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#4564064 - 11/04/17 03:46 PM Battery life of small CPE battery
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 11251
Loc: NorthEast
It looks like the battery on my generator is gone. It is about 5 years old. I purchased Schumacher charger but it was not able to revive the battery. I was not impressed with the charger. It claims the battery is good but putting a voltmeter on it during the cranking tells me that either the battery is NOT charged or it is dead. I am not sure if I should go for another charger or just get a new battery and forget about another charger. Is 5 years expected life of a sealed lead acid battery? It is 15AH 12V 3x6x7 inches. It probably had about less than 5 starts on it.

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#4564083 - 11/04/17 04:07 PM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: Vikas]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 12641
Loc: NE,Ohio
yes that is normal life.
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#4564090 - 11/04/17 04:18 PM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: Vikas]
HorseThief Offline


Registered: 10/12/17
Posts: 120
Loc: MI
You need to top off thecharge on these every 3-6 months with a good automatic charger/maintainer. Unless you have a higher end Honda or similar generator, most do not have a voltage regulator or 12v charging circuit, so they're not charged while running. 5 years is average lifespan. A decent 12v 12-15Ah battery should run you 40-$60. The hard part is finding one with nut and bolt terminals if you need them.
Most SLAs in that size have slide on 1/4 inch terminals. As far as brands go, Powersonic makes decent SLAs. You could probably also get away with a ytx9-b s (censor doesn't like without spaces) powersport battery with about the same lifespan and cranking amps.

As far as the charger goes, if a battery is severely overdischarged, it can't conduct current very well. So when you put a smart charger on it and it pumps 500mA or more into it, the voltage shoots right up and the charger thinks it's full, when it isn't. This is where dumb chargers or smart chargers with supply/recovery mode come in handy.


Edited by HorseThief (11/04/17 04:22 PM)
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#4564106 - 11/04/17 04:43 PM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: Vikas]
Slick17601 Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 1515
Loc: Pennsylvania
3-4 years is about it.

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#4564218 - 11/04/17 06:55 PM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: Vikas]
boraticus Offline


Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 2905
Loc: Canada
Five years is pretty good for a small non-maintenance battery.

You need a new battery. Keep it charged and it will last a bit longer.

Did you buy an actual charger or a battery maintainer? There is a difference.

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#4564471 - 11/05/17 04:40 AM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: Vikas]
Lubener Offline


Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 2576
Loc: N.Ohio
Not a fault of the charger. It is showing voltage w/o load, which doesn't mean a lot unless the battery is in real terrible condition. You got your moneys worth from your 5 year old battery.


Edited by Lubener (11/05/17 04:41 AM)
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#4564489 - 11/05/17 05:49 AM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: Vikas]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41780
Loc: New Jersey
Those batteries never last that well. You do have a few options. Nothing says you must use the exact same size battery. Or that it must be installed in the generator. Since use of this seems like a rarity, you could go so far as to even just jumper it to your car. Similarly, you could have a dedicated battery you can easily put on continuous long term float maintenance charge. Something like those Walmart value $49 batteries come to mind as they have so much more cranking capability than the little one.

Another option is to buy a very small battery in a similar form factor, but get one that ships dry and that you have to fill with acid. Yes, setup time is longer but you're buying shelf life.

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#4564527 - 11/05/17 06:45 AM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: Vikas]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7157
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
I am unaware of any small batteries that will last longer than yours did. You certainly can spend more, and not get one bit more value. A larger battery may have more cranking power when old than a smaller one.
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#4564545 - 11/05/17 07:08 AM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: Vikas]
boraticus Offline


Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 2905
Loc: Canada
From my experience, keeping small batteries on a small 5 watt solar panel year round helps extend battery life. I also prefer to buy maintenance type batteries that I top up twice a year.

All of my small batteries are left out in the bush with no supplied power other than generators and solar panels. Overwintering in particular requires the need for solar panels. I keep the big deep cycle batteries on 40 watt panels with a voltage controllers. The smaller batteries don't need that kind of power and small panels don't need controllers.

With maintenance and solar panels, I can get up to 7 years out of small batteries.

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#4564583 - 11/05/17 07:58 AM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: boraticus]
Lubener Offline


Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 2576
Loc: N.Ohio
You could get that if you hang a maintaining type charger on it. The solar panel has nothing to do with it.
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#4564592 - 11/05/17 08:07 AM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: Lubener]
boraticus Offline


Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 2905
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Lubener
You could get that if you hang a maintaining type charger on it. The solar panel has nothing to do with it.


Hard to do in places with no electricity. Hence the solar panels.

Even in town with power, small sheds and storage areas without electricity would be good applications for small solar panels to keep batteries charged while in long term storage.

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#4564736 - 11/05/17 10:35 AM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: Vikas]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 11251
Loc: NorthEast
I used my Lithium jump starter (aka pocket one which has the size of about two iPhones) to start the generator. Later, I was shocked that I was able to yank the chain and got it started but wonder if that worked because the engine was warm enough. I do not want to throw out my shoulder by trying to save $40 bucks on the battery but the manual start was quite effortless. That was the 1st and the only time I used the rope starter. This 5-7K generator.

I also realized that I already own one of those fancy "do everything" microprocessor based "hobby" charger and have set it up in the "Pb" mode with 1.5A charging current. Given what you guys have said, it probably will NOT work but worth a try.

I am trying to remember if Costco carries this 3x6x7 battery. Calling Costco to find that out is useless as I was on one hour hold with the constant barrage of the advertisement. I finally gave up.

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#4564921 - 11/05/17 01:44 PM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: Vikas]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7157
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
There are always the Lithium ferrous phosphate batteries like the Ballistic brand.

They do tend to last if left disconnected and charged and used from time to time. They self deplete at the rate of 10% per year. However, after a long period of non use I don't think anybody knows if they will hold a charge. Certainly, they can't be allowed to go dead.



Edited by Cujet (11/05/17 01:47 PM)
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#4567335 - 11/08/17 12:07 AM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: Cujet]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41780
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Cujet
There are always the Lithium ferrous phosphate batteries like the Ballistic brand.

They do tend to last if left disconnected and charged and used from time to time. They self deplete at the rate of 10% per year. However, after a long period of non use I don't think anybody knows if they will hold a charge. Certainly, they can't be allowed to go dead.



Go below 2v and you dissolve the copper current collector. Charge back up and plate it out, there's a risk of a major failure.

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#4567393 - 11/08/17 04:46 AM Re: Battery life of small CPE battery [Re: JHZR2]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7157
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Originally Posted By: JHZR2


Go below 2v and you dissolve the copper current collector. Charge back up and plate it out, there's a risk of a major failure.


Correct, they do "brick" when allowed to go dead. The good news is that when left disconnected, they seem to need a charge only once per year.

These types of batteries may have a place, but certainly not in cold weather. As they do not work, at all, at 0 degrees F.
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