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Author Topic:   Battery Identifier Convention
Frank O posted 12-15-2006 05:17 PM ET (US)   Profile for Frank O   Send Email to Frank O  
While replacing a bilge pump float switch today, I had occasion to notice the following about my fairly-new-to-me 1995 Outrage 21:

--The two batteries under the console are both $46 Costco group 24 deep-cycle wet cells.

--Power to the bilge pump is provided by the battery connected to position 1 on the Perko power switch. This battery is on the starboard side of the console.

This prompted some questions:

--Isn't it more common for the "house" battery (used for bilge, lights, electronics, etc., not for engine starting) to be connected to position 2 on the power switch?

--Is there any convention on which battery is usually on which side of the console? (Can't see that it would make a lot of difference, but if there's a customary placement maybe it makes it easier to know which battery you're dealing with?)

--I'm thinking of an absorptive glass mat (AGM) battey for the house battery next time I replace it -- any suggestions on a brand/model that'd fit this size? What would be an appropriate choice for the cranking battery?

Thanks for any ideas.

Bulldog posted 12-15-2006 05:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bulldog  Send Email to Bulldog     
Frank, Yes it is typical for the bilge pumps and house equipment to be on one battery and engine on the other. I think the best thing to do is mark the battery in the console as to which postion it is on the switch. I'm not sure about having the motor battery as postion one though, not sure if that is any kind of problem, but I don't think so! When going to absorptive glass mat (AGM) batteries, there might be times you have them in the both postion and having the same type of battery construction is beneficail. Also in regards to AGM batteries the ones that Cabela's sells have a sticker on them saying don't exceed 14 volts or damage and voiding warranty can happen. I passed on AGM batteries because of my old Yamaha motors can hit over 15 volts at full throttle............jack
Frank O posted 12-15-2006 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Frank O  Send Email to Frank O     
Thanks for [mentioning the concern] about absorptive glass mat (AGM) batteries and voltage levels. Maybe I'll bring a digital meter to see what kind of voltages my 1994 Mercury 3.0 Offshore 225-HP outboard hits.
jimh posted 12-15-2006 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I do not think there is a particular standard regarding the labels used for batteries in a 1, 2 series regarding which is the starting and which is the house. But I'd say that more often than not the the battery identified as "1" is probably the primary engine starting battery.
davej14 posted 12-16-2006 12:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
If you are charging at 15 volts you are also damaging a flooded cell battery. Both flooded cell and AGM batteries should not be charged continuously above 13.5 Volts.

With a proper charger, AGM batteries are a superior choice for marine applications.

Chuck Tribolet posted 12-16-2006 03:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Don't mark the battery, mark the big red cable that attaches
to it. THAT's what counts.


pglein posted 12-19-2006 06:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
Don't use an AGM for your house battery unless you plan to use a dual battery charging regulator and never combine the two batteries directly. The AGM battery will naturally want to sit at a lower voltage than your deep cycle starting battery. When left connected with no charging source, the AGM will bleed power off your starting battery, possibly damaging itself in the process.

It is true that the AGM will work better for the house load, but it also won't last very long if you don't take the proper precautions.

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