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Leisure battery going flat


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Hi, Just got back from a weekend away. Van worked fine. Plugged into home electric as normal and the control panel was blank. Check fuses, lead etc. Found leisure to be flat. Recharged battery yesterday everything worked. Today battery is flat again. Before I buy a new battery does anyone have any other suggestions as to why the battery is going flat.

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Posted (edited)

Can you remove the battery and take it to Halfords/F1 autocentre etc and ask them to do a drop test on it?

Any other advice would be internet diagnosis...........

This way at least you can take the battery condition out of the equation as being OK/Faulty.

Edited by charlieboy2608
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Posted (edited)

Do you have a mulitmeter? if so check for about 14 volts at the battery when it's on charge if it does not the charger is not working, if it has then fully charge the battery and then disconnect it overnight and test it in the morning if it has dropped below 12 volts is FUBAR 

Edited by Ex-Gasman
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10 minutes ago, Ex-Gasman said:

Do you have a mulitmeter? if so check for about 14 volts at the battery when it's on charge if it does not the charger is not working, if it has then fully charge the battery and then disconnect it overnight and test it in the morning if it has dropped below 12 volts is FUBAR 

Good advice :-)

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If the above doesn’t yield anything connect an ammeter in series with the positive lead at the battery and see if there’s any current drain with everything off.

 

Ti be honest with it flattening as fast as that it sounds like the battery’s shot.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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2 hours ago, charlieboy2608 said:

ask them to do a drop test on it?

Drop tests are not desirable for leisure battery. It requires a proper tester for the battery type

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Posted (edited)

As stated, first that the charger is indeed working to try to charge the battery and the voltages when charging (and depending if your charger is "Smart" or not) are making sense plus the voltage after charging stays acceptable for a while.

Then check for any serious current draw, this link gives a detailed test procedure for significant  "phantom" current and the capacity in Amp Hours (which is the key factor for leisure batteries, unlike car batteries which need cold Cranking Amps AND capacity etc etc):

https://sargentltd.co.uk/tech-support/article/Leisure-Battery-Testing/28

You'll need a multimeter set to current and be able to draw 5 Amp from the caravan services by switching on lights etc.

That should give you a definitive answer which may be better than relying on someone else's "You need a new one" decision?

Edited by DougS
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Posted (edited)

Do you know how old your leisure battery is?? If you purchased your Caravan used then unless you purchased the battery Yourself it could be any age at all. 

 

They don’t last forever and, if “abused” (flattened too many times) their life will be severely reduced. 

 

If its the original battery then its done really well at 6 years, some do last longer, but many don’t for all manner of reasons.

 

 

 

Edited by Mr Plodd

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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On 02/07/2021 at 13:19, Lost in the wilderness said:

It requires a proper tester for the battery type

Hi.

I'd be interested in what that test is please.

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On 02/07/2021 at 10:10, SueMead said:

Hi, Just got back from a weekend away. Van worked fine. Plugged into home electric as normal and the control panel was blank. Check fuses, lead etc. Found leisure to be flat. Recharged battery yesterday everything worked. Today battery is flat again. Before I buy a new battery does anyone have any other suggestions as to why the battery is going flat.

Welcome Sue, Your Swift Elegance should be able to operate normally when plugged into mains electricity even without a battery, could you have accidentally turned off the charger on the control unit? The easy way to check is the green LED is illuminated behind the button marked CHARGER, you can also check for the mains 230v connected symbol per this photo

CECBCF40-6187-4C80-95DD-373797EEF702.jpeg.c5866eec7fe4150143ff2d4b8bd4c822.jpeg

If the charger is on then I’d suspect the PX300 charger is faulty.  Give Sargent a call if you are still struggling. 
 

You may have damaged the battery if this is faulty hence your problems described, however the caravan does have a protection feature to prevent over discharge so it’s worth checking as already advised. 
 

Cheers, Martin

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1 hour ago, charlieboy2608 said:

Hi.

I'd be interested in what that test is please.

It's known as a conductance test, the old ' drop ' tester works by first checking the battery voltage then putting a specific load on a battery for a specific time and noting what the voltage drops to, this determines the heath of the battery.

 

A conductance test sends a current through the battery, the results of these tests can provide more information than a drop test.

 

In either case to do an accurate test the battery should be fully charged.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Silversurf said:

It's known as a conductance test, the old ' drop ' tester works by first checking the battery voltage then putting a specific load on a battery for a specific time and noting what the voltage drops to, this determines the heath of the battery.

 

A conductance test sends a current through the battery, the results of these tests can provide more information than a drop test.

 

In either case to do an accurate test the battery should be fully charged.

Thank you for your explanation.

Can a drop test still be used safely even though it provides limited information?-And would it still prove the batteries condition to a point?

Edited by charlieboy2608
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41 minutes ago, charlieboy2608 said:

Thank you for your explanation.

Can a drop test still be used safely even though it provides limited information?-And would it still prove the batteries condition to a point?

Yes if used in skilled hands.

 

The maximum information when using a drop tester was gained by also removing the cell tops to observe the electrolyte in each cell during the test, so the information gained was if the battery could sustain the load for a specific time, as I mentioned in my last post,  and by observing the amount of gassing in each cell ( they should all be the same ) it could be determined if one or more cells were failing, or had failed, most batteries today have sealed cells.

 

So though not perfect and as accurate as a conductance test, a drop test can give a good general idea, as before fully charge the battery ( 24+ hours with a smart charger ), then let it stand for two to three hours not connected to anything to allow the surface charge to dissipate.

 

Depending on the make, type and construction of batteries, some manufacturers suggest not to use drop tests, though finding this info can be difficult.

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8 minutes ago, Silversurf said:

Yes if used in skilled hands.

 

The maximum information when using a drop tester was gained by also removing the cell tops to observe the electrolyte in each cell during the test, so the information gained was if the battery could sustain the load for a specific time, as I mentioned in my last post,  and by observing the amount of gassing in each cell ( they should all be the same ) it could be determined if one or more cells were failing, or had failed, most batteries today have sealed cells.

 

So though not perfect and as accurate as a conductance test, a drop test can give a good general idea, as before fully charge the battery ( 24+ hours with a smart charger ), then let it stand for two to three hours not connected to anything to allow the surface charge to dissipate.

 

Depending on the make, type and construction of batteries, some manufacturers suggest not to use drop tests, though finding this info can be difficult.

Thank you.

I wonder how many caravan tech's/caravan owners would actually just settle for using a volt meter to perform the various checks and just conclude 'duff battery'........

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