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Battery Storage question

Old 12-01-2003, 06:02 PM
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In the winter months, where is everyone storing their batteries? In the garage or the basement? Are you guys trickle charging them in the basement?


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Old 12-01-2003, 06:13 PM
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I keep mine in the boat, it was 81 today.

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Old 12-02-2003, 06:12 AM
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I put them in the basement with a full charge...lasts till spring. I am reluctant to store them where they could freeze; of course with a full charge...no problem. I'm also sure to store them on a piece of wood; not the cement floor directly. There is a reason not to store on the cement floor but I can't pull it out (remember). Maybe someone else knows.

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Old 12-02-2003, 06:28 AM
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Garett, Mine are in the basement on a 2X4 hooked up to a smart charger that will not overcharge the batteries. I go down every other week or so and swap the leads. I can get you the name of the company later if you wish. These things work so well that I have them scatered around the property for winter car storage. Even have one on the generator that does not have a pull start. Been there for 5 or so years with the original battery.
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Old 12-02-2003, 06:38 AM
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Mumbler,
In past you could not put batteries on the cement floor because of the composition of the case(rubber) would cause them to discharge when in contact with concrete. The new plastic cases don't react the same, but it's still wise to insulate them. The small trickle chargers are great but expensive. Found one at Harbor Freight a few years ago and have had good results with it. I used to leave the batteries on the boat in the driveway with the charger hooked up. I don't use it on the boat anymore because I have an onboard charger on the new boat. For $8, the Harbor Freight unit is a steal.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=42292

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Old 12-02-2003, 07:35 AM
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get a good quality float charger. i had 2 of the $8 harber freights and they would boil over my tracter and loader batterys. walmart has some for $20, they have been working good for 2 years for me. i think shumocker is the brand (spelling is wrong)
good luck.
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Old 12-02-2003, 08:11 AM
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Now per say I don't have a basement, I have downstairs. Aside from my work room (which is not closed off with a door) I have broadloom, grass and silk wall paper, a 75 & a 35 gal fish tank, office, TV, you know the full nine yards - I have no doors downstairs.

Ok, batteries downstairs in the work room and on 2 x4's.
Questions:
Do you guys crack the caps when the batteries are on a trickle charger?
If the caps are cracked, do you guys not worry about the fumes? I would hate like hell to loose my fish because of the fumes.

What do you guys think?


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Old 12-02-2003, 08:19 AM
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Guys,
Most $20 trickle chargers are junk(poor sensing/regulation) and you risk over charging/boiling the battery.

Just use a regular charger 1 day, every 2 weeks ...you'll be fine.
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:57 AM
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Garett, Do yourself a favor and look these up. I got them mail order and I am sure I spent a little more than if I tried and shopped the price a little. Deltran Super Smart Battery Tender. Made by Deltran Corp out of DeLand, FL. 32724.
I assure you these are not crap. In addition to the genny, I have one installed (6 VDC) in a 31 Modal A. Also being used on 5 not so cheap autos that are in winter storage.
No offense to anyone but I bought the cheapos some time back for winter storage. Made nothing but junk batteries at a cost of over 800 to replace. I didn't know better but learned the hard way. Who ever thought a motorcycle charger would do that to a bunch of big bad car batteries I do not remove the tops when on these chargers and have not had any trouble whatsoever. The cars are kept inside a heated basement garage and mine are in the celler. No muss, fuss, or smell. Might look kind of funny where you want to put em.
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Old 12-02-2003, 06:16 PM
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Excellent Mist-Rest, thanks.


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Old 12-03-2003, 06:39 AM
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I wouldn't charge batteries inside a house (not my own anyway). The 'fumes' that come off during charging are mostly hydrogen with a touch of acid. This stuff is more explosive than gasoline fumes - I have see a battery destroyed when some-one got too close with a lit cigarette.

Cracking the caps will allow the hydrogen to easily escape the battery before the pressure builds up. The caps will probably pop off on their own if you forget.
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Old 12-03-2003, 08:17 AM
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bw23 is prob right about $20 chargers. mine are on $20 batterys. my new boat has 3 orbitals and 1 lead acid. my smaller boat has basspro gel. i charged it in the fall and left it in boat the last 2 winters with no problems and it would have near full charge come spring. now i have $700 of batterys and i will store them in heated garage this year.
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Old 12-03-2003, 09:19 AM
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I don't even think about taking ours out of the boat, and its not uncommon for us to see -30 here at least once during the winter and sometimes weeks on end when it doesn't get up to zero.

There is no way that I'd spend twenty or thirty bucks on one of those unregulated trickle chargers when I can go to E-Bay and for just over a hundred bucks buy a new smart charger (10 Amp output hardwired Xantrek - AKA StatPower). I was using one of those up until a couple of weeks ago when I fired it by accident. It had been in the boat for over 8 years. The replacement came from E-Bay, a Guest 2620, and it cost me $45 plus shipping. Point being that you can look around for a bit and find one to take care of your needs for very little money.

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Old 12-03-2003, 10:08 AM
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Leave the bat's in the boat. If you have shore power and a built in charger, plut it in every week or two for a day. If you don't, plug in your regular garage style batter charger every few weeks....

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Old 12-03-2003, 12:28 PM
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Do you think there would be any difference in the life of the batteries if they were charged for a 24 hr. period every 14 days and stored in a heated garage or a unheated garage?


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Old 12-03-2003, 01:19 PM
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That would take pretty good care of them. The thing is, with a smart charger built into the boat you just buy a power cord and plug it in. You don't have to do anyting else except check the water sometime around mid January. They are completely hands off. The one I linked is also one of those which automatically passes through a complete cycle every 21 days (I think that's the period). These things will definitly exend the life of your batterys and all you have to do is keep track of the electrolite, which you have to do anyway. There is an extra benefit as well, you can go ahead and install an AC outlet in your boat for just a few dollars more than it takes to put in just the charger and they can be great to have.

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Old 12-03-2003, 03:12 PM
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Garett, dont store them in an unheated garage if there is a rick of freezing.
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Old 12-03-2003, 03:24 PM
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I didn't bother thinking about leaving the batteries charging for the long winter while still in the boat. It wasn't about freezing or anything like that. The reason was FIRE. Stranger things have happened with 110VAC than I care to think about. The boat is on the trailer with no plans on going anywhere till spring anyway. That means April around here. In the basement I have an alarm system.
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Old 12-03-2003, 04:40 PM
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quote:Originally posted by Mist-Rest:
I didn't bother thinking about leaving the batteries charging for the long winter while still in the boat. It wasn't about freezing or anything like that. The reason was FIRE. Stranger things have happened with 110VAC than I care to think about.

And that's the EXACT reason I don't think leaving the boat plugged in ALL winter on any charger (including smart ones, there not that smart!) is a good idea. As an example, last winter, one of those days I plugged mine in, I ended up leaving it plugged in for about two weeks, cause I was working on things (installing AC). Anyway, one night I go out and knock off the obligatory daily snow from that day (yeah, you remember last winter don't ya?), unzip the shrink wrap access hatch, and climb in. Hmmm... what's that burning smell? In fact, what's that zapping noise? HOLY CRAP!! My shore power connector was actually zapping because it was shorting. The snow melt was dripping down a small hole in the cover and found it's way down the power cord and soaked the connectors (shore power to home power adapter) and was shorting it. Not enought to blow a breaker in the house or even the exterior GFI circuit it was plugged into in the garage. But enough to blacken both the shore power connector adapter and extension cord plug. Other few hours and my boat would have been a pile of charcoal rubble. And to top it off, my boat is wintered on the side of my house, close enough that if it went up, my house would have went with it.

Beleive me when I tell ya, a lesson was learned!!!

Now times that by another thousand murphy's that could occur while your plugged in, and make your own decision. Heavy Duty Deep Cycle Group 27 Marine batteries are $50 at Costco. I'll take that chance. My house, boat and their contents are beyond a value!!

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Old 12-03-2003, 07:24 PM
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quote: Heavy Duty Deep Cycle Group 27 Marine batteries are $50 at Costco

I'd be willing to bet that any battery that cost $50 at costco is neither heavy duty nor marine deep cycle. Btw, "group 27" is merely a size designation, not an rating of it's capacity.

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