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ImaTeacher

Battery charging help

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I have tried a couple of different on-board battery chargers. Both are/were nice units with good reviews and recommendations. My problem is that I seem to go through batteries at an fast rate. I've tried different brands and haven't had a battery last more than 2 seasons. I now have resorted to buying batteries with a 3-year warranty so I don't have to keep dropping $100 bucks every spring.

I have a 24 volt system, Minkota motor. I store both batteries indoors, off the cement, and on a charging maintenance schedule during the winter. I tend to fish once or so a week during the season and daily when the family is on a weeks cabin trip. (Couple times per year.)

What am I doing wrong...any ideas out there?

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Don't know if this helps but here are a few important tips for battery life.

* Use a true "deep cycele" battery for operating your trolling motor(s). Dual purpose batteries are not true deep cycle batteries. Starting batteries are not deep cycle batteries.

* Avoid deep cycling (lower than 50% charge) your batteries too much.

* Recharge your batteries as soon as possible after each use. Do not allow a battery to sit at less than full charge.

* Watch and maintain battery electrolyte levels above the plates. Water evaporates and charging heats it up causing it to evaporate faster.

* Use distilled water to replenish the electrolyte. Do not add more electrolyte.

* Keep the batteries cool as much as possible. If they are left out in the sun they heat up and heat is a batteries enemy.

* Do not use deep cycle batteries for starting your outboard. Dual purpose and starting batteries are better equipped for this task.

* Do not overcharge your batteries. If you're using a good quality on-board smart charger that is functioning properly this should not be a problem but if you're not using smart chargers you can easily overcharge a battery. This will heat it up and boil off the water.

Winter storage tips.

* Disconnect the battery from all potential loads. The only thing left connected should be your on-board smart charger.

* Already mentioned but make sure the electrolyte level is good and check it periodically.

* Make sure the battery is kept fully charged.

* Leave it in the boat or keep in a cool dry place and maintain charge and electrolyte level. * * A dead battery will freeze so it is important to maintain that charge if storing it in freezing temperatures.

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Keep the electrolyte levels up.Buy a simple hydrometer to check battery charge once a year.Charge your battery after every use.Don't overcharge as this is the most common mistake as it causes overheating which can cause your electrolyte levels to evaporate off.Dry plates are the quickest death of a battery.Good luck....happy chargin'!It is not a factor if you store a battery on concrete.(Will not discharge).Many years ago this could happen with OLD school wood case glass lined batteries.Do keep the battery clean.c63

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If this has happened a bunch, which you say it does, that points a finger at the charger. Is it always the same charger or same two chargers?

Do you have to add water often? That would be a clue also about the charger.

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how do you know when you need to add water? checked mine today for first time (2 years old) and water is only bout half inch low from top....and how do you know what to fill it to?

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Normally there is sort of a ring. You want electrolyte up to the top of the chamber where the plates are, as shown by the ring at the bottom of the passage from the cap down to the plates. It should be clear if you look down the hole when you take the cap off the cell.

Use distilled water to fill.

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What type of boat do you have? I went through batteries every year as well. I have a jon boat with the batteries kinda up front. They take a beating on Tonka/Waconia on windy days and from the wakes of yachts. Maybe they are getting damaged. Just another thing to think about.

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