The Battery Charging Stages - Defined. What are 3-stage & 9-stage charging? Let's find out!

The Battery Charging Stages - Defined. What are 3-stage & 9-stage charging? Let's find out!

Justin G8/19/20

We just launched 3 new battery chargers; these chargers feature all of the latest technology and can charge nearly any battery type (model dependent)!

wagan tech battery charger

Our smallest battery charger, the 1.5A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7402) is capable of charging and maintaining most standard 12V SLA or lead-acid type batteries. This charger is a 3-stage charger defined by these stages:

3- Stage Charging: Bulk Charge, Absorption Charge, and Maintenance Charge

1 - 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.

2 - 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.

3 - The third and 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.

wagan tech battery charger

The next charger in our new Intelligent Battery Charger Line is the 4.0A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7403) and is capable of charging the same 12V batteries as the 1.5A model, but adds 6V batteries and LiFePo4 (lithium) batteries too! This charger is a 9- Stage Charger that includes these stages:

9- Stage Charging: Primary Evaluation (Diagnostic), Recovery, Soft Start, Pulse, Reconditioning, Bulk Charge, Absorption Charge, Evaluation (Diagnostic), and Maintenance Charge.

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.

8.0A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7406)

Feeling confused or Overwhelmed right now? Don't Be!

I know there is a lot of information in this blog that may be difficult to digest right now; have no fear, the easy answer is here!

If you're simply looking for a charger to maintain your 12V vehicle (motorcycle, RV, ATV, SxS, Dirtbike, Car, Van, Truck, Etc.) then all you need is the 1.5A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7402)

If you're having trouble starting your vehicle with a "bad" battery or want to charge a battery that is a few years old, then the 4.0A Intelligent Battery Charger (#7403) is an excellent choice as it not only charges, but reconditions the battery.

If you're still in over your head, call or email us and we'd be glad to help!

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