If you have recently bought a new marine battery and have received the manual along you will have received the basic tips of battery maintenance. Looking after the battery and have a regular check can make it work for long. Other than the basic tips, there are certain tips to be careful about to ensure that your battery is used in the most appropriate manner.
In this article, we shall help you with the repair and service tips that are essential for all types of marine battery models. Despite following these tips, if your battery is still giving issues, then you may have to contact a professional to have a check. Before we do that, let us quickly understand the most common reasons why marine batteries fail.
Reasons and Repair Tips for battery failure:
Overheating is the most common reason why marine batteries may stop becoming functional. During hot temperatures also your marine battery may tend to drain faster.
Always choose a controlled environment to place your battery. Make time to cool down the battery too.
2. Incomplete charging:
Marine batteries work on all types of chargers. However, a good quality charger can work a long way. One of the major reasons your marine battery would not function properly could be due to wrong charging phase or if the battery is not properly charged.
Read the manual well on the charging phase and charging guidelines. Always setup a branded or good quality on-board charger.
3. Incorrect Installation:
Installation done by a layman would always be different than a professional who knows it all. Failure to proper installation may also lead to failure in marine battery.
Install the entire system properly and go through the step by step process in the manual. From cables to nuts everything needs to be attached properly. Also check for any loosely attached cables and bolts.
4. Flooded batteries/cells:
Another possible reason of your marine battery breaking down could be due to flooded batteries. This happens when your lead acid batteries release less than the average percent of its capacity which should be at least 30 percent. The acid transform into sulphate crystals affecting the unit’s performance.
You need to hire someone on contractual basis who can check the voltage of your battery every year. A professional marine engineer will support you to disperse the excess sulphate crystal and ensure that your battery lasts longer.
5. Poor maintenance practices:
Majority of us when not sailing often drop the battery in the garage to rust. We don’t even remember to clean it thoroughly. Storing batteries without proper maintenance may lead to corrosion. Even climatic conditions and temperature play similar role in battery corrosion.
Under cold climatic conditions, store your marine battery indoors. Clean it regularly and fully charge the battery. Always place the battery in a dry area.
6. Installing incorrect battery:
Never take the risk of installation wrong or incorrect batteries. Assembling and setting cheap quality batteries may also give you unfavourable results. Marine batteries are also used for different purposes. Moreover, different types of batteries serve different purposes. For instance, deep cycle batteries for trolling motors work the best!
Find the right purpose while selecting the battery. Choose a good brand from marine battery guides website and ensure you replace batteries from time to time on its ending life. Another thing to remember is not mixing batteries. For example avoid mixing flooded batteries in parallel with trolling motors.
Marine Battery Service Tips:
- Always go for the right charger to charge your marine battery. By using a branded or good quality charger you are increasing the life of your battery.
- Don’t forget to charge your battery after every use. You don’t wish to get into trouble while sailing, do you? Even if you have a battery backup, it would always be wise to charge the battery and the backup both to be on safer side.
- Keep the parts clean and rust free. Check for any rust or dust in the nuts, bolts, cables, and other parts of the battery. The best way to clean the battery is with the solution of baking soda and water. You will find the instructions to use the solution online or in your manual.
- Choose good quality wires and nuts for your battery. As per the reviews and experts Nylock nuts are good and widely used. Most people buy batteries which use Nylock nuts to save their power wires from rust.
- Maintain the water level in your battery. Check the water level and ensure that you have distilled water always as your primary fluid. Distilled water encourages the life span of your marine battery.
- If you have a deep cycle battery, you have to monitor the charge timely. As a failure to this, you will have to face power cut. The battery discharge may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Get all the necessary tools such as amp-hour meters, digital motors, and hydrometers. Deep cycle batteries need to be charged as soon as they get drained to 50%. This will ensure longer battery life.
- Avoid sulfation of battery. Deep cycle batteries are at higher risk of sulfation. It happens when you leave the marine battery uncharged for long. As a result, your battery can no longer accept the charging option. Prevent all the hurdles that can cause your battery to die or drain faster.
- Cool your battery on time. Resting the battery is essential too. If your battery is inactive charge it but rest it too. Avoid immediately putting your battery to use after fully charging it. It will hamper making your battery performing to its best capacity. This happens due to the heat generated during the recharge process. Immediately running leads to battery failure.
Get your marine battery checked and inspected before you take off every sailing. A thorough check will make you avoid the hassle of sailing. Hope you found the article helpful and will take all the precautionary steps for a longer battery life.