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Can I Assume My Leisure Battery Is Now Scrap?


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Hello to All, having used this forum for practical advice over recent months I finally decided to join and ask a question about a current problem that I have.

I bought a used caravan last year and quickly found the battery appeared low. At the time I did not know anything about "Leisure" batteries so took it home, put car battery charger onto it for 2 days, gave up assuming it was dead and bought a replacement (when I learned about the existence of Leisure batteries and that they were different to car batteries).

 

Last week I bought a Lidl battery charger (having read about them here) and used it to recharge the new battery which was running low due to alarm and Tracker on the van. In fact probably too low as left it for nearly 4 months, but anyway the charger seems to have done the trick though it took 48 hours to do it and that battery now back on van. I will recharge every 6 weeks from hereon.

 

I have now tried to use the Lidl charger on the old battery but it just shows a voltage of 9 volts and clicks back to standby after 90 secs. I tried the old car battery charger for 3 hours (checking every 30 mins) but this only increased voltage to 9. 1 volts and the Lidl charger just kept reverting to standby.

 

I was originally optimistic as the literature talks about it working with batteries with a voltage higher than 7. 5 volts but now I am thinking it's a dead horse and best left in peace! Before I give it an appropriate send off I thought I would ask here if anyone here has any suggestions about what else I might do or do I just accept it is scrap? I had planned to use it as a back up if I had been able to resurrect it.

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Appears to not hold its voltage so guess it is scrap.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Hi, sounds pretty 'terminal' to me. ..

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

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Agree with others. .. you did the right thing by trying the older car battery charger to get it to a position that the Smart LIDL Charger would recognise. ... but it hasn't. .. so I'm afraid it's an ex-battery!!!

 

G.

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My Lidl charger's first process is to check the voltage (takes about 90 seconds), and if it's found to be between 7. 5 and 10. 5 volts it goes into revitalising/pulse-charging mode (the display flashes). Having reached10. 5 volts it carries on with whichever charge mode you chose (probably number 3, but double-check you chose the correct one).

 

Now, assuming that you know it's 9 volts because that's what the charger display says (as opposed to having use a multimeter), then it sounds as if the charger may well be trying to do it's job, so it may be worth giving it some more time (mine took over 4 days from about 10 volts).

 

Do you get the error message ( 'Err' ) before it goes on standby? Again, if not I'd persist.

 

Good luck, John

Edited by Johnaldo
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My Lidl charger's first process is to check the voltage (takes about 90 seconds), and if it's found to be between 7. 5 and 10. 5 volts it goes into revitalising/pulse-charging mode (the display flashes). Having reached10. 5 volts it carries on with whichever charge mode you chose (probably number 3, but double-check you chose the correct one).

 

Now, assuming that you know it's 9 volts because that's what the charger display says (as opposed to having use a multimeter), then it sounds as if the charger may well be trying to do it's job, so it may be worth giving it some more time (mine took over 4 days from about 10 volts).

 

Do you get the error message ( 'Err' ) before it goes on standby? Again, if not I'd persist.

 

Good luck, John

 

Well done John. .... I must have an old LIDL Charger cos it doesn't display any of what you mention!!!

 

LOL

 

G

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Thank you all for your swift replies.

 

John - I get the 9 volt figure from the Lidl Charger readout.

 

When I first connect the charger it shows 9 volts and a steady, empty battery "symbol". I press the mode button and the 9 volt figure starts to alternate with a line of dashes for about 90 secs then there is a click and very briefly the voltage figure flashes to 10+ volts and the mode symbols (motorbikes, car, snowflake) also appear very briefly then the screen just returns to 9 volts plus the empty battery symbol (not flashing as it did whilst charging the "new" battery). I didn't notice any ERR message but will certainly try process again and see if this also flashes up as it clicks.

 

As the battery symbol isn't flashing I have assumed it is just in standby mode and not actually doing anything. If this could be wrong I would be happy to leave plugged in for a while and see what happens!

Edited by Prevail
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I have had the same problem on my ride on mower battery, it wouldn't get any further than dead with the smart charger so I stuck it on charge with a dumb big charger and then swapped it over to the smart charger once it had recieved a significant boost, my dead battery has now been ok for the past 12 months. Worth a try for yours I think.

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If it's not a sealed battery take the tops of and check the water level in the cells if low top up with dis tiled water and put back on charge with the tops still off and leave for a few days if still nothing bin it .

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Prevail,

Just checking . .. you say you "press the mode button" . .. on mine you have to press it 2 times (might be 3?) to get to the 'car' mode . .. otherwise it may think you want '6V' or 'motorbike' (low Ah) mode.

John

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Batteries neglected rather than gone faulty in use often do come back up with time. Not a smart charger just a simple regulated power supply I have used on neglected batteries and left for a couple of months when tired to use it only lasted for a short time but recharged and next time it lasted longer, again recharged and each time used lasted a bit longer. OK this was a traction battery on a wheel chair but still lead acid. Car batteries tend to lose material with deep cycling so the action of bringing back to life is also damaging it but traction and leisure batteries will often come up again.

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Many thanks to everyone for replies. My conclusion is that maybe 3 hours on the "dumb" charger might not have been enough so will stick it back on that for a few days at least then retry the smart charger. As several folk say there is nothing to lose by trying.

 

I was concerned that using the dumb charger would guarantee to wreck a leisure battery - but I guess its that or just recycle now anyway.

 

Again thanks for the helpful ideas and comments

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At the worst you have a knackered battery, but dont throw it away, take it to yout local scrapyard they will give you money for it.

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You sound as if you've put a bit of time into it. You haven't mentioned checking the electrolyte level. Make sure the fluid covers the plates. If the battery is 'sealed', you can often uncover the filling holes by riving the top off with a sharp screwdriver and a small hammer. Beware of acid splashes etc.

 

Top up preferably with deionised water, or rainwater from the water butt if you're a Yorkshireman.

hawkaye :beardy:

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