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Old 12-16-2011, 09:10 AM   #1
AlfredMay
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Default Warning - Schumacher Battery Maintainer - Design Flaw

I purchased two Schumacher model XM1-5 battery maintainers. http://www.batterychargers.com/Produ...tName=94026970 They seemed to be very advanced and have four led lights that convey a number of pieces of information regarding battery condition and what the maintainer is doing.

When running properly, one green and two red lights are supposed to be lit. I had hooked the unit to my C6 and the proper sequence was on. A week later I looked at the unit and I had one solid red light (the power light) and one blinking red light (the battery light) on. This was not normal so I looked thru the owners manual for an explanation. This particular sequence was not covered.

I called Schumacher technical service. I was told that this unit really was designed to work with the batterry disconected from the car. The unit had probably sensed "something that came on" and shut down. All I had to do was reset the unit by disconnecting and reconnecting it. To me, the whole purpose of this maintainer is to replace electricity lost thru parasitic drains. Having the unit shut down when this happens makes no sense.

I explained that I have a winter home plus my current location with at least one car that stays at each location. The reason for two maintainers is for use when I am not at one of these homes. I cannot "babysit" the maintainer and if it turns itself off I would have a dead battery upon my return. The tech could offer no solution to my problem other than disconnecting the battery.

Has anyone encountered the same problem with this or other battery maintainers? I just purchased a Battery Tender Jr. and will see how it works out. I do not want to disconnect the car batteries. I know it is not much of a problem for the C6, but some of my other cars lose lots of information that must be reentered into computer memory.

Last edited by AlfredMay; 12-16-2011 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:19 AM   #2
Red Rochester
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Good Info .You just never know.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfredMay View Post
...I just purchased a Battery Tender Jr. and will see how it works out. ...
I recently sold a car that had a Battery Tender Jr. on it for over 4 years with only occasional breaks. The battery seemed as good the day it was disconnected as the day it was new. I'm sure there were times during those 4 years that the power went off for more than a few minutes and the electronics in the car did something flakey but the BT never squalked. It always had a green light when I went to check it.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:36 AM   #4
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You will not have that problem with the Battery Tender Jr. I have used one for years and have never had that happen and I have many times opened the doors while it was on the tender. The tender senses that, changes to red for a little bit (charging) and then turns green again.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfredMay View Post
I purchased two Schumacher model XM1-5 battery maintainers. ....

....Has anyone encountered the same problem with this or other battery maintainers? ....
I also have 2 of the same model Schumacher, and I have experienced the exact same issue.

I never worried about it because I live where I have the chargers connected, but I have wondered what might have caused it.

I have experienced this when the charger/maintainer has been connected to my emergency generator, my Harley, and the C6.

Whenever I have gone out into the garage and saw the red light blinking I just pulled the plug, waited about 10 seconds, plugged the charger back in, and the light goes solid yellow (indicating it's charging). A short while later when I go back out to the garage, I'll see the light has turned green (indicating that's it's in the maintaining mode).

I have experienced this several times with both of the Schumacher units, but disconnecting/reconnecting the unit solves the problem for another couple weeks.

I can definitely understand that the problem is unacceptable if you want to connect the unit and leave it unobserved for a long period.

In my case, I just see the lights every time I go out into the garage, and if every couple weeks I have to disconnect/reconnect the unit it's not a big deal.

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Old 12-16-2011, 01:00 PM   #6
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I just purchased the new model two weeks ago at WalMart for $20. I put it on my 2nd Gen TA and so far no problems and the unit is in the maintain mode. Thanks for the heads up...just checked it after reading and after 2 weeks all is ok.

I also own 2 of the previous model Schumacher (see pic below) and never had an issue. I have used them on a 1992 and on my Vette. I have planned to put the new one on my Vette when I got around to it, but may not now.

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by JKbride; 12-16-2011 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:35 PM   #7
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I have the same exact one as the OP. And yes it happened a couple times last year, the red light was blinking.it was when the power went out in a storm and came back on, it must have tripped the protection circuit built into the BT. simply just unplugged it the plugged it back in. This shows IMO that the unit works very well and will not harm the battery or the electronics of my car.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfredMay View Post
I purchased two Schumacher model XM1-5 battery maintainers. http://www.batterychargers.com/Produ...tName=94026970 They seemed to be very advanced and have four led lights that convey a number of pieces of information regarding battery condition and what the maintainer is doing.

When running properly, one green and two red lights are supposed to be lit. I had hooked the unit to my C6 and the proper sequence was on. A week later I looked at the unit and I had one solid red light (the power light) and one blinking red light (the battery light) on. This was not normal so I looked thru the owners manual for an explanation. This particular sequence was not covered.

I called Schumacher technical service. I was told that this unit really was designed to work with the batterry disconected from the car. The unit had probably sensed "something that came on" and shut down. All I had to do was reset the unit by disconnecting and reconnecting it. To me, the whole purpose of this maintainer is to replace electricity lost thru parasitic drains. Having the unit shut down when this happens makes no sense.

I explained that I have a winter home plus my current location with at least one car that stays at each location. The reason for two maintainers is for use when I am not at one of these homes. I cannot "babysit" the maintainer and if it turns itself off I would have a dead battery upon my return. The tech could offer no solution to my problem other than disconnecting the battery.


Has anyone encountered the same problem with this or other battery maintainers? I just purchased a Battery Tender Jr. and will see how it works out. I do not want to disconnect the car batteries. I know it is not much of a problem for the C6, but some of my other cars lose lots of information that must be reentered into computer memory.
That design would be marginally acceptable if it was clearly explained on the outside of the box, so people would know before buying. But to have it as a "hidden" issue seems like a monumental blunder.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:42 PM   #9
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Furthermore the blinking red light sequence IS explained very clearly in the manual that came with it. There is simply nothing wrong with this particular charger and there is certainly no " design flaw". IMO
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:35 PM   #10
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same problem
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:59 PM   #11
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Battery Tender Jr is good stuff. I use them to keep the bike and garden tractor charged. Not a problem in years and still have the same battery in the bike and it's 2002 model.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:13 PM   #12
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I have never encountered that problem with my $9 Harbor Freight float chargers that I have on my Z06, my 56, my 64 and my mower. I guess mine aren't sophisticated enough.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:25 PM   #13
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I did have the same thing happen to me this past week. I put the charger on my 2008 Impala and left it on there for a day. Usually it charges in this time and the bottom green light comes on. But since it was not fully charged, I left it on overnight. I came out the net day, Saturday and both red lights were on. This had never happened before and I thought, what the heck?? I usually keep an eye on it and pull it off when it is charged. But I wondered why both red lights were on. You can't disconnect the battery from the car or you will have other issues. So, I guess you will just have to use it as a regular charger, which is what I do all the time anyway........... And by the way, it has two red lights at the top, a yellow light, (those three run when it is charging) and a green light at the bottom. The green light on the bottom should not come on until it is fully charged.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:35 PM   #14
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And another thing, I know the Battery Tender is supposed to be made safely enough to run all of the time. But, I would never leave a battery charger running 24/7 all winter long inside my house or garage. I've seen (or heard of) too many batteries blow up before. If it gets bumped and creates a spark, you could have a fire or explosion. Even when I fast charge a battery that is out of the car, I set the battery outside of the garage, hook the cables up to the battery, turn the charger on and then close the door down on the leads so that the charger is inside my garage and the battery is outside. The rubber seal on the bottom of the door will keep the door from damaging the leads. So, my best advice is to go out every couple of weeks, charge it up and when it is charged, disconnect the leads. Otherwise, you have a bomb, bubbling there in your garage, waiting to go off.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:28 PM   #15
AlfredMay
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This is the OP

Thanks to those who responded. To me this is an obvious problem. I have used other battery maintainers over the years and never had this type of problem. We all use multiple electrical appliances in our lives. Imagine if your refrigerator, heating system, answering machine, microwave, coffee maker, electric can opener, etc. needed to be reset after a power outage or some type of unknown MINOR electrical event. The only item that I am aware of that operates with a required regular manual reset is my computer modem......... and I am not too happy about having to do that on a regular basis. However, the computer modem is designed to function when someone is using a computer. The battery maintainer is just the reverse..... it is designed (or should be) to operate when the battery is in storage.

To DT455...... This is the link to the manual for the unit in question. http://www.batterychargers.com/Docum...01034WB-03.pdf I double checked and can find no reference to a flashing red light. What I can find is this:

Page 10 "Aborted Charge" refers to the Charging light flashing. Although it does not state the color, the yellow light is the Charging light. My problem is with the red "Connected" light flashing.

Last edited by AlfredMay; 12-17-2011 at 10:51 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:35 PM   #16
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I've got three Schumacher maintainers running right now and for some time. No issues at all.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKbride View Post
I just purchased the new model two weeks ago at WalMart for $20. I put it on my 2nd Gen TA and so far no problems and the unit is in the maintain mode. Thanks for the heads up...just checked it after reading and after 2 weeks all is ok.

I also own 2 of the previous model Schumacher (see pic below) and never had an issue. I have used them on a 1992 and on my Vette. I have planned to put the new one on my Vette when I got around to it, but may not now.

Click the image to open in full size.
I think if you will open the door and let the interior lights go on for a minute, then close it again, this blinking red light will happen. Mine did, but not right away...it took a while.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:11 PM   #18
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Not to rub it in, but my CTEK was connected today and we killed power to the garage for about 45 minutes. When the power was turned back on, the CTEK went right back to work with no problems.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:28 PM   #19
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The Deltran Battery Tender works perfectly. I've had one on my airplane for 4 years and the one on my Vette for 1 year. I believe they do cost a little more but I have heard of no problems at all.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:33 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by budgreen3564 View Post
I've got three Schumacher maintainers running right now and for some time. No issues at all.
Except I have 4 of them and one battery tender jr. Never had a problem with any of them doing this and I'm going on the third year using them.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:33 PM
 
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