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Hot Rods Storing a battery on a concrete floor will drain it.........

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 6sally6, Aug 15, 2021.

  1. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,952

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Truck64, I appreciate sharing your battery knowledge. In another post, I believe you mentioned battery life is best extended by a float charge above 13v. I'm wondering, if I'm correct that 12.6 represents 100% charge, what is the advantage of the extra volts?

    Asking because I have one of those solar tenders on a truck in my yard and it's usually showing 12.6-12.8.
     
  2. bangngears
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 971

    bangngears
    Member
    from ofallon mo

    Old wives tale. When i was in the service it was a big no no to set a battery on concrete. Never had a battery go dead sitting on concrete.
     
    reagen likes this.
  3. In the olden days the tar case batteries would. Not so with the modern plastic cases,
     
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  4. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,080

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Has anybody actually tried it? I'm as science minded as the next guy, but sometimes there is wisdom in the old "folk knowledge". There was a previous poster upthread who found that it seems to cause problems.

    Did you know hot water freezes faster than cold water?
     
  5. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,080

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    I think it is just to offset the natural self-discharge. The "correct" float charge is a little controversial, or there is some debate on what is best. I think the idea is to float it at "just enough" and no more. Correct charging voltage is debated too I think, or varies a bit between the OEM. I think I've read Japanese cars alternator set point was a bit higher than our domestic manufacturers, and the French, Germans, and British have their own ideas too, probably.

    From what I've been able to find in the published specs 12.65 volts is kind of an obsolete number, unless it is an old school battery with filler caps to add water.

    Maintenance free sealed batteries should measure 12.80 volts at 77° F. when fully charged. I've found this to be true at home. 0.15 volts doesn't sound like a lot but on a percentage basis it is. When people spend big bucks on 900 CCA batts, they should get what they paid for, and the way to do that is to charge them correctly.

    Brand new batteries take several engine starts to reach full capacity, I like to charge them at a low rate for several hours before installation and keep at it for the first few days as they "break in". It is possible to over charge a battery I'm sure but it takes dedicated effort. Just because a battery is new doesn't mean it is plussed up.

    The last battery I bought took 6 hours to come up to 100% when new. It's a 590 CCA Napa batt It tested at 720 CCA on one of those fancy pants Snap On witeless testers when I got an oil change in Utah a couple years back. I bought that one in 2013. The mechanic kept asking me "Did you just charge this??" I said no. I mean, other than driving it across country. How am I gonna charge it on a road trip. Anyway it still passes load tests and conductance tests. I wanted to see how long a battery would last if "babied". Pretty long, I guess.

    One thing I did find - if there is a constant parasitic load, the float charge is not enough to offset. It helps a little, but gives a false indication. A "green light" on a charger or maintainer isn't necessarily accurate. This took a little starch out of it I think.
     
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  6. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Friend of mine has several old cars and always has a spare battery or 2 which he leaves on the cement floor. He has to buy new batteries about twice a year. I keep mine on a wooden shelf and have to buy a new one about once every five years. Go ahead and leave your batteries on the cement, they probably won't die for a month, if you use them or recharge before then it should be ok.
     
    Truck64 likes this.
  7. I can get numbers, not sure if it directly applies to car batteries but the large forklift batteries we use at work.
    A typical charge cycle is 6-8 hours from 80 percent discharged
    One hooked up, high amperage depending on battery up to 1000 amps but typically 300-400 amps for the first couple hours , then it will drop to around 100 amps for a few more hours .
    The battery needs to generate heat in the charge cycle to properly complete the chemical and chain reactions required to fully charge and stay “healthy”
    Then the last couple hours it drops the voltage down to 65 or less and peters it down so the battery can off gas snd you can squeeze every last amp into the cells .

    After a charge like this you should let the battery cool down before use

    Also after performing a charge cycle as outlined above , you can do an equalize or float charge which is a low amp extended charge to fill top off the cells

    and as @Truck64 said a battery typically need a couple discharge snd charge cycles to get to optimum performance.
     
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  8. Read it on another forum where there were specific comments on lead acid battery storage. I have done both and not found any difference on just sitting them down on the floor of finding a piece of wood to set them on.


    Yet another crazy fact is that water in a pipe will freeze easier when the temperature is around 32* F than when the same pipe is exposed to -0*F temperatures.
     
  9. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,206

    Truckedup
    Member

    If you tape a jar of water to your car hood when it's 35f degrees outside will it freeze if you drive 60 mph?
     
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  10. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,080

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Keep batteries off the floor if only to help keep from throwing your back out trying to lift them.
     
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  11. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,952

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Thanks, good info. So in my case, with an old style battery, sitting in a seldom used truck with a solar tender, battery disconnect switch off, as long as it sits at 12.6 it should be fine.
     
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  12. Oilguy
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 571

    Oilguy
    Member

    The Hemmings site has an article on this subject posted this morning. Pretty interesting and seems to agree with what most on here are saying; don't worry about the concrete.
     
  13. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 7,496

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    When I was growing up and helping my dad he always said the make sure I sat the battery on a board so it wouldn't discharge?
     
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  14. Oilguy
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 571

    Oilguy
    Member

    As mentioned several times above, with the construction of the old batteries it was an issue, but according to the article it is no longer a problem with today's batteries.
     
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  15. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,939

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Old ideas can die hard- I grew up with the old tar-tops, many of them, and they would indeed discharge if left on the concrete- my gramps had one of those big old Forney arc welders that had an optional battery charger that plugged into it- funny, it was the only charger we had- today I have a half dozen small chargers, almost all bought at yard sales and swap for $15-$20. There were always some pieces of 2x6 in front of the welder to set the batteries on. He also had a squeeze-bulb battery filler, kept in a glass quart milk bottle of water, leftover from his International dealership, that had small holes in the tube about 1/2" from the end, to let one adjust the electrolyte level to the "proper" level above the plates, as the old batteries did not have the fill height rings as modern ones do. I filled one of the modern ones before charging it, worked fine and tested good, but he got his bulb out and sucked a bunch out using the holes, over 1/4" lower than the fill ring, chewing my butt the whole time for doing it wrong. It then wouldn't hold a charge, and of course it was my fault for filling it wrong lol...
     
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  16. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,156

    carbking
    Member

    If you could find a new old stock rubber cased battery from post WWII, you could prove it, and in those days it was NOT an old wives tale.:oops:

    With today's cases, not going to happen, but old habits die hard. I was taught to place batteries on a piece of wood, and still do. Not certain when the case composition changed, but I can remember the old cases (we called them tar-top) from the late 1950's, early 1960's.

    Jon
     
  17. AGELE55
    Joined: Jan 4, 2018
    Posts: 372

    AGELE55
    Member

    Might not kill your battery, but might kill your concrete. I still have a nice rectangle etched into my concrete floor where an old battery sat. It either leaked, or fumed, or whatever. Just saying’.
     
  18. Oilguy
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 571

    Oilguy
    Member

    I have always put the batteries on wood, and will probably maintain the habit. Besides, if I set anything on the floor I will most likely trip over it and land on my ass. But this thread has been enlightening.
     
  19. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,331

    Dan Timberlake
    Member

    I can imagine having a cool lower surface with the rest of the case surrounded by hot summer would help get some convection going in the electrolyte if there is any space between the plates. I think that motion of the electrolyte/fluid could speed up natural discharge a little.

    I think modern battery construction uses "fabric" separators, and the plates are packed pretty close, so convection can not easily occur.
     
  20. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,080

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

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  21. Okie Pete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,542

    Okie Pete
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    A friend of mine worked for a natural gas Co. They use a cloth wrap that is coated with a slimy grease / wax to wrap the pipes coming up through the ground to help prevent corrosion. He cuts the stuff into a square piece , then cuts a hole in the center big enough for the post of the battery to go through. Then attaches the cable . After that he folds the waxed cloth over the clamps and cable . After he told me about doing that . I’ve been doing that to all the batteries on the farm . It protects and prevents the dreaded yellow crud from growing.
     
  22. ............It's a lot easier to just use this stuff.:D thumbnail (11) (1).jpg
     
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  23. In my younger days, I used Vaseline to prevent corrosion on the terminals. Same principle as the greasy cloth stuff.:D
     
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  24. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,080

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    This is only my theory, but what I've noticed since using chargers and maintainers regularly is that terminal corrosion is most definitely a thing of the past. In some cases it might be due to inferior materials used in cheap cables, or a defective alternator or regulator boiling the battery.

    Ordinarily what I think is happening though, most batteries are chronically undercharged. This leaves a battery more or less permanently in the "bulk phase" (or maybe just past it) part of the charge cycle. This is the point where outgassing of electrolyte is always greatest.

    Outgassing is normal, and a necessary part of the charging process to reach full capacity. But it needs to be minimized. Periodic boost charges and float chargers or maintainers keep the battery plussed up to 100% or near enough and over the hump and out of the "zone" where it is always going to be spewing more corrosive fumes. A generator or alternator isn't really designed to recharge a battery as such.

    Went shopping for some parts the other day and had them test the battery in my OT ride. It's exactly 8 years old, 590 CCA and tests over 600 CCA. A little TLC works, apparently. I still bought a new one, and kept the core. With the way things are going with lockdowns and lockups and supply chains collapsing, a feller can't really be certain there will be one on the shelf when needed, never mind at what price they might be in 6 months or a year. Yeesh.
     
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  25. b-body-bob
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 514

    b-body-bob
    Member

    I do a drop of oil on the terminal with every oil change.

    I wasn't born until 1961 and surely they were past tar-top batteries by then, but I grew up hearing don't set them on concrete, and I still don't. The whole thing never made sense to me, but it's just a habit at this point.
     
  26. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,080

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    @blowby

    Eureka! I think I found the Mother Lode. From 1922. It's called

    "THE AUTOMOBILE STORAGE BATTERY ITS CARE AND REPAIR"

    What's cool, is nothing has changed particularly in 100 years, as far as the basic lead-acid battery we all know and sometimes love. It 'splains stuff really well. Also just the ticket if you've got Insomnia. I haven't got to the part where he talks about setting batteries on concrete, but you can just bet he's gonna get all wound up around the axle for those that do.

    https://www.powerstream.com/1922/battery_1922_WITTE/battery_WITTE.htm#dtoc

    One thing he goes into detail I've seen mentioned before, neglected or hard sulfated batteries can oftentimes be brought back to useful service by discharging them down pretty heavily and then charging them back up at a low amp rate for a day or two. It might take a couple or three cycles of this but it works really well. He explains why permanently sulfated batteries need to be recharged slowly.

     
  27. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,173

    Boneyard51
    Member

    One of the mistakes folks make at the battery terminal is showing up with only one wrench! The battery is supposed to be sealed at the post. But if the bolt is tight and you hoss it off or on, you can break that seal, letting acidic fumes come out under the terminal casing corrosion! Just something I learned a long time ago…..still today I use two wrenches on battery terminals.








    Bones
     
  28. Yeah, how many times have you seen a guy beat the terminal down over the post before tightening the bolt... :eek:
     
  29. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,080

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    With a BFH. Yup.
     
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  30. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,143

    PhilA
    Member

    Two wrenches to tighten, but make sure they're not long enough to touch the other terminal when you slip.

    There's a burned in shape of a wrench at work on the floor. Thing was white-hot when it landed.

    Phil
     
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