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Topping Off Batteries?

12V and 120V System Q&A

Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby JQSpree on Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:05 pm

I know this probably isn't the right place to post this and I have not done search, but.........We are taking off in the morning and I waited too long to ask the question I was pondering this week. When topping off the batteries with distilled water, does everything have to be disconnected? Unhook the batteries or just unplug the shore power? I think they are not down far but since I am charging all night and will be on converter for next 4 days, I wanted to check before I leave. But don't want to unhook everything if not necessary.

Skip you out there? Thanks
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Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby JQSpree on Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:19 pm

I know this probably isn't the right place to post this and I have not done search, but.........We are taking off in the morning and I waited too long to ask the question I was pondering this week. When topping off the batteries with distilled water, does everything have to be disconnected? Unhook the batteries or just unplug the shore power? I think they are not down far but since I am charging all night and will be on converter for next 4 days, I wanted to check before I leave. But don't want to unhook everything if not necessary.

Skip you out there? Thanks
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby skipnchar on Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:25 pm

Actually the answer is "none of the above" is necessary. You can add water any time without doing anything at all. If you are adding JUST before setting out for heavy use of the batteries, just make sure you charge long enough to top them up again. Overnight should be just fine. Some manufacturers recommend charging batteries FIRST then topping them off with water but I've found that this actually leaves them slightly discharged when you leave. I think the theory is that is they're filled too much prior to charging they may boil some water out. In any case, the main thing is that they never allow the plates to be exposed.

I'll probably go ahead and move this topic to "Electrical" forum (just because I need the practice) but it'll probably get fairly good response either place :D Skip
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby JQSpree on Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:29 pm

Skip, are you saying you don't have to unplug shore power either? Ok, thanks. I don't need much in them but thought I would top off before leaving. Thanks again for quick response. Now I have to mow lawns because you are too fast!!!!!
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby skipnchar on Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:35 pm

No need to unplug but it is ALWAYS a good idea to wear eye protection when working around batteries in ANY manner. Sulphuric acid in the eye can make for a very bad day. Good luck / Skip
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby Limey on Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:46 pm

I've never disconnected etc. I just take the covers off, look to see if they need water and add it if required. I've never disconnected a car battery to top up and I see no reason to do it with my trailer, even if the converter is trickling a charge while I am doing it - no big deal, IMHO. :)
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby Limey on Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:51 pm

Skip - my reply got deleted when you moved the topic! I always knew that I posted in the Twilight Zone :)

On edit: I think we found a new feature - I was posting as you moved the topic - the original topic with my reply is still there!
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby ponyboy1995 on Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:37 pm

Limey wrote:I've never disconnected etc. I just take the covers off, look to see if they need water and add it if required. I've never disconnected a car battery to top up and I see no reason to do it with my trailer, even if the converter is trickling a charge while I am doing it - no big deal, IMHO. :)



I agree. I've never disconnected either. I haven't had any issues.

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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby chevman on Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:49 pm

Not to brag but no more topping off the 4 batteries for me. Just installed maintence free batteries. Group 27 12 volt.
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby JQSpree on Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:12 pm

Thanks all, I will do now. I only posted the topic once so not sure how I ended up with two???

I had a Goldwing which needed some welding on the kickstand and the young guy doing it forgot about the breathing tube that runs down near the kickstand. I don't think I iver got all that acid off the motorcycle pieces!!!
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby The Wood Tinker on Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:12 pm

chevman wrote:Not to brag but no more topping off the 4 batteries for me. Just installed maintence free batteries. Group 27 12 volt.
chevman


I was thinking about those. When mine need replacing I may go that way. Keep us posted on how they work out Joe.
8-)


I never disconnect when I put water in either, don't see a reason too.
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby skipnchar on Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:25 pm

Yeah it looks like I didn't do it correctly. I intended to leave a shadow topic when I moved it but it looks like I just split it instead. My answers do not appear in the moved thread either :oops: Sorry
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby milzat on Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:29 pm

Add water to your battery after it has been fully charged.


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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:04 pm

Topics merged back together and moved to the electrical forum.
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby LA_Bolt_Fan on Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:55 pm

How far from the top of the hole should the water level be, to the bottom of the plastic (about 1 inch)??
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby wintek on Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:46 am

chevman wrote:Not to brag but no more topping off the 4 batteries for me. Just installed maintence free batteries. Group 27 12 volt.
chevman


Are these the AGM type? Otherwise the wet flooded cells maintence free batteries are just like the ones with the removal caps without the caps. You just have to be more carefull not to overchage as you cannot add water.
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby cwit on Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:49 pm

You can top off batterys without disconnecting anything but please feel the battery for warmth first. If your system is overcharging the battery will get warm to the touch and when you take off the caps the acid may erupt from battery. never put your face over the top of the battery. :o
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby JQSpree on Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:29 pm

Well, I followed Skip's advice and topped off the batteries before we left. It took about 8 oz of distilled water to fill to where I think they should be near bottem of hole. Seemed to be ok, charged all night and had hookups all 3 days at cg. Thanks for help.
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Re: Topping Off Batteries?

Unread postby chevman on Mon May 05, 2008 1:55 am

wintek wrote:
chevman wrote:Not to brag but no more topping off the 4 batteries for me. Just installed maintence free batteries. Group 27 12 volt.
chevman


Are these the AGM type? Otherwise the wet flooded cells maintence free batteries are just like the ones with the removal caps without the caps. You just have to be more carefull not to overchage as you cannot add water.

The new batteries are not AGM or Gel. How can the batteries get over charged if my inverter is working correctly? :)
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