Too Late to Add Battery? Wiring Q's - SailNet Community

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Old 08-17-2009
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Too Late to Add Battery? Wiring Q's

Hi all, as some of you might know, my boat came with two house batteries and two starting batteries. I don't know why. I replaced my two house batteries about 6-7 weeks ago with flooded deep cycles. I would like to replace one of my starting batteries with a deep cycle identical to the newly added house batteries, and tie it in to the house bank. My question is this - have I waited too long? Will the new battery be different enough from the recently purchased batteries that they won't play well together?

I also have a question regarding the battery cables. If I use adhesive-lined heat shrink on both ends, do I still need to use tinned wire (cable)? Just wondering because the price is quite different between the two.

One last question regarding remote panels and/or monitors. I have a Xantrex Truecharge2 charger and I am looking at the soon-to-be available remote panel. Will it still show me what is going on when the charger is away from shore power? Do you have to reset battery monitors every time you turn on the batteries? I was reading the owners manual for a couple fo the monitors and it seemed that they had to be synched each time power was interupted and restored. If so, do any of you keep them on all the time?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Thanks, Bill
Odyssey, '79 CSY 44 Cutter
Channel Islands, CA

"There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage."
Mark Twain

Last edited by montenido; 08-17-2009 at 01:59 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-17-2009
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The new deep-cycle battery should be fine with the two you recently purchased.

RE: wiring, I'd choose the best boat wire you can find (Pacer or Ancor are good), high quality terminals, good crimps (done with a proper crimper or a NicoPress tool), adhesive heat shrink.

Be sure to use heavy cables when wiring the batteries together. Size 1/0 or larger is OK.

Be sure the terminals have the proper size hole (usually 3/8" for the positive poles, and 5/16" for the negative poles). Use real nuts, not twist-on nuts.

A great place to find wire, lugs, etc. is - Marine Electrical, Boat Wire & Cable, Custom Battery Cables

Can't comment on the remote monitor. As posted elsewhere, I don't like monitors, don't use one, and believe they're an unnecessary complication and expense. But, that's just my opinion. Apparently, folks like to read and believe the digital numbers are an accurate reflection of their battery state...which they may or may not be.

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Old 08-18-2009
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I second Bill's thoguhts on using good wire. Use the tinned stuff. It will save you or the next owner from having to rewire down the road.

Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 08-18-2009
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I agree with Bill. Unless you have really been hammering those new batteries unmercifully over the last 6-7 weeks, there should be no problem with adding one more new one to the bank. Now, if it had been 6-7 months...
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Old 08-18-2009
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Bill, just make sure #3 is the same type and size AND brand. Even better, try to get the same lot number, there is a production lot number or date somewhere (sometimes under a label edge) on the batteries. Different lots tend to be less matched.

And by all means, TINNED ONLY. Even if you seal the ends, all it takes is one *****, one pinhole, on chafe, and moisture gets in and starts eating the cables. Don't cheat on wire quality, or properly fitted lugs on the cables. Crimped, not just staked, etc.

You'll also see wiring diagrams...someone here must have a URL to one...that show how to hook up your main cables to the three batteries, so that all the cabling is electrically balanced. Mainly, positive to #1, negative to #3, and make sure the four cables doing the rest are all the same length as close as you can.
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