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dhoadley

Battery Winter storage

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dhoadley

I've had motorcycles much longer than I've had garden tractors. For years I would get about a year and a half out of a small motorcycle battery; they would just be weak after a long, cold, New England winter. But they were cheap and that's just how it was. Then they started getting more expensive and I started looking for an answer; how to lengthen their useful life. That was just about when smart "battery tenders" were coming out.

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They don't just trickle charge, but bring a battery up to full charge and then add a charge only when needed. I now get 4 or 5 or even more years from a motorcycle battery. So this year I decided to do the same with my garden tractor batteries. I took inventory and found I had 6 good batteries and one dead-as-a-doornail battery. So I've daisy chained them up to be tended by one charger.

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I heard somewhere that a battery left on a concrete floor will "leak" juice, so I have them all sitting on scrap wood. I'll let you know how it went in the spring.

Edited by dhoadley
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Snojetter
14 hours ago, dhoadley said:

I heard somewhere that a battery left on a concrete floor will "leak" juice, so I have them all sitting on scrap wood. I'll let you know how it went in the spring.

I've heard the same thing that it's bad to put batteries on concrete...but then I've also heard that's an old wive's tale.  I put 'em on scrap wood, too just to be safe.  Anyone know the truth behind that?

Rather than bank all my batteries, I purchased multiple tenders/trickle chargers and leave the batteries in the tractor.  So far so good.  My truck is on a trickle charger, too since it's not driven often.

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PhanDad
15 hours ago, dhoadley said:

I heard somewhere that a battery left on a concrete floor will "leak" juice, so I have them all sitting on scrap wood.

 

48 minutes ago, Snojetter said:

I've heard the same thing that it's bad to put batteries on concrete...but then I've also heard that's an old wive's tale.  I put 'em on scrap wood, too just to be safe.  Anyone know the truth behind that?

My Dad told me the same thing back in the 50's - So all my batteries also sit on scrap wood.

Based on some Googling, I'd say at one time it was true but not anymore.  Best explanation I found:

A moist concrete floor combined with the carbon in the battery cases could create electrical current between the cells, discharging them. None of this is a problem with modern batteries  safe in their hard plastic shells. 

 

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B-16_IC

That's what I have read from several sources as well, it was a problem for the early car batteries, not so with modern ones. Old habits die hard I guess. Kinda like pumping the brakes on ice when you have abs. 

I have thought about the solar tenders that hf sells, just need to be near a window. A little trickle occasionally should be enough to keep things stirred. 

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MikeES
7 hours ago, PhanDad said:

A moist concrete floor combined with the carbon in the battery cases could create electrical current between the cells, discharging them. None of this is a problem with modern batteries  safe in their hard plastic shells. 

True if your battery case is clean.  If you have any dirt/dust will hold moisture and create a path to ground or a path from post to post. 

I took a couple of batteries out of tractors that I store for the winter, cleaned them up and put them under my miter saw on plastic wood in the shop.  The other day I was cleaning up and notice a nice dark brown, wet sawdust on the top of one of the batteries from post to post.  The sawdust toward the edges was nice and dry and light colored.   I figured I had a trickle from post to post, I cleaned it up and moved the battery to another location.

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Kenh

When I was in the power sports industry Yuasa had some information out that it is better NOT to leave a battery on a tender.  Better is to charge normally once a week or so.  The higher current tends to reduce sulfation better than a slow constant charge.

 

Ken

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MikeES

Battery Tender type chargers are the best thing.  I have 3 and now my batteries last 3 times longer.! They are also great for reviving a poor or dead battery.

I agree that a trickle charger sitting on a battery for weeks is not good for the battery.

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deebig
On 11/20/2018 at 12:31 PM, B-16_IC said:

 I have thought about the solar tenders that hf sells, just need to be near a window. A little trickle occasionally should be enough to keep things stirred. 

For $15 those work great. Had one on shed roof for several years to keep tractor charged. I have paralleled  2 more and wired them to a cheap solar controller to maintain tractor battery plus an extra battery that is wired to an inverter for lights in shed.

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