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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 06:55 AM
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Illinois
Posts: 3,378
@303British: Latebird, I got to ask
"I take the battery out of the refrigerator,"
Do you know something about battery storage that I dont?
I store mine in the basement on a block of wood-not on the bare concrete floor as far away from the furnace and pilot lights as possible.
Interesting note-I had a gas monitor in the basement on the charger near the battery and when I turned it on the H2S alarm went off???? The battery off gassing I gues.

Here's what I have been told or instructed about lead acid batteries:

First - a myth dispelled - in 2003 I spoke to Yuasa representatives at the Dealer Expo - I received this email shortly after the Expo:


********@yuasainc.com>

Thu 2/20/2003 4:23 AM

Dear Steve,

Thank you for stopping by the Yuasa booth at the 2003 Dealer Expo.

It is my understanding that you were looking for information on keeping your "battery off the floor". I have copied some information regarding your question that is on our website. I hope this clarifies any misunderstanding that you may have had regarding keeping batteries on the ground or concrete. If we can be of further assistance please feel free to contact us.

Your question: I was told by some old timers that if you leave a battery on the ground or a concrete floor it will ruin the battery. Is this true?

Our answer: That is something a lot of "old timers" say. The reason they say that is in the "olden days" vehicle starting batteries used to be made with a hard rubber container. This hard rubber would eventually get mini cracks and become porous. So, when placing a battery on the ground or concrete, the battery would discharge through the ground or wet concrete. Nowadays, containers are made from a solid plastic that does not allow any current to flow through it, so the batteries do not discharge, even if they sit in a few inches of water. That is why you will not find your battery having trouble from sitting on the ground or concrete.

Kathleen
Yuasa Battery, Inc.

Now you know that storing a battery on concrete will not harm it.

Second - this information is gleaned from various battery manufacturer's literature:

Although time is eventually the enemy of most batteries, there are a couple tricks you can use to extend the shelf life of your batteries. The first (and simplest) method you can try is to store your batteries at a cool temperature. By storing your batteries at 50 degrees Fahrenheit or less, you can slow the aging process. Batteries discharge at a slower rate when cold (hence harder starting in cold weather). Storing a battery in a refrigerator (most are set at about 45 degrees F) will extend it's life, but it still needs to be charged about every 30 days. Two big enemies of batteries is extreme cold and high heat. Batteries perform best and last longest when their temperature is stable. Sometimes it's just not practical or possible to maintain a stable environment for the battery.

Another way to extend battery shelf life is to use a battery maintainer to keep the power level as consistent as possible.

If properly stored and maintained, most sealed lead acid batteries can sit on a shelf for about three years and should be expected to perform adequately for about another three years after they’re put into use.

A battery only requires a little monthly maintenance to perform perfectly. Keep the battery charged to 100%, the battery hasn’t been used in more than two weeks.

Follow this simple battery storage check list once a month:

Conventional Batteries left in vehicle:
Check a minimum of once per month
Check electrolyte level (refill ONLY with distilled water)
Keep top of battery clean
Check cables, clamps, and case for obvious damage or loose connections
Clean terminals and connectors as necessary
Make sure the exhaust tube is free of kinks and clogs
Replace caps firmly (finger-tight only)
Recharge battery if voltage is below 12.48V or if the starter turns slower than usual when starting the engine
It is normal for the fluid levels to drop periodically during normal use, so it is CRITICAL that electrolyte level is checked regularly and topped off to the upper level line with distilled water.
Low electrolyte levels can result in permanent damage to the battery

AGM Batteries left in vehicle:
Check voltage every 3 months (or more frequently if stored at higher temperatures as high temperatures cause higher self-discharge rates)
Keep top of battery clean
Check cables, clamps, and case for obvious damage or loose connections
Clean terminals and connectors as necessary
Recharge battery if voltage is below 12.4V.
Once activated, the battery is permanently sealed and must never be opened. There is no need to add water to AGM batteries. Adding water to AGM batteries will result in irreparable damage to the battery or the vehicle.

What is the normal charge rate for a motorcycle or ATV battery?
Naturally, batteries of different capacities require different charge rates. Generally, a battery should be charged at a slow charge rate of 1/10 its given 10 hr. capacity (not to be confused with CCA). Generally a charge rate of 1.25 amps or less is preferred. For certain batteries a maximum 750 milliamp (3/4 amp) charge is required. Charging at a lower rate will never harm the battery, it just takes longer.

While the maintainer manufacturers claim you can leave their product connected indefinitely, it is not recommended. A true maintainer has an initial charge rate of no more than 1.25 amps - when the battery reaches 80% the charge rate is reduced to about 1/4 amp - when the battery is fully charged, the maintainer will shut down to 1/10 amp - if battery voltage falls, the true maintainer will turn back on and repeat the charge cycle. Now a continuous 1/10 amp charge can, over a long period, damage a motorcycle or ATV battery. I circumvent this problem by plugging the maintainer into a timer. The timer turns the maintainer on for 4 hours each day. I periodically check the battery to assure it is reaching a full charge before the timer turns off.

Some people incorrectly refer to a 'TRICKLE CHARGER" as a 'TENDER'. A trickle charger may charge at 3/4 to 2 amps continuously. Trickle chargers will damage the battery if left unattended and connected. Again, an outlet timer will aid in keeping the battery charged without damage.

Third - can a battery continue to charge after the charger is disconnected?

Short answer is yes - long answer is the battery can continue to charge, increase it's charge rate and possibly result in the battery burning up or exploding.

Thermal runaway is the rapid uncontrolled increase in temperature, when the rate of internal heat generation exceeds the rate at which the heat can be expelled. The cells in a battery pack are generally close to one another, and if thermal runaway is not detected, damage to the battery as well as nearby objects may occur. Thermal runaway in one cell can start a chain reaction that spreads to surrounding cells increasing damage.

Thermal runaway occurs most frequently in valve regulated lead acid batteries, but it can also happen in VLA batteries. Thermal runaway is not a “sudden occurrence” as it may seem. There are a few warning signs which include an increase in cell temperature and an increase in charge current.

Over-temperature in a storage battery is a potentially serious condition. Operating the battery in higher temperatures than specified can seriously shorten its life. Every 10C above 25C reduces the service life of the battery by 50%. To compensate and minimize the risk, the charging voltage and current must be properly limited.

Thermal runaway can also be caused by either a fault condition within the battery such as a ground fault or localized heating, such as sunlight, on a portion of the battery, of which can lead to higher current draw.

Fourth - safety

Any device that stores energy can be dangerous. There is a lot of explosive power in a gallon of gasoline, but when handled with some knowledge its use can be made relatively safe. Batteries are no different in that with the proper precautions and safety practices, they can be handled in a safe manner. Working with batteries poses two hazards: potentially explosive gases that are given off during discharging and charging, and sulfuric acid, which is highly corrosive. The following safety recommendations should be followed:

No smoking, sparks (from static electricity or other sources) or open flames around or near batteries
Batteries can produce hydrogen gas that is highly flammable when combined with oxygen; if these gases ignite the battery case can rupture or explode. If a battery feels hot to the touch during charging, stop charging and allow it to cool before resuming. Excessive heat damages the plates, and a battery case that’s too hot during charging can rupture

I presume the battery you were charging was a conventional vented battery? A sealed AGM battery would not have set off the detector.

Finally - can a motorcycle or ATV battery be charged with a car battery and is there any danger?

Yes - a larger battery can be used to charge a smaller battery.

When a large capacity battery of the same voltage is connected in parallel (pos to pos / neg to neg) to a smaller battery, the two batteries will try to stabilize each other at the same voltage. If the ATV battery is discharged to let's say 9 volts and is connected to a fully charged car battery, the car battery will try to increase the ATV battery voltage to the same voltage as the car battery and the ATV battery will try to discharge the car battery to it's voltage. The larger battery will discharge less than the ATV battery will charge, however there is no regulation of the current and thermal runaway may occur if not monitored or limited in the time of connection. It's kinda like comparing a 5 gallon bucket to a drinking glass. If the bucket is full, you can fill the glass from the bucket and the bucket can still be considered full. You can fill the bucket with the glass, but the glass has to be refilled (recharged) many times from a larger supply. If the glass is being filled by tipping the bucket to fill the glass, the glass will overflow until the bucket is empty or at the least has the same amount of water as the glass has in it.

When I studied electricity, the instructors would compare electricity to water. Voltage is pressure and amperage is flow.

Lately I have a preference for lithium batteries. They are lighter, won't leak, can be used in any position, have higher output, are less affected by cold and heat and generally last longer than lead acid batteries, but require a maintainer charger designed for use with lithium batteries.

Sorry for the extended reply. I don't know it all - the people who design, manufacture and dissect batteries know volumes more than me. I'm just sharing what knowledge my little brain can retain. If this does not answer all your questions, just ask me - I will be glad to share that which I have been taught and or experienced.

2006 Trailboss 330
2002 Sportsman 90
2005 TRX400EX (FOR SALE)
2003 LT-Z400 (needs engine work & is for sale)
2004 CRF250X
1971 Triumph 650 Bonneville (has 5 original miles)
1972 Triumph 650 Bonneville (undergoing restoration)
1979 Honda CBX (6 cylinder)
1970 Kawasaki G3SS 90cc Bushmaster
1976 Suzuki RE5 Rotary (not running & FOR SALE)
1981 Kawasaki KZ305-A
1981 Suzuki GS450T (undergoing repair & will be for sale when done)
1982 Kawasaki KZ750-H (FOR SALE)
1989 Honda VT1100C
2007 Vectrix VCTX Electric Scooter
1965 Montgomery Ward 3 1/2 HP Tecumseh Mini Bike
1970 Triumph T25 250cc Trailblazer
1968 Triumph 250cc Flat Tracker

Shop Owner and Mechanic with over 50 years experience

Last edited by latebird; 02-14-2019 at 06:58 AM.
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