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 that seem to be repeating what they have heard from others, they aren’t speaking from experience, I wanted to TRY something before blowing it off as snake oil… There are 2 main ways I’ve discovered to desulfate a battery, one is chemically, the other is electronically.
The chemical methods are pretty straightforward, you put a chemical into your batteries and after a period of time, it’s supposed to desulfate your batteries, I’ve seen commercial products, I’ve seen YouTube videos with people using Epsom Salt. I just didn’t know if I wanted to introduce another substance into my batteries.
The electronic method is also pretty straightforward, you attach a gizmo to your batteries, and using an electronic pulse, it desulfates your batteries. That seems more reasonable to me, though I have to say that I’m no expert, what I am is an off-gridder who is very hard on my batteries and have gone through a couple of sets of deep cycle batteries in the 7 years we have been off grid. For most off gridders, the batteries are the expensive part of the system, and the part that wears out and needs to be replaced most often.
I reached out to the Wizbang company, they graciously allowed me to test 2 Wizbang Plus units (Wizbang Plus Battery Desulfator). I ordered a hydrometer (E-Z Red SP101 Battery Hydrometer) from Amazon to test the batteries before hooking it up. The first set are 2 deep cycle batteries that aren’t very old (compared to my other batteries), they are Interstate Batteries brand, SRM-29. I purchased them December 2012. According to my charge controller, they had a full charge when I tested them. Sorry for the blurry pix, someday I’ll have a better camera :)I was somewhat surprised to see the condition according to the hydrometer, it read between 1100 and 1125, that was pretty much what all the cells read. I say somewhat because, being fairly new batteries, I expected better, and yet, since we live with them, I know that they aren’t holding as much of a charge as they did when we first got them.
I attached one of the Wizbang Plus units to those batteries, one lead to the positive, and the negative on the other. Once attached, the green light came on and it immediately began to buzz, it’s a very soft buzz, not anything that will bother us. I attached everything back to the batteries and turned everything back on.
Next I went to the second battery bank, I hesitate to say “bank” since it’s only one battery, there are 2 batteries there, but only one is hooked up. This is the older version of the one above, it’ an Interstate Battery 29DC1, as you can see from the sticker, this one is from 2009. I figured this one was in much worse shape, it doesn’t hold much of a charge, when I tested it with the hydrometer it read just at 1200, I was surprised at that. We hooked up the other Wizbang Plus unit to that battery, the green light came on and it began to buzz, perhaps a little louder than the other one, don’t know what if anything that signifies, but there it is.
Now I’ll give these a few weeks and test them again, I expect to see an improvement in the hydrometer test, and in working. The Wizbang company suggested I get a battery load tester, for now I don’t have one, I’ll look into buying one in the future, perhaps I’ll be able to use it on another set of batteries to test, we have several sets of older, tired batteries that aren’t holding a charge.
That’s it for now, I’ll keep you updated on how everything is going, I have very high hopes for this desulfator. I also like the fact that these are made in America.
Purchased through Amazon is a better price than even buying it through the company themselves :)
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