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Discussion Starter #1
Can I use a regular battery charger (slow charge) for a Delco battery. Some say I need a special Delco charger and others say this in not true.
 

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You can use a slow charge, but delco batteries charge better with a quick charger. I usually use a 60 amp setting for about an hour or an hour and a half. The battery should be monitored when charging at this rate because if it has internal problems it could overheat or even explode.
What kind of slow charger do you have? I mean what is the amperage setting?
 

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A slow charger is always preferable since it allows the battery to charge with a minimum of heat generated, or off-gassing.
Personally, unless the battery is VERY new, I'd toss it and get a better battery (never been a fan of Delco batteries). One that is NOT permanently sealed so you can monitor each individual cell before, during and after charging. At the very least, I'd try to verify that the electrolyte level is over the plates in the battery prior to charging to minimize the chances of the battery blowing up. It's quite possible to have the one cell that's monitored by the "eye" be at a proper level wile another that you can't see is low. THAT cell (or cells) could present a problem when charging.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My charger is a TCB90 GYS. Probably unknown. It was recommend by a battery specialist. 5.5 amp

Now I am a bit more confused. I was told for sure, not to use a quick charger. This will destrow my maintenance free battery.

It is one year old. Meanwhile I have found the problem; I have a short circuit somewere. It leaks 0.5 amp / hour. So I assume there is no problem with the battery.

Does a Delco charger uses a different way of charging. If so, I can damage the battery if using a different charger.
 

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A 5.5 amp charger should work just fine.

It's hard to hurt a good battery. It's easy to kill a bad one.
Delco batteries don't like to be deep cycled, meaning totally discharged repeatedly.
Fast charging them is more effective. Other batteries on the market work better with a slow charge.
I have much experience in this matter, I didn't get my information from hot rod magazine or some newspaper article written by a 6th grader.
Believe me or don't. It's up to you.
 

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Or read this, here is what GM says about charging a battery.
Notice it says to start on the "highest setting".
Use the following procedure to charge the battery:

Turn OFF the charger.
Ensure that all of the battery terminal connections are clean and tight.
Connect the charger positive lead to the battery positive terminal on the battery or the remote jumper stud underhood.
Notice: Do not connect the negative charger lead to the housings of other vehicle electrical accessories or equipment. The action of the battery charger may damage such equipment.

Connect the negative charger lead to a solid engine ground or to a ground stud in the engine compartment that is connected directly to the battery negative terminal, but away from the battery. If the negative battery cable is disconnected and a terminal adapter is being used, connect directly to the adapter.
Turn ON the charger and set to the highest setting for normal charging.
Inspect the battery every half hour after starting the battery charger.
- Charge the battery until the taper-rate charger indicates that the battery is fully charged.

- Estimate the battery temperature by feeling the side of the battery. If it feels hot to the touch or its temperature is over 45°C (125°F), discontinue charging and allow the battery to cool before resuming charging.

After charging, test the battery. Refer to Battery Inspection/Test .
 

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ewill3rd said:
I didn't get my information from hot rod magazine or some newspaper article written by a 6th grader.
Believe me or don't. It's up to you.
Thanks for making me spit coffee all over my keyboard.:histeric::histeric::histeric::histeric::histeric::histeric:
 

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From the Interstate Battery FAQ section:
Q: What's the best way to charge deep cycle batteries?
A: The maximum charger rate in amps should be 20% of the amp hour rating of the battery.

Normally, deep cycle batteries do not require special charging procedures. However, we recommended that you use a charger designed specifically for deep cycle batteries. It is best to slow charge all batteries, especially deep cycle. The 20% rule should be used when charging a deep cycle battery. That means to choose a charger where the maximum current (in amps) is less than 20% of the Ah rating. For example, an Interstate SRM-27 is rated at approximately 100 Ah, so a 20-amp charger should be the maximum. Also, it is best to use a charger that is adequate to recharge the battery within 10-12 hours (see next question).

Q: How long should I charge my battery and at what current?
A: Generally, we recommend that you use a low amp charge, i.e. as low as the battery will accept, over a longer period of time. A 10-20 amp charger can charge most automotive batteries. Fully charging a completely discharged automotive battery, for example, with a 10-amp charger may take approximately 6-10 hours at a temperature of 80°F. Lower ambient temperatures require a longer charge time.

Some chargers automatically adjust the current and length of charge according to the battery's state of charge and then shut off when the battery is fully charged. If the charger requires manual adjustment for current or shut-off, check the charger's instructions to determine the proper current and length of charge based on your battery's rating.

Q: What will happen if I don't charge my battery properly?
A: The two extremes of improper battery charging are under charging and over charging.

Under charging results from a failure to allow the charger to charge long enough to restore the battery to full state of charge. Continually operating the battery in a partial state of charge or storing the battery in a discharged state will result in a condition known as sulfation. Sulfation reduces the battery's performance and may cause premature battery failure.

Over charging causes accelerated corrosion of the positive plates, excessive water consumption, and in some cases, damaging temperatures within a lead acid battery. Deep cycle batteries should be charged after each discharge and/or after storage of 30 days or more. We recommend that a deep cycle battery not be discharged below a 50% state of charge. Recharging a severely discharged battery (below 50% state of charge) can result in the battery becoming overheated or overcharged.
 

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From the Interstate Battery FAQ section
I thought we were talking about AC Delco batteries?

What's the best way to charge deep cycle batteries
Deep cycle batteries are batteries that are charged and then completely discharged in applications such as marine equipment. I mentioned above that Delco batteries perform very poorly when subjected to deep cycle conditions.

The questions were raised about AC Delco Automotive batteries.

I don't discount what you posted... it's good information, but it really doesn't apply to Delco batteries.
I apologize if I sound harsh. It's really not important to be honest with you, a slow charge will work on a Delco battery but charging them hard and fast really does work better.
 

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The point was that Delco batteries are just standard batteries. Nothing special. They should be charged the same as any other battery of the same type (deep-cycle or starter). So by posting the info from what is quite possibly the largest battery supplier in the world (JCI or Johnson Controls who makes Interstate, Optima, DieHard and MANY MANY more OEM batteries), I would think that their input on the subject would carry a little weight.
As for your second point, take a look at the 4th sentence in the answer where it starts off: "It is best to slow charge all batteries...."
I think you'll get my point.

I know you've got "a dozen years of experience and 350 certifications" and all but maybe you might want to read a little more about this subject.
 

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Pieter said:
I am almost convinced I can use a slow charger (I don't have a fast one), but this link is still worrying me. Last line says use Delco only. http://www.atbatt.com/product/ItemID/6836.asp
(That's not my site)
I'm sure you could contact the manufacturer to be sure but it sounds to me like they have a "Delco" setting for charging Delco batteries. My guess is because they're (to my knowledge) the only liquid lead-acid battery that's completely sealed. The point being that you can boil the liquid out of them and then won't be able to refill it. Also, the liquid levels of each cell cannot always (or easily) be verified in the Delco battery, so it can be dangerous to charge them.
 

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I'll just leave this for people to read over your comments and mine and decide who they want to believe.....

Someone who browses internet FAQ or someone who is a trained professional.

As I have said, I believe 3 times now, it's not really a critical point. The point is to load up the plates with electrons so that when you turn the key your car will start.

If there is no difference between a deep cycle battery and a conventional battery, then why do they make two different kinds?

Have a pleasant day everyone.
 

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Dude, can you not read?!
Who said there was no difference between a deep cycle battery and a conventional battery?

And I can't believe you actually posted that first sentence. Anytime you want to compare resumes, you let me know.
"Someone who browses internet FAQ" ???? Oh please!!:thehand:
 

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Thanks for living up to my expectations.

Your reference was from a FAQ on a website.
Mine was from a GM service manual. I am not sure how that invalidates my previous post.

I don't have a copy of your resume, and it would be pointless to look at it.
Resume's don't fix cars.
Maybe you are a better tech than me, I can easily concede that but not based on what I see above.

Sorry if my remarks upset you so, I was just stating my opinion. I thought that is what forums were for?
Maybe I misunderstood. I didn't realize that your's was the only viewpoint that was allowed to be interpreted as correct.

I am not sure how many times I can agree with the fact that slow charging won't hurt the battery, without reading back I am sure it's at least 4, but it feels like one hundred. I would also agree that fast charging a battery repeatedly would not be good for it. If a Delco battery has been completely drained and it needs to be recharged I (meaning me and only me) would fast charge it. If it were low on charge but still partially charged I would reduce the charge rate to a lower setting.

My remarks were general in nature, not directed specifically at you. I hope that's clear. I changed the language that you may have found offensive, I can't change the quoted text.

I also think this guy's question has been answered in spades. I really don't see a point in continuing this topic unless you just want to sit here and argue about who's better.
Be better than me, I don't mind. There are probably lots of folks out there who are.

Nice use of emoticons... you sure put me in my place.
 

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fast or slow? delco says fast, I like to start at about 40 amps on a dead battery, ewill3rd is correct, just to let you guys know, ewill3rd was a great person to have on your forums, he could solve ALL of your cadillac problems but just like your typical cadillac know it all owners you just don't listen to the experts.
 

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Guys, its a damn battery. With slight exceptions, they have the same stuff inside. The Delco isn't going to start running around eating babies if you use something other than some "optimal" charge setting. If the thing is more than a couple years old, replace it anyway. To the original question, YES! you can charge the battery with a slow charger! Some people even prefer it! Some do not, but it will still charge the thing regardless.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Problem is solved. I can use any slow charger for my Delco battery. Thanks.

Maybe fast is better, but I only wanted to be sure not to damage the battery. My garage was saying use Delco only. Now I know he is wrong.

One other thing I came across in my battery issue. I always believed "If you drive your car half an hour, the battery is fully charged again if it was almost empty." But a mechanic said this is not true, because a load of something like 12 amps / hour cannot do this. "This will take several hours."

True or false?

(Please don't shoot each other if you don't agree) :)
 

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The time required to bring a battery to full charge depends on:
1. Condition of the battery
2. State of charge at the beginning of the charge period
3. Rate at which it is being charged

If you were just charging it with a charger, it would probably take a shorter time to charge than in the car because in the car, the charger rate will be varying due to rpm changes which will affect the alternator output, and accessory loads placed on the charging system in addition to the battery such as the heater blower motor, A/C compressor, stereo system, lighting, etc, etc.
Bottom line, it would be impossible to tell you for sure whether a 1/2 hour drive would or could charge your battery fully. My guess is that it would not though.
 

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Most modern vehicles have far too many electrical loads on the system to allow "driving to charge" the battery.
While you may not hurt the battery, you will almost surely overload the alternator. Typical electrical loads on a vehicle can easily exceed 70 Amps, add that to trying to recharge the battery and the alternator will get really upset, especially on a nice hot day.
If you have a 63 ford, go ahead and drive it for a while to charge the battery. If you have anything built after about 1982, use a battery charger.
 
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