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  #1  
Old 10-04-2010
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Disconnecting batteries

I know its common practice to disconnect batteries for the winter. I assume that is to prevent very slight power drains even from equip that is off. However, I don't really understand how pulling the cables differs from turning off the house disconnect. Does it or should that be enough?
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If you boat is in the water, you will need the batteries to run your bilge pump. If it is on the hard, take them out and home, and tickle charge them occasionally.
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"take them out and home, and tickle charge them occasionally"
Hey Jack where do you tickle them? Under their chin? And does the laughter excite the acid so they stay charged?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJBrown View Post
"take them out and home, and tickle charge them occasionally"
Hey Jack where do you tickle them? Under their chin? And does the laughter excite the acid so they stay charged?
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On a lot of boats, there are parasitic loads, like bilge pumps, and such that are wired directly to the batteries... disconnecting the battery cables prevents any discharge by external devices. Trickle charging the batteries is a good idea, especially if they are wet cell batteries, but really not necessary for AGM batteries, which have a very low self-discharge rate.

Another option, one I happen to use, is to put a solar panel on the batteries to offset the self discharge...and act as a trickle charger.
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Old 10-05-2010
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Removing them is not very practical, there are 16 batts. Oops, 17, forgot the dink.

Solar is a great idea, but mounting over the cover and wiring the 6 separate banks sounds quite involved.

I was referring to shutting down the "big red knob" that disconnects the batt, as opposed to pulling leads from the terminals. Does that essentially do the same thing?

As I think about it, the onboard charging system may still be attached to the batts, even with the big red knob turned off, and I stop by every 6 weeks or so to put a portable charger on them. Without the leads pulled, would using a portable charger backfeed the onboard charging system causing trouble?

As you can tell, pull all the leads and reconnecting in the spring, other than those that gang the batts together, is a real nuisance.
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Old 10-05-2010
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We never remove the batteries or disconnect them when we're on the hard.
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Just curious, what size boat do you have that requires 17 batteries and SIX battery banks. Having multiple house banks is generally counterproductive and inefficient.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Solar is a great idea, but mounting over the cover and wiring the 6 separate banks sounds quite involved.
Solar: Make sure is has a diode so it doesn't discharge at night. I just have two (starter & house) so a 10w flexable works just fine as a tickle charger
Add battery combiners. When the sun is up each bank will get added in sequence.

Last edited by whroeder; 10-05-2010 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 10-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
As I think about it, the onboard charging system may still be attached to the batts, even with the big red knob turned off, and I stop by every 6 weeks or so to put a portable charger on them.
Why bother with a portable ? I store in the water with the shore power running my onboard charging system now .... but when I stored on shore I would use a 110 to shorepower adapter plug and simply use the 110 at the yard. They are a fairly expensive little beastie but nice to have on hand.
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