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Old 21-05-2011, 06:58   #1
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2 year old AMG Battery Bank Dead, is there a short?

I have- 2 - 255 AH Advanced Gel Technology Battery’s dead-(my house bank) I was wondering if something is shorting out and killed both at the same time-but there was no hot wires- I disconnected everything now and tried charging them , separately one became very hot the other not, they will not come up - I have an Iota charger that charges these at 14.4 and on the Battery’s lable it says 13.6-13.8- also my Bal- mar charges them at 14.5 would this kill it?-I was told by the folks I bought it from that it would be ok- Now these are junk so im looking for new ones,if it was a short how to find it before I kill the new batterys? Any thoughts or advice would be welcome
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Old 21-05-2011, 07:23   #2
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Re: 2 year old AMG Battery Bank Dead, is there a short?

I charge my lifelines agm at 14.4 v and after 5 year no problems
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Old 21-05-2011, 07:54   #3
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Re: 2 year old AMG Battery Bank Dead, is there a short?

Ouch!

Thats an expensive problem. Hope it works out for you.
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Old 21-05-2011, 09:15   #4
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Re: 2 year old AMG Battery Bank Dead, is there a short?

The voltages you quote should not have caused such a short life.

Two years is a terrible life. There are really onlt 3 possibilities
1. The batteries were of very poor quality.
2. You treated them very poorly
3. There is something wrong with your electrical system

The later option needs to be investigated The simplest step is to install a battery monitoring device counting the Amp hours in and out, maximum and minimum voltages. Unfortunately your existing batteries are dead (and not safe) and this needs to be done with new batteries, but watch them closely. Replacing batteries every 2 years is expensive.
What are the charging voltages, how low does the voltage get during use? What does the voltage read when you have not used the boat for a while?
If you now how to use a multimeter measure the drain with everything off.

I am Greece (Lesvos) at the moment. If you are close say hello and I will come around with my trusty multimeter.
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Old 21-05-2011, 12:15   #5
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Re: 2 year old AMG Battery Bank Dead, is there a short?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram View Post
I have- 2 - 255 AH Advanced Gel Technology Battery’s dead-(my house bank) I was wondering if something is shorting out and killed both at the same time-but there was no hot wires- I disconnected everything now and tried charging them , separately one became very hot the other not, they will not come up - I have an Iota charger that charges these at 14.4 and on the Battery’s lable it says 13.6-13.8- also my Bal- mar charges them at 14.5 would this kill it?-I was told by the folks I bought it from that it would be ok- Now these are junk so im looking for new ones,if it was a short how to find it before I kill the new batterys? Any thoughts or advice would be welcome
So, Ram, are these batteries AGM or Gel? The name you quote suggests that they are really gel-cells, and that type of battery usually requires charging at less than circa 14.1 volts (varies between manufacturers). And yes, for gel batteries, charging at the voltages that you mention using WILL kill them.

As to advice -- pay attention to what the manufacturer says, not the dolt in the retail shop.

Cheers,
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Old 21-05-2011, 12:39   #6
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Re: 2 year old AMG Battery Bank Dead, is there a short?

Jim is right: the higher voltages will kill gel batteries.

However, the first thing to determine -- especially with the new batteries -- is exactly which type they really are.

There are several general and very familiar types of lead-acid batteries, e.g., flooded, gelled, and AGM. There are several less familiar types (and yours may be one of these), e.g., Advanced (hybrid) Gels, Spirals, TPPLs, etc. While these are all lead-acid batteries, their chemistry, materials, and construction are different.

The type of battery is extremely important to know, because the Iota IQ-4 charging voltages are fixed, as is your alternator unless you change it. They are generally appropriate for FLOODED lead-acid batteries. AGM batteries have a charging profile very close to flooded batteries, so you can use the same charging voltages without fear.

Gelled batteries, however, are much more sensitive to high charging voltages, and must be treated differently.

FWIW, the inventor of "Advanced (hybrid) Gels" says that their battery chemistry is identical to AGMs, so they can be charged as if they were AGMs.

The hot battery you found is a good indication of an internal short. You should toss it. The other is likely to be compromised, too.

When you put in the new batteries, just be absolutely certain that the connections are clean and tight, and monitor the batteries closely for the first few weeks.

What service life should you expect on a cruising boat? IF you take really good care of them, you should get, very approximately:

3-5 years for the cheaper flooded batteries (Cosco, Walmart, etc.)
5-7 years for the better flooded batteries (like the Trojan T-105)
8-15 years for the premium flooded batteries (like the Rolls/Surette)

Less than the flooded battery life for AGMs (fewer cycles, shorter life).

7-15 years for gelled batteries.

Spirals and TPPLs....who knows? Probably 4-7 years.

JMO,

Bill
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Old 21-05-2011, 12:59   #7
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Re: 2 year old AMG Battery Bank Dead, is there a short?

I feel your pain! If they were gels, you were overcharging them, and that will kill them. When my gels died in Greece, I found out that replacements were hard to find and priced like platinum, so I bought cheap flooded replacements in Athens, and used them for a couple of years until I found reasonably priced gels until Gibraltar.
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Old 21-05-2011, 13:15   #8
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Re: 2 year old AMG Battery Bank Dead, is there a short?

...and pay attention to the battery box temperature. The recommended voltages change significantly. Here in the steaming equatorial region all the voltage values are significantly lower than the values people are used to bantering about.
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