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Old 09-26-2016, 05:54 AM   #1
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Replacing gel cell with lead acid battery

Good morning we recently completed the Loop and are in the final part of selling our boat. The engine survey determined that the starting battery needs replacing. The current one is gel cell which is twice as expensive as a standard lead acid. What I'm I gaining?

Please see the link below and the attached picture.

Interstate Batteries Results Page - Interstate Batteries 8D-MHD

Thanks
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:45 AM   #2
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That Interstate battery will work fine for starting. Do check the settings if adjustable on you shore power charger and change to flooded cell battery type.


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Old 09-26-2016, 06:56 AM   #3
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If that single battery is one of several banks serviced by a single charger... you'll want a charge setting compatible with all banks. IOW, if you have other battery banks serviced by the same charger and the other banks are gel, just buy a new gel battery and be done with it.


Probably.


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Old 09-26-2016, 07:06 AM   #4
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You are asking for trouble if your remaining batteries are gel batteries and charged by the same alternator/regulator and/or shore power charger. It's far simpler to replace it with the same type that's already there.
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:21 AM   #5
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Are you sure that's a gel cell? Looks like an AGM, which on most chargers and regulators has the same setting as a wet cell lead acid. To the best of my knowledge Lifeline has never offered gel cell batteries, only AGMs.
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:26 AM   #6
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If you have a sale for it then maybe ask the buyer which he would prefer, LA or Gel?
He may be willing to pay the extra $ for Gel.
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:33 AM   #7
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As an aside, just replaced my two starting lead acid 8Ds. The old ones went 5 1/2 years. Price, C$210 each which is about US$160.Separate charger from house bank which are LAs as well.

Our vessel has AGMs for the bow thruster to avoid gassing in the cabin space. Other than inside the cabin, I never grasped the purpose of gels for other recreational boat application. Yeah, some have batteries where you can't get at them to check acid level - that being the case how do you change them?
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:15 AM   #8
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Thanks to all who replied.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:19 AM   #9
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Sunchaser,
I was thinking about that recently thinking our Full River AGM house batts were needing replacement but after some use they seem fine.

How much longer do AGM batts last than LA? If 50% longer and the cost is 50% greater it's a wash. I had Lifeline AGM batts before and the Full Rivers have already gone about a year longer. But if on average the LA batts last about as long as AGM batts there's not much point in spending for AGM batts.

I also haven't heard of a problem w gassing w LA batts. Is the gassing of LA batts not really a problem? I once experienced a small explosion on a truck batt ... I was lucky w no injuries and perhaps I shouldn't have been filling them just after cranking the truck? I think I was filling them and went batt post to metal batt box w a wrench. Not sure. I've had AGM batts on both my trawlers. But how big of a problem is battery gassing? A lot of TF members have LA batteries. Never heard of an accident here. Anybody use bilge blowers like on a gasoline powered boat to extract batt gasses?
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
........... Yeah, some have batteries where you can't get at them to check acid level - that being the case how do you change them?
With great difficulty!

On my boat, replacing the batteries is not too difficult but checking the electrolyte level was because there was just a couple inches clearance above the batteries. Installing AGM batteries meant I didn't have to check. Gel would have the same advantage.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:47 AM   #11
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What made him decide that the battery was bad??????
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Old 09-26-2016, 02:06 PM   #12
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Thought so; saving and then zooming in on the pic it is indeed an AGM. And indeed, Lifeline has not marketed gel cells.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
As an aside, just replaced my two starting lead acid 8Ds. The old ones went 5 1/2 years. Price, C$210 each which is about US$160.Separate charger from house bank which are LAs as well.

Our vessel has AGMs for the bow thruster to avoid gassing in the cabin space. Other than inside the cabin, I never grasped the purpose of gels for other recreational boat application. Yeah, some have batteries where you can't get at them to check acid level - that being the case how do you change them?

I am surprised you only got 5.5 yrs out of those batteries. In my boat, Starting is accomplished by a single 4D LA, that I just replaced this summer, after 12 years of light loading, as all it was used for is starting both propulshion engines and the genset. Charging is from the Stb engine alternator, with an echo charge function from the house charger.

I also had to replace my dinghy battery this year. It is AGM as the PO of the dinghy had it mounted on Seawise davits, so it needed to spend a lot of time on its side. It lasted from when the dinghy was new, 12 yrs ago, so no difference between lifetimes for the LA and the AGM.

My house LAs, 4x 6v Golf cart, lasted 10 yrs, but those got much heavier use than either of the others mentioned, as I have a fridge on them.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post

How much longer do AGM batts last than LA? If 50% longer and the cost is 50% greater it's a wash. I had Lifeline AGM batts before and the Full Rivers have already gone about a year longer. But if on average the LA batts last about as long as AGM batts there's not much point in spending for AGM batts.

I also haven't heard of a problem w gassing w LA batts. Is the gassing of LA batts not really a problem? I once experienced a small explosion on a truck batt ... I was lucky w no injuries and perhaps I shouldn't have been filling them just after cranking the truck? I think I was filling them and went batt post to metal batt box w a wrench. Not sure. I've had AGM batts on both my trawlers. But how big of a problem is battery gassing? A lot of TF members have LA batteries. Never heard of an accident here. Anybody use bilge blowers like on a gasoline powered boat to extract batt gasses?

Eric,
AGM batteries don't last any longer than well maintained standard lead/acid batteries.
They do have a few other benefits. Besides not requiring top ups, and being able to mount them in a non ventilated area, they will take a faster charge than standard lead acid batteries due to lower internal resistance.

I went with AGM's because I moved my battery bank away from the engine to a large sealed area under the cabin sole with zero ventilation. I didn't want to be venting hydrogen into a closed space like this.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:52 PM   #15
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I didn't want to be venting hydrogen into a closed space like this.
Where is your sense of adventure?
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Old 09-26-2016, 04:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Thought so; saving and then zooming in on the pic it is indeed an AGM. And indeed, Lifeline has not marketed gel cells.
I did the same zoom...yes, that's an AGM, not a gel cell. Many folks use the terms interchangeably but they're very different beasts.

If there's no functional need for an AGM replacement (as listed above), I'd go with a LA and maybe in a smaller size than the 8D to simplify handling. How about 1 or 2 Group 31 batts?
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Old 09-26-2016, 05:47 PM   #17
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That's what I have Al. Two group 31 AGM's.
And an AGM start batt.

Much better to have al the same type on the charger .. chargers.

I'll consider LA again when the time comes.
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:29 PM   #18
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We got 7 years out of our Fullriver AGM 8D's before we sold the boat. They were still acceptable. We did equalize them a few times. This was recommended by the distributor and was effective, even though I had previously understood to only equalize lead acid batteries.Those Fullrivers weighed about 200lb each - not sure the newer ones have as much lead.
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