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Old 08-25-2014, 07:16 PM   #1
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4D battery question.

My house battery is a 4D bought in Jan 2011. I have kept it charged regularly since purchase.
I am now noticing that, when my fridge cycles, the battery indicator drops to 10.9.
Just asking if this is acceptable, or if I am asking for problems in the near future when I will also need my furnace and a couple lights... Thanks for any input!!
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:42 PM   #2
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Re: 4D battery question.

More info is needed.
What type battery is it?
What is the amp hour rating of the battery (using the 20 hour rule).
How long are you using it between charges?
What type of charger do you use?
How long do you charge the battery on average?
Are the battery connections good?
Do you have solar?

In general, most SMB's have a single 180-220 amp hour AGM (4-D as you posted) batteries of different makes. Many owners use different battery sizes and types. Chargers also vary.

I won't throw the general rule of thumb at you cause it all depends, but dropping to 10+ volts usually indicates, the battery is too small for the task, or it's gone. A 4-D should last 2-3 days without dropping into the -12 volt range. Are you sure there isn't another load taking it down?

Sorry to hear you're having issues.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:48 PM   #3
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Re: 4D battery question.

Thanks for the response. It's a 4d battery from Les Schwab, a local battery store. 1300 CCA at 32F is all that is written on the outside. I am taking it to test tomorrow.

No solar on my van and the cables/connections are in good shape.

It charges well with SMB inverter and reaches 12.5 volts, but once the fridge cycles it drops to 10.9. A light will also pull it down to 11.9, then it will rebound to 12.2 without a load...
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:02 AM   #4
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Re: 4D battery question.

Sounds like the battery is shot.

Not sure what your charging methods are but it seems like most people fail to bring the battery back up to 100% and keep it there while the van sits. But over charging can also be an issue.

Here is a voltage chart...mind you this is a resting voltage



Several things might have happened. It's even possible you just got a bad battery.

Battery University

There is also this link.
Link to Northern Arizona Wind and Sun and AGM info
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:31 AM   #5
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Re: 4D battery question.

Not 100% sure but something seems a bit not right with a deep cycle battery that lists CCA, especially a 4D. Cold Cranking Amps usually is designated on starter batteries and "marine"/deep cycle (which is not a true DC). A true deep cycle battery very rarely, if ever lists CCA.

That 4D may be a large truck starting battery, in which case, using it as a deep cycle battery will kill it pretty quickly. Maybe some else can confirm.

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Old 08-27-2014, 08:22 AM   #6
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Re: 4D battery question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1der
Not 100% sure but something seems a bit not right with a deep cycle battery that lists CCA, especially a 4D. Cold Cranking Amps usually is designated on starter batteries and "marine"/deep cycle (which is not a true DC). A true deep cycle battery very rarel, if ever lists CCA.

That 4D may be a large truck stating battery, in which case, using it as a deep cycle battery will kill it pretty quickly. Maybe some else can confirm.

Ray
I agree, it sounds like the battery is probably not a deep cycle battery.

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Old 08-27-2014, 09:34 AM   #7
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Re: 4D battery question.

It was sold as a deep cycle RV battery, which is what the sticker on the battery says. Maybe they are trying to get away with one, labeling it as such?
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:00 AM   #8
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Re: 4D battery question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tortorelli
It was sold as a deep cycle RV battery, which is what the sticker on the battery says. Maybe they are trying to get away with one, labeling it as such?
Not sure what they were doing, but if it does not say "amp hours" on it then I question if it is a deep cycle battery. A 4D, as Dave said, should have between 180 and 220 AH +/- @ a 20hr rating. 20 hour rating is the industry standard and is usable for comparison purposes. 1 hour / other ratings etc are very different.

3 years for a good quality 4 D is a short life. If abused / neglected it can be killed in that time. So really good care should be given to your house battery, they are not cheap and are very awkward to replace.

Replacement battery should be AGM, or at least maintenance free. For the delta in price I would go AGM. These batteries are typically located where checking the water levels id nearly impossible. Deep Cycle battery water levels need to be watched if they are flooded. The AGM's do not have this issue. If you are near a battery manufacturing plant, I hear you can get some scratch and dent units at very attractive pricing. Otherwise, first identify the best few brands you want, then shop around. I went with Deka AGM's, but there are other brands that are good.

Rule of thumb is do not draw more than 40% of the battery aH rating before recharging (and the recharging needs to be done with proper charging profile for the type of battery you have eg. AGM) a 200 amp hour battery provides 80 amps of usable draw. Then you need to charge, Your fridge is using somewhere between 2 to 4 amps per hour, so the fridge alone is looking at 48 aH to 96 aH per day as a very rough estimate. Inverters have parasitic draws if left on. Think of anything that is on (or has a little light/display) and is connected to you house battery - it is using up available amps. Even the battery monitoring system uses a little bit.

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Old 09-05-2014, 10:52 PM   #9
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Re: 4D battery question.

Kind of embarrassed to say this, but I think it may have been a bad ground...
Dropped the battery, had it tested (OK), cleaned up the otherwise clean looking terminals, then wire brushed the ground connection point (kind of rusty) and now the battery holds 12.4v with a .2 drop (12.2v) with the fridge running.

One more question now. I am charging for a 5-6 hours via the inverter and it shows 13.6v charging. Once off charging, the batt shows 12.8v, but drops to 12.4 the next day. Should a strong battery hold around 12.6 to 12.8 even after the "float" charge wears off?? Or am I not charging long enough?? I have all fuses pulled for co2 and propane detectors....so no slow drainers.
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:29 PM   #10
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Re: 4D battery question.

That little chart I posted will tell you where the batteries life is at. You just need to figure what your normal load is throughout the night and if the battery is large enough to keep from reaching 50% before the next days charging session. One way to think about it is like comparing a battery to a water tank. A larger tank with more water may not drop to 50% than a smaller one with the same flow leaving the tank. But your tank doesn't hold 100% anymore, so in a sense it's like you have a smaller battery than you had before.

If the battery continues to drop in voltage over time without any load applied, there is a short (or an unknown draw) in the system or a shorted cell in the battery. The best way to test the batteries status is to fully charge it, then disconnect it and test the voltage over several days. AGM batteries have a very low self discharge rate and can sit for a month W/O loosing hardly any voltage. The float voltage will taper off quickly to the 100% state around 12.7-12.8 volts which is normal. If your disconnected battery drops to 12.6 and stays there for a week or two, you'll know where it stands life wise.

I'd give it a good 3 day charge before doing the test. As long as the battery is not over heated, a good 10+ amp bulk/absorption charge will work. There are also chargers out there to tackle battery sulfation. As a last resort you can apply an Equalizing Charge. It's not a common practice with AGM batteries but the Concorde techs told me it's worth a try on a battery you plan to replace and might breathe back some life in the battery
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