Do Battery Maintainers Help??

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ricky racer
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Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby ricky racer » Wed Feb 02, 2022 7:29 pm

You all know I'm a big proponent of battery maintainers such as Battery Tender, Schumacher and the like. I'm currently running 6 or 7 of them on various equipment from my Ford F350 Dually which doesn't see much use anymore to my motorcycle, garden tractors and other various tractors. With the number of batteries I have in various equipment, battery maintainers have saved me boatloads of money over the years.

Michigan has been almost devoid of snow this year but today we made up for it with about 12" of wet heavy snow. I took my Cub out and plowed both of my driveways out and also the neighbor who was recently widowed earlier in the day. Again, as always my Cub worked flawlessly even though it was snowing so hard it was difficult to see at times. Normally I'd wait until the snow subsided before venturing out to plow but as wet and heavy as the snow was and another possible 6" in the forecast, I figured I'd try to get ahead of it a bit.

Tonight I went out to give the driveways another round to get rid of the newest snow accumulation but decided I would use my mounted snow blower in a couple of spots that the Cub just doesn't fit into. My snow blowing tractor is a 1974 John Deere 112 which is a dedicated snow blowing tractor. I unhooked the battery maintainer on it, checked the oil and attempted to fire it up. That was a no-go. I was surprised but the battery was dead I started it up and moved it just about a month ago. Disappointed I figured I pull a good battery from another tractor tomorrow and finish things up in the daylight. It occurred to me it's been a long time since I've needed to purchase batteries for any of my equipment so I took a look at the date on the dead battery. It was November of 07! :shock: That's pretty unbelievable for a typical garden tractor battery!
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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby Slim140 » Thu Feb 03, 2022 7:08 am

I'm a believer in them too Ricky, currently have 7 hooked to various mowers and tractors.
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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby Dale Finch » Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:32 am

Slim140 wrote:I'm a believer in them too Ricky, currently have 7 hooked to various mowers and tractors.

7 here, too! Knock on wood, they're all doing OK! :tractor:
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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby Stanton » Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:39 am

That's a great testimony on prolonging the "normal" life expectancy of a lawn or garden battery. I still need to get a couple more. I like using the Schumacher dual battery tender; has two sets of leads from one transformer. Handy for when two batteries are close enough together to get them both.

Thanks, Ricky!
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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby SamsFarm » Thu Feb 03, 2022 1:36 pm

I think the biggest benifit is the battery is fresh before trying to put a load on it!

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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby Winfield Dave » Fri Feb 04, 2022 8:50 am

Using 6 of the Schumachers!
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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby Super A » Fri Feb 04, 2022 10:28 am

Nagging question for me: What safety mechanisms do these maintainers have if a battery decides to overcharge, explode, or do something else weird? I've always been squeamish about having them just plugged in all the time, mostly unattended.

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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby Eugene » Fri Feb 04, 2022 1:19 pm

Super A wrote:Nagging question for me: What safety mechanisms do these maintainers have if a battery decides to overcharge, explode, or do something else weird? I've always been squeamish about having them just plugged in all the time, mostly unattended.
I have the Schumachers. They automatically shut off when the battery is fully charged. You can leave them attached/maintaining.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby ricky racer » Fri Feb 04, 2022 2:13 pm

Like Eugene said, they monitor the battery charge and turn off when the battery reaches its optimal charge. Once the battery charge drops below a certain voltage it charges it back up to the optimal charge again. It's not a trickle charger. Trickle chargers charge at a low amperage but charge continuously. You don't want that for storage.
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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby Dale Finch » Fri Feb 04, 2022 6:16 pm

Also (if I'm not mistaken), if the battery did explode or fatally fail for some reason, it would no longer charge at all...the Schumacher's require a "good" battery for it to do anything.
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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby Jim Becker » Fri Feb 04, 2022 10:03 pm

II had a battery explode while on a maintainer. I don't think the maintainer did anything to cause the explosion or did anything bad after the explosion. The maintainer itself seemed unharmed and I still use it (7 years later).

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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby inairam » Sun Feb 13, 2022 4:33 pm

I have a number of electric golf carts and have been reading a lot about battery chargers and battery life. Keeping lead-acid batteries "topped off" does extend the life of lead-acid as well as other chemistry batteries https://batteryuniversity.com/articles.

Charging is another story. Many chargers especially older ones turn off once the battery is charged and are not sensing the battery voltage to turn back on. This happens a lot with golf carts over the winter. I worked at golf course that would unplug and replug in the carts every two weeks over the winter to keep the batteries charged.

There are smart chargers, chargers, trickle chargers and maintainers. I think you have to read the package to make sure you understand what the product is designed to do.

I have a lot of solar battery maintainers that I use to keep the fleet charged up. I have used them over the winter and have had better success to live batteries in the spring.
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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Thu Feb 17, 2022 10:32 pm

I have used battery maintainers in the off season on my cubs and lawnmower, plus the yer round on my power generator I keep for emergencies. To make things easier to track I use a white paint pen from Walmarts craft department to write the installation dates on the battery tops. For approximately 18 years I have found that batteries I used a good quality battery maintainer on lasted from 5 to 7 years which is about 3 or 4 years longer then my non maintainer ones normally lasted. A couple things I learned the hard way, one, is to be sure you disconnect the maintainer before starting engine..I lost a couple maintainers that way. Second, buy a good quality maintainer such as a Schumacher. There are others, but that is the first one I thought of. Do not buy the cheap ones with a transformer that plugs directly into a receptacle with 2 wires going from it to the battery.I lost a battery due to one of them. I am referring to the ones such as Harbor Freight sells for $10 to $12 on sale
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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby SamsFarm » Fri Feb 18, 2022 12:43 am

I know a guy who uses 1 maintainer and jumper wires to a stack of batteries on the floor!

Does it work? Beats me, but he is happy! :lol:

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Re: Do Battery Maintainers Help??

Postby Jim Becker » Fri Feb 18, 2022 10:31 am

SamsFarm wrote:I know a guy who uses 1 maintainer and jumper wires to a stack of batteries on the floor!

Does it work? Beats me, but he is happy! :lol:

I expect that to work okay with good batteries. If one of them goes bad, I'm not sure what might happen with one or more fully charged batteries supplying more current. Best case, may be to discharge the good one(s).

I have connected two trailer brake batteries as a single battery seems to sometimes make the maintainer error out. (Is it bad or just limited on charge current?)


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