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Old 21-03-2011, 20:03   #1
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Water for Batteries ?

I have always used distilled water with my batteries as well as the fresh water system for my engine. As we are about to be heading across the Pacific and storage space is getting quite scarce, am I safe to use water from my new water maker for both of these applications? I figure there can't be too many chemical in it after it's processed.
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Old 21-03-2011, 20:34   #2
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Re: Water for batteries?

I would think so but hopefully Tellie will be along.

I bet he knows.
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Old 21-03-2011, 20:42   #3
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Re: Water for batteries?

When out of distilled water, I take RO water and pull it through the watermaker a 2nd time (loosing 3/4 of it as reject). This double-RO product water I then use to top up the house batteries. I never saw any negative effects and I'm not sure who told me to do it like this... but it wasn't my own idea

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Old 21-03-2011, 21:40   #4
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Re: Water for batteries?

I use RO water directly. Mine has very low salinity. But I prefer to use rainwater to running the noisy expensive watermaker. Fortunately here in Palau one can collect a bucketful easily: Set bucket on deck. Go to bed. Get up in morning. Use the water.
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Old 22-03-2011, 05:15   #5
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Re: Water for batteries?

RO water is pretty pure and should be fine for the batteries. If you really are concerned you can get a small bottle of resin for making DI water. If you only put RO water in it it will last a loooong time and make even purer water than the RO. I use one of these now that I put regular tap water in for watering the batteries.
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Old 22-03-2011, 06:34   #6
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Re: Water for batteries?

First I'd always recommend that you take plenty of extra water with you whenever you do a crossing. You should never totally rely on your watermaker for all your water needs on such a cruise in case of it's failure. I always have an extra six 5.5 gallon blue jugs strapped to the deck and life lines on long passages. I recommend to people that they fill one of those jugs up with distilled water and mark it so. You then have both water for your batteries and an emergency supply of drinking water. Distilled water is of course the best for batteries. RO water is usually discouraged for use in batteries unless there is no other option. Even the best RO water still has a certain amount of TDS left in it. I admit I've used RO water in the past for my batteries too and have seen no issues. But I'd recommend finding the room for some distilled water. About a year ago I bought six decent quality 16oz plastic bottles that I transfer distilled water into, then tuck and strap them with Velcro in the battery compartment. At the least that much should easily get your batteries across the Pacific.
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Old 22-03-2011, 08:36   #7
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Re: Water for batteries?

There are products out there like the "Zero Water Filter." Why not carry one of them for getting best water possible during an extended cruise?
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Old 22-03-2011, 08:43   #8
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Re: Water for batteries?

Probably NOT a good idea to use RO water for batteries. See discussion and identical question here: SSCA Discussion Board • View topic - water for batteries?

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Old 22-03-2011, 08:57   #9
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Re: Water for batteries?

A gallon of distilled water takes up a tiny amount of room on board and should provide sufficient water for a long time topping off batteries.
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Old 22-03-2011, 09:10   #10
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Re: Water for batteries?

I collect water from our basement dehumidifier to top up the batteries. My thinking is that it shouldn't have any more mineral content than water distilled by boiling. Is this a reasonable assumption?
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:07   #11
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Re: Water for batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tartansail View Post
I collect water from our basement dehumidifier to top up the batteries. My thinking is that it shouldn't have any more mineral content than water distilled by boiling. Is this a reasonable assumption?
you have a basement in your boat? also running a dehumidifier while underway would take a lot of power.
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:25   #12
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Re: Water for batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
you have a basement in your boat? also running a dehumidifier while underway would take a lot of power.
Sigh. . . Caught out. Yes, some of us still find ourselves maintaining a presence on dirt. I'd like to think it is more a circumstantial finding than a character flaw, but, obviously, opinions vary. Energy consumption aside, what are your thoughts on the quality of the resulting water?
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:30   #13
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Re: Water for batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tartansail View Post
I collect water from our basement dehumidifier to top up the batteries. My thinking is that it shouldn't have any more mineral content than water distilled by boiling. Is this a reasonable assumption?
How much money do you figure you could save per year, in this manner?

No, it's not a reasonable assumption.

Condensate can contain dirt, lead and other metallic residues from the coils & other component parts of the dehumidifier. I wouldn’t recommend it’s use in batteries.

See also ➥ Old battery, new life?
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:31   #14
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Re: Water for batteries?

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... what are your thoughts on the quality of the resulting water?
It's foul, evil stuff, unfit for any polite use!
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:33   #15
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Re: Water for batteries?

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It's foul, evil stuff, unfit for any polite use!
Thanks, Gord. I'll go back to feeding it to the cats.
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