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6 Varta g8 batteries in 5 years!

AlexanderVanBaelen Oct 11, 2017

  1. AlexanderVanBaelen

    AlexanderVanBaelen New Member I am in belgium

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    Hi all,

    Battery maintenance question for you all!

    I originally had 2 Varta g8 starter batteries (and two varta leisure batteries connected with a splitter) before leaving on a long term trip. The splitter soon started to malfunction and I soon decided to skip the splitter and to connect both 24 volt systems permanently. I know, big no no, but I figured it would matter as we would be driving on a daily basis so all systems would be topped up.

    Anyhow, last year October my batteries were dead, no surprise! So I ordered two new g8s - with shipping totalling 200 EUR! I currently don't drive the car that much so I wanted to take care of the batteries so I purchased a trickle charger. Now I know many buy cteks but I bought a Bosch c7, mainly as it handles 24 volts within my amperage range so I could charge them at the same time.

    I connected my trickle charger to the battery and left the car for while. Some months later, I realise the batteries were deader than dead! There was like 3 volts in them!

    First question: What could have gone wrong, I thought it would be okay to leave a proper trickle charger on them, no?

    So now I bought the same batteries from the same supplier and they are 250 EUR delivered to my door (Waw, 25 % increase on year!) I unbox the battery and I immediatly see a picture stating: DANGER, immediatly unplug the red transportation plugs!)

    Strange? I didn't same to have gotten that warning when I received my two other batteries just a year before, therefor I hadn't unplugged the four red taps.

    Question 2: What are these taps for and why is it so important to remove them? Might this have contributed to my previous batteries going bad so fast on the charger? If this is the case I am going to complain, although I have nothing to proof!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. fbnss

    fbnss Well-Known Member Supporter I am in england

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    Mine came with the little plugs. Think they're to stop any spillages during transit and I guess to let out the hydrogen when charging.
     
  3. Chris

    Chris Super Moderator Supporter I am in europe

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    Correct, they're vents
     
  4. Shayne

    Shayne Well-Known Member Supporter Guru

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    Yep lets off gas i forgot to remove them from one of my batteries but was lucky enough to notice before the battery was damaged that it looked inflated , i removed the plugs and its fine but it never returned to its regular rectangular shape .
     
  5. Firewout

    Firewout Well-Known Member I am in belgium

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    image.jpg Hi Alexander,
    I have almost the same setup but instead of a trickle charger, I have solar panels on the roof to top them up. I know my 2 leisure batteries are shot, but the 2 starter batteries stay just fine.
    Are you sure you don't have any parasitic drain in your system that takes more current than the trickle charger can supply?
    Did you install a compensation cable ? I guess this balances the voltage/charge current between the batteries. (I didn't because I have a battery switch to separate the two battery sets and I'm not sure what the compensation cable would do to the system)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  6. AlexanderVanBaelen

    AlexanderVanBaelen New Member I am in belgium

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    Interesting, my to be replaced batteries were indeed ballooned. Given your info I suppose I should be happy that this hasn't let to any big problems like exploding batteries!

    So do you think the build up of gas might lead to an increased deterioration of the batteries when charging?

    Just to be sure: it is okay to leave the batteries on a trickle charger for a long time, right? I am in the understanding that that's what they are made for!

    Thanks!
     
  7. AlexanderVanBaelen

    AlexanderVanBaelen New Member I am in belgium

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    Hi Wouter,

    Thanks for the info. I don't have any cable in between the systems. My systems are setup seperatly: there is a cable running from my main starter + side towards the main plus of the leisure system. In between there is the splitter. When I am not camping I disconnect the two systems, when I leave I hook them up.

    It's funny how we install expensive intelligent devices to do things which a simple manual switch like you have can solve. At the end we can decide ourselves when to open the circuit or close it!

    Anyhow, once I have my new batteries I am going to install them and I am going to measure their voltages on a daily basis to see if there is any unwanted drain when not driving. I should spot this pretty soon I imagine!

    Cheers
    Alex
     
  8. Shayne

    Shayne Well-Known Member Supporter Guru

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    I fitted one and the other sat in the kitchen for months , i recently trickle charged both for a week and both came up to 14 something so i guess there's no long term damage .

    Varta G7 and G8 I've had them at least a year maybe longer .

    I'm no scientist but i would guess blocked vents hinder the chemical process slowing recharge and so defeating your alternator . Stick them on charge for a month you have nothing to lose and i very much doubt you can buy a charger nowadays that can't be safely left connected forever .

    It might be outdated thinking but i was brought up to believe a slow charge is better than a fast charge .
     
    clivehorridge and GeekOKent like this.
  9. GeekOKent

    GeekOKent Well-Known Member Supporter I am in uk

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    Worked for me Shayne. If you recall I had a completely flat deep cycle battery. 20 odd days on a charger and it was brought back. Have used it in the 105 this year with no problems at all. Have since got the solar on so things stay topped up.

    20 days was no scientific number. It's just that I put it on and left it and only came back when I needed the battery.
     
  10. AlexanderVanBaelen

    AlexanderVanBaelen New Member I am in belgium

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    I wish this would work with my smart charger, the current current is so low that the charger doesn't recognize the battery. Or I would have to connect the batteries to a properly working one to which I connect my charger, right?
     
  11. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Well-Known Member Guru I am in uk

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    What vehicle is this on Alex?
     
  12. GeekOKent

    GeekOKent Well-Known Member Supporter I am in uk

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    I have never been keen on using dead batteries in parallel with good ones, the low voltage will drag down the good battery fairly quick. Having said that maybe with the 14v potential it won't matter much? Worth investigating for sure.
     
    AlexanderVanBaelen likes this.
  13. Shayne

    Shayne Well-Known Member Supporter Guru

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    I'm not 100% on this but the charger doesn't need to see a current in the battery , to my mind it passes a current through the battery boosting the chemical process that allows a battery to keep a charge . The needle gauge might not move for a week if they are really low but it doesn't mean its not happening .

    I'm happy to be corrected of course .

    That said i pay no attention to my RAC battery charger gauge and instead use a multimeter on the terminals to see whats happening .
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  14. GeekOKent

    GeekOKent Well-Known Member Supporter I am in uk

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    The smart ones will check what voltage there is, and change charge current based on present state.... if it cant see anything at all (or i think less than 8v or something like that ) it just wont even start
     
  15. AlexanderVanBaelen

    AlexanderVanBaelen New Member I am in belgium

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    Hi Starcruiser, it's a HZJ75 from 1999.
     
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