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Article

Maintaining Window Cleaning System Batteries

Correctly maintaining a Window Cleaning system is essential and generally a little different to how you might treat the battery on your laptop or phone. If you’re new to leisure batteries or anything of this sort, this helpful guide will help you understand how they work and how best to look after them.  

The batteries used in conventional Window Cleaning equipment vary a little to the batteries found in everyday items. Fortunately, with a little know-how, you can save yourself the cost of having to replace the battery every 6 months with routine maintenance.

Before reading ahead, it is important to note that the information below is accurate for FaceLift branded equipment; however, this may not be the case for other brands of Window Cleaning Equipment. If you require help with any specific equipment, drop us a line using our ‘Contact Us’ Page. Further, it is not the scope of this article to explain in detail the workings of a leisure battery, but rather in simple terms, how to maintain your Window Cleaning System. 

 

Type of Battery

There can sometimes be a little confusion around what batteries are used in Window Cleaning Systems. Lead-Acid (leisure) batteries are the preferred choice with most industrial Window Cleaning System manufacturers, they are also found in campervans and motor homes.

Leisure Batteries are designed to store power and release it gradually over a long period of time. When compared to a car battery that requires a large amount of power quickly (starting the engine), the leisure battery is much better suited to the daily running of a Window Cleaning system.

Generally, the leisure batteries used with van mounted systems are 75ah and 12v. If you expect heavy battery usage, then larger batteries may be fitted, or even requested when purchasing. 

A Window Cleaning system such as the FaceLift Compact, for example, would have a relatively small output, however, a two-operator Phoenix system, complete with powered hose reels, would have a much higher demand for power and therefore would draw more from the battery. 

There are smaller variants of these batteries; these are used in our trolleys, backpacks and other portable systems (also 12v). Trolleys, pump boxes and backpacks use smaller batteries to keep the weight and size down. However, as these batteries are smaller they will not run for as long as a van mounted system battery. Generally 2 - 3 hrs constant use out of the trolleys and pump boxes, and 3 - 4 hrs constant use on backpacks.

 

Testing Your Leisure Battery  

Van mounted systems will come fitted with a digital flow controller; this will be able to give you a reading of the charge level by simply pressing the return arrow when the controller is on. If you are using a DIY setup, you may need to pick up a voltmeter. Below is a rough guide to the battery's condition related to the voltage. Use this as a guide to maintain your battery. 

 

Voltage Reading

Estimated Battery Condition

Above 12.7v

Likely to mean power is being put into the battery via a split charge relay or battery-to-battery charger.

12.5v +

Fully Charged

12.2-4v

Partially Discharged

12.0-1v

Significantly Discharged

Below 12.0v

Heavily Discharged

 

Charging your leisure battery

The most popular means to charge a leisure battery on a window cleaning system is to connect it to the vehicle it’s installed in, via a battery-to-battery charger or split charge relay. In simple terms, this means every time you run your vehicle, the leisure battery will charge – providing you are covering sufficient mileage, the battery will never need to be tampered with, removed or charged externally. 

It’s important to note that if you are not covering many miles in your vehicle, you may need to occasionally remove the battery and charge it externally. By checking on the battery condition using the above chart, you can get an idea of the condition of your battery and after a period of time you’ll see trends in usage and charging. If it regularly is left to run low, it would be worth charging the battery externally also. With time you can come to grips with how much power you use and how much charge is put back in with your daily driving. 

Outside of a split charge relay, you are able to charge your leisure battery from mains power using a ‘leisure battery trickle charger’. Doing so will gradually put power back into your battery, however, if the battery is significantly discharged, this can take a long time to do so. If you opt to charge the battery manually, it is important to find the correct charger to ensure enough power is being put back into the battery.

Here is the charger we recommend for use with our van mounted system leisure batteries. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do lead-acid batteries discharge when not in use?

All batteries will self-discharge, though the rate at which they discharge will vary from one type of battery to the next, and even conditions such as temperature can affect this. Using the digital flow controller or a voltmeter, you can see the condition of your battery quickly, which will allow you to determine if it needs charging. If a battery is left for long periods of time it WILL need regular charging to maintain its lifespan. If a system is left for periods of time unused, it is best practice to disconnect the battery and charge it regularly.

Do I need to completely discharge my lead-acid battery before recharging it?

No, in fact, the best practice is to never discharge your lead acid battery below 80%. Using your flow controller as a guide, you should aim to keep the leisure battery above 12.2v at all times.

If you’d like technical help regarding your Window Cleaning System, feel free to give us a call on 01446 749 060 and we can arrange a technical call-back.

Are batteries covered by a warranty? 

All batteries are covered by a 6 month warranty against manufacturers defects. This does not account for poor battery maintenance, which accounts for many of the problems that occur within 6 months. To claim against a warranty it is vital that you charge your battery appropriately, failure to do so will invalidate any claim. 

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