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Old 09-02-2006, 09:10 PM   #1
MAMalody
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Dumb Question

I am embarassed to admit that I just realized that I have never checked my batteries on my 5er...after three years. Check them and not comes the dumb question. I am familiar with batteries that you can add distilled water to when the plates become exposed, however, all the batteries I have seen like this have vertical plates. When I checked my batteries, a marine-rv deep cycle battery, the plate was exposed yet it was horizontal. I am getting some distilled water tomorrow to fill the battery up, however, is this necessary. Are the plates placed differently because it is either a marine-rv battery or a deep cylce battery? Just thought I would find out. Looks like I will need to buy a battery test, hydrometer or take it in and have the battery checked. I have not noticed any performance problems. This is now on my monthly maintenance list. Thanks for the info.

Mike

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Old 09-03-2006, 12:16 AM   #2
Glenn and Lorraine
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One thing you NEVER do is wait for the plates to become exposed. The plates need to be covered at all times to prevent sulfation and reduce the possibility of an internal battery explosion. What I believe you are actually seeing is the sulfated plates and you can add all the distilled water you want but your battery is on it's last legs. I would suggest taking it to a "reputable and knowledgeable" dealer and have it checked. In all probability he will recommend a new battery.

It is a good practice to check the water level at least monthly but just to be on the safe side I check mine every 2 to 3 weeks. I would only use distilled, deionized or demineralized water. In an emergency, you can use rain water. Do not use tap water or water from residential Reverse Osmosis systems to refill batteries because the water could contain chlorine, calcium or magnesium and produce chlorine gas or calcium or magnesium sulfate crystals. These crystals can gradually fill the pores or coat the plates which will reduce the battery's capacity and cause premature failure.
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Old 09-03-2006, 03:19 AM   #3
Wrenchtraveller
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Since I bought the little IQ4 thing I only have to add a wee bit of distilled water every 3 months or so and my Montana is plugged into shore power 24/7.

Like usual Glenn has the right info for us. Thanks Glenn.

Don & Donna
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:27 PM   #4
bob n pam
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Mike, Bob agrees with Glenn. He says he has never seen horizontal plates in any battery and you are probably looking at crusted over plates. You are probably looking a getting a new battery. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-03-2006, 01:18 PM   #5
Glenn and Lorraine
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Wrenchtraveller

Since I bought the little IQ4 thing I only have to add a wee bit of distilled water every 3 months or so and my Montana is plugged into shore power 24/7.

Like usual Glenn has the right info for us. Thanks Glenn.
Thank you Don. I pointed out in those tire threads that I was a partner in a tire business. That name again was Adams Tire and "Battery" Service.
Every now and again a persons past can become very beneficial.
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:38 PM   #6
richfaa
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Re the tire issue..I being a expert in nothing, in fact the older I get the more I realize how little I know. I decided to take the advice of my tire guy and a former tire guy one this forum and reduce the tire pressure from the rated max 80 psi to 65 PSI.. I figured that saying..well I have been running them at max PSI for years and never had a problem.,was not very good logic.

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Old 09-03-2006, 03:38 PM   #7
Native Tex
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Glenn's advice on the batteries is correct. I found out the hard way on my bass boat about using the wrong type of water in your battery. It can cause more problems and kill your batter faster than anything. I made the mistake one time and ended up with a battery full of black water and a battery that would not hold a charge. Ended up having to buy two new trolling motor batteries.

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Old 09-03-2006, 05:00 PM   #8
dsprik
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How much is an IQ4? I saw a "smart" charger (not IQ) on sale in Kmart for $27 the other day. Almost bought it, but wanted to check here first.

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Old 09-03-2006, 08:46 PM   #9
MAMalody
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by bob n pam

Mike, Bob agrees with Glenn. He says he has never seen horizontal plates in any battery and you are probably looking at crusted over plates. You are probably looking a getting a new battery. Hope this helps.

The "plate" was black and it had an initial stamped on it. Strangest thing I have ever seen. It is more difficult finding distilled water than I thought. Been to a couple of places to no avail. I will let you know what happens when I have the battery checked.

Mike

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Old 09-04-2006, 03:07 AM   #10
OntMont
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You can usually find distilled water along with the other water in supermarkets.

What kind of battery do you have? It does sound strange, plates are vertical because gas has to bubble up between them to escape.

OntMont (John and Donna)
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Old 09-04-2006, 03:19 AM   #11
Ozz
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[quote]Originally posted by dsprik

How much is an IQ4? I saw a "smart" charger (not IQ) on sale in Kmart for $27 the other day. Almost bought it, but wanted to check here first.

Dave,
I don't think it would interface with our converters, I would stick with the built in charger and IQ Module from Iota, you have a 55 amp, (If) your unit is similar to mine.
Go to www.iotaengineering.com/iq_spec.htm for more information
Ozz

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Old 09-04-2006, 03:34 AM   #12
CountryGuy
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Ditto on the distilled water,in with gallons of drinking water at the super market, walleyworld carries too. Have been able to purchase just about every where, good thing, the yorks drink it (per the vet). Only time we seem to have trouble getting it is after a storm and power outages.

Carol
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:02 PM   #13
Jim and Marcia
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When I do check water in a battery, I am more concerned if the water level is the same in each cell. If the level is the same, I may add water to it, but if one cell is low and the others aren't, you may as well junk the battery. And if you have two batteries, replace them both at the same time.

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Old 09-04-2006, 06:35 PM   #14
dsprik
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[quote]quote:Originally posted by Ozz

Quote:
Originally posted by dsprik

How much is an IQ4? I saw a "smart" charger (not IQ) on sale in Kmart for $27 the other day. Almost bought it, but wanted to check here first.

Dave,
I don't think it would interface with our converters, I would stick with the built in charger and IQ Module from Iota, you have a 55 amp, (If) your unit is similar to mine.
Go to www.iotaengineering.com/iq_spec.htm for more information
Ozz
Thanks, Ozz. I thought it be a great buy, but you know what they say about something that sounds too good to be true...

Just checked my water level 2 days ago. We have been plugged into shore power for almost seven straight weeks. Looks good so far. But I will start checking every 4 weeks now...

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Old 09-04-2006, 08:39 PM   #15
MAMalody
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Jim and Marcia

When I do check water in a battery, I am more concerned if the water level is the same in each cell. If the level is the same, I may add water to it, but if one cell is low and the others aren't, you may as well junk the battery. And if you have two batteries, replace them both at the same time.

I found some distilled water and filled the cells using a turkey baster so that I would not have an overfill situation. The baster was had a graduated fill tube and each cell seemed to take the same amount of water. I still have to make sure the batteries are charged and then check them out. I forget the current brand of the batteries. Since this battery had fillable cells, it wouldn't be a gel type battery would it. I checked again when I filled the water and there was definitely an initial stamped in the horizontal black plate that I could see. Hmmm. Mystery.

Mike

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Old 09-10-2006, 09:19 PM   #16
MAMalody
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by OntMont

What kind of battery do you have? It does sound strange, plates are vertical because gas has to bubble up between them to escape.

They are Interstate batteries.

If I should have to buy two new batteries, I have been reading that it may be a good idea to change to golf batteries. What say you? If I do, do I get four or just two like no? Would the be the L16? I understand they should be hooked up in series? Anybody have golf batteries that could post a picture...would want to make sure I don't mess up the hookup.

Mike

F350 7.3L LB SRW
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:39 AM   #17
Ozz
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by MAMalody

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by OntMont

What kind of battery do you have? It does sound strange, plates are vertical because gas has to bubble up between them to escape.

They are Interstate batteries.

If I should have to buy two new batteries, I have been reading that it may be a good idea to change to golf batteries. What say you? If I do, do I get four or just two like no? Would the be the L16? I understand they should be hooked up in series? Anybody have golf batteries that could post a picture...would want to make sure I don't mess up the hookup.

Mike
Hi Mike, here's what you need:
4 G.C.Batteries;http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n...3/b6ed28bd.jpg Well, maybe overkill.
Here is the link to show how the hook up goes:The 12 Volt side of life part 1;http://www.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/12volt/12volt.htm
I have Two Golf cart batteries, one of the good things is that if you get a bad one, you can just stop at Sam's club and replace it.
The have great reserve power and the converter you have is fine for the charging.
Ozz

'07 3400RL 2nd RTU
2 Golf Cart batteries 3,000 watt inverter, automatic transfer switch
Honda 2000 Generator, Maytag's with 220 Dryer
Stationary domed Sat. dish, LCD 12 Volt Amp gauge, LCD Tank Monitor
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Old 09-11-2006, 08:31 PM   #18
MAMalody
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Thanks for the info.

Mike

F350 7.3L LB SRW
2003 3575RL
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:58 AM   #19
OntMont
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Batteries have been discussed a great deal on this forum. One theread that you might find helpful is this one http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/...ad.php?t=13546
I have the same set-up as Padredw, and I am finding it very good for our needs which include occasional extended weekends of boondocking and sometimes overnight stops in cold conditions that require extensive use of the furnace.

Hope you find this helpful, ....and by the way, there are no "stupid questions" here.

OntMont (John and Donna)
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:22 PM   #20
MAMalody
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Hey! Guess what! I just had my batteries tested by the dealer and they are not bad. They tested out A-OK! Did I dodge a bullet or what?
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