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Float Charger

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Float Charger
« on: April 26, 2008, 09:54:03 AM »
Some time ago there was a long discussion about float chargers regarding brands, costs and such.
This post is a kind of follow-up wondering about longevity. Did the ones from Harbout Freight last? What about others? What about performance? Some work better than others?

Dave E

Float charges/reply
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2008, 07:37:45 PM »
I have 8 or 10 or 12 of them, Dave.  Some are at least 5 years old and no problem thus far.  Most of mine are purchased from Wal Mart.  Some have the Schumacher name on them and some have the Ever Start name, but they are all the same.  Cost at purchase was around $ 14.99 back when and  maybe $16.99 more recently.  The way prices are jumping this year, they may be more.  

At any rate, they are switchable from 6 to 12V.  If a battery is down a 1.5A charge is delivered.  When the charger senses the battery is full charge, it switches to a Ma  maintenance charge.  They have indicator lights to tell you which state of charge it is in. I have made connectors to hook as many as four batteries to one charger for over the winter and that works fine too.

I also have two of the little transformer powered units from Harbor Freight.  They are not very impressive, although I guess they do work.
Hope this is helpful.

Charlie V. in WNY

float chargers to price jumps
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2008, 07:52:58 PM »
When I mentioned prices jumping this year in the last post, here is what I mean.  We went to Wally World yesterday. I intended to buy a 12V post type battery for my J.D. 316.  I had in mind a one or two year bottom of the line battery, typically 32 or 33 bucks.  I thought maybe 35 this year.  I am glad I left my trade in battery (required in NYS) in the suv until we checked out the new ones.  Bottom of the line, one year warranty, small size, post type battery-----$45.99 plus naturally our 8.25% sales tax.  Needless to say we came back home with the trade in still with us.  Checked out Tractor Supply on the way home, same deal.  I guess I will have to drive the other way next trip.  There is a big battery supplier where I can buy blems.

Charlie V. in WNY

Float Charger
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2008, 09:57:15 AM »
I just bought 3 of them from WalMart. Reading the instructions and then re-reading them, I believe it is inferred that it can be used connected in parallel for more than one battery. By saying that, their directions address the issue of overloading when connected to more than one battery during the charging phase. I think that if you had a few, say 3 or 4 batteries hooked together in parallel, after being individually charged by the unit, then connected together in the maintenance mode it would work.

Anyone tried this?
Dave E

« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2008, 05:23:07 PM »
Hi dave,

Read again my previous post and you will note that I have made up lead wires with pinch clamps and maintain up to four batteries on one of these chargers.  I have had no problem with the charger getting hot, but as you mention, the batteries are usually near full charge when hooked up.  If any battery in the string drops below full charge, the charger will shift into "charge mode" until all batteries are again full..  Works great.

Charlie V.

Float Charger
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 10:01:25 AM »
Now as this is January and as our discussion was last May, I've had ample time to do as you've said about connecting several batteries in parallel and you are absolutely right. The wally world charger kept 4 12v batteries charged for the last coulple of months. All my hay equipment batteries are now here in the shop with two chargers keeping them maintained.
Dave E

Float Chargers
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2009, 08:26:39 AM »
I have finally encountered my first partial failure on one of the Wal Mart chargers.  It will still charge in the green light stage (maintenance), but refuses to go to amber (1.5 amp output). I have no idea how old this one is, but it could be five years +/-.  Thank you for the update on your success, Dave.  I am still convinced these are a good product for the money compared to some I see on the market for a lot more $$$$.