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Old 06-03-2012
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Re: Lifeline Batteries

Bill, Dave, and RC are--as usual--on point. I won't repeat their suggestions.

I will share my slightly different configuration and procedures in the hope someone will find it of some interest.

I have a 675 Ah house bank of six 6VDC wet traction batteries (the EU 'name' for golf cart batteries) and a 12VDC start battery. The only connection is a crossbar switch normally left open.

On my Yanmar 4JH4E is the original 55A Hitachi alternator, internally regulated, and a 110A (I think) Balmar alternator with external Balmar regulator. The Hitachi charges the start battery and the Balmar charges the house bank. My Mastervolt MASS 80A charger is wired to the house bank and the 3A trickle line feeds the start battery.

Accordingly nearly any failure (like the sense line on my Balmar breaking off last month) can be addressed by closing the crossbar switch.

Simple is better.

My battery bank is under the main, aft berth. Whenever we wash the sheets (every month or so at dock and every couple of weeks (or less with Janet aboard full time)) I dig in and check the batteries for water and record the specific gravity, giving me a check on the battery monitor.

Checking the batteries is easier and faster than making the bed.
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