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Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

Old 07-31-2005, 08:25 AM
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Default Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

I think I have solved the problem of my “Batteries dying slowly” thread posted last month. It basically outlined the fact that I’m only getting about 2 years or so out of 2 deep cycle batteries that power all of my electronics and house needs.

WELL, I was a little bored this past Friday so I began making calls and finally got a techie from Interstate Batteries on the line and described the situation. In typical “techie” style he listened intently and asked a few questions, with a “un huh” and a “hmmm” or two thrown in and then he asked me about my charging habits. I described how I religiously plug her in the minute I get her home, let them fully charge, disconnect, and then reconnect again the day before I go back out.

A few more “uh huh’s” and another “hmmmm” and he politely told me that I was killing my batteries with kindness. He explained that ALL deep cycle batteries, regardless of manufacturer are only good for so many “cycles” and that every time I plug in the charger the battery sees that as a “cycle” and deducts it from the total available “cycles”.

I explained to him that I thought it was “policy” to recharge as quickly as possible and that sitting for a week and being discharged by the numerous memories in the electronics that they would need to be “topped” off before use. He agreed that my program sounded like common sense BUT, batteries don’t have common sense.

His advice is to keep the charger (Guest, on board) plugged in from the time I get home until the time I leave on the next trip. By doing it this way the batteries will only “see” this as one cycle and I should automatically double my battery life.

SO, I guess I have been my own worst enemy and have been creating the problem. I promised him that I would change my ways and become a reformed battery owner and be kinder to my batteries in the future. What kind of battery owner are YOU ??????Wiley, the strange script is where punctuation (quotes) are and I have no idea where th A is coming from????



Old 07-31-2005, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

New info. to help all. Glad you got the problem solved and passed on the information for us to share. I would have thought it would be worse to keep the charger plugged in the whole time.
Old 07-31-2005, 09:34 AM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

bailey - sorry for your problem but it always makes you feel better at least when you get some answer from someone that seems to be the correct one. I hope it's that way for you. I think you are on to something here. My first boat had twin batts and I did what you did - even going so far as to buy a timer for my charger that would cycle on an off so that every day the charger would charge for 6 hours or so and then shut off. Those batts lasted about 18 months or so until theiy would not seem to come back to full strength, eventually dying at 2 years. On my last two boats I have kept the 3 stage charger plugged into the dock to give them charge anytime I'm not using the boat - 24/7. I also learned this week from a Raymeorne Tech that the reason he likes AGM's so much is they really handle charging well and seem to stay topped off better. I replaced all 3 of my batts with these monsters from cabellas - the most bang for your buck for a group 24 - 1200 CCA's. I've had them 3 months and after running ecerything n the boat at drift for 4 hours , I can't get them to dip under 12.7!
Cabellas even ships them UPS for 11 bucks a batt....


http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...equestid=37368

Old 07-31-2005, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

I don't ever charge them unless they NEED it. Install a good quality digital voltmeter on your boat, and buy a hand held multimeter. I occasionally use the multimeter to determine batt condition prior to start and again after the alternator picks up the load. In this way I can monitor the health of both batts and the charging circuit. Under normal usage, the only time most boats will need a charge is in the winter months.

People around where I live say that 2 years is plenty of life expectancy for a marine battery. I think thats nonsense. The WORST I have ever gotten is 5 years out of a battery and that was MY fault. I allowed the electrolyte level to drop to below the top of the plates. Granted it's a dumb box, and it starts a slow death the day it's built, but a properly sized, plumbed and charged batt should last a hell of a long time. And with what a good one costs, it should.

Great news. Everyonce in a while a techie can zero in on something. I'm sending a Sitex back to the factory which the locals are unable to fix, but the tech rep says is a cheap no brainer.....my fingers are crossed as it's a $500 replacement!
Old 07-31-2005, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

Does the battery consider the alternator a cycle, every time you start the motor?
Old 07-31-2005, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

The answer is partially correct. If you look at lead-acid battery construction and use, technically, the cycle life is correct, but the flaw in the answer is the affect on life of the battery is not the same each time it is charged. A graph of battery life vs charge cycles would show that recharging at a 100% draw down may result in a life of 500 cycles, but a recharge cycle of 10% capacity would have a life closer to 10,000 cycles. If indeed this is the problem you are having, you have VERY low quality batteries. IMO the short life is due to the loss of charge to some faulty component and the resultant frequent deep discharge and recharge cycles it is getting. Also discharged lead acid batteries that set for even a short period can get a hard sulfate coat on the plates reducing capacity and life. Such batteries will appear to recharge, but if tested will have very low capacity. AGM batteries such as an optima, or the orbital cell batteries are much more forgiving of this sort of use.
Old 07-31-2005, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

tg, not according to what he said, only batteries that are discharged to a large percentage of their capacity and then recharged to full capacity. BTW, the batteries in question are Gel Cells........
Old 07-31-2005, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

Gel cells are very sensitive to charging voltage, the charger has to be one for use with a gell cell (which is a different battery type than an AGM) Gelled batteries contain acid that has been gelled by the addition of Silica Gel, turning the acid into a solid. Advantage: It is impossible to spill acid even if they are broken. Disadvantages: They must be charged at a slower rate to prevent excess gas from damaging the cells. They cannot be fast charged on a conventional automotive charger or they may be permanently damaged. If overcharged, voids can develop in the gel which will never heal, causing a loss in battery capacity. In hot climates, water loss can be enough over 2-4 years to cause battery failure.
Old 07-31-2005, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

The Guest 2610 is rated for Gel Cell batteries and I have checked it while on the phone with a Guest techie and all was good. I have a CRUZ digital battery monitor that I use to check on battery status quite regularly. I personally think the Interstate guy is on the nose with his thinking and will do as he reccomended. At least until these new batteries die, and then we'll see. Its not that I'm cheap or anything but replacing 250.00 worth of batteries every 18 to 24 months is getting a little old, and besides it takes a damned contortionist and an Olympic Weightlifter to change the darned things with them being under the console...... grumble....... grumble......... grumble........
Old 07-31-2005, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

Hey BB......now I know why I killed my batteries on my little jon boats trolling motor.............I'll fix that from now one..I know that you asked him about your deep cycles..........is there any difference if they are regular starting batteries? I ususally don't hook up the Tritons Guest 2610 unless the voltage check on the Yammie gauge is below 12.0 volts........which is rare. Did he mention a voltage threshold for charging.Thanks for the info
Old 08-01-2005, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

haifisch - 7/31/2005 10:57 AM
... A graph of battery life vs charge cycles would show that recharging at a 100% draw down may result in a life of 500 cycles, but a recharge cycle of 10% capacity would have a life closer to 10,000 cycles. .....
Yes, exactly. What percentage of lost charge did that tech define as cycle? This cant
be right. I thought a "cycle" was a DEEP discharge of battery. Battery's should only
lose a tiny bit of charge sitting under no load (I think I remeber that you determined
there was no load). He's telling you that recharging thier batteries that are nearly charged
causes a significant loss of the battery's life!!

If this is true, you need to switch batteries. I'm getting a solid 5 years out of my Delco
Voyager 27M's and they cost HALF of what you are paying (I'm on #4 and #5). Dump
those Interstates.

JP
Old 08-01-2005, 10:54 AM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

I am having a slightly different problem. I recently repowered from a F115 to a 150HPDI, and put in a new Garmin 198c at the same time. The battery is the original (now 18months old) Interstate 400CCA / 500MCA... When I crank over the motor the 198c shuts down... Today I noticed the volt meter drops all the way to 8 I never had a problem with the motor starting before... My real question is whether or not a new battery will solve the problem. Anxious to try one of those new Optimas, but I'd like to know bigger (700CCA) battery will solve the problem. Pi$$ me off to find out another expensive experiment not work...
Old 08-01-2005, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

Ummmm. I'm not buying the techies answer.

My two batteries, both of which are deep cycle type Delco Voyagers (one of which is a group 24 and the other a group 27) are charged every time the engine is started and run. They are charged in parallel via a battery combiner. They are over five years old and both are in fine shape.

A good battery should last much more than two years. I just sold a 2001 truck with 90,000 miles and it had the original battery in it. It must have gone through thousands of cycles since I started it at least two times a day, sometimes much more.

I think that the key is to let the motor charge the battery every time the motor runs.
Old 08-01-2005, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

For whats its worth, the batteries in question are 2, deep cycle, Gel Cells wired parallel to provide 12 volts and combined 360 amp hours and are powering everything on the boat EXCEPT the engine which has 2 dedicated batteries. The deep cycles are not hooked to the engine in any way, shape or manner.

The engine does not charge anything but the starting batteries. The on board charger is a Guest 2610 which charges 2 banks at 5 amps per bank and is wired according to the directions from Guest. (both reds go to the same positive post and both blacks go to same the negative post on the same battery)

Colliwh, you are correct, I was only asking him about deep cycle batteries and all of his answers were directed towards that type battery. I wouldnt think a cranking battery would work very well with a trolling motor for very long. They have different plates and design.

Phillipj1, the techie defined a cycle as being discharged and then recharged, he made no differentiation between a partially discharged state versus a totally discharged state. Its unhooked from the charger, used and then recharged, equals one cycle in the batteries mind.

Afishinado, your problem sounds more like a weak battery since the voltage is dropping so low when starting the engine. A new, fully charged battery will probably solve your problem.

Jethro1, the answer to your question is in the above reply, the engine doesnt charge these batteries.

Now, with all of that said, I have no choice but to follow the techies advice and leave the charger plugged in from the time I return from a trip until the time I go out again. If this will give me better battery life and avoid having to change them every 2 years then I'm going to listen to him on this one.
Old 08-01-2005, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

Go here and read up on batteries, and then consider what the techie said.

http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Bat...AQ.htm#Top#Top

Good info here on batteries. I spent 25 years on subs, we have probably the biggest deep cycle batteries anyone has to deal with, and the "techie" is partially right.
Old 08-01-2005, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

haifisch - 8/1/2005 1:37 PM

Go here and read up on batteries, and then consider what the techie said.

http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Bat...AQ.htm#Top#Top

Good info here on batteries. I spent 25 years on subs, we have probably the biggest deep cycle batteries anyone has to deal with, and the "techie" is partially right.
Good link, thanx, but I have to disagree and say if you put any in that FAQ,
the tech is COMPLETELY WRONG!:



If you look at his graph in Cycles vs Life (and the article text) you see that
battery life vs. Depth of cycles is NOT LINEAR (log scale). If you are only lightly cycling
the battery, it should last a very long time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JP
Old 08-01-2005, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

phillipj1 - 8/1/2005 4:01 PM If you look at his graph in Cycles vs Life (and the article text) you see that battery life vs. Depth of cycles is NOT LINEAR (log scale). If you are only lightly cycling the battery, it should last a very long time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JP


I concur. Battery specs for number of cycles are for full discharge cycles. I still suspect the culprit is either too low a charging voltage or possibly hot tempearture...
Old 08-02-2005, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

I solved my problem I think, installed a new 750CCA Optima deep cycle for my cranking battery. After installing (which also allowed me to rearrainge the space the battery and oil tank occupy) I pulled the kill switch and cranked it 6 times, each time far longer than the HPDI ever needs to fire. Never saw either voltmeter drop under 11.7 and the GPS barely flickered.
Old 08-02-2005, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

What a load of $hit. Do really think your battery has a mind? Holy Cow you moron, your battery is as dumb as you. Sorry for the strong words; but wake up. Deep cycles of discharge and recharge consume a battery's life; but the battery does not keep score. You have other issues or you are draining your batter below 50% most of the time; before recharge. Fire that teckie. On second thought maybe not he sure had some of you convinced it is a customer problem and not a product defect/
Old 08-02-2005, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Batteries dying slowly, SOLVED !!!!

Hey Baily, heres another thought. I have the same battery setup as you. Two in parallel for the house and two starts one for each engine. I installed one of those BEP battery distribution clusters over the winter and so far it is working perfectly. It doesn't charge the house batteries until the start batteries are completely charged. If I have used the house batts for an extended period of time without running the engines I just start them for awhile and it puts the charge back in the house batteries.Bill

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