Originally Posted by scraph
Well, there we have it folks ... no need to equalize your lead-acid batteries. They'll be fine.
Seeing as not 'bursting open in the winter' isn't the only standard by which to judge a battery and 'lasting 7 years' only says to me that lead sulfate hasn't yet happened to break off and short plates together ... if you want your batteries to last, at or near rated capacity, then you need to be performing equalizing charges. You might be surprised how low the actual capacity of a battery can fall before it happens to finally die. Especially in a land application, where the battery is subjected to little or no physical shock, you can find heavy degrees of sulfation in an otherwise 'fine' battery. Give that battery one good physical (or chemical) shock that a brand new, fully charged battery could endure and positive plates shed excessively and short the battery.
You seem to like to put words in my mouth I never said.
If you want to post dire death stories of batteries left in the cold and tell folks that by leaving them in the cold they are treating the badly that is fine. After 20 years of cold stored batteries I simply disagree with that sentiment. As a matter of fact my extra batteries that are at home are stored in my un-heated shed in the winter rather than my heated garage, by choice. In the summer I move them into the garage where it is cooler. In the North, lived in Alaksa too, we often leave batteries in the cold all the time. As long as they are charged they survive just fine.
I NEVER said batteries should not be equalized, EVER. I said those batteries have no provision for equalizing them and yet they have survived 7 very cold winters. They have also done this with less than good care. I am sure they are suffering from sulfation but they are still kicking along for that application and still run the 1000W inverter and well pump just fine.
They still support large loads from the 1000W inverter and hold voltage well while doing it but but the CCA has dropped off, when compared to new, as it can at 7 years.
Would I like to see a charger with equalization in Jay's installation, yes but it's his money not mine and a 7 year life on a bank he paid $248.00 for he's more than happy with. Trying to get him to buy a charger that costs more than he paid for the bank is likely not going to happen..
My own batteries are stored on the boat every winter. This was last springs measurements against a brand new battery. The batteries were four years old at the time. Can you tell which one was the brand new battery and which one four years old?