Gel-Cell Battery repair?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Chris F., Aug 14, 2005.

  1. Chris F.

    Chris F. Guest

    I got a couple of rather large gel-cell batteries the other day (the
    largest is a 12V 24ah) but it turns out they weren't such a great find.
    Neither will take a charge; with the charger connected, neither battery will
    draw so much as a single milliamp. Both batteries have a number of little
    round covers; underneath the covers are small rubber caps covering a hole. I
    noted that when I removed one of the rubber caps, there was a small inrush
    of air as if there was a vacuum inside. My guess is that both batteries have
    "dried up", possibly from lack of use. Is it as simple as adding water, and
    if so, exactly how much and what kind (distilled, tap, etc) should be used?
    Thanks for any advice.
    Chris F., Aug 14, 2005
    #1
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  2. In article <63LLe.74667$>,
    Chris F. <> wrote:
    > I got a couple of rather large gel-cell batteries the other day (the
    > largest is a 12V 24ah)


    That's not large;-) We use 100 Ah types for powering location broadcasting
    units. And that limit is purely through the weight for carrying.

    > but it turns out they weren't such a great find. Neither will take a
    > charge; with the charger connected, neither battery will draw so much as
    > a single milliamp. Both batteries have a number of little round covers;
    > underneath the covers are small rubber caps covering a hole. I noted
    > that when I removed one of the rubber caps, there was a small inrush of
    > air as if there was a vacuum inside. My guess is that both batteries
    > have "dried up", possibly from lack of use. Is it as simple as adding
    > water, and if so, exactly how much and what kind (distilled, tap, etc)
    > should be used?


    IMHO, when any type of lead acid is dead, it's dead. If they've been left
    discharged for any length of time for whatever reason they can't be sorted.

    --
    *I'm planning to be spontaneous tomorrow *

    Dave Plowman London SW
    To e-mail, change noise into sound.
    Dave Plowman (News), Aug 14, 2005
    #2
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  3. Chris F.

    Jerry G. Guest

    Gell cells are not servicable. They must be replaced when they go
    defective. You are supposed to have the old ones properly disposed of.


    Jerry G.
    ======
    Jerry G., Aug 14, 2005
    #3
  4. Chris F.

    Chris F. Guest

    "Jerry G." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Gell cells are not servicable. They must be replaced when they go
    > defective. You are supposed to have the old ones properly disposed of.
    >
    >
    > Jerry G.
    > ======

    So what's with the little covered panels on top? I thought maybe it was a
    place to add water.....
    Chris F., Aug 14, 2005
    #4
  5. Chris F.

    3T39 Guest

    Hello, Chris!
    You wrote on Sun, 14 Aug 2005 22:33:19 GMT:


    CF> "Jerry G." <> wrote in message
    CF> news:...
    ??>> Gell cells are not servicable. They must be replaced when they go
    ??>> defective. You are supposed to have the old ones properly disposed of.
    ??>>
    ??>> Jerry G.
    ??>> ======
    CF> So what's with the little covered panels on top? I thought maybe it was
    CF> a place to add water.....

    Nope, they are there to provide a safety vent in case of a fault developing
    that might otherwise cause a bang.


    With best regards, 3T39. E-mail:
    3T39, Aug 15, 2005
    #5
  6. Chris F.

    James Sweet Guest

    "Jerry G." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Gell cells are not servicable. They must be replaced when they go
    > defective. You are supposed to have the old ones properly disposed of.
    >
    >



    That's easy enough, anywhere that sells car batteries will take just about
    any sort of dead lead acid batteries for disposal. I take them down to the
    local Schucks autoparts.
    James Sweet, Aug 15, 2005
    #6
  7. Chris F.

    Chris F. Guest

    Is there any way to "revive" them by applying higher charge voltage or
    something?

    "Chris F." <> wrote in message
    news:63LLe.74667$...
    > I got a couple of rather large gel-cell batteries the other day (the
    > largest is a 12V 24ah) but it turns out they weren't such a great find.
    > Neither will take a charge; with the charger connected, neither battery

    will
    > draw so much as a single milliamp. Both batteries have a number of little
    > round covers; underneath the covers are small rubber caps covering a hole.

    I
    > noted that when I removed one of the rubber caps, there was a small inrush
    > of air as if there was a vacuum inside. My guess is that both batteries

    have
    > "dried up", possibly from lack of use. Is it as simple as adding water,

    and
    > if so, exactly how much and what kind (distilled, tap, etc) should be

    used?
    > Thanks for any advice.
    >
    >
    Chris F., Aug 15, 2005
    #7
  8. In article <B74Me.75112$>,
    Chris F. <> wrote:
    > Is there any way to "revive" them by applying higher charge voltage or
    > something?


    No.

    --
    *If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

    Dave Plowman London SW
    To e-mail, change noise into sound.
    Dave Plowman (News), Aug 15, 2005
    #8
  9. Chris F.

    Chris F. Guest

    I found a website that had plans for a "desulfator" that claims to be able
    to revive at least a small percentage of such dead batteries. These
    batteries probably failed from sulfation, as they were hardly used and kept
    in storage for years. I'll give it a try sometime.

    "Chris F." <> wrote in message
    news:B74Me.75112$...
    > Is there any way to "revive" them by applying higher charge voltage or
    > something?
    >
    > "Chris F." <> wrote in message
    > news:63LLe.74667$...
    > > I got a couple of rather large gel-cell batteries the other day (the
    > > largest is a 12V 24ah) but it turns out they weren't such a great find.
    > > Neither will take a charge; with the charger connected, neither battery

    > will
    > > draw so much as a single milliamp. Both batteries have a number of

    little
    > > round covers; underneath the covers are small rubber caps covering a

    hole.
    > I
    > > noted that when I removed one of the rubber caps, there was a small

    inrush
    > > of air as if there was a vacuum inside. My guess is that both batteries

    > have
    > > "dried up", possibly from lack of use. Is it as simple as adding water,

    > and
    > > if so, exactly how much and what kind (distilled, tap, etc) should be

    > used?
    > > Thanks for any advice.
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    Chris F., Aug 15, 2005
    #9
  10. Chris F.

    Jim Adney Guest

    On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 22:37:30 GMT "Chris F."
    <> wrote:

    >I found a website that had plans for a "desulfator" that claims to be able
    >to revive at least a small percentage of such dead batteries. These
    >batteries probably failed from sulfation, as they were hardly used and kept
    >in storage for years. I'll give it a try sometime.


    Sulfation can be cured by long slow trickle charging, but cells which
    have actually dried out can only be fixed by adding water. In most gel
    cells and starved lead acid cells this is difficult, if not
    impossible.

    Unfortunately, the onex I had were dried out, and even after cutting
    one of them open, I couldn't figure out any reasonable way to get
    water in there without destroying them.

    -
    -----------------------------------------------
    Jim Adney
    Madison, WI 53711 USA
    -----------------------------------------------
    Jim Adney, Aug 16, 2005
    #10
  11. Chris F.

    Chris F. Guest

    This may mean something, maybe not. I lifted off one of the rubber caps, and
    tried poking a small rod down through. There seemed to be a hard film on
    top, but underneath the gel appeared to be at least moderately wet. I'm
    guessing that perhaps poking a hole in the hard film, then adding water,
    might just work.

    "Jim Adney" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 22:37:30 GMT "Chris F."
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >I found a website that had plans for a "desulfator" that claims to be

    able
    > >to revive at least a small percentage of such dead batteries. These
    > >batteries probably failed from sulfation, as they were hardly used and

    kept
    > >in storage for years. I'll give it a try sometime.

    >
    > Sulfation can be cured by long slow trickle charging, but cells which
    > have actually dried out can only be fixed by adding water. In most gel
    > cells and starved lead acid cells this is difficult, if not
    > impossible.
    >
    > Unfortunately, the onex I had were dried out, and even after cutting
    > one of them open, I couldn't figure out any reasonable way to get
    > water in there without destroying them.
    >
    > -
    > -----------------------------------------------
    > Jim Adney
    > Madison, WI 53711 USA
    > -----------------------------------------------
    Chris F., Aug 16, 2005
    #11
  12. Chris F.

    James Sweet Guest

    "Chris F." <> wrote in message
    news:uCmMe.75527$...
    > This may mean something, maybe not. I lifted off one of the rubber caps,

    and
    > tried poking a small rod down through. There seemed to be a hard film on
    > top, but underneath the gel appeared to be at least moderately wet. I'm
    > guessing that perhaps poking a hole in the hard film, then adding water,
    > might just work.
    >



    Not if they're sulfated. I suppose you've got nothing to lose by trying but
    I've never had any luck getting truly dead lead acid batteries of any type
    to take a charge. Sometimes if you hit them with a higher voltage they'll
    charge a bit, but they never last long.
    James Sweet, Aug 17, 2005
    #12
  13. Chris F.

    Jim Adney Guest

    On Tue, 16 Aug 2005 14:20:10 GMT "Chris F."
    <> wrote:

    >This may mean something, maybe not. I lifted off one of the rubber caps, and
    >tried poking a small rod down through. There seemed to be a hard film on
    >top, but underneath the gel appeared to be at least moderately wet. I'm
    >guessing that perhaps poking a hole in the hard film, then adding water,
    >might just work.


    There's no harm in trying, and it might actually work. The problem is
    that you really don't know how far in the elecrolyte gel is. If you
    can actually get the water to it, you're all set. In the Gates Cyclon
    cells I took apart, there was a similar cap, but going down that hole
    only got me half way to the active part of the cell.

    -
    -----------------------------------------------
    Jim Adney
    Madison, WI 53711 USA
    -----------------------------------------------
    Jim Adney, Aug 17, 2005
    #13
  14. Chris F.

    Chris F. Guest

    Here's some interesting plans for a battery desulfator:
    http://www.shaka.com/~kalepa/desulf.htm
    People claim to have good luck with it, so I might give it a try. Cheaper
    than buying new gel-cells, that's for sure.

    "Jim Adney" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Tue, 16 Aug 2005 14:20:10 GMT "Chris F."
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >This may mean something, maybe not. I lifted off one of the rubber caps,

    and
    > >tried poking a small rod down through. There seemed to be a hard film on
    > >top, but underneath the gel appeared to be at least moderately wet. I'm
    > >guessing that perhaps poking a hole in the hard film, then adding water,
    > >might just work.

    >
    > There's no harm in trying, and it might actually work. The problem is
    > that you really don't know how far in the elecrolyte gel is. If you
    > can actually get the water to it, you're all set. In the Gates Cyclon
    > cells I took apart, there was a similar cap, but going down that hole
    > only got me half way to the active part of the cell.
    >
    > -
    > -----------------------------------------------
    > Jim Adney
    > Madison, WI 53711 USA
    > -----------------------------------------------
    Chris F., Aug 19, 2005
    #14
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