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  #1  
Old 02-08-2011
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Equalizing 6v batteries

Does anyone know if there are any gotcha's with performing an equalization charge on 6v Deka golf cart batteries? I can't find any documentation from them specifying what voltage/amps to use or if there is anything to watch out for (or don't do it)?
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Old 02-08-2011
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I have owned a couple smart chargers that knew what kind of batteries were in the boat (part of the setup function) and it took care of equalization on it's own.

What kind of charger are you using?
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If they're wet-cell batteries, you should probably be okay equalizing with the charger's equalization setting, since they're effectively setup as 12 VDC batteries.
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Unfortunately the manual for the regulator just says, "consult the battery manufacturer for voltage and timing". It won't go into equalization mode unless you specify the volts and time. This info isn't part of the Deka info sheet so I've contacted East Penn. Just thought I'd check here first in case others had run across this already.

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Old 02-08-2011
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A Deka golf cart sealed gel battery does not need equalization. If the Deka is a flooded cel such as GC10, GC15, or GC25 golf cart battery then the equalization voltage would be 7.5 volts for 2 hours or less, or of course 15 volts with two in series. Note that the battery will vigorously gas giving an explosive mixture of oxygen and hydrogen gas. Unplug the battery charger from the wall before removing cables from the battery as a spark can cause an explosion spraying 32% sulfuric acid. Some recommendations range from once a month to once a year. I like the Trojan battery recommendation, which is equalize if there is wide ranging specific gravity (+/- .015 measured with a hydrometer) between cells after fully charging a battery, or if the hydrometer shows the battery has not reached full charge after charging with an intelligent charger. Trojan recommends monitoring the specific gravity every hour until the required level is reached. Over charging for equalization can erode the lead oxide from the battery plates shortening the life of the battery so why do it unless it is really needed.

Last edited by LakeSuperiorGeezer; 02-08-2011 at 10:38 PM.
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Based on the link the op posted he is trying to equalize with his alternator.


If they are flooded batteries program 2 on page 2 of the manual.

Best to call Deka tech support for voltage and time.
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Last edited by mitiempo; 02-08-2011 at 11:09 PM. Reason: add
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Thanks LSG!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperiorGeezer View Post
A Deka golf cart sealed gel battery does not need equalization.
I'm curious to know what they do with these batteries to prevent or get rid of sulfation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperiorGeezer View Post
If the Deka is a flooded cel such as GC10, GC15, or GC25 golf cart battery then the equalization voltage would be 7.5 volts for 2 hours or less, or of course 15 volts with two in series.
Yes, we have 4 GC15's. Where did you get these figures if you don't mind sharing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperiorGeezer View Post
Note that the battery will vigorously gas giving an explosive mixture of oxygen and hydrogen gas. Unplug the battery charger from the wall before removing cables from the battery as a spark can cause an explosion spraying 32% sulfuric acid. Some recommendations range from once a month to once a year. I like the Trojan battery recommendation, which is equalize if there is wide ranging specific gravity (+/- .015 measured with a hydrometer) between cells after fully charging a battery, or if the hydrometer shows the battery has not reached full charge after charging with an intelligent charger.
Agreed. And as you mentioned, there's a wide range of recommendations from various experts and manufacturers. I'm curious to find out what East Penn recommend and why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperiorGeezer View Post
Trojan recommends monitoring the specific gravity every hour until the required level is reached. Over charging for equalization can erode the lead oxide from the battery plates shortening the life of the battery so why do it unless it is really needed.
Thanks!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Based on the link the op posted he is trying to equalize with his alternator.
And the caution about gassing and avoiding sparks is still valid

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
If they are flooded batteries program 2 on page 2 of the manual.
Yup, that's the program we're running for everyday charging.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Best to call Deka tech support for voltage and time.
Agreed. I've left a message with them but I like to know what others have experienced too.

Thanks for the feedback.
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It isn't that a sealed GC battery doesn't need equalization, but more that it can't be equalized without seriously damaging the battery, since it is sealed and equalizing it would generally cause the gel electrolyte to dry out and kill the battery.
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The sealed gel batteries also vent when overcharged. Due to the spiral-wound, sealed construction, you can't add any fluids, so the battery dries out as SD stated.

With the wet batteries, even if you overcharge while attempting to equalize, you can still add distilled water to keep the chemical balance correct.
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