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Old 03-07-2014, 06:19   #1
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Is it time???

I have a situation that I wouldn't mind a little advice: my house bank of batteries seem to be bulging their plastic cases. I have 4- 6 volt golf carts that are just over 6 years old. They still hold charge OK, but the case bulging concerns me. Is it time to replace or eek out another year or two?

The current batteries are "Werker" brand from Batteries Plus (made by Exide) and if I replace them I am thinking either Trojan or Deka but I also don't want to pay through the nose for 'em.

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:32   #2
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Re: Is it time???

From what I've seen a little "bulging" is normal on most batteries. However more starts to become a concern.

Of course a little/normal/more are all very subjective so...

I guess a good question would be are you actively cruising, living on the hook, at the dock? Making a passage soon? If you rely on them daily, and have gotten 6 years that's not bad. How are their temps when charging? What's the worst case scenario if they fail? Will the acid be contained? I suppose it could start a fire but that might be a little far fetched and usually happens when old batteries are trying to be charged.

Just my random thoughts I'm by no means a battery expert or even that knowledgeable compared to many around here.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:15   #3
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Re: Is it time???

Currently, the boat is docked and is continually topped off by a solar array that is controlled by a Morningstar controller. The ambient temps here in Va are getting quite warm. I am planning a two week cruise coming up and I feel that with the solar, the batteries would be fine to keep up with the electrical demand. Just don't know how much of a gamble it would be to keep them. The bulging is both at the sides and at the posts. I would say the deflection is approaching a 1/4" on the sides and maybe 1/8" at the posts. I do have to add water to these about once a month I guess due to the heat/continual charging(float).
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Old 05-07-2014, 19:37   #4
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Re: Is it time???

Bulging and excess water consumption could indicate over charging and might indicate a problem with the morningstar.

When you add water how low is it?

It gets complicated fast but to investigate you'd need to get some expertise in evaluating the battery condition over time by observation.

It is also possible these batteries have lost a significant amount of their capacity and are cycling a lot and the solar system is fine.

I wouldn't toss new batteries at a bad charging system but I also wouldn't go for a 2 week trip with batteries that are at the end of life.
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Old 05-07-2014, 19:48   #5
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Re: Is it time???

Take the bulging ones out and have them checked at a battery shop. Takes them 10 minutes.

Sam's Club and other places have a LOT less expensive 6V batteries than Trojan, who used to be the" 6V to buy but are now way overpriced.

Good luck.
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Old 05-07-2014, 19:51   #6
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Re: Is it time???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Take the bulging ones out and have them checked at a battery shop. Takes them 10 minutes.

.

Forgot about the land of plenty and convenience - great idea.

And if you take them to the mentioned outlet where they can test and you can buy the replacements it's only one trip and they do the recycling...
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Old 05-07-2014, 20:04   #7
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Re: Is it time???

posted to wrong thread... deleted
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:55   #8
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Re: Is it time???

Thanks for the suggestion about getting them checked out at a shop. I have thought about the over-charging possibility and maybe I need to go with a MPPT regulator as well?
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Old 07-07-2014, 16:29   #9
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Yep, it was time :)

Since my last post, I pulled my old batteries and found one to be leaking so I went ahead and replaced my 6 year old batteries with some new ones from Batteries Plus: Duracell Procell Golf Cart GC115, which are re-labeled Deka brand/East-Penn. I went with these because they were about $37 cheaper for each battery compared to the Deka, times 4 batteries, so I saved $148 by going with the off-label. Now I am hoping that the only difference is the labeling and everything else is the same: plate thickness, case etc...... The specs are exactly the same..........
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