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Trickle chargers

Posted By: GomangoCuda

Trickle chargers - 10/13/20 10:35 PM

It's getting to be that time of year again. What do like? There must 50 different ones on Amazon. There seems to be new more advanced models every year. Are any of their claims valid Or just snake oil advertising hype? Are they really any better than any old 2 amp charger? If you have 2 or more batteries in a vehicle does each one need a dedicated trickle charger or can they be charged in parallel?
Thanks.
Posted By: Andrewh

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/13/20 10:47 PM

I used to like battery tender, till I found out their warranty was garbage, and of course that fire the one member had.

I currently use shumacker and ctek.

The ctek one is for agm batteries and has the desulfating thing built in. no idea if it works well or not.
It doesn't seem to save batteries, or make them last any longer really. Still been replacing them every 5 years or so just like normal.

But it does prevent them being dead after sitting for a while. or doing lots of short hops.

As for charging multiple batteries it can, it will just be slower.
Posted By: topside

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/13/20 10:53 PM

Schumacher for me, although I do have a Duralast (AutoZone) that's also been trustworthy.
Been using both for many years without a problem.
Had a couple Black & Deckers, shorter lifespan.
Posted By: 62maxwgn

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/13/20 11:49 PM

Never needed one,every couple months start and let run for about 20/30 min,never had a battery that didn't last 7 /8 yrs or longer,the reproduction battery in my bird is over ten yrs old..
Posted By: TJP

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 12:01 AM

I just disconnect the negative cable and that seems to really make them happy smile twocents beer
Posted By: Neil

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 12:11 AM

Yes, disconnect the battery, or take the battery out an put it in a warmer place. I've let past cars I've owned sit from October to March in an unheated building and they still turn over fine.

Some batteries are just a joke. I know someone who has to put the charger on his stuff if it sits for more than a few months, even in warm weather. down
Posted By: GomangoCuda

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 12:33 AM

I have had a Shumacker trickle charger for decades. It works. I also have a much newer Shumacker charger that can be set for 2, 10, or 20 amps and three types of batteries. It steps down to 2 amp trickle when it gets close to full charge. Readout shows percent of charge and voltage. I had a gift Black and Decker trickle charger that got so hot the first time I plugged it in that it went in the trash after it cooled down. Same person gave me a Craftsman the following year. It works. I should have at least one more thus this topic. shruggy
Posted By: hemienvy

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 01:06 AM

I got the Optima charger, though maybe it's not a trickle charger, can't remember.
$89 at Summit.
I like it.
Posted By: 71birdJ68

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 02:25 AM

What type of battery? It makes a difference.
Posted By: plazomat

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 03:44 AM

Ctek on my battery since 2014 - still going.

A little on the pricey side - but worth every penny. I have not had to replace a battery since I started using it. Sits in my cold unheated Canadian Garage all year, car maybe comes out 4-5 times a year. Used to get 3 years out of interstates previously.

Plaz
Posted By: GomangoCuda

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 03:46 AM

Originally Posted by 71birdJ68
What type of battery? It makes a difference.

Plain old lead acid car batteries. Not AGM. I can disconnect the battery in my 50 year old Barracuda but the computers in the 97 Firebird and 2017 motorhome don't like being disconnected for longer than it takes to swap batteries. Both of those vehicles are hard on batteries. The Barracuda has had 2 batteries in the last 20 years. First one lasted about 15 years. Lol. I use marine batteries in it. whistling
Posted By: BloFish

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 04:13 AM

Disconnect the negative cable and trickle charge every so often, that has worked for me.
Posted By: 360view

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 11:22 AM

For several years I have been impressed with this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Pulsetech-Xt...8-1&keywords=desulfating+charger#Ask

When it gets the battery fully charged,
the “trickle” cycle consumes 1 watt of power more than when the unit is on but no battery connected,
which is roughly 1/14.2 = 70 milliamps “Trickle Current”

It can charge two batteries in parallel.

I wish it had a 90% charged LED too, instead of individual LEDs for 75% and 100%,
or a 1-100% digital readout.
Posted By: moparjack44

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 12:56 PM

Been using my Battery Tender for probably 20 years. Got from O'Reilley, no problems, and I use it all season. I keep it hooked to my battery and just plug it in when I drive into the garage.
Jack
Posted By: Bad340fish

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 01:06 PM

Originally Posted by hemienvy
I got the Optima charger, though maybe it's not a trickle charger, can't remember.
$89 at Summit.
I like it.


These are great, I have worked for a Battery Distributor for 22 years and this is what I use on my stuff at home.

If you put your car away with a fully charged battery, and there is no electrical draw you should have a fully charged battery after a few months.
Posted By: DUFFMAN

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 02:10 PM

I've been using these for years and they work great. They're the only ones I've found that also do desulfication.

https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200332201_200332201
Posted By: 5thAve

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/14/20 04:58 PM

I have a few chargers but i only charge batteries that are sitting every couple months. Even an actual battery tender I don't trust the cheap chinese electronics to leave them plugged in and hooked up all the time.
A friend of mine has one of those ctek chargers. It works with regular batteries too and is nice that it tells you how charged it is and also the battery condition. I'd pick one up the next time i need one and want to spend that money on it.
Posted By: 318 Stroker

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/15/20 02:15 PM

Originally Posted by Andrewh
I used to like battery tender, till I found out their warranty was garbage, and of course that fire the one member had.


Will plugging a trickle charger into a GFI outlet prevent a fire if the charger shorts out?
Posted By: Andrewh

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/15/20 02:20 PM

Originally Posted by 318 Stroker
Originally Posted by Andrewh
I used to like battery tender, till I found out their warranty was garbage, and of course that fire the one member had.


Will plugging a trickle charger into a GFI outlet prevent a fire if the charger shorts out?


I don't think so.
A GFCI outlet measures the power coming in and then returning to your panel as it completes the circuit. It was designed to detect any difference more than 4 or 5 milliamps and to react quickly (less than one-tenth of a second) to shut down any circuit out of this small range.

which is not the issue. It is using all that power to create fire. It isn't shorting through something to ground. It is shorting to itself.
Posted By: convx4

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/16/20 01:01 AM

I was given a tip by the battery store owner when I bought my last battery.

He said to buy a timer that allows the charger to run once a week. He said tenders allow the battery to to develop a bad memory cycle.
Posted By: Sniper

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/16/20 01:16 AM

Originally Posted by 318 Stroker


Will plugging a trickle charger into a GFI outlet prevent a fire if the charger shorts out?


The circuit breaker should trip if the charger shorts on the AC side, if it shorts on the DC side then the battery will feed the short. Most good chargers should have a fuse or breaker on the DC side to prevent that.
Posted By: MI_Custumz

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/16/20 09:49 AM

Originally Posted by Andrewh
Originally Posted by 318 Stroker
Originally Posted by Andrewh
I used to like battery tender, till I found out their warranty was garbage, and of course that fire the one member had.


Will plugging a trickle charger into a GFI outlet prevent a fire if the charger shorts out?


I don't think so.
A GFCI outlet measures the power coming in and then returning to your panel as it completes the circuit. It was designed to detect any difference more than 4 or 5 milliamps and to react quickly (less than one-tenth of a second) to shut down any circuit out of this small range.

which is not the issue. It is using all that power to create fire. It isn't shorting through something to ground. It is shorting to itself.


Would an AFCI outlet prevent a fire? I think they have a combo GFCI/AFCI outlet available.
Posted By: 360view

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/16/20 11:19 AM

Originally Posted by 360view
For several years I have been impressed with this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Pulsetech-Xt...8-1&keywords=desulfating+charger#Ask

When it gets the battery fully charged,
the “trickle” cycle consumes 1 watt of power more than when the unit is on but no battery connected,
which is roughly 1/14.2 = 70 milliamps “Trickle Current”

It can charge two batteries in parallel.

I wish it had a 90% charged LED too, instead of individual LEDs for 75% and 100%,
or a 1-100% digital readout.


There is a inline fuse on the DC side on the Pulsetech.

I plug in an older, cheaper, Kill-A-Watt power meter on the AC side to watch the watts of power, which smoothly drop as the battery reaches full charge.

I now do this will my older 1970s Schumacher 1.6-2-10-50 amp battery charger too.

https://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Ele...refix=Kill-a-watt%2Caps%2C170&sr=8-5

There are cheaper $14 knock-offs:

https://www.amazon.com/Micro-Watt-M...efix=Kill-a-watt%2Caps%2C170&sr=8-14
Posted By: earlymopar

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/16/20 11:52 AM

I do the same thing MJ44. Battery Tenders are nice and small and work well. I even use a solar Battery Tender on my trailer.
Posted By: Andrewh

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/16/20 12:56 PM

Originally Posted by MI_Custumz
Originally Posted by Andrewh
Originally Posted by 318 Stroker
Originally Posted by Andrewh
I used to like battery tender, till I found out their warranty was garbage, and of course that fire the one member had.


Will plugging a trickle charger into a GFI outlet prevent a fire if the charger shorts out?


I don't think so.
A GFCI outlet measures the power coming in and then returning to your panel as it completes the circuit. It was designed to detect any difference more than 4 or 5 milliamps and to react quickly (less than one-tenth of a second) to shut down any circuit out of this small range.

which is not the issue. It is using all that power to create fire. It isn't shorting through something to ground. It is shorting to itself.


Would an AFCI outlet prevent a fire? I think they have a combo GFCI/AFCI outlet available.


I don't know on this one.
I have seen them trip using a vacuum but I don't know how it reads the "spark", vs runaway power short.
which could also be due to the battery itself rather than the charger.
Posted By: AARCONV

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/16/20 05:10 PM

I use this pulse-tech xtreme charger, it actually saved a few smaller alarm and lawn mower batteries for me and they have been great. a regular charger charged them up but the next day they were dead. the pulse charger revived them and they are alive a full year already..and I use it on all my cars even the daily drivers , I leave them on for a day.
Posted By: Sinitro

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/16/20 06:07 PM

I had used Battery Tenders for many years for my cars but....
Went out to the garage and found 1 of the Battery Tenders had shorted out and melted the bottom panel.... eek eek
Next I called Battery Tender talked to their support guy and advised him of my issue. He requested I send him a photo of the melted unit, so I did. He advised they had never seen this issue.. shruggy
They sent me a new unit which I gave to another car friend as I no longer trusted Battery Tender and I had switched to the Battery Minder from Amazon. Then about a month later I get an email from Battery Tender requesting me to send the defective unit back to them for inspection but I already tossed it into the trash. The Battery Minder has worked very well plus it has the sulphate cycle....


Just my $0.02... wink
Posted By: Sunroofcuda

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/16/20 08:56 PM

Originally Posted by DUFFMAN
I've been using these for years and they work great. They're the only ones I've found that also do desulfication.

https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200332201_200332201


This one looks pretty interesting!!
Posted By: MoreParts

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/17/20 07:59 PM

Originally Posted by AARCONV
I use this pulse-tech xtreme charger, it actually saved a few smaller alarm and lawn mower batteries for me and they have been great. a regular charger charged them up but the next day they were dead. the pulse charger revived them and they are alive a full year already..and I use it on all my cars even the daily drivers , I leave them on for a day.


I've had a great experience with the Pulse Tech too! I had a Yellow cap AGM not holding a charge and I was getting ready to toss it. SInce those batteries are hard to come by I thought I'd give this charger a shot and low and behold it saved it. It's been running for over a year and it was probably about 8 years old at the time.
Posted By: Sinitro

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/17/20 08:40 PM

Here is the Battery Minder I posted about... Been available since 2013, works great and includes the desulfication feature.... Has a 10 year warranty.

https://www.batteryminders.com/1510-12-volt-maintenance-charger-desfulator-with-warranty


Just my $0.02... wink
Posted By: Sunroofcuda

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/18/20 12:16 AM

Originally Posted by Sinitro
Here is the Battery Minder I posted about... Been available since 2013, works great and includes the desulfication feature.... Has a 10 year warranty.

https://www.batteryminders.com/1510-12-volt-maintenance-charger-desfulator-with-warranty


Just my $0.02... wink


I just ordered one of these. up
Posted By: 360view

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/18/20 11:56 AM

How would “an average joe”
test one of these automotive battery chargers against one another, at not too high a cost?

I see these Belkin Battery Backup Rev. B units in local Thrift Stores fairly regularly, priced at $4 to $6.

https://www.newegg.com/p/2FT-000S-0...QBaEAQYASABEgIf9fD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds#

These have a built in battery tester/charger.
( It might be possible to use them as automotive battery maintainers? )

I plug them into a wall socket at the Thrift Store,
and if the battery does not test bad,
I buy them to get the Yuasa 7 amp-hour SLA battery inside.
I use these Yuasa SLA batteries in APC Uninterruptible 120v Power Supplies.

https://www.atbatt.com/yuasa-np7-12...fiIm-7AIVCb7ACh1SDQqEEAQYASABEgIuYvD_BwE

How could I create the best “home brew” test
if I had several identical make and amp-hr rated batteries,
one brand new Yuasa battery,
and two to four used ones?




Posted By: Bad340fish

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/18/20 12:37 PM

There isn't a real great way to test those batteries with out some kind of equipment that can discharge them at the prescribed rate. Usually those batteries will get to 12.5-13.0 volts or they won't, when they won't you can call them bad.

You need to come up with a schedule for battery replacement for power supplies. Waiting until the batteries fail can cause problems. Sometimes the batteries swell up and won't come out of the units, or they melt down. My APC unit was telling me the battery was bad and I let it go a few days, battery goo all over in the entertainment cabinet and a pretty wicked smell.
Posted By: Bad340fish

Re: Trickle chargers - 10/25/20 11:45 AM

I just wanted to brag on the little 4.0 amp Optima charger. My Jeep has a one month old Yellow Top Optima in it. Somehow the dome lights got left on for a week and drained it hammer dead. I hooked it up to the charger and it read 0% charged and 3.1 volts. It took it about 36 hours but it charged it up and shut down into maintain mode. Then my neighbor needed a battery so he could use his old beater truck so I let him borrow it and it worked great.

The Optima charger and my old Ctek I got from a marketing promotion at work are the ONLY automatic chargers I have seen do this succesfully without missing the mark and shutting off too early. My CTEK charger only lasted a short time but it worked great when it did work. This optima charger has been dropped, glued back together, and spent a night in the rain before and is still kicking.
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