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Old 19-05-2015, 12:28   #1
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Battery Terminal Covers

I have a 4-battery (12V) house bank and two starter batteries, all Trojan SCS-150 flooded batteries with dual wingnut terminals (two threaded bolt connectors for each of the neg and pos terminals). The extra connection possibilities come in handy for the inverter, windlass, solar, wind, and other connections.

I've just had another insurance survey done, and this guy was super-thorough. He suggested that the terminals need proper covers to protect them, and I guess I should agree. Trouble is, I can't seem to source a cover that would fit this particular configuration. Trojan suggest using the new heat-shrinkable tape on the market - but I am at the batteries too often to want to cut that stuff off each time I wish to make a change or check a connection.

I am considering some kind of MacGuiver solution with little cups of some kind and the heat-shrinkable tape, but thought, hey, you guys may have already come up with a solution to this conundrum. Certainly, the Trojan SCS 150s are not the only batteries who's terminals don't fit the average "mold".

Ideas?
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Old 19-05-2015, 12:34   #2
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

Two things:

1. Lose the wingnuts.....they're a no-no on a boat. Use s/s or bronze nuts instead.

2. See MaineSail's post here: Battery Terminal Short-Circuit Protection - SailNet Community

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Old 19-05-2015, 12:40   #3
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

Interesting. My batteries are in dedicated compartment that is opened only when I need to access the batteries, clean, tighten terminals, etc., which means terminal access. Nothing else is in that compartment. My survey a few months back noted that I need covers on the positive terminals.

I have 6 volt cells in serial parallel so the negative terminal on one battery is the positive terminal on its series twin. Surveyor said that covering the batteries with plywood would be OK. So I will have the plywood cover on the compartment and plywood covering the batteries. :-(

This must be some new ABYC rule.
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Old 19-05-2015, 12:59   #4
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcapo View Post
Interesting. My batteries are in dedicated compartment that is opened only when I need to access the batteries, clean, tighten terminals, etc., which means terminal access. Nothing else is in that compartment. My survey a few months back noted that I need covers on the positive terminals.

I have 6 volt cells in serial parallel so the negative terminal on one battery is the positive terminal on its series twin. Surveyor said that covering the batteries with plywood would be OK. So I will have the plywood cover on the compartment and plywood covering the batteries. :-(

This must be some new ABYC rule.

This is not a new requirement at all. Your surveyor just may not know what he is looking at, if your compartment is in-fact a true "compartment"...

ABYC E-10: (current active standard July 2011)
"10.7.7

To prevent accidental contact of the ungrounded battery connection to ground, each battery shall be protected so that metallic objects cannot come into contact with the ungrounded battery terminal and uninsulated cell straps. This may be accomplished by means such as:


10.7.7.1 covering the ungrounded battery terminal with a boot or non-conductive shield, or


10.7.7.2 installing the battery in a covered battery box, or


10.7.7.3 installing the battery in a compartment specially designed only for the battery(s).


NOTE: When batteries have both a stud and post arrangement, protection should preclude contact with any part of the terminal.


10.8.3 Battery cables and other conductors size 6 AWG (13.3 mm˛) and larger shall not be connected to the battery with wing nuts.


10.8.4 Multiple conductors connected to a battery shall be installed with the highest ampacity conductor terminal closest to the battery, followed by successively smaller ampacity conductor terminals.


10.8.4.1 A maximum of four conductor terminals shall be permitted to be installed on a single battery stud.


10.8.5 Flat washers, if used, shall only be installed immediately under the split lock washer and nut of the attachment stud."
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Old 19-05-2015, 13:13   #5
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
This is not a new requirement at all. Your surveyor just may not know what he is looking at, if your compartment is in-fact a true "compartment"...
There is some nylon line in the compartment but nothing else but batteries. No recs from 3 previous surveyors.
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Old 19-05-2015, 13:22   #6
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Two things:

1. Lose the wingnuts.....they're a no-no on a boat. Use s/s or bronze nuts instead.

2. See MaineSail's post here: Battery Terminal Short-Circuit Protection - SailNet Community

Bill
1. I'm in. I was using the wingnuts, ensuring they were tight using my leatherman to capture and tighten them. However, I will be switching to ss nylock nuts.

2. MaineSail's post is perfect. I'll do that, if I can find those caps. I see Travelineasy suggests coating the metals with silicone grease. I prefer dielectric.

The straps shown are something else I'll be using, although I am not fond of the metal buckles - I'll be going plastic.

I very much appreciate your assistance.
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Old 19-05-2015, 14:17   #7
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

Sonosailor, just went through a survey myself.
Wing nuts a no go and using nylock nuts on terminals was a no go also. Minimal heat on the posts will melt the nylon and render the nut useless.

But really glad to see the link for the boot cover, gotta replace several of mine also.
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Old 19-05-2015, 14:33   #8
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

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Originally Posted by CrustyChief View Post
Sonosailor, just went through a survey myself.
Wing nuts a no go and using nylock nuts on terminals was a no go also. Minimal heat on the posts will melt the nylon and render the nut useless.

But really glad to see the link for the boot cover, gotta replace several of mine also.
Sorry but this is absolute BUNK. The plastic of the battery case will physically melt well before the nyloc and if your surveyor had a clue he'd know this...
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Old 16-06-2015, 09:53   #9
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

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Sorry but this is absolute BUNK. The plastic of the battery case will physically melt well before the nyloc and if your surveyor had a clue he'd know this...
Happy to hear this. I had used nylocks in the past without problems, and thought they were the answer. Indeed, I am at the batteries a lot - maybe a little OCD - without thinking anything was really hot. Think about it, most of the fluid is water, and the bubbling is degassing, not boiling of the dihydrogen monoxide - that would be bad - and water boils before the plastic would melt. I'll use nylock again.
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Old 16-06-2015, 09:56   #10
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

I have used stainless steel nylocks forever.....no problems.
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Old 27-06-2015, 00:50   #11
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

I finally heard back from the Surveyor on the use of Nylon lock nuts on battery terminals.
Her response was, Have you ever seen a brand new production vehicle such as heavy duty equipment, trucks or even cars that have Nylon lock nuts installed? Additionally, if you use jumper cables the connection between the jumper cables and battery terminals is susceptible to heat transfer.

Now I tend to agree with the few above that it would seem highly improbable that enough heat could transfer to melt the Nylon lock nut, but since I had to change a few from wing nuts anyway, I just changed them all to stainless nuts and lock washers. So now I only need one size wrench to work on all 9 batteries.
By the way I only have 2 batteries for the house bank, but they are really big house batteries.
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Old 27-08-2016, 13:15   #12
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

I found really large plastic battery terminal covers at "Canadian Tire". I had to cut new holes and bigger openings to allow all the wires on and off each terminal, and even terminal "extensions", but I believe I am fine. The reassembly includes tested, cleaned wires, dielectric grease, and nylock nuts. I'm satisfied. Thanks for the comments.


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Old 27-08-2016, 14:34   #13
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

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Originally Posted by jcapo View Post
There is some nylon line in the compartment but nothing else but batteries. No recs from 3 previous surveyors.
I hope you realize that nylon rope's kryptonite is battery acid. There is probably no worse place to store that line.

Nylock nuts are rated to 350F. However, after the the nylon loses its grips it remains a perfectly good nut. Of course, I've never noticed a nut/lockwasher to come loose either.
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Old 27-08-2016, 15:07   #14
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

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Originally Posted by CrustyChief View Post
I finally heard back from the Surveyor on the use of Nylon lock nuts on battery terminals.
Her response was, Have you ever seen a brand new production vehicle such as heavy duty equipment, trucks or even cars that have Nylon lock nuts installed? ....
Tell her production vehicles don't use them because they are many times more expensive than lock washers. That matters when they are purchase by the thousands or millions and that cost can't typically be passed on to the customer. I use many replacement parts that are superior to (and more expensive than) the production pieces, since I find the upgrades to be cost effective.

In the extremely unlikely event that you melt the plastic on a locknut, you still have a functioning nut, and you can still remove it with a wrench. No drawback to that.
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Old 28-08-2016, 05:23   #15
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Re: Battery Terminal Covers

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
I hope you realize that nylon rope's kryptonite is battery acid. There is probably no worse place to store that line.
I did not know that. I'll keep it in mind when I switch to flooded batteries and re-work the compartment.
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