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Unread 01-08-2009, 09:53 PM   #1
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Default Battery overfill/Individual Discharging/Shorter Distance

I received a cart Sunday to work on that needed some battery help. The cart was fitted with a new set of 6 volt interstates last year. When these were installed (not by me) the owner clames the total distance the cart can travel on one charge was reduced dramatically.

Well I brought the cart in and ran the battery down until it would not move. Then disconnected the batteries from each other and charged each one with a 6 volt charger for approximately 90 minutes. I have done this with a few other carts to get a base charge set before I clean all connections, reconnect, then charge as a pack with the auto charger until it shuts off. Its done great with all of the other carts. Anyways the starting charge on each battery was 6.00volts respectively. After 90 minutes at 8 to 10 amps the batteries tested to between 6.20 and 6.30 volts. Ok...so far so good. As I continued charging through the batteries I tested the first batteries again and now they were at only 6.00volts again! WTF? They SEEMED to be discharging themselves. They were not connected so its not a draw from another battery or anything in the cart.

Now, one thing major I noticed wrong is the owner was told to keep the batteries filled with water. The hose water used filled the batteries to the neck. I know how stupid his move was but I am wondering whether this is really something that can effect the batteries. Also he claims the shorter total distance was from the time they were installed so the water doesn't necessarily reduce the charge length.

I am considering whether to suck the water out of the battery at least down to the normal level and try again. I'm scared too much acid will come out with the battery and cause a too low level of acid. I don't really know how the water acid mix works, I just know I only use distilled water and I assume every time I add water I actually dilute the total acidity.

The other alternative (kinda scared of the cost of this route) is to take the batteries to Batteries Plus and have them drain and refill the batteries with acid.

Or is there something else I am missing.
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Unread 01-08-2009, 10:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Battery overfill/Individual Discharging/Shorter Distance

Not a answer to your problems, but this sounds like another reason to buy Trojans.

I've read posts on three forums and it seems like the only batteries to have problem within the first couple of years is non-Trojans !!!!!
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Unread 01-08-2009, 10:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Battery overfill/Individual Discharging/Shorter Distance

Yeah i agree, the worst part is I beleive he paid Trojan prices!!!! He has a habit of cutting a check without shopping around. I thought it was comsumer proven that interstate batteries were second best to Trojans, but I may be remembering wrong.
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Unread 01-08-2009, 10:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Battery overfill/Individual Discharging/Shorter Distance

Are you using a "downloader machine"? In no way am I trying to tell you your business. Hears what we go thru...charge the batteries....take hydrometer readings of each cell....turn on the downloader...once the downloader has stopped (you will have a minute "run time at this point), VERY quickly turn the downloader back on and check each battery for voltage readings (it will tell you if you have a bad battery.."dragging down the run time") . Now check Hydrometer readings again, you may find one battery that is bad or many. My experiance...the cheaper battery you buy...the more problems you will have (Ie:Interstate/Excide/Ect) and I'm starting to worry about Trojan also. I hope this helps in some small way. Later Dave
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Unread 01-09-2009, 12:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Battery overfill/Individual Discharging/Shorter Distance

Dave, I posted here so you could tell me your business. This is the first cart I have worked on outside of family and it is my boss's cart. So at this point I am still very open to learning from the more experienced folks.

I know what a hydrometer is although I have never used one but I don't know what a downloader is? Can you help me out with what to look for?

Dave
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Unread 01-09-2009, 07:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Battery overfill/Individual Discharging/Shorter Distance

If you are taking battery voltage readings right off the charger then you are getting surface charge = higher than true readings. Let the batts sit 30 minutes you will see a settling = this may answer your 'draw' down question too? The best time to remove H2O from the batteries is when the specific gravity is the lowest and the least amount of electrolites are in suspension in the water.....
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Unread 01-09-2009, 09:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Battery overfill/Individual Discharging/Shorter Distance

Here is a helpful State of Charge table as it relates to specific gravity and voltage.... This topic is opened for discussion often and I wonder if the info on the chart would be a good stickie for all of the electric cart forums, as a reference?
state of charge table
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Unread 01-09-2009, 10:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Battery overfill/Individual Discharging/Shorter Distance

Scotty, thank you. I didn't notice the settling for some reason in the other carts, but that would make sence here. The voltage would be 6.2 when I pulled the charger and I could catch them at all different places when I charged, but they all settled at 6 volts. They had not been charged the property time yet so I didn't really expect any higher.

Well I went to put the cables back on and hook up the 36v auto charger and I caught something out of place. The small 12guage or so white white that comes off the plug on the cart where the charger goes was not connected to anything. I checked another cart that I had required recently based on diagrams I pulled here and realized that that white wire was supposed to go to the front/rear swith which I assume is how the charger connects to the computer. This cart though had the wire from the switch spliced pretty ugly and run straight to the positive side of the battery. Hm...didn't make any sence to I disconnect it and put a temperary connection in between the switch to the charger plug and removed it from the battery (too tired to run the new wire tonight before I charge but I'll fix it porperly tomorrow). I hooked the charger up and am hoping that the wire may have caused the charger to improperly charger either overcharging or drawing and could be the answer. Maybe not...could have been a common bypass but I'd rather have it wired the way the diagram says it should be.

I'll let you guys know how it does tomorrow.
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Unread 01-09-2009, 10:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Battery overfill/Individual Discharging/Shorter Distance

Oh, scotty, your chart isn't showing up.
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Unread 01-09-2009, 10:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Battery overfill/Individual Discharging/Shorter Distance

Really? Anyone else see the chart?
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