ATV long to charge?


I've got a new fill-it-with-acid battery for my ATV. The charge chart that came with it is for a .5 amp trickle charger.

I have a 2 amp setting on my charger.

Is there another way to determine a full charge? I do not have the acid tester.

When I put a new battery in mine I put one of the maintainers I use over the winter that will also trickle charge. I left it on for a full 24 hours if I remember right.
For best battery life you are supposed to do the initial charge at an amperage that does not exceed 1/10th of the battery capacity in amp-hours.

So for a smallish ATV battery of 5 amp hours the charge rate should not exceed 0.5 amps, hence the chart they gave you. Ideally it should take 10 hours to charge the battery at this rate.

If you go ahead and use the 2 amp charger anyway, the battery will still work, but you will cause some sulfating of the plates and the ultimate life may be compromised.

Assuming a very unsophisticated 2 amp constant-current charger, and assuming the typical 70 percent efficiency in storing charge, we would expect a 5 amp-hour battery to be fully charged in about 3.5 hours. Do not charge it any longer than that.

If the charger has a trickle or float mode, it will roll the current down as the battery voltage rises, and take longer to get to full charge. But in that case it should also limit the current to not damage the battery. Probably 4 to 4.5 hours should be the limit.

For a constant current charger, when the voltage with the charger connected rises to 13.8 volts or so, you are done. Don"t let it keep charging all night, or you"ll fry the battery.
2 years ago I purchased a battery charger, batteryminder 12248, that will charge, desulfate and then trickle charge as needed. It has yet to damage a battery. It is always connected to a battery. Once it's done desulfating one battery, I move it to another battery. I have over 20 batteries, half of which are mower batteries, some tractors, cars, truck, 2 marine. My oldest battery is 7 years old. I haven't bought a new battery since I bought the charger, 2 years. In the past I was buying 2-4 batteries a year. I also bought a battery conductivity tester. It shows all my batteries are in good health.

My advice is buy yourself a Christmas present. I would highly recommend a charger like I got. Then you won't have to worry about damaging a battery, which I've done with the old school manual chargers.

I'm certainly not an electrical wizard, but when I was a young man, I series/paralleled a couple of 1157 automotive bulbs off of our 20 amp power supply to keep our emergency battery pack charged on a ho-made ham repeater. It's been many years ago, but I "think" it allowed about 2 amps charge rate. I "think" each bulb limited about 1 amp, therefore two would get you around 1/2 amp, wired in series?
I am with George all the way. Buy yourself a Battery Tender or Battery Minder type charger and it will pay it's way for a long time to come. The batteries that came on my diesel truck December 2003 were installed on a tractor and a field truck summer 2008 and are both still going strong. The battery that came on the 3010 Mule finaly weakened after 7 years. I have got 4 battreies that went bad within 1 or 2 years but most have done better than expected. Like George,my 1.5 amp battery tender is switched from battery to battery in almost constant use. I have 2 larger chargers that I use to recharge large batteries if they have been discharged more than 50% but the Tender is always used to top off.
You do not want to charge more than 45 minutes on the 2 amp charge rate. You will damage a glass mat acid battery if you do. Read the mfg initial charge direction. This is not the same as a lead acid battery. If you follow directions your battery will last a long time. My last Honda battery in my atv lasted a tad over 10 years.

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