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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > New Battery charger (unplugged) causes spark on battery post!!
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Thread: New Battery charger (unplugged) causes spark on battery post!! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-17-2008 09:30 PM
mlsalwa I have a Guest 6 amp charger and battery maintainer which does the same thing. Been using it for about 6 years with no problems.
11-17-2008 05:00 PM
btrayfors Northeaster,

No need to unplug it at all; leave it plugged in. My 45A Iota which maintains my T-105s for the radios has been plugged in for over 4 years now, except for the occasional unplug when I needed the receptacle for something else.

As Idiens said, no harm if you unplug it occasionally.

Just be sure to check the water level in your batteries occasionally, being sure that the plates are covered. Use ONLY distilled water if they need some to cover the plates to about 3/8" above them.

Bill
11-17-2008 02:53 PM
Idiens If you are doing it often, it would be worth fitting a proper switch that's designed to break circuits. But occasionally, no problem.
11-17-2008 02:39 PM
Northeaster Thanks for all of the help / advice! The charger is working great - Have watched to go from bulk - float and voltages tested great.

As mentioned, the spark was normal for connecting to batteries for the 1st time. Jut caught me off guard, and I am happy that I could check with you guys to confirm that it was normal, instaed of possibly ruining some equipment.

Thanks again.

On a related note. Eventually the charger will be installed on the boat, on a dedicated breaker, which I can shut off before disconnecting shore power.

However, since it is now just plugged into an AC outlet at the house, (house has older fuse panel rather than breakers), I just have to unplug it from the wall, if I want to shut it off, move it etc.
I will of course get a small spark as I pull the plug from the AC outlet, as it will be drawing current at the time. I have noticed this while unlpugging a running shop-vac as well, instead of turning it off 1st. Can any possible damage occur doing that, or it the spark so minor it is "normal / acceptable"??
11-16-2008 09:22 PM
sailingdog I'd second the Iota chargers. Got one for a friend's boat based on Bill's recommendation. Nice unit. IIRC, it's the same one you have...
11-16-2008 01:37 PM
btrayfors A modest spark is normal when connecting many chargers to a battery. As one of the posters said, it's just charging up some sizeable capacitors.

If you were to leave it connected for a few seconds, or touch it to the battery terminal a few times, you'd see the spark diminish and disappear as the capacitors came up to full charge.

You'll like the Iota. IMHO it's the best one on the market for many marine setups. It's not the mickey mouse circuit one often finds...this one is RFI suppressed, frequency and voltage tolerant, has a true multi-stage operation (with the IQ4), including a periodic "equalization" stage, uses pulse-width modulation (PWM) technology which makes the batteries very happy, etc., etc.

I've got a 45A model sitting next to me here in the ham shack which maintains my bank of T-105 batteries which power all my radios. It runs 24/7 (for over 4 years, now). Another 55A model is on my boat dedicated to the T-105 bank which powers my windlass. It, too, runs 24/7 when at dockside. After several years, the T-105's test excellent with a sophisticated battery analyzer. By far the best battery charger I've ever used. And, at the current prices, an incredible deal!

Bill
11-16-2008 01:26 PM
Northeaster Connected it up, and seems to work fine. Putting 14.57V accross the two batteries as I write this. Will keep an eye on it, to make sure it goes into float stage.

Thanks again!!
11-16-2008 01:13 PM
Northeaster Keip - Sorry, didn't see your post!! Thanks for the input!
11-16-2008 01:11 PM
Northeaster Handbook just says to connect the battery leads, ground lug, and then plug into AC.

If a spark is common, it woudl be nice for them to mention it in the manual!!

I am not talking a huge spark, like what you get if you short out jumper cables, when boosting a car. However, it is definitley a noticible spark, and I don't want to do permanent damage to the battery, or charger, if I can help it.

If anyone else has noticed something similar, it would be nice to get additional confirmation!

Thankd agin for your input Idiens!!
11-16-2008 01:11 PM
thekeip What IDIENS said.

The spark is a normal thing, and it will occur even when connecting the 2nd output to the 2nd battery.

Howard Keiper
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