7 FAQs To Assist You In Selecting The Correct Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) Battery Charger For Your Needs

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Using the right battery charger is the first step in protecting and maintaining your expensive sealed lead acid batteries.  Battery chargers vary a great deal in intelligence; the types of batteries they can charge; how they maintain batteries; and how long they take to charge batteries.  Choosing the right battery charger is important to ensure that your sealed lead acid batteries are charged efficiently and accurately.  To choose the charger best suited for your application, you will need to know the battery type, voltage and its capacity in amp hours (Ah).  To get the best charge, you need the right charger for the purpose.  In this article, we will answer some simple FAQs to help you understand battery chargers and find the correct charger.

How do I know if I’m choosing the right charger for my needs?

First, determine what type of sealed lead acid battery you will be charging:  Maintenance Free, Wet Cell (flooded), AGM (absorbed glass mat), Gel Cell or VRLA (valve regulated lead acid).  In most cases one battery charger will work for all types except for Gel Cell.  If you have a Gel Cell SLA battery, you will need to find a specific charger.  Once you’ve determined the battery type, you will need to know the battery’s voltage and amp hour rating.  Typical battery charger voltages can range from 6 or 12 volt, which corresponds with your 6 or 12 volt SLA battery.  Typical SLA battery charger amp hour ratings can range from 0.3 to 10 amp hours but it can go beyond that.  To determine the correct amp hour charger, you will need to find the maximum rate of charge of your sealed lead acid battery.  Typically, this is printed on the side or front of the battery.  For example, it will state “initial current – less than 2.1 amps”.  This means a charger the size of 2.1 amps or less needs to be used.

What size charger should I buy for my sealed lead acid battery?

The battery charger size you choose depends on the charging current required to restore your battery to full charge.  You may want a quick recharge of your sealed lead acid battery, which requires more amps from your battery charger, in which case you would need to purchase a charger with a higher amperage rating.  Other times, you may select a smaller charger with fewer amps.  This will increase the time it takes to charge your SLA battery, which is fine if you’re not in a rush.  The most important thing to note here is to make sure you have enough power from your charger to do the job you require in the time you allocate. 

Exactly how long will it take to recharge my sealed lead acid battery?

The length of time to recharge your batteries depends on the battery and charge size, varying anywhere from 2-24 hours.  To calculate an approximate total charge time, a good rule of thumb is to take the amp hour rating of the SLA battery and divide by the charger rating, and then add 10% for the extra time to completely top off the battery.  For example, to fully recharge a 12 Volt 7 Amp Hour (12V 7Ah) SLA battery using a 12V 1.8Ah charger would take approximately 4.5 hours if the battery is fully discharged. 

How do I charge my battery?
First, before connecting the charger connectors to the battery make sure the charging circuit is not energized. Next, follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and ensure the charger connections are to the correct polarity, positive/red to positive/red, and negative/black to negative/black. Lastly, do not over-charge the battery too frequently, and do not wait until the battery is dead to charge it.

Why should I buy a good quality SLA battery charger?

To get the most out of your sealed lead acid batteries, never allow it to become fully discharged and make sure to invest in a high quality battery charger.  Buying a low cost charger with limited charging capabilities will shorten the life of your sealed lead acid batteries.  A good quality charger guarantees extended battery life.  For maximum performance, choose a battery charger that best matches the amp hour capacity of your battery. 

Why is my SLA battery discharging so quickly?

Batteries that are discharging too quickly may indicate the presence of a bad or worn battery or a problem with the actual charger itself. If your battery needs to be regularly recharged (and it shouldn’t), have your battery charger as well as the battery tested. You can contact a local battery store to help walk you through this process.  Faulty batteries or chargers can create hazardous conditions through overheating or battery failure.

Do all battery chargers come with a status indicator allowing me to know when charging is complete?

Not all do.  Check the battery charger’s manual or packaging. Some of the higher end models include a special sensor that will shut the battery charger off when the battery charge level hits 100%. If you have this kind of charger you can connect the charger and come back when it is convenient to you as there is no worry about it overcharging.

To get the best charge out of your sealed lead acid battery, make sure to choose a high quality charger that best meets your specific needs.  Make sure to buy a charger that has enough power to charge your battery in the time you allocate.  You may also want to invest in a charger with a status indicator, to avoid the issue of overcharging your battery.

ZEUS Battery Products is your one stop shop for finding your next sealed lead acid battery charger.  To see an extensive inventory of battery chargers to choose from or if you need additional help in selecting the correct battery charger for your needs, call us toll free 877-469-4255 or visit our website at

By jennymwright

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