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TR54
June 4th, 2010, 02:35 PM
I installed a 16 kw unit in 2007 . Since then I have killed 3 batteries . The battery supplier says they are being over charged and the batteries are boiling dry . how can I check the charger output and whether the charge will float when the battery is charged . Thanks .

SkipD
June 4th, 2010, 03:30 PM
What model generator do you have?

TR54
June 4th, 2010, 07:00 PM
Hi , I installed a 16 kw unit in 2007 . I have eaten up 3 batteries to date . My Battery supplier says they are being overcharged by the trickle charger . How can I test for this . I expect the charger goes into float mode once the battery is charged . Thanks

SkipD
June 4th, 2010, 07:20 PM
Many of us, myself included, have replaced the original battery charger from Generac with a "battery maintainer" type of float charger. The original charger apparently did not handle the task properly, as I would constantly be losing electrolyte level. Every month or two I would have to add water to make up 1/4 inch of electrolyte level.

Letting the level get below the tops of the plates is believed to be the first step in what causes the battery explosions we've read about here.

I completely disconnected the original Generac charger in my 5416 and installed a battery maintainer by Schumacher like this one (http://www.batterychargers.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductName=94026501A). I installed that two years ago, and since then have had to add only about 1/8 inch of water to top up the electrolyte on one inspection. The rest of the inspections showed the level right where it should have been.

To power the charger, I ran a separate 20-amp 120VAC feed from my backed-up circuits (powered by both utility and generator power) to the battery compartment and mounted a receptacle there. I use that receptacle for the charger and for a battery warmer which I activate in the winter.

TR54
June 4th, 2010, 10:15 PM
Thanks Skip , This confirms my thoughts . My 2nd Battery exploded when I tried a manual start . It sounded like a shot gun blast past my ear . I thought my face was going to be half gone . The battery was only 6 months old . I will disconnect the charger and buy an electronic trickle charger . Thanks a lot for the advice.

TR54
June 4th, 2010, 10:18 PM
Hi , Model # is 5243

TR54
June 4th, 2010, 10:23 PM
I can't believe there are not more problem like mine out there .

SkipD
June 4th, 2010, 10:32 PM
I can't believe there are not more problem like mine out there .There are. However, this is a rather small forum. Give the folks some time to log on and respond. It might even take up to a week for most of the "regulars" to find time to check in. Some folks may take quite a bit longer.

Canada_Guy
June 5th, 2010, 01:49 AM
I can't believe there are not more problem like mine out there .

There are, just search for the word "explode"

http://zillerelectric.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1022&highlight=explode

http://zillerelectric.com/forums/showthread.php?t=506&highlight=explode

http://zillerelectric.com/forums/showthread.php?t=531&highlight=explode

http://zillerelectric.com/forums/showthread.php?t=430&highlight=explode

http://zillerelectric.com/forums/showthread.php?t=135&highlight=explode

DanB
June 5th, 2010, 11:28 AM
or search for battery charger.

I have an 8+ year old air cooled NG 10KW which just about caught fire when the battery charger failed. I disabled the Generac charger and used a Battery Tender 800 (waterproof and 120/240VAC autosensing).

I thought I read that this problem was resolved for newer models, which I thought included 2007, but perhaps my memory fails me.

MacMan
June 5th, 2010, 12:15 PM
I can't believe there are not more problem like mine out there .
There have been. I had my battery explode too, about 2 years ago. Generac has never really accepted any responsibility for the over-charging problem, except to say that the owner must check the electrolyte level often...other than that, they have washed their hands of it.

pcfrisch
June 5th, 2010, 08:46 PM
I have never read anything about checking the electrolyte level in car batteries in the owners manual since batteries went maintenance free years ago :rolleyes:

yucan2
June 6th, 2010, 08:13 AM
I have never read anything about checking the electrolyte level in car batteries in the owners manual since batteries went maintenance free years ago :rolleyes:

Car batteries are seldom if ever in a state of charge while dormant, unlike generators.

Car batteries can and will explode also if overcharged, shorted, exposed to an open flame, etc. etc.

Canada_Guy
June 6th, 2010, 11:30 AM
I posted this in another thread, but will add it again here.

I think checking battery float charge voltage is as important (or even more important) than checking fluid level.

The key to preventing overcharging and the resulting fluid loss is always the proper float voltage. For a wet cell battery, I would suggest 13.0 to 13.2 volts is a good voltage to float a wet cell at.

When checking batteries in these generators, I would suggest that you test the battery float voltage first (before test running). If you are seeing much over 13.2 volts, you will start to see fluid loss and with that comes the increased possibility of batteries exploding.

SteveInMD
June 6th, 2010, 08:40 PM
I exploded my battery earlier this year. I had a huge acid mess to clean up and a lot of repainting to do. My charger was charging at 13.8 volts. I installed an outlet inside the generator case and set up a battery minder. It float charges at 12.8 volts.

http://www.batteryminders.com/batterycharger/catalog/BatteryMINDer-Plus-12-Volt-133-Amp-Charger-Maintainer-Conditio-p-16134.html

Kelly Myers
June 8th, 2010, 07:24 AM
Hi , Model # is 5243

It is very odd that you're having this issue with the 5243. Maybe you should check the transformer output, if that is correct you should replace your charger.

yucan2
June 8th, 2010, 07:46 AM
It is very odd that you're having this issue with the 5243. Maybe you should check the transformer output, if that is correct you should replace your charger.

The transformer output would affect the charging circuit how? Just wondering.

SteveInMD
June 8th, 2010, 10:09 AM
If you are going to replace the OEM charger I would make sure you find out the specification for its float charge voltage first, and make sure it doesn't exceed the spec. when you install it. (You would have to check the voltage a few days after installation when it has stabilized.) Also, if the spec. is higher than 13.2 volts, don't buy it.

techntrek
June 8th, 2010, 03:37 PM
But you should try to find one that will occasionally enter the bulk & absorption, or equalization modes, to keep the battery conditioned. Most of the small battery tenders don't do this. If you do use one of them you can manually condition the battery if you have a good 3-stage charger already.

SteveInMD
June 8th, 2010, 04:37 PM
The link I posted above is a good charger. It charges, conditions, maintains, and desulfates.

techntrek
June 9th, 2010, 06:54 AM
I read the manual and while it desulfates, which is good, it doesn't appear to be a 3-stage charger or have an equalization mode. The later isn't completely necessary in an an ICE application since the electrolyte will get naturally stirred when the engine is running. But if you are going to replace the factory charger you might as well get one that does a full bulk-absorption-float cycle once in a while. The Batteryminder has a top voltage of 14 volts and a proper absorption stage should get the voltage up to 15.5 volts temporarily.

DanB
June 9th, 2010, 09:06 AM
I read the manual and while it desulfates, which is good, it doesn't appear to be a 3-stage charger or have an equalization mode. The later isn't completely necessary in an an ICE application since the electrolyte will get naturally stirred when the engine is running. But if you are going to replace the factory charger you might as well get one that does a full bulk-absorption-float cycle once in a while. The Batteryminder has a top voltage of 14 volts and a proper absorption stage should get the voltage up to 15.5 volts temporarily.

what do u think of the battery tender 800?

i bought it primarily because it was water and shock proof, and 120/240vac auto-sensing.

http://batterytender.com/automotive/waterproof-800-usa-western-hemisphere.html

http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender-022-0150-DL-WH-Waterproof-Charger/dp/B000CITKCE/

SteveInMD
June 9th, 2010, 12:41 PM
You are better off with a BatteryMinder, than a Battery Tender. The BatteryMinder has the desulfonate feature, while the Battery Tender does not. This feature reduces the need to equalize.

I agree that ideally one would equalize too, but I can't find a 3-stage charger with and automatic equalization mode that is compact enough to fit nicely in a weatherproof case of an outlet inside the generator case. That's why I settled for a BatteryMinder which is only about $50 and a drastic improvement over the OEM POS charger. My battery wont explode and will give me years of service with this setup.

DanB
June 9th, 2010, 12:55 PM
You are better off with a BatteryMinder, than a Battery Tender. The BatteryMinder has the desulfonate feature, while the Battery Tender does not. This feature reduces the need to equalize.

Their info sheet (http://batterytender.com/includes/languages/english/resources/Product_Info_Waterproof_800.pdf) states:
"The best way to eliminate sulfation is to prevent it! The Battery Tender® Plus will fully charge a battery and maintain it at the proper storage voltage without the damaging effects caused by trickle chargers (especially sulfation)."

SteveInMD
June 9th, 2010, 01:02 PM
I stand corrected. You should be good to go with that charger.

SteveInMD
June 9th, 2010, 01:14 PM
Actually it's not so clear the Battery Tender just claims to prevent them (by keep the battery fully charged). The Battery Minder has a system to eliminate any sulfates that do occur.

MacMan
June 11th, 2010, 09:08 AM
I've done some reading about both of these chargers, and IMO, the Battery Minder Plus is a better unit to maintain/desulfate a battery. However, it will NOT revive an old battery unless you can charge it to at least 11 volts with a larger standard charger.....then hook the Battery Minder up. MANY positive reviews on this unit.

www.amazon.com/Electronics-BatteryMINDer-Charger-Maintainer-Desulphator/dp/B000P23HZS