Choosing the Right Battery Charger

June 7, 2018 6:39 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

One of the most common questions we receive about battery chargers is whether or not you can use the same charger for flooded batteries as you use for sealed batteries (AGM or gel cell). In some circumstances you can, but only if the charger has a setting specifically geared toward AGM or gel cell batteries.

This is going to be one of the primary factors you’ll want to consider when purchasing a battery charger. What kind of batteries do you have? Will you need multiple settings, or are you only using one type of battery? Will you be using new battery types in the future?

Our battery store in Houston, TX has a wide range of charger options available for you to peruse at any time. You can always trust in the quality of the products we sell and the advice we provide you to help you make your decision.

Here are a few steps to ensure you choose the right battery charger for your needs.

Know the type of battery you have or will have

The main types of batteries are flooded (or wet cell), absorbed glass mat (AGM) and gel cell (or valve-regulated lead acid, VLRA). You can find battery chargers specific to each type of battery, but there are also manufacturers that make chargers that will work for all three types of batteries. With this type of charger, it is imperative that you use the correct setting based on the type of battery you have.

Determine the size of your battery

By the “size” of your battery we don’t necessarily mean its physical size, though that might be important too for some chargers. What’s really important to know here is how many amp hours your battery is capable of storing at a single time.

A full-size car battery, for example, will usually store approximately 50 amp hours. Therefore, you would purchase a 10-amp charger and expect it to take approximately six hours to recharge the battery if it were fully dead.

Other types of batteries, such as marine deep cycle batteries, have much higher amperage hour ratings, going up to 100 amp hours. With a 10-amp charger you’d need about 11 hours to fully recharge it from dead to 100 percent battery life.

To calculate how long it will take you to charge your battery, you can take the amp hour rating and divide it by the charger’s rating and add an extra 10 percent or so. You can find chargers that have higher amp ratings if you need quick recharges—10 amps is simply the most common type of charger sold. However, if you aren’t in a hurry or simply want to save a bit of cash, the smaller chargers will work just fine.

Know your goals

If you’re just purchasing a charger to keep your seasonal vehicle’s battery charged during the offseason, you’ll find a simple low-current charge will more than do the trick. However, if you require a fast and powerful charger to quickly restore batteries, you’ll need to adjust your charger hunt accordingly.

For more information about selecting a battery charger, contact our battery store in Houston, TX.

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