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Post Info TOPIC: Looking for guidance on a battery charger


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Looking for guidance on a battery charger
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Howdy....I just got my Blend 50 unit and I'm excited to get my business off the ground!  Having said that, I'm on a budget for now and can't afford a stealth unit at this time.  I would like to get a quick charger that will allow me to use it as a power supply as well (i.e. I can hook the charger to the battery when it's low and still be able to use the unit without having to wait for the battery to completely charge).  I got a 12 volt Duracell Ultra deep cycle battery:

https://www.batteriesplus.com/battery/marine-and-boat/deep-cycle/bci-group-27m/sli27mdc

Any tips or recommended chargers anyone can point me toward?  If things go well, I'll eventually be able to add a few more batteries and a Stealth system, but for now I need to get the business going and make some money!

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!



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Derrick Davies Roadrunner Custom Renovations derrick_davies@hotmail.com


SoftWash Systems 5-Star Professional

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You should be okay to start with one battery. I think the blend has the 5.5 gpm pump and they don't draw as much amps as the previous pumps so you should be okay with one battery per day. The pump should tell you how many amps it draws. Just get a charger that matches. I would just get a regular charger and buy a battery as soon as you can or when you have a big job coming up. I usually get my batteries at Walmart as they are all over the place and easy warranty replacement.

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Welcome Derrick!

I am cutting and pasting this from a Stealth Charger post, so if there is anything that doesn't make sense, it may be referring to something in the original post.

(Original post - http://softwashsystems.activeboard.com/t60064273/stealth-dc-only-charger-ac-inverter-set-up-please-help/)

As a general rule of thumb batteries are perishable goods so you should try to buy batteries that are no more than a month old. If that is not possible, do not go past 3 months tops, and only connect identical batteries in series or in parallel. Batteries are not always kept at a full charge in stores and they tend to drain some over time. The problem this causes is called sufation, or crystals forming on the metal plates. These crystals forming on the plates reduce the amount of surface area the electrolyte has to work and reduces the amount of amp hours or reserve capacity of the battery. Two primary maintenance issues with batteries that cause them to go bad before the end of their full service life is (1) not recharging the batteries as soon as possible after depleting them (~24 hours maximum), and (2), not keeping the proper level of electrolyte to cover the tops of the metal plates. Uncovered plates sulfate almost immediately. 85% of batteries that are replaced before the end of their service life are failing early due to these two issues. The optimum choice would be to find "dry" batteries where the store adds the electrolyte when you buy the battery, thus avoiding any issues with keeping the batteries charged until sold, but it is difficult to find a store that still does this. When you use or drain a battery it starts to form these sulfur crystals, but they are soft and when you promptly recharge it forces the crystals to dissolve back into the electrolyte. When you have batteries that have sat around for months without being properly charged (such as at the store), the crystals get harder and they will not dissolve, no matter how you try to recharge the battery. These crystals also cause a battery to read at a higher voltage than it normally would so the smart rechargers stop charging the battery too soon. When you are charging a battery and it is near fully charged you will see little bubbles rising to the surface of the electrolyte if you pull the caps off. Always wear some form of eye protection when removing the covers. I don't know how cold it gets where you are but the third issue to watch for battery maintenance is not to allow your batteries to freeze over the winter.  In the winter months I pull my batteries and put them inside the house on a soft pillow with a blanket (I'm kidding).

For others buying new batteries, not all are labeled with the obvious month and year. Some are labeled with a single letter and single number, such as C5, which would mean it was build in March, 2015. A=January, B= February, and the 5 = 2015. Using this method the letter "I" is usually skipped.

As a general statement, AGM (absorbed glass material) and maintenance free batteries are nice and can give you a little better battery life or reserve capacity, but if you keep an eye on your electrolyte level and don't let it get low, and only refill it with distilled water (never tap water), and recharge your batteries each day when the jobs are done, you'll usually get more bang for your buck with the cheaper batteries. The reason you never want to use tap water in batteries is tap water will have minerals in it that will degrade the electrolyte and weaken the battery. Also, there are tons of different types of batteries, but there are (for the most part) only three companies manufacturing batteries in the US. Deka, Johnson Controls and I forget the third, and people just put different stickers on them and sell them at different prices. I've seen two stores selling the exact same battery, one selling for $120 and the other store selling for $360, and both had the exact same warranty. The batteries weighed the same, but one appeared to have a higher reserve capacity rating because different companies use different standards for rating. Some rate based on (1) amp draw, some use the number of hours it takes to drain a battery using a 25 amp draw, some use 23 amp draws, and others tell the maximum current draw that the battery can sustain over 20 hours. Some give you a reserve capacity rating but don't tell you if they were using a 25 amp draw or 23 amp draw. Golf cart batteries may give you a 75 amp draw rating as golf carts tend to draw more amps anyway. So as you can see, it is easy for a company to manipulate the numbers to make two identical batteries look different. One item you really cannot get around with deep cycle batteries is almost 100% of the time the heavier the battery, the better the reserve capacity as you have more metal surface area to react with the electrolyte with more plates.  So if you see two batteries that look exactly the same in the same class and weight, they are likely the exact same battery.

Another general statement on deep cycle batteries is that you should buy the greatest amount of reserve capacity as you can within reason. For example, if you have a 50 amp drain during the workday and have 100 amp hour reserve, you've depleted your battery to 50% which is about as far as you want to go, although you can go as far as 80% if you absolutely have to. If you had a 50 amp drain during the workday and have 200 amp hour reserve you've only depleted your battery to 75%, and this set up will allow your batteries to last a lot longer because you're not abusing them as much. Of course having the Stealth Charger will recharge your batteries in between jobs and on the way back home or to the shop giving you a lot of wiggle room and preventing you from depleting your batteries as much so you will get more service life out of your batteries using the stealth charger, as well as longer run time on job sites.

Below is an excellent reference for all things battery related.

jgdarden.com/batteryfaq/carfaq7.htm
support.rollsbattery.com/support/solutions/articles/5964-battery-sulfation          



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Troy Layman
Panoramic Clean
Roof & Exterior Cleaning/Soft Washing
Ashland, VA
www.PanoramicClean.com
Troy@PanoramicClean.com
(757) 562-7216



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And as a general guide, my spray rig pump pulls just shy of 25 amps. I'm not a 8 hour/day, 40 hour/week business, but I've done several 8 hour days running the 25 amp pump and my 15 amp charger usually has my batteries recharged in 3 to 5 hours. My 15 amp charger isn't a smart charger so I just switch over to a battery tender to keep them topped off between jobs. If you plan on mounting the charger to your truck, you'll want to have something fairly water resistant (IP rating).

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Troy Layman
Panoramic Clean
Roof & Exterior Cleaning/Soft Washing
Ashland, VA
www.PanoramicClean.com
Troy@PanoramicClean.com
(757) 562-7216



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Thanks to both of you for the info!

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Derrick Davies Roadrunner Custom Renovations derrick_davies@hotmail.com


SoftWash Systems Authorized Professional

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If you have the 7gpm pump, your rig will draw about 25 amps, like Troy said. If you have the 5.5gpm pump, which was told by AC is now standard, you will draw less. Also, the blend units are set to run in demand mode, not bypass. This means they turn on only when spraying, and shut off when not spraying. This is a big power saver.

When I had demand system from another vendor as a starter system, I had one group 27 deep cycle, and charged it with a single bank "smart" marine charger that charged at 10 amps and went into maintain mode for the last bit of charge and to keep topped off. With this system, if I worked a very long day, I would need to carry another battery. I'm talking 12 hours in the same location, cleaning constantly. For normal 2-3 residential cleaning days it was never a problem with one battery. Like Tim said, start with one, you can run and get another anytime. Sam's has Duracells at a good price. I find the quality batteries to be better than the generic brands. Keep your receipt for the warranty.

Now, with my 5.5gpm pump on my DPI skid running in bypass, with 3 group 27 batteries on a 3 bank smart marine charger and a stealth DC charger, I have no power problems. When I switch to the Blend unit next month, I will have more power than I need.

If your budget allows, get the AC/DC stealth system from SWS. If you want an alternative, call the guys at www.batterystuff.com and let them know what you are trying to accomplish and they can get you the right thing.

__________________

Chad A. Eneix, President, Water Dragon Inc.  chad@waterdragoncleaning.com

www.waterdragoncleaning.com----Southcentral Wisconsin----608-290-9179



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Chad, can you share a link to the marine charger that you are using? I need to upgrade my charger and I have the same set up as you other than the 3 bank charger. Thanks!

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Josh Agadoni

Puretec SoftWash
Carlsbad, CA
josh@puretecproservices.com
www.puretecproservices.com
760.407.7162



SoftWash Systems Authorized Professional

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www.batterystuff.com/battery-chargers/12-volt/marine-chargers/dual-pro-sportsman-series-ss3.html

Pro Charging Systems Sportsman Series Tri-Pro

__________________

Chad A. Eneix, President, Water Dragon Inc.  chad@waterdragoncleaning.com

www.waterdragoncleaning.com----Southcentral Wisconsin----608-290-9179



SoftWash Systems Authorized Professional

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They make chargers for 2, 3, and 4 batteries. Each bank is a 10 amp charger. There a model by the same company that is a step up that has 15 amps in each bank. The company also makes a LED "gauge" for your battery pack that shows how much battery life you have. I don't have this, but if I was ordering again, I'd add it.

__________________

Chad A. Eneix, President, Water Dragon Inc.  chad@waterdragoncleaning.com

www.waterdragoncleaning.com----Southcentral Wisconsin----608-290-9179



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Thank you, Chad! I'll check those out.

__________________


Josh Agadoni

Puretec SoftWash
Carlsbad, CA
josh@puretecproservices.com
www.puretecproservices.com
760.407.7162



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Troy Layman wrote:

Welcome Derrick!

I am cutting and pasting this from a Stealth Charger post, so if there is anything that doesn't make sense, it may be referring to something in the original post.

(Original post - http://softwashsystems.activeboard.com/t60064273/stealth-dc-only-charger-ac-inverter-set-up-please-help/)

As a general rule of thumb batteries are perishable goods so you should try to buy batteries that are no more than a month old. If that is not possible, do not go past 3 months tops, and only connect identical batteries in series or in parallel. Batteries are not always kept at a full charge in stores and they tend to drain some over time. The problem this causes is called sufation, or crystals forming on the metal plates. These crystals forming on the plates reduce the amount of surface area the electrolyte has to work and reduces the amount of amp hours or reserve capacity of the battery. Two primary maintenance issues with batteries that cause them to go bad before the end of their full service life is (1) not recharging the batteries as soon as possible after depleting them (~24 hours maximum), and (2), not keeping the proper level of electrolyte to cover the tops of the metal plates. Uncovered plates sulfate almost immediately. 85% of batteries that are replaced before the end of their service life are failing early due to these two issues. The optimum choice would be to find "dry" batteries where the store adds the electrolyte when you buy the battery, thus avoiding any issues with keeping the batteries charged until sold, but it is difficult to find a store that still does this. When you use or drain a battery it starts to form these sulfur crystals, but they are soft and when you promptly recharge it forces the crystals to dissolve back into the electrolyte. When you have batteries that have sat around for months without being properly charged (such as at the store), the crystals get harder and they will not dissolve, no matter how you try to recharge the battery. These crystals also cause a battery to read at a higher voltage than it normally would so the smart rechargers stop charging the battery too soon. When you are charging a battery and it is near fully charged you will see little bubbles rising to the surface of the electrolyte if you pull the caps off. Always wear some form of eye protection when removing the covers. I don't know how cold it gets where you are but the third issue to watch for battery maintenance is not to allow your batteries to freeze over the winter.  In the winter months I pull my batteries and put them inside the house on a soft pillow with a blanket (I'm kidding).

For others buying new batteries, not all are labeled with the obvious month and year. Some are labeled with a single letter and single number, such as C5, which would mean it was build in March, 2015. A=January, B= February, and the 5 = 2015. Using this method the letter "I" is usually skipped.

As a general statement, AGM (absorbed glass material) and maintenance free batteries are nice and can give you a little better battery life or reserve capacity, but if you keep an eye on your electrolyte level and don't let it get low, and only refill it with distilled water (never tap water), and recharge your batteries each day when the jobs are done, you'll usually get more bang for your buck with the cheaper batteries. The reason you never want to use tap water in batteries is tap water will have minerals in it that will degrade the electrolyte and weaken the battery. Also, there are tons of different types of batteries, but there are (for the most part) only three companies manufacturing batteries in the US. Deka, Johnson Controls and I forget the third, and people just put different stickers on them and sell them at different prices. I've seen two stores selling the exact same battery, one selling for $120 and the other store selling for $360, and both had the exact same warranty. The batteries weighed the same, but one appeared to have a higher reserve capacity rating because different companies use different standards for rating. Some rate based on (1) amp draw, some use the number of hours it takes to drain a battery using a 25 amp draw, some use 23 amp draws, and others tell the maximum current draw that the battery can sustain over 20 hours. Some give you a reserve capacity rating but don't tell you if they were using a 25 amp draw or 23 amp draw. Golf cart batteries may give you a 75 amp draw rating as golf carts tend to draw more amps anyway. So as you can see, it is easy for a company to manipulate the numbers to make two identical batteries look different. One item you really cannot get around with deep cycle batteries is almost 100% of the time the heavier the battery, the better the reserve capacity as you have more metal surface area to react with the electrolyte with more plates.  So if you see two batteries that look exactly the same in the same class and weight, they are likely the exact same battery.

Another general statement on deep cycle batteries is that you should buy the greatest amount of reserve capacity as you can within reason. For example, if you have a 50 amp drain during the workday and have 100 amp hour reserve, you've depleted your battery to 50% which is about as far as you want to go, although you can go as far as 80% if you absolutely have to. If you had a 50 amp drain during the workday and have 200 amp hour reserve you've only depleted your battery to 75%, and this set up will allow your batteries to last a lot longer because you're not abusing them as much. Of course having the Stealth Charger will recharge your batteries in between jobs and on the way back home or to the shop giving you a lot of wiggle room and preventing you from depleting your batteries as much so you will get more service life out of your batteries using the stealth charger, as well as longer run time on job sites.

Below is an excellent reference for all things battery related.

jgdarden.com/batteryfaq/carfaq7.htm
support.rollsbattery.com/support/solutions/articles/5964-battery-sulfation          


 Professor.....lol

AC



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If you want an inexpensive charger for one battery, I've been using this one and it is great. I just plug it in at night and It's ready to go in the morning. I've got a 12 volt Versa Jet pump. 6gpm i think.

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F5EBP8W/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage



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AC Lockyer wrote:
Troy Layman wrote:

 Professor.....lol

AC


 LOL...I spent a lot of time in college getting a degree in computer electronics a long time ago.  I don't get to use it much, so that tuition money may as well serve a good purpose somewhere. :-p



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Panoramic Clean
Roof & Exterior Cleaning/Soft Washing
Ashland, VA
www.PanoramicClean.com
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(757) 562-7216

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