How to Use a Trickle Charger on Your Car Battery

If you own a car, it’s likely your lifeline to getting to and from work. The battery is constantly being charged. Other vehicles, however, are more accustomed to hobby work. They sit in a garage for most of the year. Keeping these batteries charged is more of a challenge. Your power solution resides with the trickle charger. Learn how to use a trickle charger for your car so that it’s always ready to go when you are.

1. Set the Power Specifications

Although a car battery is relatively standard when it comes to power specifications, it’s always ideal to verify the voltage and amperage exiting the charger before any connections are made. Use the switches and buttons on the trickle charger in order to set it to the exact numbers found on the car battery.

Set the values to the middle of the range reported on the battery. Any fluctuations can still be within a safe area. Overcharging a battery leads to damage and possible fire because of the chemical reactions involved, reports Battery University.

2. Position Your Vehicle

The vehicle cannot be moved once you connect car battery trickle charger components together. Decide on a permanent position for the vehicle. It might be located in a carport or garage.

Be aware that some fumes will emanate from the system during the trickle process. This fact is entirely normal. However, the fumes cannot be concentrated in an enclosed space. Verify that the vehicle’s area has some ventilation to avoid any flammable hazards.

3. Ground the Charger

If you’ve ever tested a car battery before, you understand the importance of ground. This negative side of the circuit provides a pathway for an electrical surge if one is present. In essence, it’s a safety mechanism for any battery.

You need to ground the charger before hooking it up to the battery. A grounding clip is typically included with the power source. Attach it to a clean section of the vehicle’s frame. You’ll need to investigate the undercarriage in this case. An appropriate ground will reduce the risk of electrical issues during the trickle process.

4. Clip the Connectors Onto the Battery

Locate the red and black alligator clips hanging from the charger. Hold the red clip, and attach it to the positive terminal on the battery. Verify that the clip has a good hold on the terminal. It shouldn’t feel loose or look precarious.

Connect the black clip to the negative terminal on the battery. Evaluate its tight connection too. Do not touch any part of the wire or battery at this point. The power that’s about to go through the components will offer a long life to the battery without any shorts, reports Autotrader.

5. Plug Into Power

The entire system should be stable enough to plug into power now. Verify that the charger is set to the off mode. You don’t want to start the power-up process just yet. Carefully connect the charger’s power cable into a nearby outlet. Take a last look at your setup. Every connection should be tightly in place.

Switch the charger on at the control panel. Your set voltages and amperage should light up too.

6. Watch the Setup

Observe the charger and battery. There should be no indication that power is flowing, such as sparks or heat. A trickle charge should act just like its description. A small amount of power will constantly flow to the battery as the car remains in storage.

During the first week of charging, keep an eye on the system. If everything looks normal and safe, a check every month or so is practical. Your battery will have a full charge whenever you’re ready to pull the car out again.


8-Step Guide to Changing Your Smoke-Detector Battery

There’s a lot of responsibility when it comes to running a household. Dusting, cleaning and maintaining every system are time-consuming tasks. The household’s smoke detectors often go overlooked. Studies have proven time and time again that these detectors save lives every year. They need sufficient power to keep on running, however. Northeast Battery’s team wants you to be safe, so practice these steps toward changing a smoke-detector battery in your home. This tool is priceless in an emergency.

1. Time it Right

Good Housekeeping offers a clever way to remember smoke-detector batteries by matching their replacement with Daylight Savings Time. Most batteries last about 6 months within a standard, smoke detector. You’ll remember to deal with the detector when the task is associated with changing the clocks.

There will always be advertisements for the time change, which reduces the risk of forgetting about the detectors.

2. Follow the Chirp

Changing batteries twice a year might be complicated by a premature battery failure. Every detector will chirp as an indication that the battery is low. Follow the chirp’s noise when it begins. One person might stand under a single detector to verify the chirp’s location. Replace this battery regardless of the time of year. The chirp will continue otherwise.

3. Remove the Housing

Each smoke detector has a slightly different design. Removing the housing might require a turn, a clip removal or gently prying it open. Take a look at the directions on the unit or the included guidance from your recent purchase. Don’t damage the housing. It protects the sensing mechanism, horn and battery within.

4. Pull the Battery

With the housing off, you’ll reveal the battery. It’s typically a 9V-battery that snaps into place. They tend to be the most sturdy batteries so that malfunctions or draining issues don’t occur from misalignment.

Remove the battery with your fingers. Never use a hand tool, such as a screwdriver, to pry the battery out. Electrical shocks can still happen and compromise your home fire safety.

5. Install a Fresh Battery

Be aware of the battery’s orientation inside the detector’s housing. Installing it in the wrong direction will lead to no power and possible danger in the home.

The 9V-battery should slide with ease into the open compartment. Always use a brand-new battery. Give it a slight jostling to verify that it’s making connection with the housing’s terminals.

6. Reattach the Housing

Reattach the top housing. Follow the same instructions for removal. Avoid any forced movements with the housing. These detectors are often made of plastic. They can snap or crack if mishandled.

Most models give off a satisfying sound when the top is properly sealed to the base. It might give off a popping or snapping sound. Wiggle the top housing to verify that it’s truly attached. It can vibrate off and fall to the floor if it’s not connected at the right points.

7. Test the Alarm

Every detector has a test button on the outside housing. Carefully press this button before finishing up with the detector’s maintenance. It should give off a loud beep or whistle, depending on the brand. This sound indicates that the detector is ready for use.

8. Consider Disposable Units

As an alternative measure, try disposable detectors in the home. You don’t have to change the battery twice a year. In fact, the battery lasts up to 10 years, reports the U.S. Fire Administration. At that expiration time, you simply remove the entire unit and replace it with a new one.

Keep in mind that you’ll have to set a reminder to perform this replacement in 10 years. Each unit has an expiration date on its housing.

Contact Northeast Battery today with your battery questions. Household safety should be at the top of everyone’s list. The simple act of changing batteries in your detectors will protect you during a fire emergency. Extra minutes for the family can mean the difference between a close call and tragedy.