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DeSulfating a battery with Epsom Salt solution???

 
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Casey



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject: DeSulfating a battery with Epsom Salt solution??? Reply with quote

I was reading a website recently that suggested that people could largely restore an unusable, sulfated battery (too many deep discharges without timely recharge).

What they described was to drain the battery and refill with a mixture of distilled water with 8oz/gallon of Epsom salts, and recharge as normally.

I've never heard of this procedure but thought I'd ask the Brat's.

Any ideas?

Thx,
Casey

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Notayot



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casey,

In my youth I have used magnesium sulfate (epsom salts) to regenerate motorcycle batteries. The theories being 1. cheaper than buying a new battery, 2. might eliminate the inconvenient kick starting or push starting of the motorcycle and 3. even if it doesn't work, you verified theory number 1, and using methods 2 and 3 you can still get going.

I'm not sure I'd use the method for a starting battery but it might get you a few more weeks on a house battery. After the "recharge" with magnesium sulfate you will need to drain the battery again and replace the acid and charge again. I'm sure new acid would help, but that always violated theory number 1 for me! I always had to do the magnewsium sulfate "charge" multiple times to clear the lead sufate shorting the battery plates before finally putting acid back into the battery. Also, I wouldn't use an automatic charger and I wouldn't leave it unattended since it could overheat and spew its contents (caps are off of course).

Good luck

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Sea Wolf



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are chargers that de-sulfate a battery using a specific high frequency AC current. The de-sulfating cycle typically last several hours, and the charger cycles off automatically.

I have a Vector 40 amp charger that has such a de-sulfation cycle, and it runs for up to something like 24 hours continuously when doing 4 group 27 batteries in parallel.

I'm guessing that the de-sulfation cycle or process is something that should be done on a fairly regular basis (I do mine every 4-6 months), though, rather than after the battery is already shorted out.

So far, it seems to have worked on my batteries.

Joe. Teeth Thumbs Up

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BrentB



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I worked in a gas station and also a tire store, it was suggested to remove the acid and replace with new.
I always wondered if this would work b/c the explanation was the acid pH was too high. pH of new acid was 2 and the pH for old one was not known but used one of the bead type battery testers to show the battery was bad. I said the acid was fine but battery was bad and acid replacement will not work and a replacement but I was a dumb know nuthin kid

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thataway



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sulfation is the deposit of lead sulfate on the surface of the lead plates of a wet cell battery. This sulfate is a by product of the discharge charge cycle, and as lead sulfate accumulates, it decreases the amount of lead available to partake in the reaction of charge discharge cycles. There can be soft up to very hard lead sulfate crystals. Some chemicals can disolve the lead sulfate, and then the sulfuric acid is replaced. Equalization (high voltage charging) can dislodge some lead sulfate. But if there is an accumulation of the hard sulfate, best plan is one of the high frequency pulse chargers. Battery Minder is one I use regularly. The battery needs to be at more than 12.6 volts (fully charged).

The epsom salts, EDTA solution and several other solutions are other ways to attempt to "rejuvenate" older batteries which are not holding a charge well. The solutions may help with milder desulfations, but with hard sulfate, the electrical pulse technique works better.

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Casey



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to the folks who responded.

In addition to your responses I've read some more on the subject, and yes, it appears that while the process is viable, in most circumstances it wouldn't be very practical. (Exception: the battery maintenance aspect of equalizing a battery occasionally, and that doesn't involve epsom salt.)

Other than some sort of end-of-the-World scenario, keeping a defunct battery alive with epsom salts for another week or two doesn't seem very likely. And in that TEOTWAWKI scenario we'd have other things to attend-to!

Thanks,
Casey
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BrentB



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which battery minder are you using or recommend?
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BrentB



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is your battery maintenance SOP?
Mine needs an update
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thataway



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are multiple pulse desulfators on the market. I use one called "Batteryminder" The newest model is called "BatteryMINDer"--the only difference is that the charger on the newer one is .2 amp more. They are trickle chargers with the pulse desulfators. I have used them on truck and RV batteries as well as boats for over 10 years, and then really seem to help. I have also restored a couple of batteries which were sulfated. BUT, you have to use one for every one or two batteries at the max. For my RV, I use two on the 4 Six volt golf cart batteries. One for each set in series.
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