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Old 16-06-2009, 09:06   #1
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Costco 6v Batteries

I have taken the plunge. I just purchased (x4) of the Costco 6v Golf Cart batteries for the house bank. They will be charged by a pro-marinier 20 amp smart charger at the dock and a 78 amp alternator on the engine.

To the best of my research they are made by Everyready and distrubted by Johnson Controls. From some research on Elec Car forums they have performed well in that application and that gives me hope. They should have about 220 amp hours/ea.

If I get 2 years out them I will consider it a wash compared to the T-105's I killed. If I get 3 years or more, I'm ahead of the game. I paid about $75/ea, plus the core exchange.

I know many people have opinions on batteries, I'm doing this as a test as well as a chance to save a few dollars. The purchase was made with my eyes open knowing that I could be doing this all again in a year. I should also mention that I repalced my startr battery with an Optima Blue Top 34D, this is the start/deep cycle battery. All new batteries for the boat.

Does anyone else have experience with these batteries? I'll report my findings as I use them.
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Old 16-06-2009, 10:26   #2
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A friend of mine just gave me his old house bank which consisted of ten 8 year old Workaholic (Interstate Costco) batteries because he was heading to Alaska for the summer.

He thought they probably were still good, but he didn't want to risk them going bad on him up there.

They have always been treated well, and had an automatic watering system on them for the last few years.

I load tested them and found only ONE bad one.

They are now being used in my house (an actual house) inverter emergency power supply.

Steve B.
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Old 16-06-2009, 10:28   #3
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I've had good results with their car batteries in general. By the way, even the $280 Optima top of the line batteries have some premature failures and some bad right from the git go! We had these spec'd on some Gov't boats I used to be involved in building. 4 per boat, 60 boats..... and a few bad batteries.....
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Old 16-06-2009, 10:42   #4
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I think that overall there is a lot of hype with the high end batteries with the much higher cost per amp-hour not being worth it. There are indeed good quality less expensive batteries available. Regardless of cost, you are only going to get 5 to 6 years out of a battery anyways. Perhaps if you baby it, 7 years. Why spend additional hundreds of dollars or perhaps thousands of dollars on something which will need to be disposed of anyways? Just add an additional battery if you need more storage. That's cheaper than buying the expensive ones.
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Old 16-06-2009, 12:47   #5
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Would all these batteries go in parallel (combined?) mode when charging? I was only wondering because I have a couple of the Optima Blue Top batteries on my boat and the spec sheet/manual listed some severe restrictions on charging voltage that can/should be applied.... I personally have not had any issue with mine (bowthruster batteries) but the use is only brief... You may want to make sure there is not a conflict between the two while charging ('if' they are all combined)

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Old 16-06-2009, 14:11   #6
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That is a good point, I'll look at the voltage reqs for that battery. The batteries are combined through a BlueSea ACR. My charger and alternator charge the house bank (X4 6v Golf cart batteries) directly and the Optima is conneted via the ACR. When I measured last night the Absorbtion phase was at 13.5v and the Float phase was at 13.2.

With the ACR they are only combined when it senses a charge over 13.2v. When there is no charge they are not combined.

Do you think I'm OK?

**Edit**

I just looked up the spec sheet and I am well with in their range.

http://www.optimabatteries.com/_medi...specs/D34M.pdf

Thanks for raising the question.
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Old 16-06-2009, 14:28   #7
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Being no expert in this topic, I guess you're ok if you're charging w/in the specified parameters... Others may have comments(?)
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Old 16-06-2009, 15:34   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddog View Post
I have taken the plunge. I just purchased (x4) of the Costco 6v Golf Cart batteries for the house bank.

If I get 2 years out them I will consider it a wash compared to the T-105's I killed. If I get 3 years or more, I'm ahead of the game. I paid about $75/ea, plus the core exchange.

I know many people have opinions on batteries, I'm doing this as a test as well as a chance to save a few dollars. The purchase was made with my eyes open knowing that I could be doing this all again in a year. I should also mention that I repalced my startr battery with an Optima Blue Top 34D, this is the start/deep cycle battery. All new batteries for the boat.

Does anyone else have experience with these batteries? I'll report my findings as I use them.
I have six 6-volt golf cart batteries in my cat the same size as yours. They have been in there for 4.5 yrs and still going strong. They were purchased at Sam's Club for 65 bucks each. I have gotten longer life from the golf carts than I ever got from 12 Volt deep cylcle marine batteries. I think you made a good purchase. Let us know how you like them.
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Old 16-06-2009, 18:14   #9
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I have used standard golf cart batteries for cruising for 15 years. i generally get about 6 years out of them. I would say that they get close to 1000 cycles (discharged to 50%). I have only then noticed that their s.g. is dropping to levels that could be a problem. But I have never had a problem.

I have only two banks--440 ah total. Use them for starting as well--no starting battery. Draw down both banks simultaneously (if I had a problem with a bad cell, I could disconnect one bank, but otherwise it makes sense to draw them down slowly and evenly--maybe that is why they last). I do not buy the switching and pampering stuff folks do. I get bored with endless cruiser talk about amps and electrical problems in wonderful exotic harbors.

Cruised through Central America for two years with an ancient Adler Barbour refrig, laptop, radar and all the other demands and never had a problem. I agree with the post about hype on battery systems and batteries---seems like the retailers have built a lot of mystique about it all. I do use a high output alternator and an Ample Power smart regulator, but that is all. I also have a 40 amp shore charger that I power with a little Yamaha generator so I do not have to run the diesel when I am in a place for a while.
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Old 16-06-2009, 18:27   #10
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Damn! This is making feel much better about my purchase..
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Old 16-06-2009, 18:44   #11
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You da man, Maddog!
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Old 17-06-2009, 07:13   #12
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Hardly, just a drunken fool with 5 new batteries.

But thanks anyway Chris.

You know that 50' Challenger is still for sale here in So Cal. Where's your check book?
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Old 17-06-2009, 10:23   #13
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AFAIK JCI (Johnson Controls Inc.) is the largest battery maker in the US, they are not just a distributor. If they are distributing Eveready, then they probably own the brand. They also own and build the Optima brand.

I don't *think* Interstate is part of the JCI conglomerate but I'm not certain of that. Costco buys batteries, like so many other things, on a bid-contract basis, so you'd have to check to find out who is making them for the Costco label at any given time. And while private-label batteries are sometimes not identical to the "brand" name of their maker, Costco generally gives great value for their products, and great service if there's any complaint. I'd certainly take a shot with them.
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Old 17-06-2009, 21:25   #14
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If Trojans last for twice as many cycles they are cheaper in the cost per amp hour department...plus they are built better to withstand abuse and vibration.

If most of your sailing battery use is sitting at a dock or transient slip dock and charging on float...then anything will do...and the batteries will generally die a slow death from sulfation so brand doesn't really matter. If you are gonna really cycle your batteries in use... the cheap solution is probably not the cheapest solution.
It is not amp hours per dollar that counts. It is amp hours x cycles per dollar.
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Old 17-06-2009, 22:26   #15
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FWIW:

Johnson Controls Battery Brands include
* OPTIMA
* VARTA
* LTH
* HELIAR
* Private Brands
Johnson Controls Inc. | Private Brands

Interstate Batteries is a privately-held corporation.
Interstate Today | Interstate Batteries System of America Inc.
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