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Old 11-15-2011, 04:03 AM   #1
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Default Will batteries work when completely submerged in saltwater ?

Really dont want to find out personally, but the thought has crossed my mind ?
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:26 AM   #2
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Flooded or agm
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:28 AM   #3
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I have never seen a battery live after salt water dive have seen several live after fresh water though
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:29 AM   #4
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If it is totally sealed...sure...if saltwater gets inside..nope..
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:38 AM   #5
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Even if it is sealed, it won't work for long since it's shorting and discharging.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:51 AM   #6
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They are flooded batteries, just needed to know if the bilge pumps would work if the saltwater got over the tops of the batteries as my boat is not self bailing.

Thanks for the replies-
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:52 AM   #7
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If they are sealed yes.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spokewrench View Post
just needed to know if the bilge pumps would work if the saltwater got over the tops of the batteries as my boat is not self bailing.-
Yes. Unfortunately, speaking from experience. They were underwater for about 20 minutes until the pumps caught up.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:00 AM   #9
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Are you talking for a half hour until the boat get pumped out or something longer?

Would you replace them before the next trip out? I would

Have wondered the same question as you.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:18 AM   #10
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Yes, batteries will continue to work underwater until they completely discharge, either through use or because of the slow current flow through the saltwater. They may have to be tossed if dried out, but the current drain in saltwater isn't so fast that they would drain immediately.

I've seen some eerie pictures of sunk boats with lights still glowing.

Btw, for the truly paranoid, they will have a house batteries above decks they can use for emergency vhf transmissions or pumps. Typically you will see them under the console on flybridges. Though the points at which your batteries are underwater and the boat loses stability probably aren't that far apart.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:42 AM   #11
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Just use AGM batteries and it will be a non-issue if the terminals are below water level whether fresh or salt. AGMs will slowly discharge when submerged as with any battery.

The boats wiring is a whole other issue. If submerged in salt water a rewire is in order. If the underwater period is short you MAY get away for a while with a good cleaning but you will surely rewire soon.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:47 AM   #12
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They will... at least they did for me thankfully. I had a 1999 Sea Hunt Triton 200 and the hose for the bait well discharge came off and began filling the double bottom with water. I noticed a problem when water started seeping from the battery access hatch. Pulled the hatch and water started flooding the cockpit. I hit the key and luckily the engine started. I mashed the throttle and damn near stood the boat on end but the water rushed out over the transom enough to plane the boat. Man that was a scary feeling.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:03 AM   #13
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PP1- I stuffed the bow coming into an inlet and filled the back of the boat. It took the two bilge pumps about 20 minutes to get the level below the batteries, and another 30 to get all the water out of the bilge. I used the batteries for about another year, before one started to get weak. The batteries were already 4 years old, so they were probably due to be changed.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:16 AM   #14
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The terminals do corrode. I had 4 sink in salt water including a flooded vented one for a couple of hours. All are still good but the lead corrodes deep and the stainless studs suffer some significant corrosion.
Other than that no bid deal. As said if it gets in the cells your screwed.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1234 View Post
PP1- I stuffed the bow coming into an inlet and filled the back of the boat. It took the two bilge pumps about 20 minutes to get the level below the batteries, and another 30 to get all the water out of the bilge. I used the batteries for about another year, before one started to get weak. The batteries were already 4 years old, so they were probably due to be changed.
Yeah I see where you posted earlier after I hit reply, but before I hit post. (I didn't see your post until AFTER mine was up)

That's good to know. I can tell you that trying to pull start a Yam 130 probably is not going to happen unless you have a better pull rope and are / or a lot stronger than me . Batteries were good, starter was not. Sea Tow arrived and towed me in just as fast as I ran out under my own power

Last edited by PP1; 11-15-2011 at 07:32 AM. Reason: Wrong smiley, clarification
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:29 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the replies ! It was always in the back of my head -
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Thanks for all the replies ! It was always in the back of my head -
There was a show years ago called Junkyard wars. One thing they had to do was build torpedoes to run in a pool. One team tried sealing the other just left the motor and batteries exposed and flooded. Worked fine. Keep in mind that you are producing hydrogen and oxygen off of the terminals while the battery is underwater.
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