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Leisure battery problem

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Leisure battery problem Empty Leisure battery problem

Post by Mabli Wed Sep 27, 2023 9:47 pm

Our leisure battery is the original, so 6.5 yrs old minimum, and has always worked perfectly fine until a couple of weeks ago.  We'd been spending 1 or 2 nights off grid at a time with no issues at all.  During our recent trip, dim lights and the control panel alarm signalled that something was amiss.  By monitoring the battery power regularly, we confirmed that the solar panel was charging the battery, and by lunch time each day we'd have a good battery level.  However, the battery was discharging very quickly and on light loads, so when we arrived home we opened the battery box, with a view to replacing it, as we were convinced (from reading similar topics here) that it was time for a new battery.  We found that it has "Indicator Condition" lights - Green = good; Grey = charging necessary; Clear = replace battery.  Are these indicators reliable???  Ours has been Green or Grey since we've been testing it!  
The last test we carried out was to leave all the lights on, (ensuring that everything else was off) - within 2 hours of dusk the system had shut itself down apart from one light.  Has anyone experienced similar problems, and found that there was a problem other than the leisure battery itself?  Thank you!
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Post by Roopert Thu Sep 28, 2023 12:56 am

I think there's a very good chance that the battery has simply had it. IIRC the green/clear indicator on maintenance-free batteries just shows when the electrolyte is too low (in the cell that the indicator is mounted in) but even with a good level of electrolyte, the capacity still drops away as they age.

One good test that you could do is to disconnect the battery and put it on an external battery charger, then repeat your test to see how long it lasts under load. You don't need an especially costly charger for that - even the ones at £12.99 from LIDL should do the job OK.
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Post by IanH Thu Sep 28, 2023 7:30 am

Virtually certain to be the battery dead or dying.
Relatively cheap item compared to motorhome cost, and usually easy to change.

Google TAYNA. Find what you need. Buy today, be with you tomorrow......
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Post by Mabli Thu Sep 28, 2023 8:25 am

Roopert wrote:I think there's a very good chance that the battery has simply had it. IIRC the green/clear indicator on maintenance-free batteries just shows when the electrolyte is too low (in the cell that the indicator is mounted in) but even with a good level of electrolyte, the capacity still drops away as they age.

One good test that you could do is to disconnect the battery and put it on an external battery charger, then repeat your test to see how long it lasts under load. You don't need an especially costly charger for that - even the ones at £12.99 from LIDL should do the job OK.
I’m no electrician, so if this is a stupid question, apologies in advance!  Is there a difference between charging on ehu to charging it as you suggested?  Thank you
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Post by Mabli Thu Sep 28, 2023 8:26 am

IanH wrote:Virtually certain to be the battery dead or dying.
Relatively cheap item compared to motorhome cost, and usually easy to change.

Google TAYNA. Find what you need. Buy today, be with you tomorrow......
Thanks for the tip!
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Post by BobK Thu Sep 28, 2023 9:12 am

Mabli wrote:
I’m no electrician, so if this is a stupid question, apologies in advance!  Is there a difference between charging on ehu to charging it as you suggested?  Thank you
I think Roopert was suggesting that an independent charge, while not connected to anything on the van (both battery terminals disconnected) would then give you a good idea how the battery lasted after an independent charge.
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Post by Askit Thu Sep 28, 2023 9:15 am

Mabli wrote:
I’m no electrician, so if this is a stupid question, apologies in advance!  Is there a difference between charging on ehu to charging it as you suggested?  Thank you

I think that Roopert is suggesting, by using an external charging source, you remove the possibility of the issue being related to the van's systems. In other words you can check whether it's a battery or van issue. I had the same problem recently and had to replace both batteries, sourced from Tanya.

Bob beat me to it smile!

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Post by Roopert Thu Sep 28, 2023 8:09 pm

Yes, sorry, didn't explain well - as BobK and Askit have said, the suggestion was intended as a test to rule out the possibility of a problem with the charger(s) in the van.
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Post by Mabli Thu Sep 28, 2023 10:43 pm

Thank you all for your help, will test further smile!
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Post by Snowwolf Thu Sep 28, 2023 11:04 pm

Don’t bother testing, it’s at end of life, buy a new battery, it’s only way forward, you have done well at 6.5 years
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Post by Avontourist Thu Sep 28, 2023 11:48 pm

the green indicator system on some batteries are not liquid level indicator but a hydrometer to show the level of charge in the electrolyte and are very inaccurate , at 6.5 years I would expect a lead acid battery to be past its best .
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Post by Mabli Fri Sep 29, 2023 9:08 am

Snowwolf and Avontourist, that’s my feeling as well, especially as I’ve now seen that most batteries are only guaranteed for 4 yrs!  Thank you blush
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Post by Molly3 Fri Sep 29, 2023 12:42 pm

Once you suspect your battery is going ,, you are usually right ,replace
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Leisure battery problem Empty just replaced ours

Post by jubejube Fri Sep 29, 2023 1:51 pm

we got 12 years out our battery ,just replaced ours from Halfords , easy to fit
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Leisure battery problem Empty 12 years

Post by Snowwolf Sat Sep 30, 2023 8:39 am

jubejube wrote:we got 12 years out our battery ,just replaced ours from Halfords , easy to fit
I would guess that all your trips away you are on electrical hook up ? A batter that old is unlikely to last any length of time when not connected to EHU
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Post by jubejube Sat Sep 30, 2023 10:27 am

You're correct we never wild camp 'like the safety of a campsite ,we're a couple of fairdies
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Post by Molly3 Thu Nov 23, 2023 11:05 pm

I think your next step is to decide witch battery to buy cheap led acid ,mid priced lead carbon or lithium
I bought lead carbon,
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Post by gassygassy Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:01 am

What's the benefit of Lead Carbon Molly? I just looked them up and they seem to range from £89 to about £500. I wonder why?

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