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batteries mixing brands

Old 12-30-2008, 03:41 PM
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Default batteries mixing brands

I have 4 Interstate batteries on my 2660 sailfish. They are hooked up 2 by 2. Can I replace 2 with Walmart batteries of the same size and ratings? They are half the price of the Interstates.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: batteries mixing brands

While I hold a fairly low opinion of Interstate batteries the one I have seen from Walmart over the years were worse. Personally if they are the same cell type and hooked in parallel I have never seen a major problem with mixing batteries. Gell Cells AGM's and flooded cells al have different charge rates so they won't play well with each other. Industrial and true Deep Cycle flooded cells have the best life and are most forgiving but require constant maintenance. AGM's and Gell Cells are maintenance free and have decent life but are picky as to charge rate and voltage. Marine Starting and Maintenance free deep cycle batteries are easy to own but don't last very long compared to other battery types. A single 4 D or 8 D battery will out last and out perform several banks of cheaper batteries this is why you hear of guys getting 8 to 12 years out of them compared to a few years out of cheaper batteries. A single 8 D will compare to 4 group 27 batteries in a bank and properly maintained will out last 3 sets of them or more. So if you compare 12 group 27 batteries to 1 8 D the 8 D wins hands down however if your 2 x 2 bank is for different reasons meaning 1 bank is house and the other is starting it would not provide any backup that you currently have with 2 banks.
Another thing to consider is the batteries are not a good place to save money on a boat the last thing you want is to dead in the water cause you got a good deal.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:38 AM
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Default Re: batteries mixing brands

Let me just add that six volt golf car batteries connected in series (series and parallel in this case) are a good way to have a relatively inexpensive battery bank. Connect two six volt batteries in series, conect the other two in series, then connect each pair in parallel. Compared to the 4D or 8D batteries, they can be easier to install because they are (individually) lighter.

Walmart won't have these but any battery store will or can get them. West Marine has them also.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: batteries mixing brands

I went thru this with Odyssey tech people a while ago. Their advice was simple - SAME TYPE together (lead acid to lead acid, gel to gel, agm to agm, etc. Asuming the batts you connecting are good...(one bad one will drain the good one, obviously).....but sizes did not matter. A group 24 connects to a 31 fine, etc....
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: batteries mixing brands

1Mainiac - 12/30/2008 11:00 PM
While I hold a fairly low opinion of Interstate batteries the one I have seen from Walmart over the years were worse. Personally if they are the same cell type and hooked in parallel I have never seen a major problem with mixing batteries.
Surprised to hear this comment, I've never had a problem with Interstate batteries and have owned some (car batts) for 5-6 years which is pretty good for south florida! Have had a pair in my boat for 18 months so far, no complaints. I have also heard that you can buy them right off the truck if you catch the delivery guy making his rounds. (but not sure on that)
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:02 AM
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Default Re: batteries mixing brands

My opinion of Interstate has more to do with our battery reps than their quality. This varies with differant supply centers around the country. In several places I have worked around the country and I have spent most of my life moving around cause I love new places and meeting new friends. I have found a few distributors who always fought warranty claims and often blamed the customer for every failure. We currently use Sparten batteries they are good quality and have never balked on a warranty issue they sell reconditioned batteries so if a battery is not completely junk they may just repair it and sell it again as a second or a blem. When our Interstate rep denied close to 90% of our warranty claims one year leaving us to eat the bill as often the customer had came in and exchanged the battery and left. We decided to drop them a few years later I was working in a differant part of the country and we again sold them and when I noticed the same pattern of warranty claims being denied leaving us stuck with the bill we dumped them at that dealership as well. I am not going to say they build a bad product but when they blame the customer for the problem a few times and you eat the bill it sucks. Or from the customer end if you have a battery problem and you get it replaced by the dealer how would you feel if you got billed for it 30 days later cause the claim was denied. Well we never did that so we ate the claim after a while you either have to increase your prices to allow for the lost claims or find a new vender.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:51 AM
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Default RE: batteries mixing brands

jerryk - 12/30/2008 3:41 PM

I have 4 Interstate batteries on my 2660 sailfish. They are hooked up 2 by 2. Can I replace 2 with Walmart batteries of the same size and ratings? They are half the price of the Interstates.

Yes you can.


While I feel that the DieHard and Odessey batteries are better I don't think there is much difference between the Interstate
and the Johnson Controls batteries at Walmart. For the price and ease of return the better Walmart batteries seem to work'
well for me and cost average about $23/ year for deep cycle use the last seven years. I have 27 batteries to maintain on
various pieces of equipment, boat and rv. I have not found any one brand to be bad, most seem to work with few issues.

In the past I have rotated the newest batteries through my boat and camper first and later used these batteries for less
important tasks in my equipment. Recently I have added the DieHard Platinums to my boat as per recomendations by
Glenn E and KernO but have not had them long enough to pass judgement. Hopefully there is asignificant increase in life
and performance. Time will tell.



Steve

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Old 01-01-2009, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: batteries mixing brands

Pairs of 6 volt batteries in series to make 12 volts should be matched as close as possible. When you purchase a 12 volt battery the two 6 volt batteries inside it (actually 6 two volt batteries) are closely matched due to the simultaneous manufacturing process. If you make your own 12 volt battery buy the two as a pair from the same stock to get a good match.

Having made them into a 12 volt battery they can be put in parallel with any other 12 volt battery. Age, chemistry, brand are not a concern. It is true that if your charger is adjustable you should set it for the most sensitive battery chemistry in the mix (lowest voltage setting). All the batteries will get charged, the only downside is it may take a few minutes longer at the lower voltage.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: batteries mixing brands

Yandina one other down side if you have wet cells in the mix is you will not get a battery equalization charge which helps clean the plates on wet cell batteries. This is one of the reasons I have repeatedly brought up battery cell type in all of my battery posts you just can't mix them without some form of problem. We have a lot of great choices in batteries now however the formula for getting the correct one does not change much we still have to match Type of use, Charging system and maintenance requirements to find the best fit for the customer. Also the guys who pay attention to them and do all the little routine maintenance will always have better luck than the guy who does not notice them till they fail.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: batteries mixing brands

yandina - 1/1/2009 12:54 PM

Pairs of 6 volt batteries in series to make 12 volts should be matched as close as possible. When you purchase a 12 volt battery the two 6 volt batteries inside it (actually 6 two volt batteries) are closely matched due to the simultaneous manufacturing process. If you make your own 12 volt battery buy the two as a pair from the same stock to get a good match.

Having made them into a 12 volt battery they can be put in parallel with any other 12 volt battery.
Yes, I could have been more specific. Technically, that would be six two volt "cells" to make up a twelve volt battery.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: batteries mixing brands

1Mainiac - 1/1/2009 1:32 PM

Yandina one other down side if you have wet cells in the mix is you will not get a battery equalization charge which helps clean the plates on wet cell batteries. .
That is correct. If you decide you "need" to equalize a lead acid battery and your charger has a high voltage setting (about 15.6) then you will need to disconnect any sealed or AGM style batteries.

However equalization is no longer needed. Automobiles and modern alternators have been designed for sealed batteries for 20 years or more now so you will be hard pressed to find one that reaches equalizing voltages. As a result, millions of automobile batteries run for their lifetime at a maximum of about 14.2 without equalization.

The purpose of equalization is not to clean plates. Equalization does what its name implies, it makes the charge in each cell equal so they all share the load equally. When charging the current drops to near zero when the battery reaches full voltage. If one cell is weaker than the others, then it will reach full charge first and can have a higher voltage than the rest of them. Since the charge voltage is the total of all cells, if one is high at end of charge, then all the others are proportionally less than full charge but since no more current is flowing they never get fully charged. Equalizing applies a higher than full voltage to the battery. This forces current through that weak cell and makes it gas since it can't charge any further but this does allow current to get to the other cells and bring them up to full charge.

I suspect with modern manufacturing that manufacturers have improved the uniformity and matching of cells and now they remain "equal". So an equalizing charge is not needed and that is why it is no longer done.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: batteries mixing brands

Actually, it is six 2 volt cells that make up a 12 volt battery. Cells are nominally 2.1 volts a cell. Six cells create a 12.6 nominal voltage battery. Wet cell battery that is. 12 cells make up a 24 volt battery, and so on and so forth.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:50 PM
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Default RE: batteries mixing brands

Hello,
What I have found in real life that what matters most in any group of batteries is its weight. It will give you a clue to how much material is in the box. So, if you lift a light 31 and a heavy 31 the heavier one will probably outlast the lighter one. There is just more material (lead) to store those electrons on. Usually, the heavier one costs more. If you live near a commercial fishing store, not a chain, see what brand they sell. Theres are fresh, and they do not stock ones they have to replace under warranty for long!
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