Author Topic: Battery Maintenance  (Read 895 times)

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Offline fishing eagle

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Battery Maintenance
« on: March 14, 2011, 09:30:05 AM »
It is spring and the start to a new boating season and I am performing all my spring safety and maintenance checks. One very important check I always perform is my battery checks because a weak or poor battery can really ruin my day.

Many boaters leave their battery or batteries in their boats during the off season and they figure if the engine turns over and starts or if they give the battery a charge prior to the first day on the water, that they are okay.  Others do remove their batteries and charge/ check them prior to putting them back in the boat and using their boat. Many boaters do not check their battery water level and some think it is not required. Wrong unless you have a 100% completely sealed battery and most batteries are not sealed!

I personally do remove my batteries from my boat for the winter due to our severe cold and put them in my basement. I store them sitting on a piece of lumber or rubber and I give them an equalizer charge once every 4 to 6 weeks. Nothing can be worse than having a battery lose its charge and than freeze and crack. A discharged battery can freeze and the acid can cause damage to your boat. Prior to putting my batteries back into my vessel, I perform the following checks & maintenance.

I clean the top of my battery including battery terminal post if needed.
I read the voltage of the battery with a top quality multimeter and I am looking for a reading of 13.00 to 13.5 volts.
I remove the battery caps and perform a specific gravity test of each cell with a good quality hydrometer battery tester andI am looking for a specific gravity that is equal between cells and above 1.210 and preferably close to 1.280
I add distilled water to each cell to bring the battery acid solution to the proper level (only add "Distilled Water" and nothing else)
I then replace the battery caps and make sure they are secured tightly.
Now I will put another equalizer charge on my battery, especially if I have added distilled water.
Once I have recharged my batteries, I will again check the voltage of my battery and the specific gravity. A fully charged battery should be reading 13.2 to 13.5 volts with a specific gravity of 1.280 in every cell. If you see a specific gravity readings less than 1.210 or a difference of 30 points or more between any two cells... replace the battery.
I also like to check my batteries 24 hours after charging them for specific gravity and voltage to insure the most correct readings.
Do not forget to check and clean your wiring terminals/connections if needed when reinstalling your batteries in your boat.
(Reel Delight) a 2001 Sea Ranger 19, 2003 Honda 90, 2010 Yamaha T8 w/power tilt, Panther T4 steering system, Hummingbird electronics, & Scotty 1116 electric downriggers.
U.S. Navy Veteran, member of U.S. Power Squadron & Past President of Lake George Fishing Alliance (Retired & ready to fish!)

Online Croaker Stroker

Re: Battery Maintenance
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 08:55:43 PM »

Thanks for the reminder. This is absolutely what should be done to keep your batterys in good health.  :clap:
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline polarbill1999

Re: Battery Maintenance
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 10:24:05 PM »
Are you getting a reading of 13-13.5v after letting the batteries sit for 24 hours?  If so that is really high.  Most batteries have a resting voltage of 12.6-12.8v.  13-13.5v would seem like a battery that has a surface charge which isn't really a correct reading. 
Brett
1996 Sea Chaser 16 the "Rhumb Runner"
70hp Envinrude VRO
6hp Tohatsu 4 stroke

Offline fishing eagle

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Re: Battery Maintenance
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 07:11:59 AM »
No you will usually see a voltage of a range of 12.75 to 13.0 depending on the battery. As I said in my original post, wait 24 hours and take readings a second time. Your battery need to maintain a voltage above 12.2 volts or it should be considered weak and in need of replacement.
(Reel Delight) a 2001 Sea Ranger 19, 2003 Honda 90, 2010 Yamaha T8 w/power tilt, Panther T4 steering system, Hummingbird electronics, & Scotty 1116 electric downriggers.
U.S. Navy Veteran, member of U.S. Power Squadron & Past President of Lake George Fishing Alliance (Retired & ready to fish!)