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Old 22-03-2011, 10:36   #16
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Re: Water for batteries?

A gallon of distilled water costs $1.00 at KMart.

Clothing, Toys, Electronics, Jewelry, Jaclyn Smith - Kmart.com

Seriously guys, you're going to cheap out on a dollar when adding something so critical to a ~$1000 battery bank?
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:50   #17
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Re: Water for batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
A gallon of distilled water costs $1.00 at KMart.

Clothing, Toys, Electronics, Jewelry, Jaclyn Smith - Kmart.com

Seriously guys, you're going to cheap out on a dollar when adding something so critical to a ~$1000 battery bank?
It's not really a matter of being cheap. OK, it's not only about being cheap. I like to use what I have if it's fit for the use. Hence the question. I knew that the condensate wasn't sterile, but, since it is condensed vapor, I thought it might be equivalent to distilled water in terms of mineral content. Absent a resounding endorsement, I'll continue to buy the distilled stuff.
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:25   #18
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Re: Water for batteries?

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Originally Posted by tartansail View Post
It's not really a matter of being cheap. OK, it's not only about being cheap. I like to use what I have if it's fit for the use. Hence the question. I knew that the condensate wasn't sterile, but, since it is condensed vapor, I thought it might be equivalent to distilled water in terms of mineral content. Absent a resounding endorsement, I'll continue to buy the distilled stuff.
Fair enough. "Why haul something additional when something already onboard can do double duty" is about as sailor-ly of a question as can be asked.

I still have vivid memories of installing my battery bank and coughing up the money for my T105's. I'd pour my own blood into them if it meant I could squeeze an additional couple of years out of them.
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:37   #19
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Re: Water for batteries?

Curious: If you have a small whiskey still on board. Could you use it to make distilled water filling one or two gallon jugs? And the rest of the trip be happy with the output of said still being use for its original purposes?
Or would that be a new thread???
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:43   #20
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Re: Water for batteries?

If I had a still on board I wouldn't be making distilled water with it. But yes, that's how you make distilled water.
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Old 22-03-2011, 14:40   #21
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Re: Water for batteries?

Just curious: we continually are told that use of anything other than distilled water will do something dreadful to our batteries. No source that I am familiar with says exactly what will go wrong. Anyone really know (opinions not accepted gracefully)?

FWIW, I've been using collected rainwater in our batteries for the past 24 years, and have not had any unusual failures. Our current set of T-105's are now over 5 years old and still seem to be working... YMMV.

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Old 22-03-2011, 15:13   #22
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Re: Water for batteries?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Just curious: we continually are told that use of anything other than distilled water will do something dreadful to our batteries. No source that I am familiar with says exactly what will go wrong. Anyone really know (opinions not accepted gracefully)?

FWIW, I've been using collected rainwater in our batteries for the past 24 years, and have not had any unusual failures. Our current set of T-105's are now over 5 years old and still seem to be working... YMMV.

Cheers,

Jim
It's just because of minerals in the water that change the electrical property of the acid. If it has more metal, it becomes more conductive and can accelerate self discharge and things of the sort. It can also interact with the lead.
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Old 22-03-2011, 22:24   #23
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Re: Water for batteries?

One point not made yet, when using RO water as the feed stock for the water maker, the back pressure regulator has to be significantly adjusted to drop the pressure across the membrane to somewhere in the 200 psi range if memory serves me.

The discharge from this process is perfectly drinkable as it should still be below the World Health Org. standard for total dissolved solids (<500 ppm TDS, again, if memory serves me).

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Old 22-03-2011, 23:10   #24
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Re: Water for batteries?

Buy AGM batteries (no top up necessary)

I have a still and I wouldn't dare use it to make distilled water.
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Old 23-03-2011, 11:02   #25
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Re: Water for batteries?

It would probably be cheaper and more reliable to go with a small counter top water distillation unit:

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Old 23-03-2011, 11:17   #26
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Re: Water for batteries?

Seems to me Tellie's answer was complete (carry some jugs, because you need to anyway). A few gallons should last years, and I would never have less than a few gallons of bottled water. Keep the distilled water in the deepest reserve.

I design commercial scale RO units: depending on the membrane the salinity will likely be higher than tap water. In theory, Ca and Mg will be completely eliminated... but we now come to the greatest risk; the membrane can easily develop minor leaks. You may not taste it, the sensor (if equipped) may not sense it, while the salinity climbs.

Either tap water (but not well water or bottled water--these can be VERY high in Ca) or rainwater (from a clean source not contaminated with salt) would be safer than untested RO water.
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Old 23-03-2011, 11:26   #27
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Re: Water for batteries?

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It would probably be cheaper and more reliable to go with a small counter top water distillation unit:

Water Distillers
$150-$200 buys an awful lot of distilled water....plus I don't need to make electricty for the bought water....plus I don't need to clean and store a distiller.
Just a thought.
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Old 23-03-2011, 11:57   #28
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Re: Water for batteries?

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$150-$200 buys an awful lot of distilled water....plus I don't need to make electricty for the bought water....plus I don't need to clean and store a distiller.
True, I was thinking more along the lines of terms in comparison to running a RO watermaker several times to achieve something comparable to distilled water or burning fuel on the stove to accomplish it with a home made still. Of course, a gallon or two of distilled water on board bought from the local store would be cheaper still, as long as one has a store where it can be bought.
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Old 23-03-2011, 12:53   #29
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Re: Water for batteries?

I agree with Beau. AGM or Gel batteries are completely sealed and don't need water. Other advantages: no ventilation needed, no spill (and holes in your brandnew shirt) and can be placed anywhere. One can leave them for a year without the fear of self-discharging to self-destructing levels.
I use them (the Gel-type) since 1986 when they were a rather new product in all the cars and boats I owned. One has to ajust the charging scheme, but most chargers nowadays have this option.
Negative? Yep, the price but then; they last longer.

Happy charging...
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Old 23-03-2011, 13:16   #30
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Re: Water for batteries?

Most watermakers have a process for further refining your water to produce something close to distilled. Speak with the manufacturer if the information is not in your manual. It usually entails running the water from your tanks that was filled from the watermaker, back through the watermaker again, at a certain pressure setting, to reach battery quality. You can make a few gallons of this a a time as needed. Chuck
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