Question Equalization - how often do you do it?

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I'm not sure what types of batteries should or should not do equalization but I know my FLA (lead acid) batteries are supposed to be equalized. How often is what I'm not sure of, right now I do it every 6 months. I'm thinking I may move to quarterly now.

What do you know as far as how often it should be done and how often do you actually do it?

 
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From what I've read, "equalizing" is necessary in situations where batteries don't get fully recharged routinely. This is particularly applicable in boating applications where charging is sporadic, and primarily from marginal solar systems.

Our coaches are frequently connected to park power and, as a result, should be getting a full charge on a routine basis. If you do a lot of boondocking away from the power grid, then the charging may be more akin to that in boating applications and require equalizing.

We monitor our battery charge condition fairly closely and, since we are primarily connected to "shore power" on a regular basis, have seen no signs that our AGMs need equalization. And, yes; AGMs can be equalized, if necessary.

Here are a couple of links that, I think, provide some good insight on equalizing.



TJ
 
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The above post by TJ has some good info. Equalization of flooded acid batteries is to synchronize the Specific Gravity of the cells and rid the battery plates of sulfates and remove stratification of the acid. The quick test appears to be to measure the specific gravity of the cells to determine the variation.

Each manufacturer has their own methods and thresholds as determined from my research.

Trojan explains it this way from this document Battery Maintenance | Trojan Battery Company:

FLOODED BATTERIES ONLY

Equalizing is an overcharge performed on flooded lead acid batteries after they have been fully charged.

It reverses the buildup of negative chemical effects like stratification, a condition where acid concentration is greater at the bottom of the battery than at the top. Equalizing also helps to remove sulfate crystals that might have built up on the plates. If left unchecked, this condition, called sulfation, will reduce the overall capacity of the battery.

Many experts recommend that batteries be equalized periodically, ranging anywhere from once a month to once or twice per year. However, Trojan only recommends equalizing when low or wide ranging specific gravity (>0.030) are detected after fully charging a battery.



Step-By-Step Equalizing

  1. Verify the battery(s) are flooded type.
  2. Remove all loads from the batteries.
  3. Connect battery charger.
  4. Set charger for the equalizing voltage (See Table 2 in the Charging section). If your charger doesn’t have an equalization mode, you can unplug the charger and re-plug it back in. This also will conduct the equalization charge.
  5. Start charging batteries.
  6. Batteries will begin gassing and bubbling vigorously.
  7. Take specific gravity readings every hour.
  8. Equalization is complete when specific gravity values no longer rise during the gassing stage.
 
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