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Old 26-02-2015, 09:40   #16
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

I will just quickly add two online resource that helped me a lot when I first started messing around with boats.

The Compass Marine 'how to" articles: Compass Marine How To Articles Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

The owner of Compass Marine posts here under Maine Sail, search for his name and you will find lots of useful information. He also has his own section over at Sailboatowners.com; Musings With Maine Sail - SailboatOwners.com.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 26-02-2015, 10:33   #17
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

I would never disconnect the batteries. Just turn off the switch.

I don't worry too much about hydrogen buildup either, as it's very much lighter than air and goes up.

My process is:
1. Turn off the switch and charger
2. Open up the cabinet the batteries are in (my chart table)
3. Take all the crap out of the cabinet then remove the shelf over the batteries
4. Wipe the tops if necessary
5. Remove the caps
6. Fill with distilled water using a turkey baster
7. Put the caps back on
8. Wash hands
9. Put the stuff all back in the cabinet
10. Turn the switches on
11. Have a beer.
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Old 26-02-2015, 12:26   #18
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

My process was shorter:
1. Replace all batteries with AGMs
2. Have a beer.

Not an inexpensive approach, of course, and the AGMs need a good charging regime. Easy enough for me to say.

-Chris
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Old 26-02-2015, 12:36   #19
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
My process was shorter:
1. Replace all batteries with AGMs
2. Have a beer.

Not an inexpensive approach, of course, and the AGMs need a good charging regime. Easy enough for me to say.

-Chris
Been there done that. Now back to flooded batteries. If you're cruising in a sailboat AGMs suck. If you're tied to a dock with power they're fine.


Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 26-02-2015, 12:37   #20
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

In addition to Smitty's links to Maine Sail:

The Ample Power Primer http://www.amplepower.com/primer/primer.pdf

this is from

Electrical Systems 101 Electrical Systems 101
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Old 26-02-2015, 13:35   #21
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

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I only take one safety precaution when adding water to my batteries. When I remove the battery cap (or caps) I turn my head away. Just on the unlikely possibility that there is some pressure inside the cell that might spurt out the acid solution into my eyes. I don't do any of the other things like disconnecting the wires or wearing gloves.

Also be sure to add water to the correct level, which is NOT up to the top of the filler cap like my moron friend insists is correct....
Note that lead/acid batteries are vented.
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Old 26-02-2015, 14:10   #22
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

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Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
I will just quickly add two online resource that helped me a lot when I first started messing around with boats.

The Compass Marine 'how to" articles: Compass Marine How To Articles Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
Thanks. I had read one of the Compass Marine articles today but didn't know there were so many others. He's got some *great* stuff in there.
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Old 26-02-2015, 14:37   #23
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

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Battery maintenance.


Here are my standard procedures when servicing batteries.


1. Remove all rings and jewellery. (A short from a terminal through a tool, through a gold wedding band, to the other terminal can burn your finger off in short order, let alone make a loud snap, blinding light, whoof of ozone, and possible injure you when you recoil.)


2. Turn on battery compartment area ventilation for a few minutes. (Bilge blower, opening ports, etc.) This will help purge explosive gases.


3. Disconnect all loads and charging sources. (Eliminate spark on terminal removal.)


4. Wear old clothes, goggles, and rubber gloves.


5. Open battery boxes, remove insulating terminal covers, and check terminal for tightness and corrosion. (If you can twist the terminal by yanking firmly on the cable, it is too loose. If there is any sign of corrosion, remove the terminals, and clean.)


6. Clean battery tops with a paper towel and dispose in plastic bag. (If wet, neutralize with baking soda, and keep handy in case of a spill.)


7. Check bottom of battery box to ensure there is no liquid. (If there is, slowly pour backing soda down the sides before removing the battery, to neutralize the acid.)


8. Remove all traces of baking soda before next step.


9. Remove caps and fill with distilled or de-ionized water (one cell at a time, unless caps cover all cells). Fill just to the bottom of the slats (with slits in them) that protrude down.


10. Return everything back to normal and turn the charger on.


11. Bring the battery up to full charge, remove all charge sources and put on a small load (some cabin lights) for 10 minutes.


12. Check the battery voltage. (Should be 2.15Vdc per cell +/-0.05 volts/cell).


13. Perform a load test. (Special tester.)


14. When all is well, reinstall terminal and battery box covers. (Ensure battery boxes are secure and can withstand a knockdown and turtle.)


Rod Brandon
www.SheenMarine.com
Rod

Excellent procedure although steps 11, 12 and 13 may be a bit much for monthly checks.

Also I can't emphasize enough the need for eye protection around batteries. A face shield in addition to glasses/goggles was standard practice for us when filling batteries.
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Old 27-02-2015, 14:50   #24
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Been there done that. Now back to flooded batteries. If you're cruising in a sailboat AGMs suck. If you're tied to a dock with power they're fine.

Yeah, I hadn't known about all that when I was doing initial upgrading. I lucked out a bit, in that they fit our regime well.

-Chris
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Old 27-02-2015, 18:19   #25
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

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Good advice from 2 previous posts. I would add that to be careful with the "wet" spots on the battery and be sure to treat as acid. Always wear glasses...safety glasses even better...to protect your eyes. Wash your hands after working around the battery. Be aware that sulfuric acid will eat holes in jeans and other cotton fabrics.

You don't want to have acid on your hands when you touch the admirals new quilt!
Like the DELCO on the seat of my Levi 501s from sitting on my car battery while drinking a beer back in the 1970s ... Dang I loved those jeans.
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Old 27-02-2015, 19:08   #26
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

I would add that a few paper rags and a container of water/baking soda mix to wipe off any moisture on the outside of the batteries is useful. Be VERY careful to not get any of the baking soda inside that batteries.
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Old 27-02-2015, 19:29   #27
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

Lead acid batteries bubble and release water as steam when charged. Deep cycle lead acid batteries are designed to do this.

You dont need to disconnect when filling. But dont fill them when they are charging.

Wear gloves and safety glasses as its easy to get some of the dilute sulphuric acid onnyour skin or in yoyr eyes. I dont usually wear gloves but always wear safety glasses.

Only ever fill them with distilled water. I also only clean my funnels, syringes and hydrometer with distilled water. I keepnthem in clean zip lock bags.

As they get older they'll consume more water. My current Trojan T100s are 8 years old and still going strong.

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Old 28-02-2015, 00:00   #28
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Regarding filling your batteries I installed a battery watering system on new batteries when changing the house bank last winter. Wery happy with that. Takes out all the action from battery management. Watering itself takes less than a minute, it's getting out the water bottle where time goes. Are there others using BWS-s? I can't believe that many long term cruisers are sucsessfully using AGM-s.
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Old 28-02-2015, 05:24   #29
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

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Originally Posted by ullar View Post
Regarding filling your batteries I installed a battery watering system on new batteries when changing the house bank last winter. Wery happy with that. Takes out all the action from battery management. Watering itself takes less than a minute, it's getting out the water bottle where time goes. Are there others using BWS-s? I can't believe that many long term cruisers are sucsessfully using AGM-s.

That would make the process:
1. Install Battery Watering System
2. Use the BWS periodically
3. Have a beer.



Some of our batteries are difficult to reach, so no maintenance is much easier than some maintenance. In our case, however, sealed batteries solves a problem about potential off-gassing in a location where I want none. But also in our case, we're easily able to charge completely often enough so AGMs work. For others, FLAs and a watering system sounds like a useful approach.

-Chris
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:35   #30
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Re: Boat batteries for dummies resources?

Did anyone mention The 12 Volt Bible? PO left a copy on Sedna and I find it useful at time. It looks to be pretty cheap used on Amazon.


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