Website Home | Info & Posts | Club Membership | Eagle History | Contact Us

Not all batteries with removable caps NEED water

This is a public forum to discuss Eagle related technical issues. If you are having a problem with your Eagle, this is the place to find help.


I learned something pretty interesting today.

I know my HOUSE batteries are AGM sealed type, that don't need water level checking - they have no removable caps.

My 3 chassis batteries however, DO have removable caps, although they are of the type that are recessed flush with the top of the battery, and need a COIN inserted into a slot in them to unscrew them. I had assumed that they need periodic water level checking. It turns out that this is not so.

The batteries are installed oriented in a manner that hides the brand name. However, a prominent sticker on each says "HC-31E". I provided that information to http://www.rvpowersuply.com in preparation for trying to order an "AquaPro" water filling system, since getting at these 3 batteries manually once a month for routine water level checking and replenishment would be an absolute bear, due to the very tight clearances around them and around the terminals.

However, doing a web search on "HC-31E" established that this is a model number for a specific Exide brand battery. That battery is listed on Exide's website as a "maintenance free" battery!

That prompted me to call Exide and ask, if it is a maintenance free battery, why the caps are there and why they unscrew for access to each cell's water supply. The response was that these batteries do not normally require water replenishment, but the access is there so that when they are conveniently accessible, like during annual terminal cleaning, the water CAN be checked, and if necessary, topped up.

Tom at rvpowersupply.com actually emailed Exide at the same time as I was calling them, and got exactly the same response - in writing.

So, I leanred a couple of things here:

1. Not all batteries that have caps need regular checking of water level

2. There are batteries that are a pain to maintain (need water monthly) and batteries that require virtually no maintenance, and it makes sense to get the no maintenance ones!!

Now a mechanized water checking/replenishment system can STILL be an idea if you are the type to rarely if ever clean your battery temrinals, and so almost never have ready access to the cells. But it sounds like if you remove your batteries at least once per year to enable proper cleaning of the terminals, interim access is really optional, not mandatory.

By the way, I did check the water level in 2 of the cells in the outer, most easily reached battery, and the level was just over an inch above the plates, which sounds ideal. These particular batteries are exactly one year old, and when you turn the ignition key on, the 8V71 engine fires INSTANTLY - no discernible cranking required. They are rated at 700 CCA and 840 CA, and have an AR rating of 180 minutes (That means they can provide 25 amps for 180 minutes, if required to support a non-starting load - like if your alternator gives up while you are on the road).
Jim Gnitecki
("Jim G")
JimGnitecki@gmail.com
1979 Eagle Model 05 reborn around 1997
User avatar
JimGnitecki
Club Member
Club Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 7:54 am
Location: Austin, TX




[quote="JimGnitecki"]I learned something pretty interesting today.

Here is something else. Last month on the way back from Florida I had to purchase all three starter batteries .... $167 each in Atlanta. Man, that hurts.

BCO
BoxcarOkie
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 7:42 pm




BoxcarOkie wrote:
Here is something else. Last month on the way back from Florida I had to purchase all three starter batteries .... $167 each in Atlanta. Man, that hurts.

BCO


The 3 batteries on mine are available on at least one website for around $70 each. Of course, shipping batteries, which are heavy, is costly, and when they DO fail, it usually happens when you are miles from nowhere, and need to pay what the nearest supplier asks for them, unless you just make it a policy to replace them after "x" years, so you never get caught in that situation. Figuring out in advance what "x" is is the trick.
Jim Gnitecki
("Jim G")
JimGnitecki@gmail.com
1979 Eagle Model 05 reborn around 1997
User avatar
JimGnitecki
Club Member
Club Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 7:54 am
Location: Austin, TX




"Figuring out in advance what "x" is is the trick."

I usually toss 'em at five years, I did find one in my coach that was over 12 years old when I first bought it (generator battery) and it is about the same with tires, five years and they go.

And you are right, they will put you in the foot patrol in the worst of places, in my case, 40 miles west of Atlanta and nothing available.

BCO
BoxcarOkie
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 7:42 pm




Interstate Batteries carries the group 31 battery for around $85.00 each and of course they are nationwide if you ever need to excercise the warranty.
Daniel Lenz
Brownsville, Texas


The work of an unknown good man is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground greener.
SmoothJazz
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: Brownsville, Texas




I purchased a couple of group 31's in SoCal before we moved to Texas in 06, I really liked them. I hooked my not so smart charger and it cooked them. I hope I can resurrect them at some point, cause they're just taking up valuable space in one of our bays. ;) Went to Sam's and bought replacements for about the same if not cheaper.

Paul
Becky & Paul Lawry
Dreamscape
1968 Eagle 01 #7443
Silver 8V92 HT 740

Dreamscape Eagle Travel Blog: https://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/

Dreamscape Build Blog: https://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
User avatar
Dreamscape
 
Posts: 3021
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:03 pm
Location: Full Timing - On The Road



Return to Eagle Tech

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest



cron