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Old 17-03-2009, 10:01   #1
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Equalization Necessary?

I have "maintenance free" (i.e. can't add water) lead acid house batteries. I charge them from shore power, solar and by genset. The manuals for my inverter/charger and solar charger suggest that batteries should be equalized periodically. However, the tech guy at the battery seller (Batterysales.com in Miami) says 12 volt batteries wired in parallel to produce 12 volts do not need to be equalized. He said equalization is only necessary when batteries are wired in series to produce 24 volts (or more) or when individual batteries (as part of a bank) are also used separately. Don't know what the manufacturer would say as they're made in China and didn't come with any info.

So, is equalization necessary/helpful or not?
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Old 17-03-2009, 10:38   #2
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He is badly misinformed! EQ is both helpful AND necessary. Tell him to read up on sulphation.
Yes batteries of all voltages that are lead/acid need eq...problem is that YOUR batteries are sealed and EQ could boil off the internal liquid resevoir which cannot be re-filled.
So...you without any ability to KNOW what the mfr. recommends in terms of voltage and time and/or temperature you are better off not attempting to EQ. My guess is that the store that sells them could supply the mfr. information and that the interent could get you some recommendations from them.
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Old 17-03-2009, 12:27   #3
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With wet cells, yes, equalization is recommended.

HOWEVER. With "maintenance is impossible" sealed batteries, you cannot perform an equalization charge because it will boil off electrolyte which you can't top up to replace.

So for you, equalization will only ruin (boil out) your batteries. Unless they are sealed wet cells (as opposed to sealed gel or AGM batteries) and you can safely unseal them to check and restore the electrolyte.
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Old 17-03-2009, 12:53   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCCatSailor View Post
I have "maintenance free" (i.e. can't add water) lead acid house batteries. I charge them from shore power, solar and by genset. The manuals for my inverter/charger and solar charger suggest that batteries should be equalized periodically. However, the tech guy at the battery seller (Batterysales.com in Miami) says 12 volt batteries wired in parallel to produce 12 volts do not need to be equalized. He said equalization is only necessary when batteries are wired in series to produce 24 volts (or more) or when individual batteries (as part of a bank) are also used separately. Don't know what the manufacturer would say as they're made in China and didn't come with any info.

So, is equalization necessary/helpful or not?

Did you ask if he was the IT tech guy?
I love people who have no clue and are always willing to show it.
To give him some credit, he is partly right, albeit for the wrong reason (as others have already said).
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Old 17-03-2009, 14:28   #5
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Miami...as in Miami, FloriDUH, where they like to sell lots of replacements to the rich boys with expensive toys?

Big marine business, big market, enough churn so you can't just assume the folks in it are talking true to you.
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Old 17-03-2009, 15:20   #6
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Thanks, guys, that's exactly what I was afraid of - the "boiling off" effect.
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