  11. opmike

    opmike Choosing to be here.

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    Sorry, I must have looked right past that. No, I don't think 350 mA /.35 A is going to be sufficient at all to get the battery charged in a timely manner. I've been using a 1.5 amp charger/tender on my batteries for years. Gets them charged in about 8 hours and then it switches over to a low amperage "float" mode to keep the charge at a sufficient level.

    The diode test function is used with motorcycles to test the rectifying circuit of a regulator/rectifier. If one is on a its way out, you can use the diode test as part as your troubleshooting in case you run into that issue somewhere down the road. It's good to have and usually don't add much expense to the multimeter. If you're going to have one, might as well have a fully featured unit for your bike. I can't speak to whether than SCA unit is any good or not, never used one.
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  12. lstehbens

    lstehbens Adventurer

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  13. opmike

    opmike Choosing to be here.

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    Well, I can only really recommend what I've used, and the prices in Australia are so high, I'm having a hard time comparison shopping an equivalent to my stuff :rofl

    I've had good luck with Schumacher and Battery Tender Jr. chargers/maintainers/trickle chargers/whatever-the-hell-they're-calling-them-these-days.

    My multimeter is an Extech.
    #13
  14. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I bought one of those fill it yourself batteries once, from Batteries Plus, and they filled and sealed it. I took it home and put it in the bike, and it started up just fine. Then I connected my Battery Tender Jr. to it, and the green light never came on solid, it would flash green is all. The battery lasted a little over a year and failed. I tossed it and got a Westco battery from westcobattery.com, it came already filled and sealed. The green light came on instantly. It's been almost 5 years and the battery is still good.

    There are good batteries and there are cheap batteries, but any battery can be defective. I'd take it back where I got it and let them check it out. If they find a problem they will most likely give you a new one.
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  15. lstehbens

    lstehbens Adventurer

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    How many amp charger should I be looking for?
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  16. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    The reason they mentionto wait and "permeate the plates" is, air bubbles can be trapped, and the seperator plates are porous, so the acid needs time to get in there. CHARGING before this time has passed, can, conceivably be bad for the plates. The vent, isn't so critical. You're fine.
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  17. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I never charge a motorcycle battery at more than 1 amp. You can safely leave it on a 1 amp charger for 24 hours. As someone said, not all batteries work right with those battery maintainers. But if the battery is charged, or has been on the charger long enough, and still won't start the bike, there is a problem. If you can jumpstart the bike, then the battery is bad.
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  18. lstehbens

    lstehbens Adventurer

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    Well I'm going to get that multimeter i linked earlier and a battery charger from the same place 1-4amp adjustable. Ideally I'd like to do the battery at 0.6 amp for 5-10hrs as stated on the battery, but seems I can't find a charger that is adjustable and goes that low.
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  19. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    This sort of things comes up every year. When you replace a battery and put your own electrolyte in, you should always let it sit for about an hour before putting the battery into use or putting it on a charger. That being said, I have often just plugged it into the bike or car and carried on as normal. I seriously doubt that you have done any damage whatsoever to the battery.

    On the other hand, the Battery Tender type chargers really aren't meant to charge a dead battery. They are designed and meant to maintain a battery at or near peak power. They "charge" at such a low amperage (usually around 5ma or 1/2 amp, they are only meant to keep the battery at it's given peak ratings. I have seen a lot of Battery Tenders die early because of being used to try and charge a dead battery. They just work their little butts off and eventually croak.

    I have used a 4 amp charger to bring dead batteries up to charge for years. Mine also kicks down to a low .5 amp when the battery is up to full charge, and will kick on and off as required. If I have to get a battery charged up quickly I bring out the 12 amp charge and only use it on the battery for a maximum of 1 hour at a time.

    You have to remember that when you are charging a battery, the faster you push amps into it, the more heat is created. Heat is a big killer for batteries.
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  20. lstehbens

    lstehbens Adventurer

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    Well I've got my goodies

    Its at 13.01v after all that charging. The Yuasa PDF I linked earlier says 12.8v - 13v fully charged. So am I good? The battery charger (the first one I was using not my new one I just bought) hadn't gone into float mode.

    Or should I let it sit 30mins then test charge again?
    #20