Battery charger ramping up?, or defect with charger?


Old 09-15-08, 06:34 AM
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Battery charger ramping up?, or defect with charger?

I was trying to get a 6 volt tractor battery charged up last week. Then this week I was trying to charge up the battery of a stored vehicle.

In both instances, the battery first said that it was putting out about 28 watts on my Kill-A-Watt meter. I tried shifting around the connections and no matter what I did, this did not help. I also tried jiggling the power cord and clamp wires as I thought that since there is movement of the wires through the grommets into the charger, that maybe something had a bad connection. This did not cause the meter to jump around or anything.

So I left the charger hooked up and when I came down to the garage I noticed my meter said the watts being drawn was substantially higher. And then I waited around and watched and could actually see the watt number go up, and up more, till it finally peaked out. I can't remember the number but it was mid 100's to low 200's. Way more than the 28 it started out at.

Yesterday I tried to charge a stored vehicles battery that went dry. I added lots of water and saw no leak. Put the charger on it and it too started out at about 28 watts. Then it too climbed in watts to about 64. Then I went and mowed some grass and to my dismay, it had actually came back down to upper 20's or low 30's. I jiggled the connections on the battery post and this did nothing. Taking the clamps off only produced a tiny spark (as expected) with this low draw.

Does this battery charger have some capability that it knows not too put a lot of current into a battery that is really dead? Or is it because there is something wrong with the battery itself that is not allowing some kind of current loop to go in the positive terminal and back out to the negative terminal? (Remember I added all that water -like a 1/2 gallon's worth)

Or could the charger be bad? There is a possibility the charger is bad as the garage's roof leaks in places and maybe some water drops got inside the cooling slots on top the charger. This battery charger has not really been used all that much in the 5-7 years I've owned it. Probably used it like 8 times in all.

If it is the charger, is there a good test to rule out any ramping up theory? Could I hook up the charger to my good battery? Or would a low reading not help me figure this out, since a charged battery draws less charge?

This battery charger is one of those top-handle portable ones that is like a 6 x 12 inch box that has 4 switches on it and an analog amp gauge. The switches are for 6 volt, 2 amp/12v, 15 amp/12v and booster setting of 100amp/12 volt.

Now for the actual results: After the 6 volt battery was on the charger for a couple hours and went form being totally dead with no click even, it later cranked right up. (In reveiw this is when the charger started out at 38 watts and ramped up to at leaast mid-100's or higher) And then for my empty-water 12 volt battery for the seized up engine -that now does at least click. I'll know more on this after pulling all the plugs to rule out hydro-lock, look into the holes and probably squirt in liquid made for this, and later see if I can rotate the engine by hand (which I now have only managed for the crank to move from 12 to 2 0'clock while torquing on the crank bolt and a pulley at the same time. I was going to get a neighber to help me turn yet another pulley at the same time, but thought better of that).
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Old 09-16-08, 07:33 AM
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This is sort of interesting. Don't know how much it will help though:

Went down to the garage earlier and tested battery volts after all that charging yesterday: IF it was charging. Or, if the battery, that had been out of water, simply can't hold a charge anymore.

Anyway, I got 4.2 volts at the posts.

Then I put charger on 15amp setting for 1/2 hour. Kill-A-Watt meter said 32 watts. Right at this time then I also checked volts at battery post = 13.1 volts to my surprise.

So now I know that even with the low watt consumption of the charger, the volts are at least making it's way to the battery. But what VOLUME of volts?

Then after 1/2 hour, I checked volts at posts = 12.87 volts, with charger still hooked up. The Kill-A-Watt meter now said 64 watts being consumed by charger (that rampinjg up again?, or what?).

I then unplugged the charger and the battery is now up to 5.87 volts. I'll be curious to see what it says tonight when I recheck volts to see if it held or dropped back down into the 4's again.
Old 09-19-08, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 905
Batt charger

Hook it up to a known good battery and see if it still acts goofy. And quit pulling the clamps off while the charger is running or you could blow one up in your face. RW
Old 09-19-08, 03:56 PM
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I'll try that.

I unplug the charger first before fiddling with the clamps.

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