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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-02-2007
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Cool DC loss

This morning tried to turn on the dc lights over the galley counter. No luck. Checked the cabin light with the same lack of response. Since I live on shore power, I seldom have any use for battery power except the galley lights and the bilge pump. After removing about ten tonnes of "garage" stuff over the battery compartment hatch, (you can tell how often I do a battery check),I was greeted with a Blob Monster of green on the number two battery. Baking soda and a little water did its volcano thing, but no dc electricity rose from the dead. The lights had worked without dimming the night before and I was surprised at the battery terminal condition. If the batteries were failing, for whatever reason, I thought that I would have some sort of warning by the lack of full bulb brightness. The multimeter read .7. Other than the removal and recycle, (that's the politically correct way of saying pay money to junk it), of these batteries, does anyone have an alternate solution?
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Old 06-03-2007
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It depends on how badly treated the batteries have been. If you are ambitious, you might try to top off the cells (assuming this is a wet cell) and then try to charge to battery after running it completely flat. This sometimes works to kick the battery back to life, and although it will have a somewhat diminished capacity, it will work. You really do need to start doing proper maintenance on your batteries IMHO.
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Old 06-03-2007
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Also, Tex, you shouldn't have to pay money to junk your battery. Lead is valuable enough that West Marine collects 5 dollars for every battery they turn over to a scrap dealer. They should happily take them free of charge. Sometimes what you assume is "politically correct" is just good business.
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Old 06-04-2007
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Dear yotphix, to buy a new "EverStart" battery, which is what these batteries are, at WallMart's advertised sale price requires a "trade-in" of the old battery. If West Marine", which of course has the reputation of good business practices, will pay me enough to equal more than the trade-in discount at WallMart, more's the better. I suspect that any money changing hands at West Marine will never dirty my palm, but will give them your name when I ask.

SailingDog, You're right, its the old ,"out of sight, out of mind" syndrome. I have removed the batteries and put them on a smart slow charger. Will know in a few hours if they can be saved. However, on further inspection, the problem seems to be more complicated than originally thought. There seems to be AC problems as well. This is going to take some time and detective work. Will let you know what Dr. Watson discovers. Thanks guys.
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Old 06-04-2007
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If its straight wet lead acid, junk the battery. Buy a new one. They are good for 4-5 years if treated well and less if badly. Once dead, always dead, if its wet. Now if it were a funky new AGM promising 15 years (or something equally improbable) then there's a chance if might recover with charging.

BTW - do AGMs get a 15 year guarantee? 10 years? 5 years?
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