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Old 02-03-2016, 10:05 PM   #1
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Epsom Salt

Greetings,
One of the two batteries on the small boat shows a very low (dead?) cell when tested with a hydrometer after a charge. This is not a critical application what-so-ever.

I've seen several videos that claim that the use of Epsom Salts will rejuvenate (?) de-sulphate (?) a battery for continued use.

Any comments? Thanks.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:14 PM   #2
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Not heard that, but if the batt is effectively stuffed anyway, why not. Any risk of acid bubbling or spraying out?
I use Epsom salts on gardenia shrubs for soil imbalance. Of course it has another more traditional use.
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Old 02-04-2016, 05:29 AM   #3
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I have tried this several times with no apparent results. If the battery has a dead cell (or a cell that is going dead, it will pull the voltage down in the other cells.
May i suggest one of these
Battery Analyzer
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:23 AM   #4
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During the use of the battery bank some folks find a De Sulphator does work.

Google for info,

Battery desulfator review part one | Living Off the Grid: Free ...

Home | Living Off the Grid: Free Yourselfbattery-desulfator-review/


Nov 20, 2013 - I have been researching ways to desulfate batteries, I am finding most people saying that it's snake oil, that it can't work… some that are saying ...





▶ 2:11


May 3, 2012 - Uploaded by R&TPreppers
Here is a quick video that will show you what the lead plates look like in a typical sulfated lead acid battery and ...





▶ 9:03


Jan 3, 2010 - Uploaded by Tooextrememx
My review on the Infinitum Battery Desulfator. I think this is a must have item if you have anything that uses a ...



Infinitum Desulfator FAQs - Battery Tech Solutions

www.batterytechsolutions.com/#!desulfator-faqs/cvm8




Infinitum Battery Desulfator Frequently Asked Questionss.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:37 AM   #5
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I used to use it in the batteries of my 1966 VW beetle when I was at Uni, saved the girls having to push start the mighty machine. ( no, not a sexist comment, I was the rather unsuccessful netball coach)

Our motto was 'you don't win silver,you lose gold!'
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:12 AM   #6
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Ive used it some, like was posted, nothing to lose. About half a teaspoon per cell then vigorous charging, to the point of turning the acid almost white. The battery can get fairly hot during this and off gas a lot. I use a shop charger set on "engine start 250 amp" basically like an equalization voltage. Pull the caps and keep an eye on each cell, if one or more dont bubble the batt is junk. Seems to be about 50/50 on it working, but I do have a group 31 batt on a roll around that we use for jump starts that was totally dead, for awhile. Wouldnt hold a charge at all. Tortured it like posted above and its been working fine for about a year now. YMMV
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:05 AM   #7
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One bad cell is not sulfation or anything else that can be fixed it is a mechanical failure inside.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayview View Post
One bad cell is not sulfation or anything else that can be fixed it is a mechanical failure inside.
+1
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:23 AM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. bay. That's sort of the thought I was leaning towards. Bent plate? Shorted from sloughed off material at the bottom? Piece of refuse (from plate) stuck between plates?

I can't remember, or never knew much about battery chemistry but each cell should contain lead and sulfuric acid. Sulfating occurs, as I understand it, with the formation of lead sulfate coating the active surface thereby hindering electron?/ion? exchange. I'm not sure what part the addition of Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) would play in the chemical reaction. I haven't balanced a chemical equation in over 40 years.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:57 AM   #10
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RT Me either but I think you ae on track with the shorting idea.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:37 AM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. bay. Mr. 44 raises an interesting point. I know one of the problems with button cells (hearing aid and car remote batteries for example) is that crystals form between the anode and cathode thus bridging the semi-permeable membrane that separates the two and shorting out the cell. One can sometimes burn the short (the crystals) off by momentarily applying a high DC voltage thus renewing the capacity of the cell to generate electricity.

Problem is, I don't have a charger with a start/boost function...
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:10 PM   #12
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I have had good luck w/ Battery Minders

I have had lo V situations where I charged the Batt as much as it would take measured V then ran it on the Batty Minder for days / wks and re tested and found V was indeed higher than I got w/ chargers alone.

Desulfation Review might also be of interest
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:44 PM   #13
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The typical failure for modern batteries seems to be the single cell failure you observed. Long ago batteries just became less able to accept charge, essentially lower in capacity.


Today the single cell failure seems to predominate. A big problem with this is the common use of batteries in parallel. This results in a 10.5V battery in parallel with a 12V battery causing large currents into the bad battery resulting in boiling acid, and other exciting happenings.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:46 PM   #14
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Appreciate your posts RTF..
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:00 PM   #15
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Aust. chandlery chain "Whitworths" sell "Inox Battery Conditioner", 92ml $8.99, 1L $49.90. No idea what`s in it, I used it on 2 conventional flooded batts which hydrometer tested just ok, one lasted a year, the other, which was newer, 3years. Did the product contribute? The answer to that is about as clear as the "before and after" vid above.
If it`s just dissolved epsom salts, someone is on a nice earner.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:10 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. BK. Looked up the MSDA on Inox. Cadmium sulphate (in solution/water, I suspect). http://marineandindustriallubricants...-NZ-format.pdf
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:18 PM   #17
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If you mess with the battery with chemicals and high charge rate wear eye protection-keep area well ventilated- watch the heat and you do know those square things do occasionally pump out stuff that can go BANG. My take is it worth the effort? Considering the many coasts of boating a new AGM is not a big deal over its 6-7 year life span.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:32 PM   #18
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Greetings,
Mr. e. Thanks for the safety reminder which SHOULD be a reminder to ALL members to take appropriate precautions when doing ANYTHING aboard.

I'm not going to invest in diagnostic/repair equipment for this minor task although I have bookmarked suggested apparati in the "boat" file-Thanks all. Mr. e. You're correct. For this one battery, it probably isn't worth too much effort or risk to save a few $$. My sole purpose in asking was simple interest as I DO have an ill battery and Epsom Salts are cheap.
Off to the battery store in the spring ie expect. Thanks again all.

(Holy crap. Nobody mentioned anchors....Must be a first in the history of TF.)
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:59 PM   #19
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Thanks RTF, for the INOX research. The safety warnings are a worry,but on balance I do think the stuff helped, and 1L costs than one sixth the cost of a new 8D/200Ah batt and will treat 2 batteries. Obviously it won`t help if the battery has a dead cell or similar fault.
Irrelevantly, as to the "other use" of Epsom Salts, salmonella has been found here in pre-washed packaged ready to use salad leaves sold all over the eastern states and is giving many people a fair imitation of the effect of Epsom Salts.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:02 AM   #20
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Mr RT-just to maintain tradition-

1. Find a nice spot to anchor out;
2. Attach battery to anchor;
3. Throw overboard;
4. Retrieve anchor, leave battery;
5. Buy new battery.

Now, to appease the green crowd-do not really do this, leaving your battery on the bottom is not a nice thing to do!
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