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Old 01-29-2013, 11:54 PM   #1
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Do old house batteries go bad if they just sit disconnected?

Do old house batteries go bad if they just sit disconnected?
How long?
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:17 AM   #2
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Re: Do old house batteries go bad if they just sit disconnec

Yes they do. Every batterie is loosing energie day by day. Standart more than agm/gel. I have a lot of vintage cars and bikes and at them i charge the batteries once per month. That works perfect. If you have good batteries they will hold the energie longer. But from time to time you have to charge them. Let them never! go under 12.2 Volt. That will kill them after a while
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:55 AM   #3
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Re: Do old house batteries go bad if they just sit disconnec

I agree, but a good AGM can sit for a month between charging. Wet cells are a different story and drop off a lot faster. And the thing about sitting on cement is BS.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:57 AM   #4
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Re: Do old house batteries go bad if they just sit disconnec

"And the thing about sitting on cement is BS."

what is this about? I haven't heard that one...
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: Do old house batteries go bad if they just sit disconnec

Quote:
Originally Posted by witoke
"And the thing about sitting on cement is BS."

what is this about? I haven't heard that one...
Supposedly if you put a battery on cement "the grounding bleeds the charge" so "you should always put a battery on a board". It's actually supposed to be the cold affecting the charge, providing false evidence of discharge (or so I've heard! )

I'm not asking if the batteries will have charge, I'm asking if I will be able to revive them and use them in another project(s) after sitting for long periods?
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:21 AM   #6
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Re: Do old house batteries go bad if they just sit disconnec

the self discharge rate is dependent on battery type. As you note wet cell decay fairly fast.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:25 AM   #7
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Re: Do old house batteries go bad if they just sit disconnec

From the Yuasa Battery FAQ:

Quote:
I was told by some old timers that if you leave a battery on the ground or a concrete floor it will ruin the battery. Is this true?

That is something a lot of "old timers" say. The reason they say that is in the "olden days" vehicle starting batteries used to be made with a hard rubber container. This hard rubber would eventually get mini cracks and become porous. So, when placing a battery on the ground or concrete, the battery would discharge through the ground or wet concrete. Nowadays, containers are made from a solid plastic that does not allow any current to flow through it, so the batteries do not discharge, even if they sit in a few inches of water. That is why you will not find your battery having trouble from sitting on the ground or concrete.
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What is sulfation?

Discoloration of plates with white lead sulfate crystalline deposits may occur when the battery has been left for a considerable time in a discharged condition. It can also occur as a result of the plates being exposed to air due to low electrolyte level, or when a new battery is filled with acid and stored without being charged. This phenomenon is called sulfation. Once plates have been sulfated, the activity of the affected area is permanently impaired, and the battery may not be restored to its original capacity.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:30 PM   #8
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Re: Do old house batteries go bad if they just sit disconnec

My old flatmate used to design batteries for nuclear subs (seriously), but he was a thrifty tinkerer as well. He would take old batteries and overcharge them, using a home made rheostat to control the voltage until the electrolyte boiled, discharge them again and cycle them a few times. He claimed it decreased the lead sulfate and returned the plates to working condition. I do not remember if he replaced the acid or not but I know the electrolyte levels were constantly topped up.

I have never bothered to look this process up for confirmation but any chemist should be able to figure if the reaction can be reversed. Chemists/chemical engineers on board? And remember bubbling lead acid batteries are producing hydrogen.

Now of course everybody except Boeing and the FAA knew that it doesn't work that way with Lithium Ion batteries.


YMMV.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:41 PM   #9
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Re: Do old house batteries go bad if they just sit disconnec

I haven't seen a chart for long-term storage. East-Penn (makes AAA batteries) and Johnson Controls (makes Interstate, NAPA, Les Schwab and more) don't allow retailers to keep new batteries in inventory for more than 3 months.

In my experience I've seen newer lead-acid batteries work OK after 9 months in storage, but I've also seen older batteries completely self-discharge in a couple of months.

AGMs are less likely to discharge, but when they do, they're done. It is very hard to recover one of those. I have been told that fully discharged Optimas can be recovered by hooking it up in parallel with a lead-acid battery, and putting a 2-amp charge on them for about 10 days. My vendor has done this on a couple warranty returns (he did not resell those).
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