help- charging battery

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  #1  
Old 04-14-06, 06:11 AM
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help- charging battery

I inherited a 6 year old Craftsman 46" rider. I have 2 batteries for it- One it came with - the other I bought last year- Both seem to be low- When I hook the charger up- I get a "Polarity check" warning light on the charger. It's hooked up correctly- and it charges the car battery with no issues. Is it possible that the charge is so low that I would get this? I get the same results on both tractor batteries......
 
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Old 04-14-06, 09:19 PM
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Are these maintenance free batteries? Sealed tight? Your probably out of luck.

Or, can you pull the tops off and check the salinity of the water/acid solution if there are removable caps on the batteries.

When batteries get overcharged, the water "boils" out and the salinity becomes to acidic.

You can buy a small device to check the salinity, and you can by the acid to correct the solution. Probably cost you as much or more than a new battery though.

Check the voltage regulator on the tractor. It's possibly overcharging the batteries.
 
  #3  
Old 04-15-06, 05:18 AM
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Thanks- Where is the voltage regulator and how do I test it?
 
  #4  
Old 04-15-06, 07:45 PM
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What engine do you have. Many, if not most, do not have regulators.

It's actually the specific gravity you'd measure in the batteries...should be no salinity (salt) in a battery (just making sure you don't put salt in your battery).
 
  #5  
Old 04-16-06, 05:52 AM
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ok thanks (now I'm really confused)
so I found the maunal last night and began taking things apart- In ther troubleshooting guide- it states that if the battery is not charging- (check and replace the regulator or alternator)- I cannot find the regulator (not sure what it looks like) and the alternator looks to be embedded into the actual engine- So I'm sure sure what actually charges the battery- It's a 15HP Kohler engine on a Craftsman Lawn Tractor
 
  #6  
Old 04-16-06, 01:32 PM
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Whoa, don't start taking things apart yet. It's likely the problem isn't even an engine problem, but rather something external. On some of these, there are 3 relays under the gas tank area of the mower (if your tank is under the hood). One of these relays controls the charging circuit. They often give trouble and are at fault when that engine is used and the battery won't charge.

You'll need to start by replacing the battery, as yours has gone into deep discharge and probably won't come back. Even if it does, you can't trust it now. It probably has warped plates/internal short and will drain itself and cause problems with the charging system.

Then, start the mower and check the voltage at the battery. You should have 13 volts or more. If not, we'll go from there.
 
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