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Houstonshark 05-05-2013 12:36 PM

Battery Voltage
For about 6 months now, I've struggled with battery issues which ultimately ended up being a bad charger that was over charging my 12V GC lead acid batteries.

I have replaced 3 of the 4 batteries but used the bad charger on them (before I knew it was bad) once which caused them to boil and lose most of the water.

Since then I got a replacement charger and refilled the batteries and everything seems to be good except for the voltage capacity.

I have a voltage meter on the house bank and now the max voltage I've seen with the key off is 12.8V. Last year it was usually around 13.8-14V.

I have verified that the charger is charging at 14.4V. Should I replace the 3 house batteries?

I haven't ran the stereo with the boat off for very long so I really don't know how well the batteries will do but I don't think it will be near as good as it was last year.

polarbill 05-05-2013 12:54 PM

The batteries resting voltage should be 12.6-12.8V. You should only see 14V+ immediately after taking off the charger. Charge the batteries fully and see what they measure the next day. If 12.6-12.8v they are probably fine. If you have a portable digital multimeter throw play around with it.

chpthril 05-05-2013 12:54 PM

That 14.4 volts you see on the batteries shortly after a charge is whats called a surface charge. Once taken off with a little load or over time, the at-rest or static charge for a wet cell should be right around 12.8. I think the 13.8-14 volts you saw last year was result of the faulty charger over charging.

Houstonshark 05-05-2013 2:46 PM

Thanks Brett and Mike! I'm hoping the batteries didn't get too damaged the one time I charged them with the bad charger. It took a little over a gallon of distilled water to refill all 3.

I guess we'll see during the season.

david_e_m 05-05-2013 5:45 PM

It's going to be equally important to know what the minimum resting battery charge (after any type of external charge has had time to dissipate) after a long stay at rest and after the batteries have been depleted.
Yes, you could have been over-charging with a charger that has too large of a capacity or a blunt garage charger and do damage. However, you could also be doing similar damage by depleting the batteries well below 12.0 volts with any repetition.

Earmark Marine

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