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Archimedes
07-09-2009, 06:38 PM
Anyone ever try to recover a Blue Top that sat for a long time and sulfated? My Blue Top sat for about 18 months, drained down to about 6 volts and now won't take a charge (overloads the charger/overheats). Optima say that the way to recover a deeply drained battery like this is to wire it in parallel to a regular car battery and then attach the charger to the car battery. They say this tricks the battery into taking the charge and converting to electrolytes. They say to take it off after is crosses 10.5 volts and then finish up itself.

I tried this, got the battery to 11 volts, took it off and tried to charge it, but had the same problem. Overloads the charger. I left the battery and the volts then dropped pretty quickly, back down to 9 volts by the next morning and they appear to still be dropping, so it's not holding a charge. Anyone ever dealt with this before?

Hate to buy a new one but don't want to risk it.

east tx skier
07-09-2009, 06:40 PM
18 months! Your blue top lasted twice as long as the one I bought last year. Replaced it with a Delco.

Archimedes
07-09-2009, 06:46 PM
I went with the Optima for the deep cycle capability; didn't want to risk running the battery down with the stereo going for long periods of time with the motor off. It worked great for the year I was using the boat, but seems to have died over the last 18 months while my boat sat unused. I was a dope for not pulling it out and trickle charging it once and while.

Jimmauburn
07-09-2009, 06:48 PM
I used Optima batteries once upon a time but I only use INTERSTATE batteries now. I have had much better luck with them than others over the years. I have two Interstate Batteries in my boat now and love them. Optima used to be the battery to have, used to have two of them in my Drag car, but they just aren't what they used to be.

Eagle Lake Rebel
07-10-2009, 12:45 AM
Like I said in my last post, the Optima's just don't hold up compaired to a standard lead acid deep cycle marine battery. The blue tops are under a 100% replacement warranty for two years so take it to your nearest Interstate battery dealer (that's right Interstate owns the Optima brand, but they keep a low profile about it) and they will replace it for you. I got two new ones this spring because of low voltage and could not get them to recharge. Best thing I can say about the batteries is that Interstate stood behind their product and it was a no hassle exchange.

vision
07-10-2009, 01:09 AM
Have to agree about the Optima Blue tops. I had two in my 08 X-star. Replaced them for 2 Dekas and my VDIG problems resolved.

prostar205
07-10-2009, 02:21 AM
I must be in the minority regarding great experiences with the Blue Top Optima batteries. I have 2 wired in parallel that run my entire system. It's now going on 3 years and they work great. I can play the stereo loud all day with the engine off and have had zero problems. The stereo has 2,400 Watts just to give you an idea that it's not a deck and 4 speakers.

bigmac
07-10-2009, 08:51 AM
Optima is actually owned by Johnson Controls. Interstate Battery is a privately held corporation that's independent of Johnson Controls, but they have a close relationship as Johnson actually makes Interstate's batteries for them.

AFAIK, there's no direct relationship between Interstate and Optima. The warranty relationship between Optima and Interstate is part of a marketing agreement between the two. Johnson Controls makes the batteries but has no marketing structure or dealer network (they're just a private-label mfgr), whereas marketing batteries is all that Interstate does. Johnson Controls also makes all of Sears' Die Hard batteries, as well as several other brands.

Not that it matters, just clarifying...


As to Archimedes' dead battery...I'm betting that battery is toast.

CantRepeat
07-10-2009, 08:57 AM
I am starting to agree that the optimas are great for normal use, but for sitting on the sandbar running your stereo for 8 or 9 hours is not what they are meant to do.

TMCNo1
07-10-2009, 09:58 AM
Optima is actually owned by Johnson Controls. Interstate Battery is a privately held corporation that's independent of Johnson Controls, but they have a close relationship as Johnson actually makes Interstate's batteries for them.

AFAIK, there's no direct relationship between Interstate and Optima. The warranty relationship between Optima and Interstate is part of a marketing agreement between the two. Johnson Controls makes the batteries but has no marketing structure or dealer network (they're just a private-label mfgr), whereas marketing batteries is all that Interstate does. Johnson Controls also makes all of Sears' Die Hard batteries, as well as several other brands.

Not that it matters, just clarifying...


As to Archimedes' dead battery...I'm betting that battery is toast.

We have a Johnson Controls battery plant 1.5 miles from our house and I found out this morning at breakfast while talking to a JC employee, that they are currently making, Interstate, Optima and are under contract to build spec. batteries for Walmart, Motorcraft and Sears and a couple generic small quantity brands.
It's also good to find out that presently, the employees can buy 2 blemished batteries per month of any brand for $25 each and resell them if they want to and it's a strictly controlled employee benefit. Blemished batteries that are not bought by employees are then sold in bulk to discount battery outlets/service centers in the region at auction.

Thrall
07-10-2009, 10:14 AM
Optima batteries suk! At least with respect to longevity. They do stand behind their warranty no questions asked. In the last 6 yrs, I'm on my 3rd Optima (1st 2 warrantied no problem). Lucky they have a 3 yr warranty (red tops). Needed to get another this yr and needed deep cycle. Thought I read they were only warrantied for 18 mo. Anyway, bought an Odyssey battery, see if it lasts longer in the boat, it has a better warranty anyway.

Jimmauburn
07-10-2009, 10:33 AM
I do know someone who has bought three Exide batteries that are deep cycle marine batteries and he seems to like them. They are Exide Orbital Marine Deep Cycle maintenance free battery and he got them direct from Exide Sales and told me they were reasonably priced compared to the Optima batteries, about $50 less than a blue top. Guess if my Interstates ever die on me I may give them a try !!

Archimedes
07-10-2009, 01:46 PM
Yeah, I've concluded my Blue Top is toast. Back down to 6 volts and won't hold a charge. I'm gonna chalk this one up to my own stupidity for letting it sit and sulfate and give Optima one more chance. The battery performed really well during the time I was actually using the boat. Ran the stereo all day and always held a good charge.

TMCNo1
07-10-2009, 04:48 PM
Yeah, I've concluded my Blue Top is toast. Back down to 6 volts and won't hold a charge. I'm gonna chalk this one up to my own stupidity for letting it sit and sulfate and give Optima one more chance. The battery performed really well during the time I was actually using the boat. Ran the stereo all day and always held a good charge.

In the future, use this item, http://batterytender.com/default.php?cPath=11_2&osCsid=c1801f7d7604e17536656b09889efdfc
49152

Archimedes
07-10-2009, 05:31 PM
I've got one of those. Trouble is my boat was in dry storage and I was too lazy to go pull the battery out of it. I was dealing with other things and the boat was the least of my worries at the time.

bigmac
07-10-2009, 05:43 PM
I've got one of those. Trouble is my boat was in dry storage and I was too lazy to go pull the battery out of it. I was dealing with other things and the boat was the least of my worries at the time.
It's nice to have power where the boat is stored. I leave my battery hooked up all winter and clamp a float charger (Battery Tender) on it. Next best option if you don't have power, as you mention, is to pull it out ans stick it on a float charger in your garage.

east tx skier
07-10-2009, 06:04 PM
In the future, use this item, http://batterytender.com/default.php?cPath=11_2&osCsid=c1801f7d7604e17536656b09889efdfc
49152

Didn't do me a bit of good with my OBT.

Sodar
07-10-2009, 06:11 PM
Didn't do me a bit of good with my OBT.

OBT ?

cbryan70
07-10-2009, 06:47 PM
Agms................

TX.X-30 fan
07-10-2009, 06:55 PM
Just pulled the OBT and installed a Diehard Platinum marine, we shall see. Its an AGM battery.

Chicago190
07-10-2009, 07:16 PM
OBT ?

Optima Blue Top

TMCNo1
07-10-2009, 07:30 PM
I've got one of those. Trouble is my boat was in dry storage and I was too lazy to go pull the battery out of it. I was dealing with other things and the boat was the least of my worries at the time.


OK, forget about the Battery Tender Plus and put the money towards a recliner, http://www.la-z-boy.com/furniture/catalog.aspx?cid=1&ef_id=1530:35:85a39c5906a28a59f2f5cf7099c65946:Slf ArENIYWQAAEXmVqAAAALA:20090710222900

bigmac
07-10-2009, 07:32 PM
Agms................

OBT is AGM.

Archimedes
07-10-2009, 08:01 PM
OK, forget about the Battery Tender Plus and put the money towards a recliner, http://www.la-z-boy.com/furniture/catalog.aspx?cid=1&ef_id=1530:35:85a39c5906a28a59f2f5cf7099c65946:Slf ArENIYWQAAEXmVqAAAALA:20090710222900


Give me a break! I destroyed my back and had a double diskectomy. Spent months on my back.

Yellow X9
07-10-2009, 08:33 PM
Anyone ever try to recover a Blue Top that sat for a long time and sulfated? My Blue Top sat for about 18 months, drained down to about 6 volts and now won't take a charge (overloads the charger/overheats). Optima say that the way to recover a deeply drained battery like this is to wire it in parallel to a regular car battery and then attach the charger to the car battery. They say this tricks the battery into taking the charge and converting to electrolytes. They say to take it off after is crosses 10.5 volts and then finish up itself.

I tried this, got the battery to 11 volts, took it off and tried to charge it, but had the same problem. Overloads the charger. I left the battery and the volts then dropped pretty quickly, back down to 9 volts by the next morning and they appear to still be dropping, so it's not holding a charge. Anyone ever dealt with this before?

Hate to buy a new one but don't want to risk it.


Buy a new battery

Sodar
07-10-2009, 09:30 PM
OBT is AGM.

OBT= Optima Blue Top! :D

Sodar
07-10-2009, 09:32 PM
Just pulled the OBT and installed a Diehard Platinum marine, we shall see. Its an AGM battery.

Those DieHard Platinums looked cool! I wanted to put a big one in my boat, but could not find a box that would fit it where I wanted it.

Footin
07-10-2009, 09:34 PM
A properly maintained lead acid battery will last just as long as a gel or optima battery at less than half the cost.

cbryan70
07-10-2009, 10:34 PM
well the blue top is 250 bucks and im looking at one that says AGM that is 150......i always thought optima's were gel. Must be in the gas

bigmac
07-10-2009, 11:28 PM
Ask your mechanic. I'm sure he knows.

Eagle Lake Rebel
07-11-2009, 12:31 AM
I have no ieda if this product works, but it claims to be a desulfator/conditioner. Check out batteryminders.com. Anyone out there used this product?

bigmac
07-11-2009, 09:37 AM
I have no ieda if this product works, but it claims to be a desulfator/conditioner. Check out batteryminders.com. Anyone out there used this product?



These "desulfators" work by sending current pulses through the battery's circuit and will supposedly return the sulfate back into the electrolyte solution thereby returning that part of the plate to the circuit by getting rid of the insulating sulfate crystals. They do work, but the more sulfation that's present, the longer it will take (sometimes months) and the less likely they are to work. There's a point of no return where there is there is so much sulfation that it just isn't possible, but there's no good way to check the battery to see if it's gone beyond that point. Furthermore, if the sulfation actually bridges plates, the rate of self-discharge will go up, and the more sulfation, the more self-discharge. The less sulfation, the more likely these things are to work within a practical time frame. IOW, if you find one day that your battery isn't holding a charge any more, it's not going to work to put it on a charger/desulfator to recondition it in time to go skiing tomorrow, but you MIGHT be able to recover it by the end of the season.

The best way to deal with sulfation is to prevent it, and the only way to do that is to keep the battery on a float charger at all times. If the specific gravity can be kept above about 1.225, which is about 12.4 volts, or about 75% charge, there won't be any sulfation and a $125 charger/desulfator isn't necessary. However, if the boat sits for long periods of time and can only be charged intermittently (no electrical power in your storage facility, for example), you may only have light sulfation and maybe a few days on a charger/desulfator will help extend its life.

IOW, if the battery is so badly sulfated that it won't hold a charge, you're going to have to buy a new battery to use for the several weeks you're going to need desulfating the old one anyway. My boat sits on a lift with no charging most of the time. It probably accumulates some sulfation during the course of a season on the lift, but when I put it in storage for the winter, I put it on a Battery Tender all winter and don't worry about the sulfation. Never had a problem.

Bottom line IMHO, there's a narrow range where a charger/desulfator might be helpful and that range is much narrower than the advertising suggests. If the battery is used or charged enough that it never drops below 75% charge, then you don't need to spend the extra money. OTOH, f the battery is SO sulfated that it won't hold a charge then you're looking at several weeks on a desulfator with a relatively marginal chance that it will restore the battery. The range where it might be helpful is a battery that occasionally dips below 75% charge and only accumulates light sulfation. A charger/desulfator won't noticeably improve its function, but it might extend its life. Whether that possibility is worth the extra money...I don't know. Personally, I think the charger/desulfator concept is overhyped and trying to take advantage of our burning desire for any sort of miracle technology that might save us some money. Not unlike the miracle of gasoline additives or the miracle of synthetic oil...


/;)

cbryan70
07-11-2009, 11:01 AM
Ask your mechanic. I'm sure he knows.

Better yet I will call yamaha

bigmac
07-11-2009, 11:06 AM
Better yet I will call yamahaWell, they've given you GREAT information so far. Don't worry, I'm sure that battery technology will be the subject of your next Yamaha school.

TX.X-30 fan
07-11-2009, 02:59 PM
Those DieHard Platinums looked cool! I wanted to put a big one in my boat, but could not find a box that would fit it where I wanted it.



So far so good after 24 hr. trickle charge I put the meter on everything, I think all the electrical issues were the OBT.

Why not just build a custon starboard box for the battery. It can be mounted on its side or however. All thee of mine are in a starboard battery box.

TX.X-30 fan
07-11-2009, 03:02 PM
These "desulfators" work by sending current pulses through the battery's circuit and will supposedly return the sulfate back into the electrolyte solution thereby returning that part of the plate to the circuit by getting rid of the insulating sulfate crystals. They do work, but the more sulfation that's present, the longer it will take (sometimes months) and the less likely they are to work. There's a point of no return where there is there is so much sulfation that it just isn't possible, but there's no good way to check the battery to see if it's gone beyond that point. Furthermore, if the sulfation actually bridges plates, the rate of self-discharge will go up, and the more sulfation, the more self-discharge. The less sulfation, the more likely these things are to work within a practical time frame. IOW, if you find one day that your battery isn't holding a charge any more, it's not going to work to put it on a charger/desulfator to recondition it in time to go skiing tomorrow, but you MIGHT be able to recover it by the end of the season.

The best way to deal with sulfation is to prevent it, and the only way to do that is to keep the battery on a float charger at all times. If the specific gravity can be kept above about 1.225, which is about 12.4 volts, or about 75% charge, there won't be any sulfation and a $125 charger/desulfator isn't necessary. However, if the boat sits for long periods of time and can only be charged intermittently (no electrical power in your storage facility, for example), you may only have light sulfation and maybe a few days on a charger/desulfator will help extend its life.

IOW, if the battery is so badly sulfated that it won't hold a charge, you're going to have to buy a new battery to use for the several weeks you're going to need desulfating the old one anyway. My boat sits on a lift with no charging most of the time. It probably accumulates some sulfation during the course of a season on the lift, but when I put it in storage for the winter, I put it on a Battery Tender all winter and don't worry about the sulfation. Never had a problem.

Bottom line IMHO, there's a narrow range where a charger/desulfator might be helpful and that range is much narrower than the advertising suggests. If the battery is used or charged enough that it never drops below 75% charge, then you don't need to spend the extra money. OTOH, f the battery is SO sulfated that it won't hold a charge then you're looking at several weeks on a desulfator with a relatively marginal chance that it will restore the battery. The range where it might be helpful is a battery that occasionally dips below 75% charge and only accumulates light sulfation. A charger/desulfator won't noticeably improve its function, but it might extend its life. Whether that possibility is worth the extra money...I don't know. Personally, I think the charger/desulfator concept is overhyped and trying to take advantage of our burning desire for any sort of miracle technology that might save us some money. Not unlike the miracle of gasoline additives or the miracle of synthetic oil...


/;)




Holiday Inn Express again huh :confused:

TallRedRider
07-11-2009, 03:13 PM
To go off topic a little...

Big Mac,

You state that the problem starts as a battery is discharged more fully. Optima and other AGM batteries make a selling point that they can be discharged fully over and over and still recover...is the process only a problem when the battery is not recharged? What makes a deep cycle battery different, as that it is actually intended to be fully discharged from time to time?

Our houseboat batteries are run from 13+V down to 11V over and over, sometimes twice a day. They seem to be OK.

TX.X-30 fan
07-11-2009, 03:30 PM
To go off topic a little...

Big Mac,

You state that the problem starts as a battery is discharged more fully. Optima and other AGM batteries make a selling point that they can be discharged fully over and over and still recover...is the process only a problem when the battery is not recharged? What makes a deep cycle battery different, as that it is actually intended to be fully discharged from time to time?

Our houseboat batteries are run from 13+V down to 11V over and over, sometimes twice a day. They seem to be OK.




Yes I believe you are correct, if I have run my 2 Kinetiks down way low and cannot run for 20/30 min. I will put the charger on the bank. I find it hard to believe flooded cell batteries could ever take the abuse or deliver the juice that the Kinetik AGM power cells can. The difference is they will put out 12 volts to near complete discharge and no flooded cell can do that. The optima is just not a high quality AGM as advertised, but I'm sold on the technology. Need a 3 stage charger and a separate regulator that does multiple charge rates and has a setting for AGM batteries.

bigmac
07-11-2009, 04:40 PM
To go off topic a little...

Big Mac,

You state that the problem starts as a battery is discharged more fully. Optima and other AGM batteries make a selling point that they can be discharged fully over and over and still recover...is the process only a problem when the battery is not recharged? What makes a deep cycle battery different, as that it is actually intended to be fully discharged from time to time?

Our houseboat batteries are run from 13+V down to 11V over and over, sometimes twice a day. They seem to be OK.

The nature of AGM batteries, including the Optima, is such that the battery electrolyte is contained within the glass mat. There are several advantages to that construction, such as non-spillable, more shock resistant, low maintenance, internal oxygen/hydrogen recombination, less tendency to freeze if deeply discharged etc. IMHO, however, the biggest advantages are very low rate of self-discharge and much lower tendency to form sulfate crystals and bridges (nature of the boron-silicate mat). Like other deep-cycle batteries, the plates are more robust and therefore less susceptible to positive grid corrosion (positive plate gets eaten away). An AGM battery can get away with thinner plates than a flooded-cell deep-cycle battery and still retain the advantages of those thicker plates. The resistance of those plates to grid corrosion is what determines a) how deeply the battery can be discharged before sulfation is a problem (deep cycle and AGM batteries can typically go down to as low as 20% and still not sulfate appreciably) and b) how many discharge/recharge cycles it can tolerate.

The Optima batteries claim to fame is their spiral-wound plates. I'm not sure why that's better (not sure that it IS better), but I'm skeptical that they are worth the price compared to other AGM batteries. In fact, I'm suspicious that the relatively higher failure rate for the Optima batteries is more related to their construction robust-ness (referring to the way the cells are built) compared to conventional AGM deep-cycle batteries. The one big advantage that Optima Blue Tops have IMHO is a lower internal resistance, which give them a higher instantaneous-output capability, which in turn makes them more suitable as a cranking battery while still retaining their deep-cycle advantage. Standard AGM batteries aren't bad in this regard...certainly better than flooded-cell deep-cycle batteries (whose plates may be up to 1/4 inch thick!), but something, I don't know what, about the cell construction on the OBT makes them better than standard AGM batteries as starter-cranking batteries. Personally, I don't think that alone makes them worth the price difference, especially given their apparent relative fragility.

IMHO.


edit: forgot to answer the question. Yes, it's not the discharge that hurts the battery, it's the battery sitting for any time in a discharged state that promotes sulfation, and to a certain extent, positive grid corrosion.

bigmac
07-11-2009, 04:43 PM
Holiday Inn Express again huh :confused:

Gonna start bringing my own pillows, though.

Eagle Lake Rebel
07-11-2009, 05:42 PM
I here ya bigmac, it all sounds good, but I treat my Blue Tops just like my old lead acid batts (One full slow charge per mo in the winter) and they just don't seem to hold up. The Blue Tops don't seem to hols a charge nearly as long as the lead batts. I have a standard AGM batt in my Jet Ski that gets even less love in the winter and it lasted 6yrs. I think the problem lies in the Optima design. I even bought a fancy new charger that gives you multiple batt settings when I got the first Blue Tops. This may all boil down to the electron configuration of Krypton 86 I think.