School me on battery charging

Joined
Sep 29, 2004
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2,196
Location
Houston, the lower bowel of TX
I've been dealing with some charging issues on my 62...new alternator on order. Until I get the alt swapped I have to keep my battery charged with a plug in.

Suffice it to say I am NOT very electrically learned. My new "smart" battery charger has a 2 amp, 10 amp, and 25 amp charging selector switch.

So what amp level is the best way to charge a battery? What is the difference in charges between the different amp rates?

Help a simpleton out.
 

Spook50

Skål
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Feb 16, 2005
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Spokane, WA
Another vote for 2 amp. Best for the longevity of the battery. I've run my Exide Orbital dead on two occasions (my own dumb ass fault) and both times just charged it overnight on 2 amp. It's 8 years old now and in the wife's Celica, but works just like new still.
 

rover67

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Sep 5, 2006
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1,380
Location
Boulder, Co
so why not just fry the sucker?

I mean, I have always just stuck batteries on the biggest baddest chargers I can find. Like if it buzzes loud it's cookin' good type thing.

one I have had for 10 years treating it like that. I have been able to revive on a few occasions on low amperage though

I'm not saying it's the way, just curious why the low current method is better, always looking to learn and it looks as though that's the way.
 

ntsqd

technerd
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Apr 26, 2007
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6,178
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Upper So. CA
High current = high temperature, which can boil the electrolyte and that is bad. The Optima guy told us when we put 26 yellow tops in our EV project car that if we hear or see them venting that we're hurting them and to back way off on charge current. I would assume that this is varyingly true for all lead-acid chemistry batteries. No idea about other chemistries like Ni-Cd or Li-Ion.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2005
Messages
1,465
Location
colorado
Do your self a favor, check the outside of the battery case for swealing. If it is bowed outward, it has been overcharged in the past and needs replaced.

Check to make sure there is no dirt and contamination between battery post. That can cause a voltage drain if there is a small amount of current passing between post.

Once its charged, find some one a shop, to put a battery load tester on it for 10 seconds. If the voltage drops below 10 volts and keeps dropping, the battery needs to be replaced.

Output on the alternator should be close to or a little over 14 volts when under a electrical load.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
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El Segundo or Gardnerville!!!
I'm a firm believer in the "Smart Chargers" for any battery. These have 3 modes in the charge cycle, bulk, absorption and float and turn off automatically when full charge is reached.

I have the 40 amp models wired permanently in my motor home and boat. I also have a portable 20 amp model for charging vehicles. The 40 amp model controls up to 3 banks, the 20 is good for 2 banks. But both are designed to come on automatically every 20 days, sample the batteries, charge as needed and turn off and will not over charge the battery.

My batteries in the boat and motor home are used a lot to power heavy loads for long periods and the batteries last for years. In the motor home, I have 2 banks of 6 volts, L16's and 220's, these have lasted over 7 years. The starting battery is now almost 10 years old and works perfectly.

I use the Zantrex, but there are other companies also.

These chargers work.

Doug
 

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