Battery Maintainer - Running Voltage?

LarryBud

Active member

Equipment
L3130
Dec 5, 2020
206
99
28
Cleveland, MO
I have a solar maintainers hooked up the tractor and a pickup. After sitting undisturbed for two weeks, I put a voltmeter on the batteries and the both were in the 14.5 range.

Does this sound about right or am I overcooking the cells? I quick internet search left me unclear. I was sure to buy a maintainer vs a " charger " but who knows what I actually have here.

Thanks
 

William1

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX25D
Jul 28, 2015
959
153
43
Richmond, Virginia
What voltage is it after you disconnect and wait a little while?
When running, my BX25D runs at 14.3 volts, as soon as I switch off, it settles right back down.

Charging is Volts AND Amps, so a float of 14.5 volts and say, 10 Ma is nothing. Put the meter on amps between one of the charger leads and the battery and see what the amp rate is. Set the meter to 10 Amps to start with a fully charged battery.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

LarryBud

Active member

Equipment
L3130
Dec 5, 2020
206
99
28
Cleveland, MO
What voltage is it after you disconnect and wait a little while?
When running, my BX25D runs at 14.3 volts, as soon as I switch off, it settles right back down.

Charging is Volts AND Amps, so a float of 14.5 volts and say, 10 Ma is nothing. Put the meter on amps between one of the charger leads and the battery and see what the amp rate is. Set the meter to 10 Amps to start with a fully charged battery.
Thanks,

I'll have to return to execute the above assignment. I appreciate the insight.
 

TheOldHokie

Well-known member

Equipment
L3901/LA525, B7200DT/B1630, G2160/RCK60, G2460/RCK60
Apr 6, 2021
3,307
1,579
113
Myersville, MD
windyridgefarm.us
I have a solar maintainers hooked up the tractor and a pickup. After sitting undisturbed for two weeks, I put a voltmeter on the batteries and the both were in the 14.5 range.

Does this sound about right or am I overcooking the cells? I quick internet search left me unclear. I was sure to buy a maintainer vs a " charger " but who knows what I actually have here.

Thanks
A 12V automotive battery has six 2.1V cells in series. When fully charged the no load voltage should be very close to 12.6V. Your battery is topped up and the maintainer is doing its job.

Dan
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

hagrid

Well-known member

Equipment
K1600GTL, ZX-14R
Jun 11, 2018
501
430
63
Pittsburgh
I have a solar maintainers hooked up the tractor and a pickup. After sitting undisturbed for two weeks, I put a voltmeter on the batteries and the both were in the 14.5 range.

Does this sound about right or am I overcooking the cells? I quick internet search left me unclear. I was sure to buy a maintainer vs a " charger "
14.5V is OK... until your weakest/hard sulfated cell reaches saturation. After that, if your maintainer doesnt dial back to a float voltage you'll be driving grid corrosion of the positive plates of the saturated cell.

I'd try to find some documentation regarding the charging profile of your maintainer. Then you can accurately reconcile the voltage readings you've been collecting.
 

shelkol

Active member

Equipment
bx-2200, Woods BH6000 backhoe, Tach-N-Go quick attach bucket, snow blower
Nov 12, 2015
150
103
43
Westford, Massachusetts
shelkol.com
Check the electrolyte level and see if you are boiling it off. It does sound too high for me. I like to float them at 13.2 after fully charged
 

GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
5,684
2,023
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
re: I put a voltmeter on the batteries and the both were in the 14.5 range.

1st, have you ever tested your DVM against a known, accurate DVM or measured a 'known,stable voltage ? It's possible your DVM isn't reading the real voltage. A reading of 14.5 means 'somewhere between 14.4 to 14.6'. ALL DVMs, all digital meters, are ALWAYS +-1 last digit..nature of the beasts.

2nd, did you test AFTER putting an 1157 lamp on the battery for 5 minutes ? If not, you'll always read 'high', as there's a 'surface charge'. You need to put a 'load' on the battery to drain away these extra electrons'. Depending on the battery you'll need a certain load for acertain amount of time.

3rd, what type of battery ? There's at least 5 different ones on the market, each requires a specific method of charging(volts vs amps vs time ), good 'maintainers' will have 3 'stages' to charge the battery, better ones will have 4 or 5, including a 'desulpurator' stage( the 1st one..). They also will do a 'load test' to ensure battery is up to snuff. My 'old school, SCR based' charger has 3 'types', manual, regular battery, maintenance free, basic desulp and auto shutoff.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

LarryBud

Active member

Equipment
L3130
Dec 5, 2020
206
99
28
Cleveland, MO
Thanks for the feedback and info Folks.

This is much more complicated than I had thought. I have some work to do to figure out what we have going on.
 

Orange man hero

Active member

Equipment
LX2610HSD
Mar 12, 2021
253
28
28
Wasilla, Alaska
I would not over worry this. I have been charging batts in the far North for 45 years now. Seldom any problems. Recently I thought I was plugging in the trickle charger 2 weeks ago and instead plugged in the block heater. Just discovered that today. Up here some keep the block heaters in all the time. I think it is a big waste of electricity and use a timer. Hated to see 2 weeks of juice down the drain at -20 below.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Orange man hero

Active member

Equipment
LX2610HSD
Mar 12, 2021
253
28
28
Wasilla, Alaska
I would not over worry this. I have been charging batts in the far North for 45 years now. Seldom any problems. Recently I thought I was plugging in the trickle charger 2 weeks ago and instead plugged in the block heater. Just discovered that today. Up here some keep the block heaters in all the time. I think it is a big waste of electricity and use a timer. Hated to see 2 weeks of juice down the drain at -20 below.
I just trickle charged this battery because it came with my new tractor this spring. A fully charged battery will stay that way or at least start an engine after being outside for a mighty long time.
 

GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
5,684
2,023
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
A 'trickle' charge ,will, over enough time, 'boil away' the electrolyte out of the battery. How long it takes depends on several factors( temperature,charge rate,volume of acide, etc.) but it will happen.
A 'maintainer' or 'SCR based' charger will shut off and disconnect when a full charge is achieved.
 

Hkb82

Member

Equipment
M7060, Ford 5600, can-am defender
Nov 17, 2021
90
78
18
40
Bruce peninsula
I think it is a big waste of electricity and use a timer.
I use timers also for block heater and trickle chargers when I’m using them. I’ll have the timer set to be on for a couple hours a day Never had any issues with batteries when storing like this. For some strange reason my fishing boat requires me to have 4 huge marine batts (gotta quit buying toys) so I really don’t want to prematurely kill a battery.
 

Orange man hero

Active member

Equipment
LX2610HSD
Mar 12, 2021
253
28
28
Wasilla, Alaska
A 'trickle' charge ,will, over enough time, 'boil away' the electrolyte out of the battery. How long it takes depends on several factors( temperature,charge rate,volume of acide, etc.) but it will happen.
A 'maintainer' or 'SCR based' charger will shut off and disconnect when a full charge is achieved.
But a lot of the newer electronic ones say they will not do that???
 

GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
5,684
2,023
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
One of those have to read the manual, historically though a trickle charger ALWAYS fed some power(current, electrons,..) into the battery while attached to it, whether the battery was fully charged, real low, or in between.
Of course, over time, the definition or use of words has changed or been altered....sigh.
 

Downeaster

Member

Equipment
Kubota BX1880, loader, mower deck, and ballast
Oct 18, 2022
42
13
8
Waterford, Maine
I would not over worry this. I have been charging batts in the far North for 45 years now. Seldom any problems. Recently I thought I was plugging in the trickle charger 2 weeks ago and instead plugged in the block heater. Just discovered that today. Up here some keep the block heaters in all the time. I think it is a big waste of electricity and use a timer. Hated to see 2 weeks of juice down the drain at -20 below.
I agree. Having a maintainer or small trickle charger isn't rocket science. I have used them for many years, and just added a port to use a Napa 12v/6ah battery charger/maintainer. I need one on my Polaris Ranger and My Kubota tractor in winter as I have temps as low as -20 and some days below -10 for days. Without a Maintainer or charger they would never start.