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Old 05-18-2019, 10:32 PM   #1
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Battery suppliers

Hi all
Thanks to everyone that replied to my previous post on batteries.

Does anyone have suggestions on where to find good batteries at a decent price? I need a g31 and 4 gc2 batteries. I would prefer agm but I am considering flooded for both cost and longevity

Thanks
Paul

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Old 05-19-2019, 01:21 PM   #2
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Well you have to consider brand of battery as it affects both price and availability. I get my Trojans at a golf cart maintenance shop.
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:34 PM   #3
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Hi all

Thanks to everyone that replied to my previous post on batteries.



Does anyone have suggestions on where to find good batteries at a decent price? I need a g31 and 4 gc2 batteries. I would prefer agm but I am considering flooded for both cost and longevity



Thanks

Paul



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Battery brands are as a contentious issue as anchors.

I see it as being a relatively simple decision tree. First is battery type. Generally that will be flooded or AGM. Once you make that decision, then consider if you want to spend a lot of money on a high quality battery or little money on a cheap battery.

I like flooded GC2s where appropriate. If you can have ready access for checking and topping off water levels and are confident that you will do it as a regular part of maintenance checks, I think that flooded are a great value.

I also have a bias towards the cheap battery. I have had great success with Costco GC2 flooded batteries. They can be almost half the cost of a high quality GC2 battery and yet will last much longer than 1/2 the time of an expensive battery. However, I’m not cruising in remote areas nor living aboard. If a battery failed, finding a replacement would always have been a quick and easy task if it had ever happened.

So, check out Costco or Sam’s club for sailor (cheap) option as a source.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:03 PM   #4
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I really don't believe that you can find a bad GC2 FLA battery for sale in the US. Golf carts are such a huge market and any bad supplier would quickly be run out of this market.


Almost the same thing can be said for G31 batteries. These are big (but no where near as big as a 4D or 8D) and are used for starting a relatively big engine: up to 8 liters in a gasser and 6 liters in a diesel. Look for a CCA rating of at least 900.


Costco/Sams has them as cheap as almost anyone; Batteries Plus a little more.


David
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:35 PM   #5
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I really don't believe that you can find a bad GC2 FLA battery for sale in the US. Golf carts are such a huge market and any bad supplier would quickly be run out of this market.


Almost the same thing can be said for G31 batteries. These are big (but no where near as big as a 4D or 8D) and are used for starting a relatively big engine: up to 8 liters in a gasser and 6 liters in a diesel. Look for a CCA rating of at least 900.


Costco/Sams has them as cheap as almost anyone; Batteries Plus a little more.


David
This is not correct. Golf cart batteries are not all created equal. Some have as few as 12 plates and some have as many as 19 plates. Plate size also changes between batteries. I’ve see GC batteries that were as low as 175 amp/hrs and some as high as 265 amp/hrs.

Some one claiming that cheap batteries last as long as expensive ones doesn’t mean much. How do we know operating conditions were the same or that maintenance was the same.

One needs to do the best job they can comparing apples to apples when it comes to battery prices.

Costco batteries might be a great deal or maybe not. The best advice I can give is compare amp hrs to price but even that doesn’t tell the whole story.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:50 PM   #6
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Sam's Club battys made in US by East Penn.
I've had good luck w both FLAs & AGMs by East Penn.
I do believe you can find "higher quality" battys but the price goes up significantly. You may get longer life but I don't believe you will come close to break even or ahead vs Sam's Club.
I would start by looking at $/AH and calculate how much longer another batty would have to last to break even and then decide if it's a worthwhile bet?
Batty weight is a reasonable comparison... if one is significantly lighter the # of plates and/ or thickness are inferior.
AGM roughly 2X $ of FLA... only you can decide if convenience is worth the extra $. Properly cared for I wouldn't expect a large difference in longevity... poorly cared for you can kill both rather quickly.
Like others... above is only my opinion and others will disagree.
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:39 PM   #7
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I would start by looking at $/AH and calculate how much longer another batty would have to last to break even and then decide if it's a worthwhile bet?
You said it much better than I could. Thank you.

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AGM roughly 2X $ of FLA... only you can decide if convenience is worth the extra $. Properly cared for I wouldn't expect a large difference in longevity... poorly cared for you can kill both rather quickly.

I only know of three advantages to AGM. I may be wrong with these three and there may be others.
1) No need to water
2) Higher acceptance rate.
3) No positionally sensitive.

#2, if true, could be acceptable. I spoke to a tech at the battery manufacturer of my house bank AGMs. They recommended that their AGMs be charged at .2 of the C20 Ah rating. Lifeline goes even further and says that if their batteries should be charged at as high an amperage as practical, up to 5 times the C20 of the bank. They also say that if their batteries are regularly discharge to 50% or more of DOD than the charger should be able to charge at least at .2% of C20. I believe that the recommendation for wet cells is that bulk charging should be done at about 10% of C20 Ah.

For large banks this can make a difference. My bank was nominally 780Ah when new. Charging that at .2 C20 would be 156 amps. My charger is only rated for 125 amps (although I typically see 130amps during bulk charging). So I max out my charger. This means that I can get to the absorb phase of charging a lot faster than if I was limiting my charger to 10% of C20 or 78 amps.

The faster I can hit the absorb phase the better the chance that I can get my batteries fully recharged via my solar panel during the day. This might mean running my genset for an hour in the morning vs two hours in the morning.

As usual, I could be wrong but I think charge acceptance is potentially a bigger advantage of AGM for some of us than the maintenance.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:23 PM   #8
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If adding water to batteries is difficult because of battery inaccssebility, there are kits on the market that will keep batteries topped up automatically. You replace the caps with the ones in the kit, hook the caps to a water reservoir with tubing. All you have to do is keep the reservoir topped up which will be easy since the reservoir is installed in a convenient location.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:47 PM   #9
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David
I agree w higher charge rates but refer others to read CMS article on resulting charge times...
https://marinehowto.com/how-fast-can...ry-be-charged/
Double charge rate doesn't mean fully charged in half the time as many assume.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:57 PM   #10
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David
I agree w higher charge rates but refer others to read CMS article on resulting charge times...
https://marinehowto.com/how-fast-can...ry-be-charged/
Double charge rate doesn't mean fully charged in half the time as many assume.

Yeah, I think it only really makes a difference during the bulk charging phase, which is a pretty small percentage of the total charging time. As usual, the best information can be found on Rod's website.
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