Can a Boat Battery Freeze – Winterizing Marine Batteries
Winter Storage Process for Lead Acid Batteries: 1- Prior to charging flooded batteries inspect the electrolyte level in each cell. If plates are exposed add just enough distilled water to cover the plates. For most flooded batteries this is approximately 1/8? below . Nov 23, · It is always best to remove the battery, store it for the winter, and then test it before heading to the lake in the spring, but some people simply leave the battery in the boat or at the cottage. If the battery is fully charged and in good shape the day you leave, it should be fine when you return for the spring opening.
After having a discussion with one of my customers, about leaving his battery charger running on-board all winter, a practice I am how to store boat battery for winter not a huge fan of, and one his boat yard specifically prohibits, I decided to venture into this article.
On December 11, I charged this used Group 31 used house battery using my bench-top DC power supply. In order to prep this battery for winter storage, I first charged the battery to an absorption voltage of I then held that voltage and allowed the current to taper down to approx 0. By monitoring the absorption voltage, as well as the net current flowing into the battery, we can use the tail current amperage to tell use when a battery is actually full.
This is a chronic issue in the world of so called smart chargers. It is critical however, when charging batteries for winter storage, that you do not confuse the 0. I am well aware of this, and it makes good sense from the perspective of a large manufacturer not wanting to risk seeing their batteries chronically over-charged.
In the end it will have to be your decision as to when, and at what tail current, you deem your battery full enough for winter storage. An EQ charge should always be temp compensated to a voltage of Run an EQ for at least 30 minutes, even if the cells show good matching specific gravity, or as many as hours if the specific gravity readings are off.
EQ can also help reconvert any recoverable lead sulfate and can also help to knock some of the dead lead sulfate off the plate surfaces and yield a healthier battery. If you have never how to save 50000 in 3 years an equalizing what is the weather like in gatlinburg in december please research how your battery maker wants it performed.
This particular battery had good specific gravity SG balance between the 6 cells so the battery was then equalized at a voltage of Fall equalization is a standard practice for me when winterizing flooded or Lifeline AGM batteries before winter storage. The first thing I set up on a fall winterization of a vessel is the bench-top power supply.
It is critical, before winter storage, to charge your batteries at the maximum allowed absorption voltage until current declines to 0. Following that up with short equalization, when applicable, makes the process truly complete. This means completely disconnecting the bank from the boat and then removing any parallel connections.
Leaving the batteries in parallel or connected to the vessel is an not the best idea. Parasitic loads or a single bad battery can ruin the entire bank. Occasionally a micro-leak in a seperator can cause a very slow self discharge of a battery cell.
If this battery how to get elevation in google earth in parallel with the others it will also drag them down.
If plates are exposed add just enough distilled water to cover the plates. This is often easiest on the negative posts but on some boats positive is easiest. The batteries should all be within a few mV of each other.
Once I was done charging this test battery I carried it out to the garden shed. The shed is unheated and closely mimics the environment of a boat during winter storage here in Maine.
I suppose I could have just carried it up the ladder, and into my boat, but no sense in breaking my back, the temps are the same. At this point I took the first open circuit voltage OCV reading, about ten minutes after discontinuing the charge. It read After a good equalizing charge surface voltage can remain high for a bit. This is an image I sent to a customer who wanted to know how to isolate his bank for winter storage. In most cases, with a cleanly wired bank, it is easiest to simply remove the negative leads from each battery on the boat and then wire tie them close by.
The wire ties ensure that the cable will not simply fall back onto the battery post or into the bilge where the owner may not find it come spring.
This is a shot of the shed with the battery sitting on the green box. The temps in here mimic that of a boat on the hard, in the North East, quite well. Battery self discharge is directly related to battery temperature.
The colder it is where your boat is stored, the less self discharge there will be. Cold weather, off-season, on-board storage of your batteries is considerably less damaging than is often purported to be. Even the ABYC, in its courses, is now advising proper on-board storage of batteries in colder climates. I placed the battery in the shed on Tuesday the 11th of December and on Friday the 14th of December I remembered to take a voltage reading.
After three days the battery still had a full surface charge. This battery, when at full charge, with the surface charge dissipated, measures approx When I remembered about the lonely battery in the shed I shoveled a path through the snow and took a voltage reading.
As can be seen this battery is still resting at Ideally I wanted to get bi-weekly readings, but so much for that. My point here is to illustrate why leaving your batteries on -board your boat, in the winter, does not lead to their instant demise, as many on the net would have you believe. My skin sensitization is an example of what hazard class and I have done this for more than 40 years and bank longevity has always been good.
Removing batteries from a boat is not fun work nor is it really even necessary in colder climates. Some boat yards like to remove batteries because they can charge you for it. In many cases that is their only good reason for doing so. Some marina insurance policies disallow on-board unattended charging so with the batteries physically removed the yard knows the batteries are in-fact disconnected and not charging on-board, and it gives them peace of mind. How do those measurements compare to a true 20 hour capacity test?
Before conducting this test, at the end of the batteries 5th year of service, I conducted a 20 hour Ah capacity test. The battery delivered The battery had lived every winter on-board the boat, uncharged. The bottom line is that even when technically at end of life the batteries state of health did not impact its rate of self discharge over the winter. For more on that subject you may want to read:.
What is a Deep Cycle Battery? Based on capacity testing results, I often see this same exact automotive battery group to be failing a state of health test in just years, this one is at year five. A fully charged battery will not freeze until approx F. I lived in Alaska, Fairbanks to be exact, and they have been using flooded lead acid batteries up there since they were invented. In most parts of this country we will never see the F they see up there.
In Fairbanks you can literally spit and have it hit the ground frozen, not so in the rest of the country. There is just too much that can go wrong leaving unattended batteries charging over the winter. A good gassing voltage of In the video below I discuss one of the more dangerous failure modes for battery chargers. While a failure to regulate limit voltage is somewhat rare this does happen and can happen.
This charger lost its voltage regulation circuit thus becoming a 20A constant current power supply with no voltage limit:.
Stratification is when the acid and water begin to separate due to sitting idle. The acid sinks to the bottom and the water rises to the top. A constant float charge voltage really does what is the symptoms of cholera to prevent stratification.
Pretty simple really float voltages are intended to prevent gassing and are usually far too low to keep the electrolyte moving and in a well mixed state. This gassing or movement of the electrolyte, at absorption voltages or higher, can help limit stratification but float does not.
Smart chargers that can revert to absorption voltages every few weeks can help roll the electrolyte and limit stratification, but these are rare. Still, leaving batteries charging and unattended all winter will more often, not less often, result in damaged or dead banks, the exact opposite of the intended goal.
This well intended safety feature can mean the charger will not re-boot, after an outage, if the banks voltage has dropped too low due to parasitic loads. The usable capacity of all lead acid batteries is decreased when it gets cold, but the chemical reactions such as self discharge slow, so even a small parasitic load gets essentially amplified in cold weather.
Always ask your yard if it is okay to leave the batteries connected and the charger on. Even if they say yes, you are still putting your batteries at greater risk. The power comes back on, or the snow melts, but now the battery voltage has been sucked below the safe what does common interface mean on a tv on threshold and the battery continues to discharge until fully dead. This is not as rare an occurrence as it would seem.
Power has been out three or four times in the last month here in Maine due to winter storms. Will your charger automatically re-boot? I have also seen some chargers freeze and lock up due to power outages. Lights are on but the chargers is not charging and the batteries are now at a death voltage.
Towards the end of last August the three year old batteries on our Cape Dory stopped working. On advice of our yard manager we purchased new AGM batteries from them.
To keep the batteries good over the winter I connected a battery tender maintainer. During the storage period may have been unplugged. Our three new batteries are now showing 1.
They are new just 8 months old do you think they can be salvaged to a workable degree? I can drive them up to you if you think you can save them. Please let me know how much a recondition service might cost. On the morning of September 9th I walked into the shed and realized I had set gas can in front of the experiment and had totally forgotten about it. That damn ADHD thing is a bear……. Upon re-discovering the test battery I immediately went to the barn and grabbed my volt meter, totally figuring how to start a medical staffing agency business battery was a goner.
It tested with an what is the best wow gold site circuit voltage of
Should I Disconnect My Boat Battery?
Sep 27, · 1. Stay Dry: Switch off all breakers except the one (s) for the bilge pump (s). 2. Make Rounds: Check the boat weekly, more frequently in rough weather and during power outages. 3. Keep It Up: Plug into shore power and keep the battery charged with your installed charger or a . Nov 15, · The best way to store a boat battery for the winter is to remove it from the boat and store it in a cool, dry place, such as a basement or workshop. It no longer matters if you store the battery directly on the concrete floor, or if you set it on top of the block of wood. With the way batteries are built today, you can almost store them anywhere. Sep 22, · Moisture and extreme temperatures are a sure fire way to increase your batteries rate of self-discharge. A good rule of thumb is to store the battery above 32°F and below 80°F. Don’t: Store It and Forget It Batteries are not items you can put away for the winter and forget about.
Unfortunately, batteries often get treated more like stray cats than favored family pets. One reason for this is that many boat batteries are installed in cramped, nearly inaccessible locations. But make no mistake, they need care and feeding to provide reliable long-term service.
In season, this care includes checking that connections are tight, clean and greased and ensuring the acid isn't boiling away. The following tips offer great battery care guidelines — for winter or any prolonged period of storage. Charge It Up: Charge the battery, and then remove the negative cable.
Let it rest for several hours before verifying its status. Use Specific Gravity: Each cell should have a specific gravity of between 1. Use a Voltmeter: If using a voltmeter, a fully charged battery should read Stay Dry: Switch off all breakers except the one s for the bilge pump s. Make Rounds: Check the boat weekly, more frequently in rough weather and during power outages. Keep It Up: Plug into shore power and keep the battery charged with your installed charger or a regulated battery maintainer.
Do Acid Test: Check the electrolyte level of flooded batteries and top off with distilled water — just enough to cover the plates. Myth Busted Storing batteries on a concrete floor does not shorten their lives. Menu Sign Up. Boating Magazine. Search Search. Latest Gear. Water Sports. Sponsored Content.