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· Registered
7,136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the basement I have over 1 dozen car and mower batteries on the cement floor along a wall. I need to test them to see which ones are good, bad or chargeable. I have an automatic charger and an electronic voltage tester. Should I just test each one as they sit or charge first or? Some have been in storage for over 5 years. Where they sit on the floor is on one side of the landing of the stairs. On the opposite side of the stairs on this same basement floor are the water heaters which were new about 3-5 years ago. I'm concerned about vapors creeping over to the pilots on the water heaters. Maybe I could have a fan blowing on the batteries as they charge to dissapate the vapors?

· Super Moderator
33,064 Posts
I would not charge them near the pilot lites. Move them somewere to charge. And I would charge them first, then let them sit a bit, or put a little load on them to settle the voltedge, then test.

People will say not to leave a battery on cement. I dont know if thats true or not, just throwing that out there.

· Landscaping Nut
1,365 Posts
What amp output charger is it? They should have been periodically charged every three months to keep them healthy. If any one has not had a charge in over six months time the likelihood that it has much good left in it is greatly diminished.

Not knowing amp output of charger and amp capacity of anyone battery not much I can tell you.

Storing on concrete in itself means nothing.

I would sit the battery being charged outside, not knowing what else your doing in the basement. A shorted cell or seriously overcharged battery will generate an outsize amount of hydrogen(explosive) gas.

· 20,000 +posts!
20,933 Posts
I'd take all of them to the scrapyard,cash them in,an buy one new (or good used battery from a wreck),before wasting time and electricity,and possibly hurting the charger trying to re-charge those batteries..any battery that has sat more than 6 months is likely junk,the plates will be all sulphated..

I had 5 old batteries hanging around for years,about a year ago I took them to the recycler and got 6 bucks each for them,and I took the 36 bucks,went to another junkyard I frequent,and bought 3 used batteries,two Duralast from a diesel pickup that were new in october of '07,and a Interstate from a Honda Civvic that fit my tractor perfect only 3 months old,for 30 more aggravation and tripping over dead batteries,or fears of fire from leaving them on the charger all the time..

I have heard the "wives tale" about leaving batteries on cement..far as I can tell the only harm that might cause is if any acid leaks out of the battery,it'll dissolve the concrete..personally I dont see how current can flow through a plastic case and through cement,even wet or damp cement,myself..

I know for fact having the top of the battery dirty and damp can let current discharge across the terminals and eventually kill it though..put a multi-meter or voltmeter's leads on the positive post and the negative to the case,if its dirty or moist enough,you'll see the needle rise indicating a slight short shop teacher in school showed us that,and said thats why its important to keep the battery clean..

· Registered
652 Posts
The concrete deal is nonsense. What CAN help discharge a battery is storing them in a warm place with dirty crud on the top. The crud and become conductive, and drain the battery. The warm environment allows chemical action to "self discharge."

Even though batteries don't output as much power when cold, the best way to STORE them is to charge them up and store them cold. Keeping dry cells in the fridge is no myth.

I would guess that if you have a few batteries over 5 years old, most of them are "about gone." I sure would not put much energy into trying to keep them up.

They should really not be charged or stored in a basement, but rather a ventilated ground level shed. Batteries DO occasionally explode without much apparrent reason. Not pretty in your basement.

· Im mowin the air Randy
276 Posts
Take the batteries in for recycling.
Storing batteries on concrete poses no harm to a battery.
There can be ambient temperature changes between the concrete
& battery,therefore creating a oultline mark.
Having a lead acid battery explode on its own is very rare.
Warmer off season storage can speed up the natural discharge rate
per day 1%- 5% depending upon final ambient tempreature.
The best rule of thumb is
Our Automotive/tractor batteries naturally discharge,
After 30 days a Top up charge should be performed.
Check water levels (If available),Do not overfill.Using a Hydrometer
will aid in each individual cell state of charge & is a excellent tool
for locating dead cells.
Keep the battery clean,Top,Sides,front,Back & especially the bottom.
Clean the terminals.

· Registered
2,527 Posts
Batteries; #1 should never be stored in unfully charged state, if they are in a month or so they begin to sulfate. #2 The storeing of batteries on concrete This was back when the batteries had a wooden case. Concrete zapped the moisture from the wood and it rotted; We must remember the battery is only a storage unit. it stores electrons + and -. like a bucket stores water. OR maybe BEER. and we all like fresh stuff. The internal resistance of battery is near .007. which means it will go dead if left without being in a fully charged or unused.:
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