FrankWest107

Optima 6V RedTop Battery

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I have AN

Optima RedTop 6 volt Battery that I have not used for several years.

It does not not respond to my cheap trickle charger..

How do you charge these type batteries.

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You have to put it in parallel with a regular, charged, battery.  The problem is that your charger is not sensing that there's any battery connected to put a charge to.  Connect the Optima positive to charged battery positive, same with negative, then attach charger to either one.

 

All chargers now, and for a while, have been built to respond to a feedback from a battery, even if low, and not charge unless that feedback is received.  An Optima, for some reason, doesn't give the needed feedback....

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You have to put it in parallel with a regular, charged, battery.  The problem is that your charger is not sensing that there's any battery connected to put a charge to.  Connect the Optima positive to charged battery positive, same with negative, then attach charger to either one.

 

All chargers now, and for a while, have been built to respond to a feedback from a battery, even if low, and not charge unless that feedback is received.  An Optima, for some reason, doesn't give the needed feedback....

Great info! I did not now that! You saved the day.

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You have to put it in parallel with a regular, charged, battery.  The problem is that your charger is not sensing that there's any battery connected to put a charge to.  Connect the Optima positive to charged battery positive, same with negative, then attach charger to either one.

 

All chargers now, and for a while, have been built to respond to a feedback from a battery, even if low, and not charge unless that feedback is received.  An Optima, for some reason, doesn't give the needed feedback....

This is a first for me. Thank you ! A lot of smart guys on here that try to help out many of us not so car smart guys ! Wayne

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You have to put it in parallel with a regular, charged, battery.  The problem is that your charger is not sensing that there's any battery connected to put a charge to.  Connect the Optima positive to charged battery positive, same with negative, then attach charger to either one.

 

All chargers now, and for a while, have been built to respond to a feedback from a battery, even if low, and not charge unless that feedback is received.  An Optima, for some reason, doesn't give the needed feedback....

 

Actually, the battery in parallel doesn't even need to be fully charged. I've successfully charged an Optima battery using a discharged wet cell in parallel.  Also, I've got an ancient battery charger that doesn't have all the fancy solid state electronics, and it charges my Optima batteries just fine.  "New" doesn't always mean "better".

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Joe, that is good information, that the second wet cell doesn't have to be fully charged.  You're also correct, that older chargers will charge the Optima alone.

 

A lot of technology is used just because it's there.  I saw that a lot in industry, there are ways to gather information from, and put controls on, a lot of industrial equipment.  In many cases those add on items just make life miserable, or provide information no one uses.

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I just put my old charger on for an hour or so then switch to the new charger, all the dead battery it needs is a readable charge to work.  By the way this is true on both wet and dry cell batteries. 

 

The new chargers are still a lot better and safer, I like being able to walk away without worrying about them.  Just ask and you will get all kinds of horror stories about the old chargers causing fires and destroying batteries and cars.  I have a friend that still will not charge a battery in the car.

 

Of course the best answer is to always keep a trickle charger on your batteries.  They only have so many complete discharges in them before they are dead.

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I just put my old charger on for an hour or so then switch to the new charger, all the dead battery it needs is a readable charge to work.  By the way this is true on both wet and dry cell batteries. 

 

The new chargers are still a lot better and safer, I like being able to walk away without worrying about them.  Just ask and you will get all kinds of horror stories about the old chargers causing fires and destroying batteries and cars.  I have a friend that still will not charge a battery in the car.

 

Of course the best answer is to always keep a trickle charger on your batteries.  They only have so many complete discharges in them before they are dead.

 

Valid comment on the need to monitor older chargers, and yes, I'm still in the habit of doing that anyway. I do agree that my newer charger that senses battery health and turns off by itself is nice to have, but not when I need to charge my Optima batteries.  ;)

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The two battery trick also works to bring dead wet cell batteries back up.

My new battery charger doesn't  like doing electrolysis rust removal  with out a battery.

It is a lot safer using my 30 year old $2 garage sale charger that has a breaker in case of a short.

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Joe, that is good information, that the second wet cell doesn't have to be fully charged.  You're also correct, that older chargers will charge the Optima alone.

 

A lot of technology is used just because it's there.  I saw that a lot in industry, there are ways to gather information from, and put controls on, a lot of industrial equipment.  In many cases those add on items just make life miserable, or provide information no one uses.

. Trimcar,

I couldn't agree more with your view on technology. I believe that the purpose of the sensing technology on modern chargers is for safety reasons. On older chargers, without this feature, your battery leads could still be "hot" without being connected to a battery while the charger is still plugged in. If the leads accidentally get shorted together it could spark a fire. We all think that this would never happen to us, but apparently it's happened often enough to spawn the development of this safety technology. I, for one, will embrace this little bit of inconvenience to avoid burning down my barn.

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The problem with the fuse is they do not react fast enough.  Say you are charging your battery old style, your battery produces hydrogen gas from charging (wet cell) you go to disconnect the charger without unplugging the charger it the spark will occur and could ignite the fumes; all before the fuse will protect you.  The new style will stop the spark from happening.  ( gel type (corrected from dry cell) will not have the hydrogen problem)

 

I had a friend explode a battery just like this.  I guess we should mention the good practice of attaching the ground clamp away from the battery for safety (but that only helps when charging in the car with the battery connected).  Hook up the ground last; and unhook it first

 

PS make sure your battery leads are connected correctly, it is easy to reverse the polarity on a dead battery.

Edited by Graham Man (see edit history)

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There are three types of batteries we use in our cars. Flooded unsealed or as some people say wet is one type. Gel like an optima which are sealed so they can lie on their sides. AGM absorbed glass mat which also have Gel. There is no such thing as a dry cell battery.  

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Of course the best answer is to always keep a trickle charger on your batteries.  They only have so many complete discharges in them before they are dead.

 

On newer batteries that number is less then or equal to 1.

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Great info! I did not now that! You saved the day.

Tried this and My charged still is not responding as long as the otima battery is in circuit?

Trying to charge my lead acid battery, disconnected the optima battery. How long does it take with a trickle charger?

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Not sure how many lives (full discharge) the red top has I think they advertise 7-10? 

 

My "Battery Tender" trickle charger will blink red if the battery is dead, but usually it will charge for several days sometimes before it turns green (80% charge).  I have not bought a new battery in about 8 years, before the "Battery Tender" I bought one almost every year.  I have way too many cars.

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There are three types of batteries we use in our cars. Flooded unsealed or as some people say wet is one type. Gel like an optima which are sealed so they can lie on their sides. AGM absorbed glass mat which also have Gel. There is no such thing as a dry cell battery.  

 

Hmm, There sure are a lot of them advertised.

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"Optima RedTop 6 volt Battery that I have not used for several years"

 

How many years has it been sitting there ?? Evem Optimas have a shelf life.and if it has been a few years it may not hold a charge.

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Hmm, There sure are a lot of them advertised.

They are advertised as dry but they are far from it. Do a search for leaking Optima on google. Or you could read info on what a dry cell battery really is and you will learn something. I also see High Definition  vacuum cleaners advertised. It does not matter if you want to call them dry go ahead but they can leak and make a mess.  

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Some of the very early ignition systems did use  carbon dry cell batteries.

They were the same as the batteries in a flashlight, they incorporate a chemical process to achieve a certain voltage. Flashlight batteries can and do leak acid because they are not truly a dry cell. If they were completely dry there could be no chemical reaction. The term dry cell is a little misleading in some cases and way misleading when talking about Optima gel cells.   

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Just charged a Optima battery that was on the shelve never charged for 6 years. Took a charge no problem. Use to own 4 full repair shops plus have wrenched on cars since the 50s. Only seen one battery explosion and it was my competitor. MMMMM

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