How to Use an Everstart 12-Amp Car Battery Chargerby Laurie Brenner
Batteries can generate explosive hydrogen gases when charging, so it's important to understand how to use the Everstart 12-amp car battery charger correctly. An Everstart battery charger will bring your battery back to life, if the battery has undamaged cells and will accept a charge. Everstart chargers, which are no longer being manufactured, are older battery chargers that come in different models. Some are made specifically for charging boating and recreational vehicle batteries, car batteries, farm equipment and motorcycle batteries, while others are made for charging any battery type. A 12-amp Everstart battery charger can also be adjusted for a lower trickle charge if needed and set to charge either a 6- or 12-volt battery.
Verify the type of battery in your vehicle. Some batteries are maintenance-free and require replacement rather than charging. Ensure your battery will accept a charge before proceeding. The basic difference between the two battery types is that a maintenance-free battery is a sealed battery with no way to refill the battery with water. These types of batteries require replacement.
Identify the negative battery post on the battery -- it is the post marked "-." Detach the vehicle's negative cable using an appropriately sized open-end wrench. Set the cable aside. Repeat for the positive battery post and cable.
Remove the battery maintenance caps from the battery and check the battery's fluid levels. If low, add distilled water to the battery until the water reaches the bottom of where the cap inserts. Replace the caps.
Place the battery charger as far away as possible from the battery, at least the distance of the charger's cables.
Plug in the battery charger, but don't turn it on.
Attach the charger's red cable to the positive battery post identified with a "+" near the battery post. Attach the negative or black cable to the engine's frame. Do not attach the negative cable to the carburetor, fuel lines or sheet metal on the vehicle.
Adjust the amperage and volt settings to match the battery being charged. For instance, if charging a 12-volt battery, select 12-volt and the amperage charge, if charging a 6-volt battery, slide the button to the 6-volt setting. For amperage, choose the amperage at which to charge the battery. Everstart chargers equipped with a 12-amp charge capacity will also have the ability to set the amperage at a lower, "trickle" charge and "medium" charge setting. Slide the switch to a 2-amp charge or "trickle" charge, as this is the most effective means of charging your battery. It will take longer to charge, however, it is the safest means of charging a battery. Slower amperage charges also prolong the battery's life.
Turn the battery charger on. When the charger is done charging, it will automatically quit charging the battery. Turn the charger off.
Unplug the Everstart battery charger and remove the charger cables from the battery, ensuring not to touch the cables between both posts. Reattach the vehicle's negative cable to the battery's negative post first using an appropriately sized open-end wrench and then reattach the positive cable.
Follow Steps 1 through 7 in the previous section to hook up the manual battery charger.
Turn the battery on.
Review the amps section of the dial to determine how many amps the battery is accepting. As the battery charges, the amperage will return to "0." Because the battery charger will not shut off, you will need to pay attention to the dial on the battery charger. Unplug the charger when the amperage reaches "0." If the battery will not accept a charge after first turning on the battery charger, and it continues to read "0" amps, the battery has dead cells and will require replacement.
- Wear protective eyewear such as goggles when working around batteries. Ensure the eyewear protects the eyes from all different angles. Always keep lit cigarettes, lighters, open flames, matches or other ignition sources away from the battery. Ensure the cables attach securely to the battery posts or frame. Do not put flammable material near or underneath the battery charger.
- If removing the battery from the vehicle for charging, ensure all accessories are turned off in the vehicle before proceeding. Use a battery carrier to ensure no sulfuric acid gets on clothes or hands. Avoid touching a tool to both battery posts as the same time as this could cause sparks and an explosion.