FAQ

No DC Output Current on Ammeter when Charger is ON.

There can be a few reasons for this occurring.
1) A loose connection can cause this. Unplug the charger from the wall and make sure that all the wire connections are secure.
2) Check for wall outlet for power.
3) If the battery is very drained, then the charger will need to disulphate the battery. A deeply discharged battery (Between 5V and 8V on a 12V battery) will show a very low voltage. After a period of charging, the indicated current will rise and normal charging will occur. For batteries that have a voltage below 5V, it is too sulphated and damaged to be charged.

What is Charger Overload?

  • If Load is less than the rated current on the charge label, then the battery charger will be able to charge the battery with the load.
  • If Load is more than rated current on the charge label, then the battery charger will not be able to charge the battery. The load is draining a higher current amount out of the battery than the charger is able to put in. Eventually, this battery will become drained.

Charge Rate does not go to full Amp Rating of Charger and/or falls quickly when Charger is turned ON.

  • Battery is partially charged. If the battery already has charge in it, then it will go through the charge curve quickly and enter the next phase of charging depending on the voltage level of the battery.
  • Battery is cold.
  • The AC outlet voltage is less than 120 volts
  • Corroded clips and/or battery posts.

Current indicated on Ammeter falls slightly showing no further change.


When the battery is heavily drained, it needs to be desulphated and takes more time to charge. Soneil Charger will desulphate the battery. If the battery does not charge after some time, then it is a worn out battery with sulfated plates and unrecoverable. Replace battery

When should I use a 2-amp, 10-amp, 12-amp, or 15-amp charge rate?


This depends on how fast you want to charge your battery and the size of the actual battery you are charging. The higher the amp setting, the faster your battery will charge. For smaller batteries like lawn/tractors and motorcycles, we suggest a 2-amp charge rate, as higher charge rates may create a dangerous condition. Check your battery specifications for the charge rate.

Why doesn't my charger charge my battery?


The battery needs to have at least 5V (based on a 12V battery) for the charger to work. The battery chemistry inside has become too sulphate to accept charge from the charger. Batteries that remain lower than 5 volts state of charge are often defective or just worn out. It is always best (safer) to check the battery with a hydrometer or Schumacher tester before charging.

The charger's LED light is on, but I still cannot see my battery charging- why?


Sometimes battery's chemistry changes and gives the battery charger a false voltage signal due to cold weather. When this happens, remove the battery from the cold place and move it to a warm location to warm up before charging. Never charge a frozen battery.

Why doesn't the green light stay on when my battery is completely charged?


Please check to make sure that the charge is still connected securely to the battery and that it is still plugged into the wall outlet. If the charger is disconnected from AC or power is turned off on AC side, then the charger will turn off and the LEDs will turn off.

Why don't I get sparks when I touch the charger clips make contact with each other, creating a short?


The charger has a short circuit protection inside of it. This allows the ends of the charger, which are the positive and negative leads on the DC side to touch and not damage the charger.

Note: Please make sure never to touch the battery leads of the negative and positive together. This can cause a fire.

Why can't I measure voltage when connecting my volt meter to the battery charger clips?


The wires of the meter must be secured to the charger and battery before any output voltage is shown.

How do I tell what type of battery I have: Flooded, AGM or Gel?


Flooded or Wet Cell batteries are the most common lead-acid battery type in use today. They usually are not sealed and electrolyte can be added through holes in the top casing of the battery. Gel Cell batteries are sealed and cannot be re-filled with electrolyte. Therefore they have a smooth top with no access holes. AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries are the latest step in the evolution of lead-acid batteries. They are sealed like Gel Cell batteries but are smaller and can be recognized by their compact size. Finally the label on the battery should indicate the type of battery it is along with voltage and capacity.

What is the correct charging voltage for my battery?


That depends on the battery. While most of today’s automotive and marine batteries are 12 volt, some motorcycle and lawn tractor batteries are 6 volt. Check the battery and the owner’s manual of the vehicle the battery came out of for the correct voltage. The value of the charge rate voltage is determined by the battery manufacturer. Deviating from the recommended values will under or overcharge the battery – both of which will reduce the battery’s life and performance.

What is a trickle charging?


Trickle charging occurs in the float stay on Soneil chargers. Like any electronic, there will be a minor drain on the battery (few milliamps). The charger will put back the mA charge that it is taking out from the battery. This is known as a maintainer. It can be kept connected indefinitely to the battery.

What happens if the power goes out and comes back on during charging?


An automatic charger on the other hand may or may not continue charging depending on where it was at in the charging process when the power went out. If the battery is still sufficiently discharged, the charger will continue to charge the battery, but if the battery was almost fully charged, the charger may go into maintain mode early. The only effect this will have on your battery is it may take a longer time to reach a full charge.

How can I tell if my battery needs to be replaced?


If your battery won’t accept a charge or won’t stay charged as long as it used to, replace it.

Can a Soneil charger be used to charge more than one battery at a time?


Yes. However, the voltage of the batteries together must match the battery charger. The batteries will need to be connected in parallel or series to match the battery charger voltage. If the batteries are in parallel, then the capacity (Ah) will increase and the voltage will stay the same. If the batteries are in series, then the capacity (Ah) will stay the same and the voltage will increase. Please note that it will take longer to charge two batteries than it will to charge one.

Why is the fan on even if the light on the charger is green?


It is normal for the fan to be on in order to keep the charger transformer and electrical circuitry cool during normal charger use. Keep the area near the charger clear of obstructions to allow the fan to operate efficiently.

What is difference between switch mode charger and tapered charger?


Tapered chargers use linear technology, which convert the 115/230 VAC to the required voltage DC at 60 or 50 Hz. This requires a large transformer, which has the disadvantage of lower efficiency resulting in higher heat generation, larger size and weight.

What are Inhibit and Interlock functions?


Inhibit and interlock signals are used to make sure that the while the charger is ON and charging the battery, the device (i.e. electric wheelchair) does not move.

What is low inhibit?


Low inhibit: Most common. The inhibit signal goes to ground when AC is plugged-in. If AC is not plugged-in, the inhibit signal floats (not ground). Soneil provides low inhibit as standard on many chargers. There is 0 V output on the inhibit wire while sinking 10 mA when the charger is connected to an AC source

What is high inhibit?


High inhibit: Not common The inhibit signal goes high (to the voltage of the charger - for example 24V in 24V chargers; 12V on 12V chargers) when AC is plugged-in. The output current of the Inhibit is normally 800mA – 1A depending on the application requirement. If AC is not plugged-in, the inhibit signal is not high.

What is interlock?


Interlock is needed so that when the batteries are being charged (charger is being used -AC on), the electrical vehicle motor, head light etc.cannot be used. It is done by using signal from the interlock using relays.

What is reverse polarity protection?


Reverse polarity is the opposite of normal polarity. Normal polarity in electronics is when you have the positive hooked up to the positive terminal and the negative to the negative terminal. Reverse polarity would be having the positive hooked up to the negative terminal and the negative to the positive terminal.Thus reverse polarity protection protects against reverse polarity.

How chargers can be used in parallel or series?


Soneil chargers can be used in PARALLEL or SERIAL* arrangement to provide higher current or charge multiple batteries. *Soneil models 1205SRE, 1214, 2403SRE, 2409SR, 3605, 4804 and 7203 cannot be used in series.

How do you connect chargers in parallel?


Two or more chargers can be connected in parallel to increase current. Voltage will stay the same. Connect all +ve together to the +ve of the battery and all –ve together to the –ve of the battery.

 Example: For model 2412SRF 24V/ 6A charger – Connecting 2 chargers in parallel will give 24V/ 12A; connecting 3 in parallel will give 24V / 18A; connecting 10 will give 24V / 60A.

Caution: Do not mix different models of chargers.

Diagram shows 3 of 24V chargers in parallel charging 24V battery system



How do you connect chargers in series?


Two or more chargers can be connected in series to charge multiple batteries. This will increase voltage of the battery, but current will stay the same. To charge 72V batteries (6 of 12V batteries in series); you can use 6 of 12V chargers or 3 of 24V chargers or 2 of 36V chargers in series. Example: To charge 72V batteries (6 of 12V batteries in series), you can use 3 of 24V chargers. Connect the +ve of the first 24V charger to the +ve of the first 12V battery and the –ve of the first charger to the –ve of the second 12V battery. Now connect +ve of the second 24V charger to the +ve of the third 12V battery and the –ve of the second charger to the –ve of the forth 12V battery. And so on ….

Diagram shows 3 of 24V chargers in Series charging 72V battery system


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