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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems > Problem with new batteries keeping the charge
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Thread: Problem with new batteries keeping the charge Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-20-2013 09:43 AM
chucklesR
Re: Problem with new batteries keeping the charge

3-4 Hours is not enough for a full garunteed charge. You are only getting a flash charge. You'll need an overnight charge then 24 hours of sitting time to get a good state of charge reading.
Better yet - get a battery monitor like a Victron BMV 600s and hook it up. Simply using voltage readings for state of charge values is less than optimal.
10-20-2013 07:07 AM
alturia
Re: Problem with new batteries keeping the charge

Depending on the capacity of the new house batteries and the capacity of your charger, there is a very good chance that 3 to 4 hours of charging is not bring the batteries to a 100% charge as several others here have noted. Does the charger indicate that the batteries are fully charged?
10-16-2013 04:43 PM
hellosailor
Re: Problem with new batteries keeping the charge

dog-
I was told by a battery distributor that for wet cells, some companies actually fill with a different electrolyte (different sg) depending on the climate in the area they are sold to. So if you have "New England" batteries, or "Tropical" batteries, even allowing for temperature corrections there is apparently some difference in what the "right" sg should be, depending on how they were initially filled.

If you really want to keep tabs on the batteries, there are also electronic capacity testers now
Amazon.com: battery capacity tester: Automotive Amazon.com: battery capacity tester: Automotive
Some under $50 and that's a third option. If the tester agrees with the rating, you know they're probably just fine.

I just find anytime I mess with testing sg, there's a new hole burned through something shortly after. And if the electrolyte hasn't had time to equalize in the cell, which can take hours, then you need to suck it up, squirt it back, swirl it around...and let it stand to get the air bubbles out too. SG isn't a panacea either.
10-16-2013 12:25 AM
SlowButSteady
Re: Problem with new batteries keeping the charge

It may or may not have anything to so with your current problems (no pun intended), but a cycle counter (clicky-clicky) hooked up to the bilge pump circuit will let you know for sure just how much your pump is working. I put one in my boat and it has twice let me know of problems I otherwise probably wouldn't have caught.
10-15-2013 11:28 PM
Dog8It
Re: Problem with new batteries keeping the charge

Hellosailor: Thanks for info. I have checked the date on the batteries and it was 07/2013, so hopefully they did not have enough time to sulfate while sitting around. Also, the voltmeter is newly installed and calibrated (or at least that is what I was told). However, I will check on the maker's numbers for the voltage to see which apply to these batteries. I have double checked that nothing is connected, except for the bilge pump which is direct wired. However, I empty the bilge manually before leaving and check when I come back to see if there is any water to know whether it had a chance to cycle and thus draw anything on the battery.

svHyLyte: Good idea to check on the grounding foil. Will definitely follow up on that and check to make sure there are no leaks through the positive cables. Thanks.

Don0190: I do not believe that sg has been measured on the batteries. Will discuss this with the yard technician. Unfortunately, you are correct in assuming (as it is becoming more and more clear to me) that electrical part of the boat may not necessarily be their strongest area of expertise.

Once again, thank you to everyone who responded to my inquiry as it gives me a better idea as to which additional areas should be explored and addressed in trying to resolve this issue as well as educate myself better on the topic.
10-15-2013 07:25 PM
Don0190
Re: Problem with new batteries keeping the charge

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
I phoned Trojan's customer service/technical assistance line and asked the technician I spoke with about the matter specifically. I merely repeated his comments herein above.

FWIW...
I never said that you were trying to mislead. I'm just saying that whoever you spoke to doesn't seem to be saying what Trojan says in their info.
10-15-2013 06:39 PM
svHyLyte
Re: Problem with new batteries keeping the charge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don0190 View Post
Well that is interesting as I've seen graphs on the Trojan site that indicate that their batteries need around 50 cycles before they start achieving their amp-hour rating.
Don--

So that there is no confusion, I know very little about electrics and so rely upon the experts, including, in particular, Bill Trayfors who posted above and has helped me on many occasions as has the poster Maine Sail. Having heard that cycling was necessary, after spending rather a good deal on the new batteries, to ensure I managed them properly, I phoned Trojan's customer service/technical assistance line and asked the technician I spoke with about the matter specifically. I merely repeated his comments herein above.

FWIW...
10-15-2013 05:09 PM
Don0190
Re: Problem with new batteries keeping the charge

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post

Also, while some have suggested that flooded cell batteries need to be "exercised" a few times to achieve full capacity, when questioned about this, the Trojan tech's indicated that it was really not necessary, at least with their batteries.

Well that is interesting as I've seen graphs on the Trojan site that indicate that their batteries need around 50 cycles before they start achieving their amp-hour rating.
10-15-2013 05:04 PM
Don0190
Re: Problem with new batteries keeping the charge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog8It View Post
All three batteries will show a charge of 13.2-13.4V upon completing the charge and then slowly settle to around 12.8V.

However, when I come back to the boat a week later, I usually find both of my house batteries down to 12.5V and the engine battery around 12.6V.
These are wet cell batteries correct (asking even though you said they were)

Are you are going only by the voltages? I don't think your batteries are fully charged at all based on what you say. I bet they are only around 80% charged.

Have you measured the specific gravity of the batteries?

You need to measure the sg and charge till they are truly fully charged and only accepting around 2% of amp-hour rating as amps into the batteries at a voltage of 14.2-14.6V. Then you need to check the sg to see if they really are charged.

After you get there you should discharge them to 50% and then do it again and if your charger has an equalize function you should run it after they are charged.

BTW - it doesn't sound your yard guys know much if they have not told you this.
10-15-2013 05:02 PM
svHyLyte
Re: Problem with new batteries keeping the charge

Dog--

In comparison with your experience, this past July 23rd I installed 4 T-105 batteries as replacements for our then 7 year old batteries. Trojan indicates the battery self-discharge rate of their batteries at about 4% per month and, with all the electrical services shut off, that is about what we have observed.

Also, while some have suggested that flooded cell batteries need to be "exercised" a few times to achieve full capacity, when questioned about this, the Trojan tech's indicated that it was really not necessary, at least with their batteries.

Given the foregoing, you may have a drain you are not aware of. Several years ago we had a situation where a grounding foil has chafed through one of the positive cables in a spot under and behind our engine and only discovered by accident. Once the cable was replaced (and armored) our mysterious discharge problem was solved.

FWIW...
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