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Unread 09-17-2016, 02:59 AM   #1
Not Yet Wild
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Default Battery Charger problem

I have a 1997 Club Car with a Power Drive charger and 6x 8volt brand new batteries. The charger isn't turning off fully - on overnight charge it still shows charging at a reduced 5 Amp charge in the morning (initial charge 15 Amp). I just tried this today with a different charger and after 6 hours - same thing, the the charger is showing 5 Amps . So this looks like a problem with the OBC??, The batteries were slightly warm and on checking the water was bubbling very slightly- so my questions are - can this residual charge at 5 Amps damage or 'cook' my batteries- and if so , short of replacing the OBC (not cheap!) can i simply invest in a timer switch that lets electricity charge for say 10-12 hours then switch off. I use the cart 2-3 times most weeks. Any suggestions/comments gratefully appreciated. Thanks Mark from New Zealand
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Unread 09-17-2016, 05:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Battery Charger problem

Brand new batteries may indeed take up to 16 hours to fully charge. The OBC will (should) time out at 16 hours. You may see voltage as high as 65 volts before being worried at all about damage or outgassing...
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Unread 09-17-2016, 09:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Battery Charger problem

Hear this all the time. As suggested, let it run at least 16 hours, new batteries take longer to charge than old batteries. Chances are everything is fine.
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Unread 09-17-2016, 07:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Battery Charger problem

many thanks for the helpful replies. Just thinking back , it was actually 36 hours from the start of my initial charge to the time i discovered the charger was still on and charging at 5 Amps. later experiments with my charger and another charger show that the charge drops back from 15 to 5 Amps after a few hours. I'm beginning to wonder if the OBC has been faulty for a while and not switching off the charge without me noticing and perhaps this was what caused my original batteries to fail. they started using a lot of water (weekly top up needed) and went from holding a full charge to only lasting five holes in a matter of weeks. So hence my thought to find a way to manually switch off the charger(which is located a the golf course) before i do some damage to my new batteries (which are VERY expensive to buy down here)
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Unread 10-15-2016, 01:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Battery Charger problem

Hi there - i've ascertained that my OBC is indeed faulty - the charger starts out at 15 Amps then over a few hours reduces back to 5Amp - but never goes below 5 Amps. Is there a chance I could damage the batteries by overcharging if i put almost fully charged batteries on to charge at 15-5 Amps for say 6 hours. I charged the batteries for four hours last night. immediately after disconnecting the charger the multi-meter reading was 55.5 V . overnight the reading dropped to 52.4V (I have six 8 volt batteries)
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Unread 10-15-2016, 06:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Battery Charger problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by msb_nz View Post
Hi there - i've ascertained that my OBC is indeed faulty - the charger starts out at 15 Amps then over a few hours reduces back to 5Amp - but never goes below 5 Amps. Is there a chance I could damage the batteries by overcharging if i put almost fully charged batteries on to charge at 15-5 Amps for say 6 hours. I charged the batteries for four hours last night. immediately after disconnecting the charger the multi-meter reading was 55.5 V . overnight the reading dropped to 52.4V (I have six 8 volt batteries)
As long as your batteries are not getting HOT to the touch, expect they may be slightly warm though and they are not outgassing heavily. Keep your plates covered in water 1/4" to 3/8" and you're good. Those voltages are high but not TOO high and in fact are a GOOD high...
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Unread 10-15-2016, 08:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Battery Charger problem

If I were you and I didn't want to buy a new charger/OBC here is what I would do. Watch your charger once you plug it up after playing golf. Once it starts charging check it every hour or so. You could even set an alarm on your smart phone for an hour. Once the amps drop down to 5 amps set your alarm for one more hour and when time is up unplug it. After a while you should get a feel for when the charging is done. Of course it you are going to have an adult beverage or go to sleep you can wait until the next day to charge your batteries.
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Unread 10-16-2016, 12:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Battery Charger problem

If the charger just "hangs" at 5 amps,, you need to just test the batteries while still on the charger. Don't unplug it, make sure it has charged a good amount of time, say 10 hours, then take voltage reading while still on the charger, these numbers will give you your answer as to whether or not it is battery, OBC, or charger issue.
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