Today I tested the two deep cycle batteries that I reconditioned. They are Walmart Everstart batteries. These are not high end batteries by any means. Usually I’m lucky to get five full years out of them.
This set will be five years old this month. I checked the cells with a hydrometer, and they showed the electrolyte solution to be weak. With a full charge, the cells were out of the green on the hydrometer bulb. They were in the narrow white area between green and red.
I use these batteries to run the Motor Guide 50 pound thrust trolling motor on my 18 foot fishing boat. This is the time of year they get used the hardest. This time of year I fish below lock and dam #12 on the Mississippi River.
I’m fishing all day, trolling for Sauger and Walleye, using only the trolling motor. I’m always in the current, and the temperature’s often just above freezing. Batteries don’t hold their charge as well in colder temperatures.
I know these batteries were about to fail, because of their age, and past experience. I went out on the river today to give them a good test.
After I reconditioned them, I charged them for 48 hours with my boats on board charger-maintainer. I wanted to give them a good draw down before I recharged them for the first time after reconditioning.
I ran the trolling motor on high for 3 hours straight. I covered 9 miles of river. I ran 4 miles in a backwater against a mild current and brisk wind. I then ran 5 miles of river with the current. The end of that run took me back to the boat landing where I launched.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the performance. When I got back to the boat launch , I still had full power. In the past, I would have never gotten that kind of performance out of batteries in their fifth year.
Judging by the performance, these batteries must be close to 100%. What these batteries do over the next two months will be the true test.
At this point, my skepticism of whether or not reconditioning works, is evaporating. If they pass the test of time, reconditioning can be a great boon to alternative energy enthusiast.