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Author Topic:   Battery Polarity
jimh posted 05-24-2011 08:34 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Spring is the time of year when many boaters re-commission their boats, and this often involves the re-installation of the boat's battery. It is extremely important that the battery cables be installed properly with respect to the polarity of the battery. Connecting a battery with the polarity reversed often causes damage to the boat's electrical system.

In the past week or so I have noticed the appearance of several threads on various boating forums seeking advice on how to repair damage that resulted from connecting the boat battery with the polarity reversed. This has prompted me to post this article.

Battery cables should be clearly identified for polarity. I find that using red Scotch 35 vinyl electrical tape is very useful for identifying the positive conductors. The negative conductors can be identified with yellow tape. I also mark the battery terminals with color tape. Save yourself the trouble of repairs by properly marking and connecting the battery cables to your boat battery this Spring.

Jerry Townsend posted 05-24-2011 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Jim - points well taken - and particularly with those using the side terminals with a nut/wingnut. That is, with the top battery post terminals using the older style clamps - where one can get in the habit of always putting the negative cable on first as it is smaller and cannot be put on the positive post. ----- Jerry/Idaho

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