Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
|Author||Topic: Battery Storage|
posted 08-03-2006 10:45 AM ET (US)
I was wondering how other owners store their batteries for winter. We live in the Portland, Oregon area and our winters are not usually cold.
One service center told us to remove the batteries and store in the garage, the next told us to disconnect and hook-up a battery maintainer but leave in the boat.
posted 08-03-2006 05:17 PM ET (US)
I remove mine from the boat and charge them . I store them in the basement (not on the concrete floor). I recharge them once during the winter and again before I put them back in the boat in the spring.
posted 08-03-2006 08:41 PM ET (US)
This is a good discussion for SMALL BOAT ELECTRICAL. Moving to there.
posted 08-03-2006 09:08 PM ET (US)
It has been close to record warm temperatures here for three days, so about the last thing on my mind is battery storage procedures over the winter.
When a battery is not in use it should be stored with a full charge and be topped off with water. See my article in the REFERENCE section for more advice:
My own practice: when the boat is laid up in October or November and won't be used again until April or May, I remove the batteries and bring them into the house for the winter. I charge them to full-charge, and every couple of months refresh the charge with a low-current trickle for a day or so.
posted 08-04-2006 03:43 PM ET (US)
I think if it's easy to remove from the boat it may make it more convenient to keep it's charge topped off as Jim H mentions; however, this is not a requirement - many people leave their batteries on the boat - they will not freeze if fully charged. You should probably disconnect one or both of the cables to mimimize the chance of some parasitic leakage draining the battery. You don't even have to do that if you have a battery switch: set it to OFF, and keep the battery case clean.
But if your access to the boat to top off the charge is difficult (like if it is shrink-wrapped), you may have no choice but to remove.
You also hear that you should not store a battery on a concrete floor. As far as I can tell this is an old wives tale, although one could see if the battery case is crudded up with some lightly conducting dirt, a damp concrete floor might just complete a few more parasitic circuits.
posted 08-04-2006 04:30 PM ET (US)
The wood on the concrete floor is sort of true. Batteries years ago had hard rubber cases and could conduct very minimal current under the right condtions. Battery cases are made of plastic for the most part and don't require the wood. This is from a Caterpillar dealer service department, funny thing is we just received another two 1250KW generators from Cat about two months ago, guess what, they come with wood boards to set the batteries on in the metal rack. We use enclosed battery boxes for protection from explosions so the wood will get tossed. I take my batteries out of the boat and put them in a cold garage all winter hooked up to a battery maintainer. ....Jack
posted 08-04-2006 11:20 PM ET (US)
What's winter? ;-)
Chuck, in California.
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