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Old 06-08-2014, 02:29 PM   #1
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Battery trouble

My boat has (2) D-8 batteries. I recently replaced one. Now the other one has little puddles of electrlite on top of it. Does that mean i need to replace it too? Thanks for any advice. Still learning the boat.
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:38 PM   #2
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What type of battery charger are you using? I'm concerned that the puddles are from over charging?
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:43 PM   #3
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Could mean it got over filled with water, or that it is getting over charged. I take it it is a standard lead-acid. You need two tools and learn how to use them, a hydrometer and a good multi meter.
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:44 PM   #4
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What type of battery charger are you using? I'm concerned that the puddles are from over charging?
Bill
Yes over charging or you over filled the cells with water.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:38 PM   #5
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over filling or over charging as has been said. I'd put a few bucks on the table that you have an old ferro-resonant style charger.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:01 PM   #6
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Never replace one battery. the old one draws down the new one.

Sd
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:24 PM   #7
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Never replace one battery. the old one draws down the new one.Sd
I got away with replacing one of 2 for a year, "the keeper" tested too well to replace, but yes, usually both at once. It could be charging heaps because it can`t hold a charge.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:53 PM   #8
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Would a battery isolator between the batteries let you change them one at a time? I also have 2 8Ds and wonder if this will let them live a little longer.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:43 PM   #9
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Would a battery isolator between the batteries let you change them one at a time? I also have 2 8Ds and wonder if this will let them live a little longer.
Do you mean "charge" them one at a time?

An isolator or combiner allow the separate batteries or banks to share a charge but not the load. I can charge my house bank and start battery with a single bank charger by using a combiner. When the charge ends, the batteries separate and each supports its own load individually. When the charge continues, the batteries reconnect to share the charge.

Some also have a switch to allow you to defeat the combining when desired.
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Old 06-08-2014, 10:17 PM   #10
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Try equalizing it.
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Old 06-08-2014, 10:34 PM   #11
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An ACR or auto charge relay will help, however an isolator isn't much good if you can't voltage sense the voltage at each battery. Otherwise an isolator is nothing more than a high powered set of diodes that cause a .6volt drop to each battery effectively never fully charging either battery.
I'm guessing you might have an original equipment ferro charger meaning it is not a smart 3 stage charger these can bake a battery or batteries if left plugged in and unattended for extended periods of time.
If you can isolated the charger to one battery at a time then a weak battery will not effect a new battery if they are not combined.
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:01 AM   #12
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Wow lots of advice from the TF team! Sometimes little puddles are no big deal. Someone said take hydrometer readings, DO IT. Only fill the battery to the correct level. I suggest getting a "fill can" and using it to add DI to the batteries. As for causes of the puddles. Look for overcharging. That would be indicated by voltages in the 14+ range after the battery is topped off. If you don't have a battery monitor, get one so you at least have a feel for what come out of and goes into your batteries. Batteries are like a new girl friend. They take lots of constant attention.
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:48 AM   #13
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Installed 2 amp trickle chargers to house batteries and another 2 amp to start battery. Have a volt meter in dash. I do wonder at times though when starting out even with house charge light green indicating full charge, that the engine alternator charges at near 30 + amps for several hours on the house batteries. Have used a regular charger which again shows 100% charge yet the same score as with the 2 amp indications, alternator charge is 30 Amps for couple three hours. House batteries are 27's and both new. Eventually the charge settles down to 5+ amps. Strange and yes the batteries ARE like ladies!
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:17 AM   #14
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The 2A charger will usually keep the batt at 12.8 to 13.2 a FLOAT voltage to keep the batt fully charged and not use too much water.

Your engine V reg will want to pump the batts to 14.4 (or so) and then switch back to FLOAT.

If you have many DC users under way fans lights radios AP, the voltage will not drop to float .

Not a problem as the batt can sit at 14 and just use a bit more water .

Some folks will come back to the dock, plug in a batt charger and see the same thing, 14.4v before a decline to 12.8 float.Again no problem.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:52 AM   #15
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One more input...

I recently had a gen set stand alone 27 starter batt that was old but still tested great in all forms. Kept finding water on top as well as more and more sulfating on + terminal. Took it to Batteries + Lamps store and had them test it; again came in good. Then he put extreme drain load on that batt and problem showed clear as can be. Seep crack around + terminal had formed and electrolyte was coming up through there onto batt’s top. I probably could have tried some sort of patch repair but seeing as batt was a 2008 model I opted for brand new. BTW - that batt was a NAPA not a Batteries + Lamps. So far with many Batteries + Lamps batts I've had no problem in six years since began using them exclusively (right after purchasing the NAPA that just failed after long service).

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Old 06-09-2014, 01:38 PM   #16
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Thanks FF. About what I thought. As the boat is a smaller craft, there is not too much demand at rest. I turn off everything but the bilge pump when off the boat. I had done the "Touch the cable to the post" thing without any spark action. No big deal as the batteries post at 14 days on end. The concern is the high rate of charge by the alternator under way for what seems a longer period of time than the at dock charging condition indicated the batteries were (are) fully charged vs: when underway.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:59 PM   #17
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Thanks FF. About what I thought. As the boat is a smaller craft, there is not too much demand at rest. I turn off everything but the bilge pump when off the boat. I had done the "Touch the cable to the post" thing without any spark action. No big deal as the batteries post at 14 days on end. The concern is the high rate of charge by the alternator under way for what seems a longer period of time than the at dock charging condition indicated the batteries were (are) fully charged vs: when underway.
Al
Al, I suspect your small 2A charger is not sufficiently charging your battery. A true smart charger will apply a beefier charge during the bulk and absorption stages and probably a higher voltage float charge.

I leave my batteries on a smart charger between trips at the slip. An SOC meter confirms that the batteries are full when I arrive at the boat. As a result, my alternators don't need to pump a high current into the batts when leaving the slip.

Installing a smart charger in place of your float charger could help.
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:57 PM   #18
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FlyWright-

Would you confirm or define a smart charger? I have a non-marine automatic charger that is designed to drop from 12 amp charging to 2 amp when the surge charge is achieved . With the batteries show charged upon return the thinking was to allow the 2 amp which I wired directly to the batteries to continue full charge.

On the tewo house batteries, the plus to one battery and the ground to the other battery. It shows green after a short pause. Same for the start battery.

I have one of the larger emergency portable jump battery and a gen set for that moment when things go bump in the night.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:59 PM   #19
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FlyWright-

Would you confirm or define a smart charger?
Al
Here's a sampling of marine smart chargers. There are many others.

FAQ | What are the 3 Stages of Smart Chargers?
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:59 AM   #20
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There is yet a fourth "stage" or capability in some chargers, "equalization" (see#10 by Xsbank above).Involving periodically, maybe monthly, sending pulses through the battery at a raised voltage, to literally shake sulfur (sulfation) off the plates back into solution. I think it only suits flooded non sealed lead acid types. After fishing out loose bits of plastic separator,I decided that as mine are kept fully solar charged via 4 stage controllers, sulfation was unlikely, equalization was unecessary and potentially harmful. I`ll replace my batteries when necessary,but so far load and hydrometer tests are surprisingly good.
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