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Battery problem?

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I push around a small 10' pontoon boat with a 36lb thrust trolling motor. I have been using Walmart Everstart Deep Cycle Trolling battery (115 amp hours, 160 reserve cap). The problem is that they are dying after 12-14 months. I always put them back on an Everstart 10 amp fully auto charger after each use. I store it in my basement on a wooden chair hooked up to the auto charger the entire winter (not used November-March). What am I doing wrong?? The only thing that I can think of is adding water to the batteries (I have not done this in the past, do I need too?). This is my 2nd battery less than 14 months old. I use the battery approx. 1-3 times/week May-November, how long should this type of battery last? HELP

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Your batteries should last alot longer then that. Are the batteries the type you can put water in them easily? If they are then you should always keep them filled to top level. That could be your problem. What type of warranty do they have?

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JIM PAYNE

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Like Jim said keep the water up. If you have hard water the minerals collect on the plates and kill your battery too. You said you keep the charger on the battery. Some chargers its ok to do this but I think your boiling your battery with your charger.(bad)
Just because it says automatic doesnt mean its intended to stay there indefitly. Batteries dont need to be stored with a charger on them. I charge mine after every use and in the winter months put the charger on it once a every 2 months to make sure its at full charge. If they are dead or weak in that amount of time then they're of little use on the water. Ive never had a battery last less then 6 years.
Also is your charger a deep cycle charger? Theres a big difference.

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Always add distilled water to your batteries in lieu of tap water.

If you want to tip to not have to go out and purchase a gallon of distilled water, then just take the water you want to add to your battery out of your dehumidifier. Water condensed out on the coils of your dehumidifier are de-ionized and mineral free.

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I would look for a trickle charger instead of a 10 Amp charger for a deep cell. 1.5 Amp will take longer to charge, but you will get longer battery life, and a better charge.

Capt'n

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Buy the Exide Nautilus Gold Series 27--they last for years at that level of use.

Bunper-to-Bumper Auto sells them at the best price I've seen.

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Chells

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Capt'njosh has a good point.Marine batteries need to be slow charged for maximum life!A low amp setting or trickle charger is best.I charge 2 batteries with a 2 amp charger and i need more than an overnight to get them both back too a full charge after a full day of use!

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Try Too Fish
Forced Too Work!!:)

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That old way of thinking about 1.5 amps for deep cycle batteries is not true anymore, that is why they are making chargers up to 30amps today. If it was not true all the major companies like bass pro, cabelas and others would not have them on the market. Ther are alot of site now that have info on putting up to 30 amps into your batteries is not going to hurt them as long as the regulater is good enough. I have been putting 30 amps into trolling batteries for 10 year privatelly and on the market and not one person has come back to me and said there batteries were not lasting as long as before. So you can stay back in the past or you can move up into the future because you will see bigger and faster chargers coming out soon. Good luck and stayncharge.

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JIM PAYNE

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I think it makes a difference on the battery quality.I don't buy the high dollar batteries, and i know from experience that they don't last as long when i use my big charger! smile.gifI would have to look at the new stowaway(Sam's club) but the older charging instructions recommended slow charging!

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Try Too Fish
Forced Too Work!!:)

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Thanks for all of the replys.
Jim, how much would one of the "quality" chargers cost? I just bought a 1.5 amp Battery Minder for $65. It does take a long time but I only use the battery about once a week.

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TDF there is alot of different kind of chargers but there are other ways to charge them. Do you leave the boat in the water or do you pull it back and forth to the lake. One last wuestion, what size is the motor is on the boat (outboard)?

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JIM PAYNE

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Jim,
I am using a 36lb thrust trolling motor only, no gas motor. This is a small 85lb, 10 foot pontoon style boat. I always take the battery back in after a day out and recharge it. Its used about once per week. The battery is an Everstart Deep Cycle 115 Amp Hour with a reserve cap of 160.
Tom

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tdf, I think your problem has more to do with the way you're charging the battery than the battery itself. If you are charging the battery after every use, even if it still has 1/2 or 3/4 of a charge, then you are developing a memory in the battery. Every time you charge a deep-cycle battery when it still has a charge you're lessening its potential for a full charge. Run it all the way down, then recharge it @ 2 amps. Keep it off the auto charger. My 2 cents.

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The caps on these batteries come off relativley easily, however be careful of sulfuric acid burns.

Keep them topped off with DI or RO (Reverse Osmosis) water.

When you say the battery goes bad, when you attempt to charge it, how much resistance does your amp meter on your charger show? And does it decline rapidly?

I have found that the Everstart brand batteries do not seal well at the cap, and your problem is more then likely the result of low levels.

As far as batteries devloping a "memory", this scenerio is very true for Ni/Cd (Nickel/Cadmium) batteries.

However, if Sulfuric Acid/Lead core batteries developed a memory like that, wouldn't you expect them to not be very useful in motor vehicle applications where they are run with a constant charging system by an alternator. Seems as though they would have very minimal staying power if this was true. Just my two cents.

Good luck.

[This message has been edited by united jigsticker (edited 06-10-2003).]

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ujs, good point on the vehicle battery scenario, but I was told deep-cycle batteries have charge potentials more along the lines of a NiCad battery than a starting battery. Not sure if it's true or not, but vehicle batteries are usually kept topped off, not run down and then charged up again like a deep-cycle.

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HEY GOOD IDEAS GUYS BUT SOME OOLD TAILS ABOUT BATTERIES JUST CRACK ME UP. i HAVE BEEN PUTTING CHARGER HARNESSES ON TRUCKS FOR TEN YEARS AND NOT ONCE HAVE I HAD ANYBODY COME BACK TO ME AND SAY CHARGING DEEP CYCLE BATTERIES FROM MY TRUCK HAD HURT OR EVEN SHORTENED THE LIFE OF THE BATTERY.
iF YOU DRIVE YOUR BATTERY BACK HOME FROM THE LAKE YOU CAN CHARGE THE BATTERY FROM YOUR VEHICLES BATTERY. 25 MINUTES PER BATTERY OF CHARGE TIME. ALL THOSE CHARGERES ARE GOOD BUT NONE WILL DO AS GOOD OF A JOB AS YOUR TRUCK ALTERNATER. CHECK OUT THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED ON THIS SITE AND I KNOW IF YOU DO AND STOP LISTENING TO ALL THOSE OLD WIFE TELLS ALL YOUR PROBLEMS WILL BE SOLVED. GOOD LUCK AND CHECK OUT THE STAYNCHARGE PRODUCTS ON THIS SITE.

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JIM PAYNE

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