All about Intelligent Battery Chargers: Your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Answered!

All about Intelligent Battery Chargers: Your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Answered!

Justin G% -m /% e /% y

This blog answers and explains all of the questions we receive regarding our Intelligent Battery Chargers:

  • 1.5A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7402)
  • 4.0A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7403)
  • 8A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7406)
  • 15A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7407)
battery charger
  • What type (chemical make-up) of battery can it charge?
    Our Chargers can accommodate all Automotive batteries including: 6 volt and 12V: Lithium iron-phosphate (LiFePo4), LPF, SLA, AGM, Maintenance Free, Flooded, Wet Cell, VRLA, Gel, Lead-Acid, Vented, Deep Cycle and standard batteries. Check specific Battery Charger model for compatibility (see chart below).
  • What is the largest size battery these can charge? I have a 200Ah battery, will it work?
    There is no size limit on the battery that our battery chargers can handle; it will just take more time to charge with a bigger battery. For the 200Ah battery, I would recommend using our 15A Charger.
  • What charger should I get for my battery?
    For small batteries like those found on ride-on lawnmowers, powersports (dirtbike, ATV), and motorcycles, the 1.5A Charger is ideal. For large motorcycles (full dressers), snowmobile (Sled) and SxS UTVs, I would recommend the 4.0A Charger. Regular vans, cars, trucks, and SUVs can use either the 8A or 15A chargers; Large trucks and big battery banks should use the 15A battery charger.
  • What are the different Amp (A) ratings on the charger mean?
    The Amp rating is the output current that the charger provides; the more current going to the battery, the faster it charges. Be careful to not charge at a high Amp rating on a small battery!
  • What do the display icons mean on the 4.0A Charger?
    wagan battery charger 4.0A
  • What do the LED Lights mean?
    On the 1.5A Charger, there are 2 LED lights that indicate the status of the charger. A steady yellow light means the charger is charging a battery, the steady green light means the charge cycle is complete (battery is full), and no light indicates there is no battery detected or there is a fault.
  • How do you use this charger?
    Our chargers are very simple to use. Plug the charger into the wall AC outlet, then connect the red clamp to the positive post on the battery. Next connect the black clamp to the negative post on the battery. Depending on the battery charger model, you may have to select what charging mode/speed you prefer. The rest is automatic.
  • What is the difference between a Microprocessor controlled battery charger and one that is not?
    A Microprocessor controlled charger has a "computer" inside that monitors the battery and its charge; and adapts to the battery accordingly. A standard charger simply applies a charge to the battery without considering the battery's condition or needs.
  • Is this a Microprocessor controlled charger?
    Yes, all 4 of our Intelligent Battery Chargers are Advanced Microprocessor controlled Chargers.
  • What battery voltage does it charge?
    Depending on the model of battery charger, they can charge 6V and 12V battery models. They will also charge LiFePo4 lithium batteries too; see chart below.
battery charger
  • Can I charge different types of Lithium-ion batteries?
    No, the applicable chargers can only charge LiFePo4 chemistry batteries.
  • How long does it take to charge my battery?
    The recharge time is based upon the current to the battery (Amperage) and the battery Ah (amp-hour rating)/discharge amount. Without having these factors, it is impossible to guess.
  • Will they charge multiple batteries connected in parallel?
    Short answer is yes, but we do not recommend it. The reason being is that the first battery will be fully charged at the end of the charging cycle, but each subsequent battery will not gain a full charge. It is best to charge each battery individually.
battery charger winter mode
  • What is Winter Mode?
    Batteries have a hard time charging in cold weather; the temperature inhibits the cells from accepting a charge. Winter mode adapts the charger by creating a higher cut-off voltage (adjusts the voltage)for the battery so that it remains fully charged even in lower temperatures. This is especially beneficial for AGM batteries as they have a higher cut-off voltage by nature.
  • What is Maintenance charger?
    A maintenance charger is generally one that is small in size and used to maintain small seasonal batteries as found on small powercraft (jetski), snowmobiles, ATVs, ride-on lawnmowers, or even parked-vehicles.
battery charger
    • What is Fast Charge?
      Fast Charging is when the Battery Charger applies a higher Amperage (current) to the battery in order to charge it in less time.
    • What is Slow Charge?
      Slow Charging is when the battery chargers applies a low and steady charge current to the battery over an extended period of time.
Battery charging cycles

    • What is 3-stage charging?
      Bulk Charge, Absorption Charge, and Maintenance Charge. (For details, see explanation below)
Battery charging cycles

    • What is 6-stage charging?
      Soft Start, Bulk Charge, Absorption Charge, Evaluation (Diagnostic), Reconditioning, and Maintenance Charge. (For details, see explanation below)
Battery charging cycles

  • What is 9-stage charging?
    Primary Evaluation (Diagnostic), Recovery, Soft Start, Pulse, Reconditioning, Bulk Charge, Absorption Charge, Evaluation (Diagnostic), and Maintenance Charge. (For details, see explanation below)
wagan tech charger cycle
What are the details of the Charging Cycles?
  1. Primary Evaluation is the first stage in which the charger runs a diagnostic test on the battery's condition, charge, and overall health.
  2. Recovery charge is the second stage where the charger will begin to restore a deeply discharged battery. This step is skipped if the battery does not require it.
  3. To protect the battery and optimize charging, the Soft Start action is applied - a slow charge current is applied to the battery then ramps up.
  4. The Pulse Cycle is initiated to help "knock off" sulfation build-up on the plates that may be inhibiting the battery's ability to reach full capacity.
  5. The Reconditioning Cycle helps to prepare the battery for bulk charging and finalizes the recovery charge.
  6. Bulk Charging is the first stage in which the charger identifies the battery and its needs, then applies a high voltage/amperage charge to do the bulk of the charging.
  7. Absorption Charging is when the battery has reached ~80% of its capacity and begins to lower the input current to the battery. This is sometimes known as the "cool-down" cycle.
  8. Evaluation Diagnostic is the last diagnostic mode to ensure the battery is at its optimal health.
  9. The final cycle is known as the Maintenance Charge (also known as "trickle" or "Float" charge). In this stage, the battery has already reached 95%; the battery charger will continue to apply a steady current until the battery reaches 100% capacity - at that time, the charger will continue to monitor the battery and apply a charge if it detects any loss.
battery charger
  • What is Trickle charging?
    This is a stage in the charge cycle where the charger applies a slow and steady current to the battery until it is fully charged.
  • Is there a battery inside of this charger?
    No, there is no battery inside of the battery charger, it is powered by the wall (AC) outlet.
  • What does Battery Reconditioning mode do?
    In this special battery mode, the charger applies a high-frequency pulse to the battery in order to knock the sulfation off of the internal battery plates. Sulfation on the battery plates inhibits charging and does not allow a battery to output its full potential.
  • Can I overcharge my battery?
    No, you cannot overcharge a battery using our Intelligent battery chargers!
  • Will this jump-start my battery?
    No, our battery chargers do not have a jump-start feature.
  • Can I leave the charger on the battery?
    You can leave it on the battery for several days or even weeks after the battery is fully charged, however we do not recommend that you leave it on for months as this can prematurely wear out the electro-motive components inside of the battery charger from constantly cycling on and off.
battery charger
  • How much power does the charger draw?
    The amount of power drawn is dependent on the battery and its charging needs. The charger can draw anywhere from 0.0A to 15A depending on the charger model and its charging cycle.
  • Can I charge a cold or frozen battery?
    Our chargers with Winter Mode are ideal for cold climates, but you should never charge a frozen battery! Bring it in a warmer location to thaw prior to charging!
  • Can I charge when it's hot outside?
    Batteries do have an upper heat limit, it is not a good idea to charge them when it is hot outside.
  • Can the charger get wet/charge in the rain?
    No and No. The chargers are not waterproof nor is it a good idea to charge any battery un-protected in the rain.
  • Are batteries affected by temperature?
    Yes they are. Extreme cold and heat can severely impact the life span, performance, and output of a battery.
  • What temperature should I charge my battery at?
    Standard Automotive batteries are best charged at 50°F-85°F for best performance.
battery charger
  • What is the "F" with a number mean (Fault Code)?
    Fault Codes for 4.0A Intelligent Battery Charger:

    Fault Codes for 8.0A Intelligent Battery Charger:

    Fault Codes for 15A Intelligent Battery Charger:
  • How do I know if I need a new battery?
    There are several factors to look at when it may be time to replace a battery. If it will no longer take a full charge, have a trained professional look at it.
  • Do I need to charge a new battery?
    You do not "need" to charge a new battery, but you should charge it. Even brand new from the factory, a battery will not be 100% fully charged; it can only help the battery to fully charge it prior to use.
  • Do I need to drain the battery before charging?
    No, and it is a bad idea to fully drain a standard (not deep-cycle) battery. Recharge often as needed.
  • Can I charge my battery too fast? I have a small battery and I want to put it on 15A to charge it faster.
    Yes, you can recharge a battery too fast. Do not use a high amperage charge on a small battery.
battery charger
  • Does this work on Nickel-based batteries (NiCad, NiMH)?
    No, our chargers are made for LiFePo4 and standard 6V/12V automotive batteries.
  • Can I charge and use (discharge) the battery at the same time?
    Due to the charging cycles and the fluctuating voltages, we do not advise using the battery while charging it.
  • Can I charge a battery with corrosion on the terminals?
    No, you should clean the terminals and check the electrolyte levels ("Battery Acid") prior to charging any battery!
  • Can I just leave the charger on the battery forever?
    The battery will not be damaged if you were to leave it connected to our charger for an extended amount of time, however it is not good for the charger as it will be cycling on and off and can prematurely wear out the electro-motive components inside of the charger.
  • Is the charger safe to use?
    Yes, very much so! They are protected from short-circuit, over-heat, over-charge, and reverse-polarity conditions!
  • What is an "SAE Connector"?
    An "SAE Connector" is a simple quick disconnect that is keyed so that it cannot be reconnected incorrectly.
    SAE connector

 

Intelligent Battery Charger comparison Chart

Wagan Tech Battery Charger

1.5A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7402)

 

Wagan Tech Battery Charger

4.0A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7403)

 

Wagan Tech Battery Charger

8A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7406)

 

wagan tech battery charger

15A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7407)

Advanced Microprocessor Controlled Yes Yes Yes Yes
Input voltage 100-240V AC 100-140V AC 100-140V AC 110-140V AC
Output Voltage 12V 6V or 12V 6V or 12V 12V
Output Current 1.5A 4A or 1A 12V: 8A, 2A
6V & LiFePo4: 2A
15A or 8A or 2A
LiFePo4: 2A
Charging Stages 3 stage 9 stage 6 stage 6 stage
Special Charging Modes - Winter - Reconditioning, Winter
For Battery Type 12V: SLA, AGM, Maintenance Free, Flooded, Wet Cell, VRLA, Gel, Lead-Acid, Vented, Deep Cycle 12V: Lithium iron-phosphate (LiFePo4), 12V & 6V: LPF, SLA, AGM, Maintenance Free, Flooded, Wet Cell, VRLA, Gel, Lead-Acid, Vented, Deep Cycle 12V: Lithium iron-phosphate (LiFePo4), 12V & 6V: LPF, SLA, AGM, Maintenance Free, Flooded, Wet Cell, VRLA, Gel, Lead-Acid, Vented, Deep Cycle 12V: Lithium iron-phosphate (LiFePo4), LPF, SLA, AGM, Maintenance Free, Flooded, Wet Cell, VRLA, Gel, Lead-Acid, Vented, Deep Cycle
AC Cord Length 6 feet 6 feet 6 feet 6 feet
DC Cord Length 6 feet 6 feet 6 feet 6 feet
Operating Temperature 34°F - 140°F (1°C - 60°C) 34°F - 140°F (1°C - 60°C) 32°F - 104°F (0°C - 40°C) 32°F - 104°F (0°C - 40°C)
Storage Temperature 34°F - 140°F (1°C - 60°C) 34°F - 140°F (1°C - 60°C) -4°F - 158°F (-20°C -70°C) -4°F - 158°F (-20°C -70°C)
Protections Short Circuit, Reverse Polarity Short Circuit, Reverse Polarity Short Circuit, Reverse Polarity, Over-Charge, Over-heat Short Circuit, Reverse Polarity, Over-Charge, Over-heat
Certifications CE,BC CE,BC CE,BC CE,BC
Unit Weight 0.9 lbs. 1.2 lbs. 2.4 lbs. 3.4 lbs.

 

Links:

All Battery Chargers
1.5A Intelligent Battery Charger
4.0A Intelligent Battery Charger
8A Intelligent Battery Charger
15A Intelligent Battery Charger

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