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Old 04-08-2014, 02:04 PM   #1
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How often "Equalize"

How frequently do you "equalize" your batteries? Once a year ... twice a year? ... monthly? ... Never?
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:49 PM   #2
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To equalize a battery is to overcharge it to create bubbling and heat to dissolve sulfate crystals and bring it back to full strength. Equalizing a battery should only be done when the specific gravity on fully charged batteries varies by +/- .015. That variation of SG suggests acid stronger near battery bottom. To equalize a 12 v battery, connect it to a equalizing charger that puts out about 15.5 v. A lot of gassing will result, probably best to remove batteries from enclosed battery boxes. This is done to each battery that shows a SG variation. They must be monitored for overheating and protective clothing and a face shield is recommended. Not for VRLA (vent regulated lead acid) batteries, they shouldn't be equalized.
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:14 PM   #3
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I never equalize.
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:29 PM   #4
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I use to equalize once a year as called for in my inverter manual. I did mine each spring when I did maintenance after winter storage. I followed the instruction in the inverter manual and never had any problems. The batteries lasted on the average of 5+ years with a good amount of boondocking use.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:53 PM   #5
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Seems to be one of those things that have gradually gone out of fashion. Most battery manufacturers still mention it but never seem to offer much science for batteries in regular use, especially in a mobile application.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:26 PM   #6
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A lot depends on how the batteries are used. If they largely sit on float voltage most of the time with little cycling then equalizing maybe 2X year (or more) would be beneficial to achieving maximum service life. OTOH if you frequently cycle the batteries and charge them properly (C/5 to C/10 rate, high enough absorption voltage, etc.) then you may never need to equalize.

This is assuming we are talking about standard flooded-cell batteries. Other types may not need to be or even shouldn't be equalized.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:37 PM   #7
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If you decide to run an equalize cycle, disconnect the battery cables first. 12VDC electronic stuff don't like that much voltage and might smoke some.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:40 PM   #8
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Any diffinitive doc on this stuff?
It is foreign to me.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CampDaven View Post
Any diffinitive doc on this stuff?
It is foreign to me.
How about Trojan?

Trojan Battery Company
Trojan recommends only when SG gets +/- .015.

Equalizing Charge For Stationary Batteries – Battery University
The Uni says equalize every 20 charge/discharge cycles, or every 6 months.

How Lead Acid Batteries Work: Battery Basics from Progressive Dynamics
Progressive says every 10 cycles or once a month.

So....pick your expert!
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:59 PM   #10
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So now it should be clear. According to industry experts you should definitely equalize your batteries somewhere between never and weekly.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:09 PM   #11
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So now it should be clear. According to industry experts you should definitely equalize your batteries somewhere between never and weekly.
Exactly!

Have never done it. Did not know about it. Got 9 years out of my batts on the last rig, still good when I traded it.

I just dont know what to think!!!!!
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skigramp View Post
How frequently do you "equalize" your batteries? Once a year ... twice a year? ... monthly? ... Never?
skigramp
Although my inverter/charger is capable of equalizing my house batteries I have never done it.
BTW my original batteries lasted 11 years and the current set is 7 years old.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:53 PM   #13
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I must be a little stupid or not old enough, but I never heard of that equalize before , I usualy check water level once in while ad distilled water to level up when needed. And my batteries last for years. !!!!!
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:03 PM   #14
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I must be a little stupid or not old enough, but I never heard of that equalize before , I usualy check water level once in while ad distilled water to level up when needed. And my batteries last for years. !!!!!
Not stupid. It's done so infrequently today that few chargers even have the function. It does extend a battery's life, but mostly we just replace when they get weak. Equalizing can also be done to other rechargeable batteries, long time ago I read in maybe Popular Mechanics a homemade device that would extend life of NiCad rechargeable batteries.
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