The chemistry of lead acid batteries makes them more prone to sulfation when exposed to continuous low current and are deprived of a full charge. What starts to happen is that lead sulfate crystals start to form around the negative plates of the battery. As they accumulate they reduce the surface area available for the battery to efficiently release charge.
Drivers who spend a lot of time in congested traffic and idle motor situations will see that the battery can be denied of full charge at that moment. Over a long run sulfination occurs and makes your battery less efficient.
Types of sulfation
There are two types of sulfation, reversible and permanent sulfation. Reversible sulfation is also called soft sulfation and occurs in the early stages of low charge. When proper current is applied soft sulfation will be fixed. The lead sulfate will dissolve and ionize in the solution.
When left for too long hard or permanent sulfation occurs. The lead crystals form stable complexes that are insensitive to charge and won’t reverse the situation. You need to just replace your batteries in that case.
How desulfation occurs
There two natural forces that make desulfation possible, Charge and temperature.
When a charge is applied it mobiles the ions to their respective terminals and reduces the amount of idle time they have to combine to form lead sulfate.
As they charge is delivered it also cause the battery to heat. The temperature can be as high as 60 degree Celsius and that contributes to dissolve the lead sulfate crystals and reversing sulfation.
Battery type, use and desulfation
The occurrence of sulfation varies from battery type to usage as well.
In wheelchairs, batteries tend to have a shorter life span because the wheelchairs are used frequently and not enough time for charging is available. The same battery type but in golf carts last much longer because golfers have more time to deliverer a full charge. Actually wheelchair batteries only last half the lifetime of golf cart used batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries do not have any sulfation problems because they use a completely different type of chemistry for a power source. They can actually be damaged by fully charging and are best kept slightly below their full charge if you want them to stay longer.
I recommend them as an alternative to sulfation but they cost twice as much. Their longer lifespan more than compensates for their initial higher purchase cost. They also have lower maintenance costs.
Solar and wind power charging
Solar power has a lower power output and fails to deliver the full charge required to prevent and reverse sulfation.
If you regularly use your solar panel to charge your battery and do not take to a more powerful grid for periodic high current charging your battery life is reduced. People who live in rural areas with no access to the grid will definitely suffer from sulfation. The same applies to wind tunnel powered batteries.
How often must I desulfate?
You need to periodically have your battery fully charged from time to time. A lead acid battery needs 14 to 16 hours of proper charge to achieve full saturation.
A simple overnight charge of 8 hours is not enough to reverse and prevent sulfation.
Sometimes it can be beneficial to own two batteries so that once a week you can have enough time to deliver a full charge as long as may be necessary in your case.
Factors to consider when buying a Desulfator
Desulfator delivers pulses of high current that acts to boost and maintain your battery.
A desulfator of higher current works much better when it comes to dissolving and reversing difficult sulfation. If you use a higher current you will also take much less time to treat your battery.
2. Battery type and usage
Sulfation is only a problem encountered with lead acid batteries. You should only be looking to get a desulfator if you own a lead acid battery. Lithium ion and other dry cell batteries do not use sulphuric acid and hence no sulfation.
Also if you use your battery very frequently such that you don’t have enough hours to rest the device for a full 16-hour charge then you definitely need desulfator.
Level of sulfation
How advanced your sulfation is determines the best size and type of desulfator you will need. If your battery is regular kept charged and well maintained you don’t need a very powerful desulfator.
Once hard crystals form all over the plates then you need some big guns and a desulfator with very high amperage is your only chance to save your battery.
Top 12 Best battery Desulfator On the market Reviewd
1. BatteryMINDer 128CEC1: 12 Volt-2/4/8 AMP Battery Charger, Battery Maintainer, and Battery Desulfator
BatteryMINDer 128CEC1: 12 Volt-2/4/8 AMP Battery Charger, Battery Maintainer, and Battery Desulfator
- Microprocessor controlled
- Temperature sensors
- 2/4/8 AMP settings
Battery Minder is a world leading battery Technology Company. This particular desulfator operates with three amperage ratings, 2, 4 and 8 amps. It is also a three in one device that will charge, maintain and desulfate your battery. This is a very powerful maintainer and it can maintain up to 8 batteries connect in parallel at the same time.
The unit is meant for use in cars, boats, RVs, motor bicycles and ATVs. If you live in very cold places this is a great tool for preparing your battery for winter. Although this model is not designed to resuscitate a battery that is dead. And for that you need a more powerful charger with a lot of amperage.
This model can be used anywhere in the world with its wide range 90 to 140V AC AND Frequency OF 47 to 63Hz, it fits in many types of wall outlets.
Desulfination involves using high currents that end to overheat the battery. Overheating needs proper temperature control to prevent explosion and damage to the battery life. Transiently the high temperature is actually beneficial and will help to dissolve and speed up the desulfination process. This BatteryMinder charge has special temperature sensors that are liked to a microprocessor controlled battery charging system. Its pulse style delivering of charge also reduces the temperature rise. The charger regulates temperature based on sensor readings to prevent overheating and explosions.
Other malfunction protection features include reverse polarity and short-circuit protection to protect your devices form damage and inefficient charging.
With this unit used regularly you can extend the battery life quiet significantly. Tests have shown that this unit is able to increase the battery life fourfold compared with new batteries that are not regularly desulfinated. The gradual buildup of lead sulfates on your negative terminal is the leading cause of battery failure. Even batteries that have very advanced sulfination can be restored with the battery minder charger. To get best results it’s better to prevent sulfination by regularly charging your battery with this device.
You can use the 2, 4 or 8 AMP to charge your battery. The current you set depends on your battery condition and type. If your battery is in a good condition and just needs to be maintained then 2AMP is excellent for reversing any sulfination and preventing new crystal formations. The 4 AMP is ideal for charging more than one battery and when connected in parallel. You can also charge a single large deep cycle battery at 4 AMP. And lastly the 8 AMP is suited for wet, AGM or sealed batteries that require larger amps.
2. BatteryMINDer 128CEC1-AA-S5: 12 Volt-8 Amp Concorde Aviation Battery Charger, Battery Maintainer, and Battery Desulfator
BatteryMINDer 128CEC1-AA-S5: 12 Volt-8 Amp Concorde Aviation Battery Charger, Battery Maintainer, and Battery Desulfator
- 8 AMP
- Auto temperature regulation
- Airplane exclusive
This is another addition to the BatteryMINDER Family that is a very powerful desulfinator built mostly for aviation use. It is also a charger and maintainer. It delivers high frequency pulses to reverse any sulfination that may be present in the plates.
You can choose from up to seven stages or types of charging depending on your situation. The Analyze stage is great for getting useful battery diagnostics quickly. If are ready to start desulfination you can pick the Desulfinate mode that will reverse and prevent the buildup of lead sulfate crystals.
Soft start is very useful when you want to deliver a power charge gradually instead of sudden bursts in current that may stress even damage your electronics. For routine battery maintenance charge you can set it in the maintenance mode.
Desulfination involves delivering a higher than usual charge to a battery and such a charge causes the temperature to rise steadily. And this particular model operates at fixed high amperage of 8AMP and is prone to quick increases in temperature. To prevent overheating this charger has temperature sensors that regulate the heat by discounting charge when the temperature is too high. It also uses a pulse type of delivering and not continuous current delivering so that less heat is produced.
It’s very easy to connect this charger to your battery with the 2 inch insulated quick connector cords that clip with alligator style grip. To prevent electrical shocks it also comes with a replaceable 15A fuse to protect you from unexpected current surges.
Overall this a very efficient charger and desulfator that is approved an certified for use by the California energy commission.
With 12 LED indicators you can vital battery status information at a quick glance. You will be able to tell when your battery is fully charged or dead just by looking that the LED indicators. With experience you can estimate the required duration of each charge based on battery status.
Although this charge works just fine for ordinary car batteries including AGM type it’s better to get the cheaper BatteryMINDer charger. The aviation concord model is very expensive and better suited for big charging jobs like airplane batteries and a larger deep cycle batteries that need more amperage.
3. TecMate TM-341DUAL OptiMate 4DUAL 1 Amp Weatherproof Desulfating Charger/Maintainer
TecMate TM-341DUAL OptiMate 4DUAL 1 Amp Weatherproof Desulfating Charger/Maintainer
- 1 AMP
- Fully automated operation
- Battery health check
The TecMate is the most efficient motorcycle, ATV and personal watercraft battery desulfator on the market. If you own a motorcycle this is the best charger and maintain you can get your hands on. It delivers a very steady and slow small current of just 1 AMP.
It is our choice for the best motorcycle battery desulfator. For charging it will rescue from your battery from as low as 0.5V when most chargers would fail you. With the TecMate your battery will always be ready to work at all times.
This charging system is totally automatic so you connect and you can do something else as you wait for it to charge. The charger will charge continuously and only stop if there is a problem with the battery.
When used regularly this system will increase your battery life significantly and with discharge protection your battery will never go flat out again.
This device is also a battery tester and you can use to check on your battery health. You don’t need to use a separator tester. You save more in the long run by using this two in one magic device.
This brand and charger is approved for use officially by Honda, Kawasaki and other world leading battery and automotive companies.
Designed a weatherproof charger, this model is completely sealed off against any kind of spillage and non-flooding rain.
The battery types supported include AGM, STD and the Gel type. However you cannot charge any lithium batteries with this unit. Lithium batteries use a different type of chemistry and do not tolerate full charge like the sulfuric acid batteries.
Although most designed for motor cycles and personal watercrafts it can also charge car batteries. The car batteries will just take you a bit longer than usual due to the smaller currents.
4. Schumacher DSR131 DSR ProSeries 250 Amp(12V) 125 Amp(6V) 50 Amp 6V/12V
Schumacher DSR131 DSR ProSeries 250 Amp(12V) 125 Amp(6V) 50 Amp 6V/12V
- Microprocessor controlled
- Float mode monitoring for continuous full charge
- Copper clamp connectors
- Mobility wheels
This is the most powerful desulfator on the market. Powering your battery with a unbelievable 250 AMP charge to kick start any battery.
This unit is fully automatic and will deliver a controlled charge to your battery depending on its condition. It will keep lead acid batteries fully charged and prevent and reverse the sulfination in your cells.
Whether your battery is a standard, AGM, Gel or deep-cycle battery, you can rely on the Proseries to get it up and ready all the time.
Sometimes a battery can be too far gone that some ordinary chargers won’t make to resuscitate it to life. This can happen if your alternator is not working and your battery gets totally drainage. And if it is under charging for a long time will develop advanced sulfination. The Proseries has a special super powerful 50A boost mode that will rescue near dead discharged batteries in no time.
You can set it at either 250 Amp(12V) , 125 Amp(6V) or 50 Amp 6V/12V depending on your battery situation.
The Proseries is mobile and seats on two wheels so you can handle as easy as you would your suitcase. The only points you have to lift it is when you have put it in the car or take it out to charge your battery, the rest of the times you just drag it around so that it doesn’t tire you.
Battery status is visualized through easy to read LED indicators and push button controls for instant status output.
The unit is microprocessor controlled so it self-adjusts the amperage depending on your battery condition. It will charge and maintain your battery starting from its current state and adjusting the current accordingly until full charge is attained.
The clamps on this module are some the most heavy duty you can get your hands on. Drivers who own very big trucks this desulfator will work perfectly and very quickly due to its high output. Its 300A heavy duty clamps will power your big truck in no time. The clamps are made with copper battery connectors for maximum current delivering.
Some of its impressive features include auto volatage detection and protection,float mode monitoring and reverse hook up protection.
It also has a very strong starting power that you can use to jump heavy duty motor vehicles. Whether you own a big SUV, truck or operate other large engines, this charger will meet your power requirements with its super high out 250A.
Wrapping it Up
Acting early to prevent sulfation is the best way to save money and increase your battery life.
Our list and guide feature all the best advise you can get on this topic. Followed carefully you should be able to desulfate any battery and increase its life span. There conflicting views on whether these devices can actually reverse the process but research has shown that batteries that are regularly desulfate last twice as long.
1. Is sulfation reversible?
It depends how advanced it is. If you frequently deliver a full charge to batteries then it is possible to reverse any soft sulfation that may have occurred.
Left alone it ultimately becomes irreversible and hard crystals of lead sulfate damage the plates in your batteries.
2. How do I know if my battery is sulfated?
You are able to notice the color charges of the plates when you check the cells. Make sure to always wear a pair of gloves and goggles when you open your battery cells.
The most obvious sign of sulfation is to reduce the performance of your battery. Early sulfation is not visible to the naked eye. If you notice that your battery is not holding enough charge as it used to then you can try using a desulfator to improve performance?