Float Charger danger?

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1,677
Location
Southwest
I've taken to using a float charger on my daily driver. Short haul vehicle and the battery was declining faster than I liked. Anyway, I got in the habit of using it every single day. Works great at protecting the battery. Now 6+ years old and going strong. I admit I'm one of those guys who will go to great lengths to beat the system. Is this dangerous? What if the battery blows up or something?
 
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730
Location
North of you Idaho
Put a volt meter on the battery an hour after you plugged it in, if it is above 13.2 volts its a bit too much. 13.2 volts is optimum. If your battery holds 12.8 volts over night without being plugged in, there is not much of a point in plugging it in. 12.6 volts over night is still a pretty decent battery. There is no danger, your batt is not going to go boom!
 
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Messages
10,597
Location
Nokesville, VA
Severe overcharging which boils the electrolyte out of the battery can result in the build up of hydrogen gas which could ignite. It also results in the build of up foul smelling hydrogen sulfide gas (rotten egg smell). It's unlikely that a trickle charger puts out enough voltage/current to result in a buildup of hydrogen gas. But if your battery smells like rotten eggs, you might want to make sure it's not being overcharged with too much current/voltage.
 

jimbrewer

Thread starter
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1,677
Location
Southwest
As a matter of fact it is a Harbor Freight one. The premium model, though. After 3 years the battery seems to decline at a 10CCA per year rate, so I assume it's adjusted right. I haven't smelled anything from the battery, but I'll keep that in mind.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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44,667
Location
New Jersey
What kind of float charger? Some are smart and greatly reduce current in a phased way. Some are dumb and will raise voltage to force current in, killing a battery slowly. I'm an advocate personally, using a smart and well controlled design.
 
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4,898
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: jimbrewer
I've taken to using a float charger on my daily driver. Short haul vehicle and the battery was declining faster than I liked. Anyway, I got in the habit of using it every single day. Works great at protecting the battery. Now 6+ years old and going strong. I admit I'm one of those guys who will go to great lengths to beat the system. Is this dangerous? What if the battery blows up or something?
Putting a charger/maintainer on a bad battery is asking for trouble. Years alone doesn't mean a battery is bad, The battery in my Toyota Corolla is over 8 years old.
 
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4,469
Location
OK
I usually keep my motorcycles on a Battery Tender Junior, and it literally trickles in enough voltage to keep the battery healthy. Haven't cooked a battery yet. I've seen the newer ones at Harbor Freight, but I just don't trust them to do smart voltage monitoring yet.
 
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2,022
Location
CA
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
What kind of float charger? Some are smart and greatly reduce current in a phased way. Some are dumb and will raise voltage to force current in, killing a battery slowly. I'm an advocate personally, using a smart and well controlled design.
+1 This
 
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2,408
Location
CA
I've had my batteryminder fry a relayively new battery so the good brand also can occasionally go wrong. In this case, l'd rather of not used a charger on a battery thst didnt need charging . I've since decided that float is not as good of an strategy as ctek's pulse charge. (letting the charge drop to 95% before trickling again) Suggest you take a look at ctek as they are the only ones that offer this alternative endcharge strategy. ctek is also endorsed by a lot of oems esp. european ones. Or if you're more of a denim jacket and denim pants guy, jay leno also endorses them and you see them all over his garage on his expensive toys that are infrequently driven. Granted he probably gets them for free, but he doesn't need to use junk, even if it were free.
 
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Messages
6,237
Location
Kalifornia Kollective
Completely depends on the charger... 0.875 A NOCO intellegent maintainer is good for most situations. To small to really bring a battery back up. But will keep it in good shape for a long time. Cheap east asian trickle chargers- not so much ...
 
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1,492
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
Completely depends on the charger... 0.875 A NOCO intellegent maintainer is good for most situations. To small to really bring a battery back up. But will keep it in good shape for a long time. Cheap east asian trickle chargers- not so much ...
My record is 9 years on a group 65 keeping it on a small float maintainer. Battery was still working fine but replaced because it wasn't worth getting stranded on a big trip - just in case.
 
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3,463
Location
Coastal South Carolina
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
I usually keep my motorcycles on a Battery Tender Junior, and it literally trickles in enough voltage to keep the battery healthy. Haven't cooked a battery yet. I've seen the newer ones at Harbor Freight, but I just don't trust them to do smart voltage monitoring yet.
I use a battery tender brand on a boat- good item , not from harbor freight
 
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Messages
909
Location
Wash, DC
Originally Posted By: jimbrewer
... Short haul vehicle and the battery was declining faster than I liked... Anyway, I got in the habit of using it every single day.
I'm in the same situation. I charge overnight every 3 months. Last battery was going strong after 9 years, but I didn't feel comfortable going for a tenth winter.
 
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