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Batteries Can this thred be posted so it pops up every time there is a question on batteries
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   Fishing Sonar, GPS and Marine Electronics

Posted by fischnrod
2/7/2018 10:50 AM
Regardless which battery you buy, the life of it depends on how well it is maintained. I was an electrician in the Coast Guard and my job often included maintaining batteries located all over the ship. I maintained all kinds and descriptions of batteries from single engine, diesel powered life boats to large banks of batteries for emergency back up power for gyro compasses. I saw first hand that a perfectly maintained battery will last twice as long as one that is maintained in a "good" manner.

First and foremost, a battery must not be allowed to EVER remain in a discharged or partially discharged state more that a few hours. Otherwise, sulfation will set in on the plates. To allow ANY sulfation is equivalent to killing the battery by degrees. To avoid sulfation, always put the battery on slow charge immediately upon returning home from a fishing trip. Keep the battery on charge until all cells "equalize" in their amperage. It is best practice to "float" the battery by keeping it connected to a really good, automatic float charger. Otherwise, you will need to trickle charge it for 24 hours at a time, once a week. Next, never allow the water level to drop low enough to expose the plates to air. The portion of the plates exposed to air for just 24 hours will reduce the ability of the exposed parts to hold only about 1/2 the previous power level, regardless what you do to counter the damage.

Extreme heat and cold shortens the life of a battery too. This is why automotive batteries do not last any longer than they do. Therefore, do what you can to limit exposure of batteries to extreme heat and cold. Also keep the tops of the batteries clean and free of dirt and moisture. A dirty, moist battery top provides a pathway for a very small electric current between the battery posts that will slowly drain the charge over time. It is sorta like a short circuit that is incapable of drawing a large amount of current from the battery, but it is there and absolutely constant. Given enough time (like several months of winter storage) and the damage will be permanent. Finally, keep the posts free of ANY corrosion whatsoever. I have tried all kinds of deterrents including cup grease, Vaseline and the commercially available jells that is applied to the posts, but none worked as well as the green and red, do-nut shaped felts that are installed on the posts before attaching any wires to the battery. They are inexpensive, available just about everywhere, and should be replaced every time the connectors are removed from the battery posts.

I cannot remember a battery of mine that failed in fewer than 7 years. I think it helps a great deal that my boat is stored in a garage that is well ventilated in the summer; therefore, temperature extremes are mitigated to a great extent.

The above steps are not difficult and well worth the return when considering the cost of today's batteries. Inflation is taking a real toll on battery prices. I recently saw a small lawnmower battery display where the price was $89.00!!! WOW!
Posted by fischnrod
2/7/2018 10:52 AM
Spoonplugr posted this a few years back and it really is a good read and info IMO

Edited by fischnrod 2/7/2018 10:53 AM
Posted by catfish170
2/7/2018 11:12 AM
Yes Sir. Thanks for digging this back up. Keep em clean and charged. just a few minutes saves $$$
Posted by Volfish
2/7/2018 3:59 PM
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