About Battery Conditioners, Sulfation happens when lead sulfate accumulates on the plates of car batteries, hardens, and turns into crystals, which you can not easily reconvert into their original state.
Resultantly, the battery will not be able to store as much charge.
Over time, as sulfation worsens, it will completely block the energy transfer, and the battery will die.
However, sulfation can be prevented using battery conditioners, provided you do not leave it too late. Read on to learn more about them!
Battery Conditioner Understanding
Battery conditioners, also called desulfator or pulse chargers, are battery chargers with desulfation mode. These are ideal options for combating sulfation because almost all battery chargers have an in-built desulfator, but not all are effective.
Generally speaking, sulfation occurs when the battery fails to get enough charge.
For instance, when the charge voltage is lower than the battery voltage, the battery won’t receive enough power to break down the lead surface and turn it back to the electrolyte.
Besides, the discharging procedure causes the lead sulfate to form on the battery’s negative and positive plates (electrodes).
The lead surface will get thicker with time and become crystals when the car battery remains discharged.
If you charge your car battery fully and immediately after discharge (use), the charge across the battery’s plates will break down lead sulfate into sulfuric acid and Lead or Lead Dioxide.
Therefore, car batteries require a full charge-discharge cycle, but human beings can not always give this to their batteries all the time. Here are instances when you may fail to complete a charge-discharge process;
- Some people only use their cars for short distances, so the battery will not get fully charged.
- Sometimes, you can leave your vehicle partially discharged for a few days.
- In the case of deep leisure/cycle and storage batteries, you will not often discharge to 50%; you may go beyond to over 75%. You may also leave the battery partially discharged before charging it again.
Fortunately, using a desulfator battery charger can often solve this problem as it charges the battery fully.
Besides, its desulfation (reconditioning) mode removes the lead sulfate crystals that form when you leave the battery in a discharged state.
Smart car battery charger
Which battery desulfator (conditioner) charger should I get?
The best desulfator or reconditioning chargers are manufactured by NOCO and CTEK, as they have desulfation technology that can fully rejuvenate and revive batteries.
Read on for more details about the desulfation and reconditioning capabilities of each model;
CTEK Battery Charger
CTEK battery chargers include an eight-charging process, which includes the following;
We are a big fan of this battery charging procedure, which is the best we have seen.
For instance, it considers the actual battery needs at each charging stage, which includes;
|The slow start
|High-power charge in the middle
|Delicate final stage
According to CTEK, your car battery will last up to three (3) times longer when you charge it using the CTEK battery charger.
Two eight-battery charging steps are explicitly dedicated to the desulfation of the car battery;
Desulfation – the first reconditioning step of CTEK
Desulfation is the first step for all car batteries connected to a CTEK charger.
It is done automatically at the start of all batteries.
For instance, CTEK experts acknowledge that removing the sulfation allows the battery to receive a full charge and increases the battery’s cells’ charge acceptance.
The sulfation occurs in a similar manner described above.
For instance, short voltage and current pulses (high voltage, low current) break down the crystallized lead sulfate into active material.
RECOND mode – the second reconditioning step of CTEK
We highly recommend selecting RECOnd mode except if it is an AGM.
Therefore, provided you choose the RECOND mode, the fifth step will be RECOND.
The RECOND step is used to fix acid layering (stratification), which occurs when the electrolytes are incorrectly mixed and sorted into layers.
For instance, there will be fewer electrolytes that can react with the lead plates.
Therefore, the battery will have less energy.
Therefore, you can not charge it to its maximum potential voltage and cannot provide as much power.
Therefore, the RECOND mode of CTEK places a high voltage across your car battery.
The battery acid (sulphuric acid) is mixed credibly with distilled water.
More electrolytes will then react with the plates, allowing the battery to gain more energy.
CTEK battery chargers are costly. However, using them correctly can save you lots of money on new car batteries in the long term.
Besides, they reduce the chances of having trouble starting the engine or battery-related breakdowns.
CTEK has the following two types of battery chargers;
CTEK MXS 5 Charger
The CTEK MXS 5 battery charger includes the full eight-step charging modes with 5A charging.
It is ideal for those with smaller and mid-sized cars.
CTEK MXS 10 Charger
MXS 10 is a larger CTEK charger model. It best suits individuals looking for the fastest and most powerful charging.
NOCO Battery Charger
NOCO’s Genius battery chargers have a smart and great multi-step charging procedure.
However, it is not as multidimensional and clever as CTEK’s eight-step process.
The charging process is also fully automated, analyzing the chemistry and battery’s voltage and making ideal choices at the best time.
This lowers amperage and voltage based on the battery’s requirements. Besides, it;
- Reduces the voltage at the start
- Has a large and fast voltage burst of power in the middle
- Slower pace at the end
Unlike the MXS models of CTEK, the NOCO battery charger models do not perform the desulfation step automatically whenever you charge them; instead, you can choose their reconditioning mode as required.
WireTroop recommends the Desulfator mode every time you charge your car battery, as regular desulfation significantly strengthens the battery lifespan.
Therefore, we feel NOCO battery charger manufacturers missed it by excluding the Desulfator step automatically as one of the battery charging modes.
Reconditioning mode of NOCO – 12V Repair Mode
This repair mode takes any action required for healing the battery and recovering discharged and old and discharged batteries.
This reconditioning mode takes their step and desulfation step in fixing acid stratification.
The desulfation step is similar to that of CTEK chargers, as it entails a high-frequency pulse in a short blast to break and remove the lead surface from the plates.
Additionally, the 12V repair mode heals the acid stratification and generates a high voltage to induce a gassing, which mixes the battery acid and generates more energy.
Like CTEK, NOCO has the following car battery chargers;
5 Amp NOCO battery chargers
The 5A NOCO chargers work with all 12V and 6V car batteries, including lead-acid, calcium, gel, EFB, AGM, and maintenance-free batteries.
Additionally, unlike their CTEK equivalents, they will charge lithium car batteries.
These car battery chargers have the following standout features;
- 12V repair mode: They have a solid reputation for removing sulfation while charging, which revives or reconditions old batteries.
- Force mode: They can charge car batteries that have lost charge, even down to zero (0) volts.
- Inbuilt temperature sensor to automatically adjust the charging temperature accordingly.
- Entirely safe for AGM and Calcium battery charging voltage.
However, 5A NOCO car battery chargers do not have voltage readouts.
10A car battery charger
The 10A NOCO chargers can work with a wide range of batteries, including 6V and 12V car batteries, such as lead-acid (lithium, AGM, etc.).
Their standout features include the following;
- 12V force mode allows the charger to charge car batteries even if the voltage drops as low as zero (0) volts.
- 12V repair mode, which is an excellent and effective desulfator.
- 100% safe to charge Calcium and AGM batteries.
- 12V supply mode allows it to charge any 12V portable electronic device.
Car battery with battery cables
You do not need to give your battery to an expert to desulfate it.
If you are unsure how to do it, then with the above guide, you will completely desulfate your car battery.
Besides, the process is cheap as you only need a battery conditioner (desulfator charger).