Author Topic: Battery oil?  (Read 581 times)

Joel Ashley

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Battery oil?
« on: May 30, 2020, 02:19:44 AM »
A fellow RVer has a blog we follow, and recently suggested a “tried-and-true” practice of adding mineral oil to the top of his wet cell batteries in order to control the boil-off of corrosive acids.  I’m wondering what the more experienced and informed here think of such a concept. 

My original 2006 6V batteries, that were viable until just a couple years ago, got more corrosive to surrounding metals and needed more frequent watering as they aged and required more charging effort.  When I replace them, if with more wet cells as opposed to AGM’s, I’m wondering about the efficacy of taking the blogger’s advice.

Only if admin here is okay with it, in a subsequent post I can include a link to the blog site which would provide procedural details.

Joel
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat
towing a 1997 Ford Explorer Limited, aka "Pearl"

Bill Lampkin

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Re: Battery oil?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2020, 03:40:27 AM »
Not a battery expert but I've seen some articles. Kinda reminds me of 100 mpg carburetors, spark plugs with propellers as the electrode; adding sulfuric acid to 'restore' a battery. Not dismissing the idea, but....
2005 Patriot Thunder Lexington, 3 slides
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525 hp C13

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Steve Huber Co-Admin

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Re: Battery oil?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2020, 04:16:02 AM »
Joel,
Prefer you not post the link. For anyone interested, simply google "mineral oil to top off batteries" or something similar.
Your batteries, your $.
Steve
Steve
2015-          07 Contessa Bayshore C9,  400 hp
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2005-2013: 01 Contessa Naples, 3126B, 330 hp

Lee Welbanks

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Re: Battery oil?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2020, 04:28:19 AM »
Joel, I think as a service to the Beaver forum you could run a test with the batteries in your coach and report what your findings are. I would do it with the monsters I have in my coach except that they are AGM's. Just kidding of course unless you want too. I just went and did some looking on the web about this and there is all kinds of talk about using oil in batteries
As one person stated in a post if this was such a good idea one would thing that the mfg of the batteries would already use it. Probably would void the warranty on your new battery.
Lee & Judy
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Chuck Jackson

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Re: Battery oil?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2020, 10:14:18 PM »
I've seen many posts in other forums that mention this and I don't believe I have read about a single failure of a battery due to adding mineral oil. There are other concerns such as not being able to use a hydrometer to take a specific gravity reading from the cells and voiding any warranty.

I used water miser caps that eliminated the off gassing that can destroy your battery tray and they worked. Having a watering system can help eliminate the off gassing also. When it came time to replace my batteries, I reconditioned/painted the battery tray, installed new slides and replaced the batteries with AGMs. The battery tray stays clean and I don't have to worry about off gassing or maintenance.
2008 Beaver Contessa 40' Pacifica 425 Cat

Joel Ashley

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Re: Battery oil?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2020, 11:46:07 PM »
Thanks for that input, Chuck.  Testing for a battery going bad with a hydrometer is important, and oil could interfere.  I’ve been planning for over a year to do the same things you did, and finally hope to get to it this coming month after the yard work and other priorities are caught up. 

I still haven’t decided wet cell or AGM;  if prices are similar to when I checked last summer, house AGM’s are 50% more, not double like they once were, but chassis ones are still more than twice “maintenance-free” wet cells.  And here I recently bought a good hydrometer and watering device 🤨.   

I assume because of the inverter and solar charger settings, I must have all batteries, both chassis and house, the same type.  That works out to $650 for all wet cells vs. at least $1510 for all AGM.  Makes it come down to whether the elimination of corrosion and regular watering is worth $860.  I’m sure prices have changed, but that basic consideration is still gonna be there.

I know, the oil thing sounded iffy to me too, which is why I sought input here.  But the fellow that writes the blog is a retired engineer with pretty good and proven technical prowess.  I had to give the idea some degree of credence.  I’ve read about the notion in the past, but passed it off as gimmicky and possibly risky ... until he mentioned he did it to the brand new batteries he just put in his Journey.

Joel
« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 11:51:38 PM by Joel Ashley »
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat
towing a 1997 Ford Explorer Limited, aka "Pearl"

Chuck Jackson

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Re: Battery oil?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2020, 02:52:43 AM »
The chassis batteries are 12 volt and won't be a deep cycle so they don't require as specific a charging profile as the 6 volt deep cycle batteries so you won't be getting a matched set. I was able to pick up (4) Crown 220ah 6 volt AGMs for just over $900 delivered and then I got $40 for my old batteries.  You're right. They are not cheap but I have no regrets. There is nothing wrong with using the mineral oil and people have been doing it for decades but I chose not to go that route. Here are some pics of my battery tray refurb.
2008 Beaver Contessa 40' Pacifica 425 Cat

Joel Ashley

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Re: Battery oil?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2020, 10:13:50 PM »
I wasn’t looking to get a matched set, exactly, and understand the chassis aren’t deep cycle.  I was referring to whether the inverter being set for AGM would affect how it charged the wet cell chassis set.  On reflection, in its current non-AGM configuration I assume it somehow never threw an equalization cycle at the chassis set, or that they weren’t susceptible to harm from it.

Thanks for the pix.  Excellent job.  Did you get new drawer slides?  They look it.

Joel
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat
towing a 1997 Ford Explorer Limited, aka "Pearl"

Chuck Jackson

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Re: Battery oil?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2020, 01:27:14 AM »
Yes, the old slides were corroded pretty bad.
2008 Beaver Contessa 40' Pacifica 425 Cat