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Old 10-04-2012, 18:12   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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dead batteries

My boat came with 4 120ah Exide gel batteries for the house bank. I believe these are 2-3 years old (I bought the boat from the first owner a few months ago). The batteries have been running down very quick (ie I can't run the fridge overnight etc) so I assumed they need replacing. When I inspected them I found one had a cracked terminal which pulled away in my hand and the casing is swollen (kind of looks likes one of those leakey AA batteries you have left in your flashligh too long). The other 3 look ok.

I will replace all 4 batteries soon anyway.

What I'm wondering is whether the damages to the battery (only 3 years old) is just one of those things or a sign of a further problem in my charging system (overcharging etc?).

Thanks for your advice.

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Old 10-04-2012, 19:01   #2
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Location: San Diego, Ca
Boat: Hunter 326
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Re: dead batteries

I would wonder about the charger, is it the correct kind (voltage and current profile) for GEL batteries? Is it set correctly? 3 years seems some what early for the batteries to die.
I replaced the regular deep cycle batteries with AGM's about 3 years ago, had to also replace the charger to get the correct profile, they are still doing well now.

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Old 10-04-2012, 19:05   #3
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Sounds very much like overcharging. You need to ensure all sources are limited to about 14.1 v , alternators can be a big culprit as cab big battery chargers.

Gels really have no place on a boat. There characteristics are aimed at other areas.

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Old 10-04-2012, 20:21   #4
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Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
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Re: dead batteries

An investment in a qualified marine electrician seems like a good place to start.
"I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned,
but not greed to want to take somebody else's money"

-Thomas Sowell
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