Welcome to the electrifying world of Schumacher Electric, where power meets precision. As we bid farewell to 2023, it’s time to reflect on the year that was and celebrate the cutting-edge battery chargers and jump starters that stood out in the automotive realm. In this comprehensive blog, we’ll take you on a journey through the top-rated Schumacher Electric products that made it to the best-of lists, ensuring that you know which products will keep your vehicle ready to hit the road.

But that’s not all – anticipation builds as we offer an exclusive look into what Schumacher Electric has in store for 2024. Stay tuned as we unveil the products that we think will stand out in the coming year. These items redefine convenience and reliability in the realm of battery charging and jump starting. Get ready to power up and stay ahead with Schumacher Electric’s latest innovations!

Best of 2023

Schumacher SC1280 15A 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Maintainer

Named “Best in Fast Charging” by Car and Driver and “Best Overall” Motor1.com, the Schumacher SC1280 is fast charger you can rely on. It is designed to keep your batteries in top condition and features a range of built-in features for easy and worry-free charging.

Schumacher SC1281 100A 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Jump Starter

The SC1281 is no stranger to best-of lists. In 2023 it was named “Best Multi-Purpose Charger” by Forbes, “Best Car Battery Charger for Home Use” by CNET, and “Best Charger” by The Drive. It also appeared on USA Today’s list of “Best Trickle Chargers of 2023.” As all of these publications know, this Schumacher battery charger and jump starter is the foundation of a well-equipped garage. It performs diagnostic testing, jump starting, battery charging, and maintaining, covering most of your battery-related needs.

Schumacher SC1309 200A 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Wheel Charger and Jump Starter

Schumacher is an industry leader in wheel chargers designed for professional use and top-tier hobby garages. The SC1309 is a favorite of experienced mechanics because of its range of features, including a 200A engine start, a 40A boost mode, charge and maintain modes, a built-in battery and alternator tester, a digital display, and heavy-duty construction that is built to last. Popular Mechanics named it the “Best Conventional Charger/Starter” in 2023 and Motor1.com recognized it as “Best Battery Charger and Jump Starter Combo” on its “2023 Best Car Battery Chargers” list.

Schumacher DSR ProSeries DSR115 4400 Peak Amp 12V/24V Jump Starter and Portable Power Station

Lifewire chose the DSR115 for its list of “The Best Portable Car Jumpstarters of 2023,” naming it the “Beast Heavy Duty.” The DSR115 is powered by dual high-output AGM batteries that deliver 4400 peak amps, 750 cranking amps and 525 cold cranking amps at 12V,  and 475 cranking amps and 350 cold cranking amps at 24V. The 24V compatibility and high amp output give the DSR115 the ability to jump start a semi-truck, something few jump starters are capable of. It also has a 12V DC accessory outlet that will power a range of 12V devices for truly portable power.

Schumacher DSR ProSeries DSR131 125/250 Cranking Amp 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Wheel Charger and Jump Starter

Schumacher’s DSR ProSeries line is designed and built for professional users. The DSR131 is no exception. Named by GearJunkie as the “Best Premium Battery Charger of 2023,” it is a cut above the competition. In fact, GearJunkie said, “Schumacher Electric is a brand name trusted among professional mechanics and a brand you can depend on.” The DSR131 is compatible with a wide range of 6V and 12V batteries and has plenty of power to jump start and charge most automotive batteries. It’s built for pros, so whether you’re maintaining a fleet or jumping the family SUV, the DSR131 has you covered.

Schumacher DSR ProSeries DSR132 1200 Peak Amp/900 Cranking Amp 12V Hybrid Ultracapacitor and Lithium Ion Jump Starter

The combination of ultracapacitor and lithium ion power sets the Schumacher DSR132 apart. Ultracapacitors have a much longer lifespan than lithium or AGM batteries, meaning the DSR132 will still be going strong when other jump starters are destined for the recycle bin. Plus, if you’ve neglected to charge the ultracapcitors or the internal lithium battery, a weak automotive battery will still have enough power to charge the ultracapacitors, even if it can’t start your car. Then you can use the unique properties of the ultracapacitor to start your vehicle. GearJunkie put the DSR132 on it’s “The 10 Best Portable Car Jumpstarters of 2023” list and Protoolreviews.com awarded the DSR132 “Most Power” on its list of “Best Supercapacitor Jump Starters.”

Schumacher SL1639 Lithium Portable Power Pack and 1000A 12V Jump Starter

A good lithium jump starter and power pack is useful for a range of activities. The Review Wire named Schumacher’s SL1639 to its list “Best Camping Gear for 2023: Essential Outdoor Equipment.” The SL1639 is a lithium-powered portable power pack and 1000A jump starter in a compact package about the size of a smartphone. It charges a range of devices, jump starts up to 8.0L gas and 6.0L diesel engines, and even includes a three-mode LED light. Whether you take it camping or keep it in a glovebox for a roadside emergency, you’ll find multiple uses for the SL1639.

Products to Watch

So, you’ve seen Schumacher Electric’s best of 2023, an impressive lineup that showcased unparalleled performance, reliability, and innovation. Now, buckle up as we embark on a journey into the future, eager to share our insights into the products that we believe will redefine excellence in 2024.

In the fast-paced automotive landscape, staying ahead is not just an aspiration – it’s a necessity. Our commitment to delivering top-notch products is unwavering, and as we transition into the new year, we invite you to join us in anticipating the next wave of groundbreaking solutions. From enhanced performance to advanced features, we’ll draw back the curtain on the Schumacher Electric products that are poised to become the driving force behind your vehicle’s power needs in 2024. Get ready to power up with confidence as we share the best automotive charging technology from Schumacher Electric!

All-in-Ones

Space is at a premium in the average American garage. Don’t clutter yours up with several products when Schumacher has devices that integrate multiple functions. The SL1562 Lithium Portable Power Station and 1200 Peak Amp 12V Jump Starter is four tools in one lightweight unit—USB charger, jump starter, LED light, and 150-PSI air compressor. It’s ideal around the house, plus it’s a great addition to your tailgate, camping trip, or emergency kit. If you want added functionality and more portable power, look to the Schumacher SJ1332 6-in-1 Portable Power Station and 1200 Peak Amp Jump Starter. It features an inverter and a portable power station with two AC outlets, two 12V DC accessory outlets, and a USB port. It also features a 150-PSI air compressor and an inflator/deflator for fast inflation of larger items, such as air mattresses. Other functions of the SJ1332 include an LED light and a jump starter. When a power outage hits or you need an easily portable source of off-grid power, the SJ1332 is the solution.

On-Board Battery Chargers and Maintainers

Another category Schumacher expects to be popular with consumers in 2024 is on-board battery chargers. On-board chargers can be permanently mounted under the hood of your car or truck or installed in your boat for easy, regular charging and maintaining of one or more batteries. For example, the Schumacher SC1587 1.5A 6V/12V On-Board Battery Charger and Maintainer is designed to be mounted under the hood, in battery trays, or in fender wells. It features fully automatic charging and maintaining with multi-stage charging, float mode monitoring, auto voltage detection, bad battery detection, reverse hook-up protection, and more, making it a worry-free way to charge and maintain stored batteries or for cold weather battery maintenance. For boats and charging in marine environments, Schumacher offers the Ship ‘n Shore SC1644 15A 12V Two-Bank On-Board Marine Sequential Battery Charger. The SC1644 features two charging banks that will charge two batteries in sequence with Schumacher’s time slice charging. With time slice charging, the batteries are charged in sequence in 15-minute alternating intervals. It is also dust tight and water resistant, which gives you peace of mind in marine settings.

Lithium Jump Starters

Lithium power has revolutionized jump starters. Today they are lightweight, compact, and powerful. However, quality and features vary wildly among the lithium jump starters available to the consumer. For a top-of-the-line lithium jump starter in 2024, consumers are looking to the RUGGED BY SCHUMACHER® SL1654 Lithium Portable Power Pack and 2250A 12V Jump Starter. This unit features heavy-duty construction and industry-leading features. In addition to built-in safety features such as reverse polarity, short circuit, temperature, battery low voltage, overcurrent, overload, overvoltage, and overcharge protection, the SL1654 gives users the ability to override automatic features and jump start completely discharged batteries. Most lithium jump starters on the market today lack this ability. Other notable features include pre-heating, which warms batteries in cold conditions for better cold-weather performance and pre-boost technology, which adds a pre-charge to deeply discharged batteries for easier jump starting.

Off-grid Power Solutions

More Americans than ever before are taking to the road in converted vans and RVs. Whether they are 21st-century digital nomads working from a new location every week or families looking to make travel a part of their children’s day-to-day existence, reliable off-grid power solutions are a necessity. Schumacher offers a solution that allows these modern day rovers to charge their auxiliary and storage batteries as they drive. The Schumacher SDC371 40A 12V DC-DC Intelligent Battery Charger harnesses your vehicle’s alternator to charge your van or RV’s storage batteries, generating power that you can use to power the modern necessities when you stop driving for the day. It also features a Solar Priority button, which allows you to switch between charging from your alternator or charging from your solar panels. And when your vehicle’s engine shuts off, the SDC371 will automatically switch to solar charging. So, if the road beckons to you, the SDC371 will help you make the most of the journey.

The Future is Bright with Schumacher

Looking ahead to 2024, the future appears even brighter with Schumacher Electric poised to deliver cutting-edge products that promise to redefine the landscape of battery charging and jump starting. Whether you’re a seasoned automotive enthusiast or a casual driver, Schumacher is the brand you should trust with your power needs. Power up, stay connected, and drive confidently into the future with Schumacher Electric – where performance meets precision, and every journey begins with a fully charged battery.

This Mother’s Day Give the Moms in Your Life a Power Boost with the Latest in Portable Power – From Jump Starters to Power Stations

Every mother has superpowers. They can do a dozen things at once, have eyes in the back of their heads, and can cope with any emergency. Moms also seem to have vast stores of energy to get through their seemingly endless list of tasks, responsibilities, and activities. This Mother’s Day give your mother a gift to boost her powers and make her days a bit easier.

Schumacher Electric has a wide array of products to manage an emergency, provide power on the go, and just make life more comfortable when you walk out your door. With Schumacher, mom doesn’t always have to be the hero. We can come to the rescue if she has a roadside emergency, recharge her tablet before book club, and power all her tailgating accessories during a Saturday soccer game.

Your Mom Can Be Her Own Hero

A dead battery can happen to anyone, but for moms it can be especially challenging. Imagine a mom you know with a car full of kids. Then, when she tries to turn on the vehicle, she finds a dead battery. Maybe it’s a hot day or the kids are especially cranky. Or maybe the mom you’re picturing is older and alone in an unsafe location. In these situations, it’s not always practical to wait for a tow truck or a good Samaritan to come to the rescue.

It’s easy to give moms the power to provide their own rescue. Simply gift them a Schumacher SL1648 1250A Rugged Lithium Jump Starter and Portable Power Pack this Mother’s Day. This jump starter features a compact size that fits in most center consoles and glove boxes, along with 1250 amps of jump starting power suitable for up to 6.0L gas and 3.0L diesel engines. It’s easy to use and also features a USB port to charge devices like a cranky toddler’s tablet. With this jump starter, mom will have the peace of mind of knowing a dead battery won’t slow her down for long.

Another option for on-the-go moms is the CRAFTSMAN CMXCESM256 Portable Power Station and 1200 Peak Amp Jump Starter. With this tool, Mom can tackle a range of emergencies and emerge victorious. In addition to a powerful jump starter, the unit also serves as a portable power station, letting mom power a range of devices including smartphones, tablets, and power tools with the 12V DC port, 120V AC household outlet with 200W inverter, and four-port USB hub. Mom can also defeat a flat tire or a deflated beach ball with the built-in 100-PSI automatic air compressor.

With either of these handy tools, mom will be prepared for any roadside emergency that comes her way.

Take Mom’s Seat on the Sidelines Up a Notch

For moms with active children, weekends are often spent on the sidelines cheering their offspring on to victory (or at least a participation trophy). This doesn’t have to mean an uncomfortable camp chair under a blazing hot sun in the summer or shivering from a cold north wind in the winter. With a little help from Schumacher, you can help the moms in your life elevate their tailgating prowess and make their children’s athletic activities something to look forward to.

Compact and lightweight, the Schumacher SL1638 Lithium Ion Portable Power Pack and 800A 12V Jump Starter will make any basketball, football, baseball, or soccer game more comfortable and a lot more fun. With the SL1638, there’s no need to worry about a dying smartphone battery. The unit’s 2.4A USB port lets you charge all of your mobile devices two times faster than a standard USB port. Mom will be able to make it through an all-day tournament with ease.

Moms Don’t Stop When the Sun Goes Down

Unlike solar panels and sundials, mothers don’t quit working when it gets dark. They are still busy, helping with homework, cooking dinner, or shuttling kids between ballet and karate. While moms have tons of superpowers, seeing in the dark isn’t one of them. So, give a mom in your life a little help with the gift of a handy portable area light. The Schumacher SL923 LED Rechargeable Work Light is compact and powerful, easily able to illuminate any area where mom needs to boost the ambient lighting. It’s perfect for emergencies, such as helping complete Timmy’s class project during a power outage or shining a light on the hijinks of Susie’s backyard camp out. And for those times when mom’s smartphone is almost out of juice, the SL923 has a discrete USB output on the back capable of restoring a full charge.

Mom, the Green Warrior

Many moms are becoming green warriors to ensure their children will have a sustainable future. Whether this means solar panels on the roof, organic local produce in the refrigerator, or an electric vehicle in the garage, these moms are committed to saving the planet.

A busy mom will put many miles on the odometer as she runs from ballet lessons to soccer practice to the grocery store. With an EV, a busy Saturday of errands and children’s activities mean mom may have to add a charge to her car while attending a birthday party or while sitting on the sidelines at a soccer game. With the Schumacher SC1455 Level 1 and Level 2 Portable EV Charger, mom can fill up almost anywhere. She can plug her EV into any 120V AC household outlet or 240V NEMA 6-20P outlet and charge up before she heads to her next destination.

The Power of Thank You

Unlike superheroes, moms rarely get accolades or blockbuster films based on their adventures. They don’t have huge fan bases or cosplayers dedicated to replicating the outfit they wore to their last parent-teacher conference. However, you can show the moms close to you that their fan bases, while small, are devoted. This Mother’s Day give her something that will make her life a little easier, give her peace of mind, and show her just how much she is appreciated.

The automotive landscape is in the midst of a revolution, shifting from gasoline-powered to electric vehicles (EVs) at a rapid pace. In fact, EV sales are projected to number nearly 24 million units between 2022 and 2030.[1]  Electric vehicle owners are at the forefront of this change, enthusiastically embracing the automobile of the future. And it’s not just the cars they drive that these forward-thinking motorists want to change. They want their homes to evolve to accommodate their EVs.

One of the advantages of electric vehicles is their ability to “fill up” anywhere the driver can access electricity. However, today’s EV drivers want to go a bit further, installing at-home dedicated EV chargers that allow powerful and rapid charging in the place where they spend most of their time—home. In fact, EV owners, more than 80 percent, overwhelmingly prefer to charge their EV at home.[2] And updating your home to integrate EV charging offers several advantages—faster EV charging, convenience, smart home integration, wireless monitoring, and added home resale value.

By 2030, 52 percent of new vehicle sales will be EVs.[3] That ensures that any investment you make to add EV charging capabilities to your own home will be a smart one. Not only will it add convenience to your life, but it will make your home more attractive to homebuyers who are increasingly likely to be EV owners themselves.

Schumacher Electric’s Range of EV Chargers

Schumacher Electric has delivered innovative and reliable automotive products trusted by professionals and home mechanics for more than 75 years. Our range of Level 1 and Level 2 EV chargers follows this tradition, offering consumers the convenience of portable or at-home charging from a brand they can trust.

EV Series Level 2 Wall Chargers

The Schumacher EV Series is a line of Level 2 EV wall chargers that offers three configurations and the ability to customize the unit for maximum performance. The SEV1600HW is designed to be hardwired into your home’s power system, the SEV1600P650 is compatible with a NEMA 6-50 outlet, and the SEV1600P1450 connects to a NEMA 14-50 outlet.[4] All three models offer you the convenience of charging in your own home or driveway at speeds up to eight times faster than a Level 1 charger. The units are also Made to be Integrated™ with Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® and can be monitored via the SchuPower™ app or a smart home system. The charging gun for the EV Series has an SAE-J1772 (universal) connector that is compatible with most EVs and an interchangeable dock with dual docking capability.[5] All three models may be installed indoors or outdoors to match your needs and lifestyle. If installed indoors, a low-profile design and built-in cord management with the flexible cable cradle prevent the unit from cluttering up your garage. The 25-foot charging cable allows you to easily charge vehicles parked in your garage or driveway whether your charger is installed indoors or out.

Level 1/Level 2 Portable EV Charger

For on-the-go portable charging, it’s hard to beat the Schumacher SC1455 Level 1/Level 2 Portable EV Charger. The unit offers the flexibility of both Level 1 and Level 2 EV charging, letting you charge up to three times faster than a standard Level 1 charger. To utilize Level 2 EV charging, connect the SC1455 to a 240V NEMA 6-20P plug. For Level 1 charging, use the included adaptor connected to a standard 120V NEMA 5-15 household AC outlet. The charging gun features a universal SAE-J1772 EV connector, which works with most North American EVs.[6] Designed for convenience and ease of use, the SC1455 has an industry-leading 28-foot charging cable, long enough to reach both bays of a two-car garage or from a garage wall plug to the driveway. Other features include an ergonomic design, a rubber cover to protect from water and dirt, built-in LED indicators, and integrated overcurrent and overvoltage protection.

EV Charging Levels

When you decide to add EV charging to your home, you’ll be faced with a range of industry terminology that can be confusing to the standard consumer. The most important terms to understand are the three classifications of EV chargers—Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.

We’ll start with Level 1 charging. When you purchased your EV, it probably came with a Level 1 charger. These chargers plug into a standard 120V household AC outlet. They require no additional wiring or alterations to your home and are portable, allowing you to take them with you as you travel. However, Level 1 EV chargers offer the slowest rate of charging, usually adding only 3-6 miles of range per hour.

Level 2 chargers may be found in both residential and commercial settings. They have the advantage of allowing much more rapid charging than offered by Level 1 chargers. Level 2 EV chargers typically add 20-60 miles of range per hour, depending on the unit’s specifications, your home’s power system, and the manner of installation. This allows EV owners like you to completely replenish their vehicle’s charge in a few hours. They can easily plug their vehicle in at night and have a full charge when they leave the next morning. And because the average EV owner travels less than 40 miles per day, they can often bring their battery to full in only an hour or two.[7] Level 2 chargers run on 208-240 volts, so they require a licensed electrician to install. They can be hardwired into the electrical system or plugged into a 240V outlet.

Level 3 charging, also known as DC fast charging, is only found in commercial settings. Running on varying high voltages, these chargers can add 60-100 miles of range in just 20 minutes. However, because of their energy requirements, Level 3 chargers are not compatible with standard home power systems.

Ways to Install a Level 2 EV Charger

Before we begin, it should be noted that the installation of a Level 2 charger will in almost all cases require the services of a licensed electrician. In addition, it will probably be worth your while to find an electrician who specializes in or has experience with installing Level 2 EV chargers. The cost and difficulty of your installation will be influenced by several factors, including location, physical obstacles, and your home’s existing power system. For example, a new home with a smart power system will more easily accommodate an at-home Level 2 charger. Older, lower-amperage power systems may need upgrades that will increase the complexity and cost of your installation.

There are three basic ways and two environments to consider when choosing where and how to install your Level 2 charger. First, determine whether you will install the charger indoors, such as inside a garage, or outdoors, such as on a freestanding post or an exterior wall of your home. The Schumacher EV Series models are raintight and water resistant, so they can accommodate either indoor or outdoor installation. Second, determine, perhaps with the advice of an electrician, how your new Level 2 EV charger will connect to your home’s power system. Schumacher offers three installation options—hardwired, plug in with a NEMA 6-50 outlet, and plug in with a NEMA 14-50 outlet.

Hardwired vs. Plug-in

Hardwiring a Schumacher charger into your home’s power system offers a number of advantages. With a hardwired connection you can employ a maximum amperage of 50A. This will allow you to get the fastest possible charging speeds offered by your EV charger and supported by your home’s power system.

Alternatively, installing a 240V outlet in either a NEMA 6-50 or NEMA 14-50 configuration gives you the ability to easily replace the unit in the future or take your wall charger with you if you move. A disadvantage is a lower maximum amperage. The maximum amperage rating for plug-in Level 2 chargers is 40A.

It is worth checking your vehicle’s maximum charging rate before choosing between hardwired and plug-in EV chargers. Some vehicles have a maximum charging rate below 40A, which would mean either hardwired or plug-in EV chargers would offer the same performance.

100A vs 200A Service

The power systems of most new or updated homes today offer 200 amps of service. However, many older homes still have 100A systems. To add an EV charger to a 100A system will either require the homeowner to upgrade the service to 200A, which can cost thousands of dollars or install an energy management device, which monitors power use and will discontinue vehicle charging if the home’s power use approaches its maximum.[8]

Made to be Integrated™

Schumacher’s EV Series Level 2 wall chargers are Made to be Integrated™, which means they are ideal for incorporating into a holistic smart home system. Although your Schumacher charger can be monitored and controlled independently with the SchuPower™ app, thanks to open API, Schumacher chargers can be incorporated into many smart home system interfaces. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability make connecting to you home network a breeze.

Life with Your Level 2 EV Charger

Once your Level 2 EV charger installation is complete, you are ready to fully embrace the EV revolution. Your home will be ready for years of home charging. Instead of spending thousands of dollars per year at the gas station, you will be able to economically “fill up” at home and leave the expense, fumes, and inconvenience of the gas pump in your rearview mirror—forever.

[1] “US EVs (BEV & PHEV) Sales and Sales Share Forecast: 2021-2030,” https://evadoption.com/ev-sales/ev-sales-forecasts/, Accessed 27 April 2022. [2] Valderrama, Patricia, Boloor, Madhur, and Garcia, Samuel, “Electric Vehicle Charging 101,” Natural Resources Defense Council, https://www.nrdc.org/experts/patricia-valderrama/electric-vehicle-charging-101, Accessed 27 April 2022. [3] Wayland, Michael, “Auto executives say more than half of U.S. car sales will be EVs by 2030, KPMG survey shows,” CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/30/auto-executives-say-more-than-half-of-us-car-sales-will-be-evs-by-2030-kpmg-survey-shows.html, Accessed 8 April 2022. [4] The Schumacher SEV1600HW, SEV1600P650, and SEV1600P14-50 Level 2 EV Wall Chargers must be installed by a licensed electrician. Any changes to the wall charger’s electrical settings must also be made by a licensed electrician. [5] Tesla® vehicles will need an adapter (sold separately). Tesla, Inc. is an independently owned and operated company. This product is not manufactured, approved, or endorsed by Tesla, Inc. [6] Tesla® vehicles will need an adapter (sold separately). Tesla, Inc. is an independently owned and operated company. This product is not manufactured, approved, or endorsed by Tesla, Inc. [7] Hardesty, Chris, “Average Miles Driven Per Year: Why it is Important,” Kelley Blue Book, https://www.kbb.com/car-advice/average-miles-driven-per-year/, Accessed July 18, 2022. [8] Wiesenfelder, Joe, “What it Cost to Outfit 6 Homes with EV Chargers,” Cars.com, https://www.cars.com/articles/what-it-cost-to-outfit-six-homes-with-ev-chargers-447239/, Accessed July 18, 2022.

How often do you charge your phone? What about your headphones or your computer?  We use numerous devices throughout the day that require charged batteries to function. Vehicles—from cars and trucks to boats and RVs—are no exception.

In many cases, all it takes to keep a vehicle battery charged and functioning is to operate it. Leaving a car or boat to sit idle for months at a time is a recipe for a dead battery. Take the time to regularly keep it juiced up with a Schumacher Electric battery charger.

But, how do you know what kind of battery charger to buy? The answer depends on the type of battery, vehicle, and use case. Some chargers are used for a specific period of time and removed quickly. Others are more forgiving when it comes to battery overcharging. Have questions? You can always refer to your battery’s user manual for more information or contact us if your answer can’t be found in your manual.

Let’s look at some of the common terms related to batteries and battery chargers. Then we’ll talk about options you have for charging your batteries.

Common Terms Related to Batteries and Battery Chargers

Before we talk about the chargers themselves, familiarize yourself with the following terms. Different types of chargers are appropriate for different batteries. Charging speeds can vary based on amperage, voltage, and length of time spent charging:

Battery chargers often have different amperage depending on their purpose. Common charging rates include 2-amp, 10-amp, 12-amp, or 15-amp charge rates. Higher amp ratings will lead to faster charging, but exceeding the recommended rate for your battery could lead to dangerous situations. Always check your battery’s specifications to find the optimal safe charging rate.

Types of Battery Chargers

Schumacher Electric sells many different types of battery chargers. The two most common types we offer are manual battery chargers and automatic battery chargers. These two charger types have key differences in their operation. Follow the instructions to preserve your battery’s life and stay safe.

Manual Battery Chargers

Manual battery chargers charge the battery they’re attached to regardless of the battery’s charge level. They do not cycle or shut down by themselves. Instead, they’ll push current at the selected setting until you disconnect them from the charger.

If you’re using a manual battery charger, keep an eye on the ammeter as you charge. This will ensure you know when full charge is achieved.

You can also use a hydrometer or voltmeter to determine the level of charge. Stop the charging process as soon as the battery is fully charged. Failure to do so could result in battery damage, property damage, and even injury.

Automatic Battery Chargers

Schumacher automatic battery chargers will stop charging and switch to a Maintain Mode (Float-Mode) once the battery is fully charged. Automatic chargers don’t impact battery life or safety as much as manual ones. But they shouldn’t stay connected for indefinite periods of time or as maintenance chargers.

What is maintain mode (float mode) charging?

Maintain mode, also called float mode, charging is a technology used in many Schumacher automatic chargers and maintainers. It keeps batteries charged by delivering small amounts of current to the battery when necessary. If battery voltage drops below a preset level, the charger will begin to charge it once more. It continues to switch between the two modes as necessary. Most Schumacher automatic chargers use microprocessors to help manage the charging process.

How Microprocessor Controlled Charging Works

These differ from chargers with transformers in key ways. Microprocessor controlled chargers use algorithms to monitor the charging process and make adjustments based on the information about the battery’s current voltage and charge.

Fast charging in this way doesn’t negatively affect battery life or performance, and it can even help prolong battery life. The best part about microprocessor controlled chargers is that they can be connected for a longer period of time. For faster, safer, and more efficient charging, use a microprocessor controlled charger.

Trickle Chargers

Another type of maintenance charger can be left attached to a battery for a day or two out of the month. These chargers are called trickle chargers. Unlike float chargers, however, they have no sensor to determine when or if a battery is charged. Like manual chargers, they’ll continue to deliver current until disconnected.

How to Use a Trickle Charger

To use a battery trickle charger, connect it like you would any other battery charger. Use it once per month, and let it run for no longer than a day or two. This will keep your battery adequately charged and maintained without running the risk of boiling the electrolytes out of your battery or damaging its exterior plates through overcharging.

Solar Chargers

Solar chargers draw energy from the sun via solar panels and convert it into usable current to charge your batteries. In many cases, solar chargers may be left installed on vehicles for longer than a day or two.

Despite their ease of use, using a solar charger may result in overcharging. In these cases, a charge controller may be recommended for additional protection from this overcharging process.

Which Battery Charger Should I Buy?

The choice of battery charger depends upon your battery and needs. Buy a trickle charger or manual charger for occasional charging where you’ll be monitoring the battery as it charges. For anything else, an automatic charger gives you powerful flexibility and peace of mind.

Where to Find Battery Chargers

Don’t let a drained battery put a damper on your plans. Use one of the many trusted battery charging products available from Schumacher Electric. Keep the juice flowing to your car, truck, ATV, boat, or other vehicles. Shop our full line of battery charging products today.

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