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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took the batteries out of the boat and charged them as I do every year in the winter. One seemed to have a lower charge on it, that was the house battery so I topped off with distilled water, not adding much and put it on the charger on Sunday, well I left it on until Tuesday night, went out the meter was down to 2 amps so it was hardly drawing any amps, checked the water, was still fine. The volts were over 14 but I had just taken off the meter.

wondering, can you overcharge? I always thought that damage was done when the water electrolyte boiled off and exposed the plates to damage them?

I did notice the house battery died in the summer twice when it went a few weeks without using it but I think I left it on ran it down, cannot be sure but they did charge up quickly and held a charge up to now so I figure they are good, they are only a year old. My other two lasted over 6 yrs.
 

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I took the batteries out of the boat and charged them as I do every year in the winter. One seemed to have a lower charge on it, that was the house battery so I topped off with distilled water, not adding much and put it on the charger on Sunday, well I left it on until Tuesday night, went out the meter was down to 2 amps so it was hardly drawing any amps, checked the water, was still fine. The volts were over 14 but I had just taken off the meter.

wondering, can you overcharge? I always thought that damage was done when the water electrolyte boiled off and exposed the plates to damage them?

I did notice the house battery died in the summer twice when it went a few weeks without using it but I think I left it on ran it down, cannot be sure but they did charge up quickly and held a charge up to now so I figure they are good, they are only a year old. My other two lasted over 6 yrs.
Yes. Overcharging a battery occurs when the battery remains on charge after it has reached full charge. Overcharging causes excess heat that can cause the plates within the cells to buckle and shed their active material. Also, the battery will react to the overcharge by producing excess hydrogen and oxygen as the water within the electrolyte breaks down. The water that is lost due to overcharging can be replaced in a non-sealed battery; in a sealed battery the water loss is permanent and will negatively affect the battery's service life. Minn Kota's chargers will not overcharge batteries. However, it is important to check the electrolyte level approximately every 30 days.
 

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A good automatic charger should not overcharge. The old style chargers sure can though. If yours was down to drawing 2amps it sounds as if it is working properly and you should be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A good automatic charger should not overcharge. The old style chargers sure can though. If yours was down to drawing 2amps it sounds as if it is working properly and you should be ok.
That's what i think, there was no smells and the water level fine will watch it over the winter to see if it holds a charge.
 

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the voltage will still be up when right off the charger it will soon settle down to about 12.5 if its a good batt.and if it wont hold a load on it its bad even though it will charge up. a load tester shows that.
 

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Can I use a small 12 volt charger (like a motorcycle charger) to maintain a charge over the winter? I figure it is small and cant put out to much voltage to overcharge.
 

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Harbor Freight has float chargers for $10.
I bought 2 and keep my batts in the basement hooked up to them.
They have been down there since early Dec and it keeps them sitting at 13.6V. I check the water level weekly and they aren't boiling and the level has stayed constant.
Seems like a no brainer for $10. (X2)​
 

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thats fine as long as the charger floats which is when the charger senses the batt. full charge it stops charging on its own and starts charging when needed.check water level in batt. long low amps around 2 amps are the best thing,most trickle chargers
 

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I took the batteries out of the boat and charged them as I do every year in the winter. One seemed to have a lower charge on it, that was the house battery so I topped off with distilled water, not adding much and put it on the charger on Sunday, well I left it on until Tuesday night, went out the meter was down to 2 amps so it was hardly drawing any amps, checked the water, was still fine. The volts were over 14 but I had just taken off the meter.

wondering, can you overcharge? I always thought that damage was done when the water electrolyte boiled off and exposed the plates to damage them?

I did notice the house battery died in the summer twice when it went a few weeks without using it but I think I left it on ran it down, cannot be sure but they did charge up quickly and held a charge up to now so I figure they are good, they are only a year old. My other two lasted over 6 yrs.
You should be ok. when a charger drives the voltage above 14.5, the battery will gas excessively. The damage is done when the plates uncover. My best guess is something was left on to draw the battery down or you have a bad cell. Leave the battery disconnected for 24 hours after full charge, then read the voltage with a digital voltmeter. 100% charge will equal 12.78 volts. If it drops below 12.0, you have a bad cell. A battery hydrometer will tell you which one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You should be ok. when a charger drives the voltage above 14.5, the battery will gas excessively. The damage is done when the plates uncover. My best guess is something was left on to draw the battery down or you have a bad cell. Leave the battery disconnected for 24 hours after full charge, then read the voltage with a digital voltmeter. 100% charge will equal 12.78 volts. If it drops below 12.0, you have a bad cell. A battery hydrometer will tell you which one.
Just checked, it has been 24 hrs and it reads 13 vdc, seems good but i will monitor throughout the winter. i like to give them a good hard charge first then store them and a light on when i put them back in the boat.
 

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What if you just keep them in the boat with the shore power hooked up?
As long as your on board charger is good, you are good. It should go into maintenance mode.

I was never one to remove batteries after the season, seemed like an unnecessary step to me. In the spring just clean the terminals.
 

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As long as your on board charger is good, you are good. It should go into maintenance mode.

I was never one to remove batteries after the season, seemed like an unnecessary step to me. In the spring just clean the terminals.
I never take mine out. Actually I just clean em up in the spring, hook up the shore power, and dunk it. Never had a problem
 

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Can I use a small 12 volt charger (like a motorcycle charger) to maintain a charge over the winter? I figure it is small and cant put out to much voltage to overcharge.
That's what I use it's called a battery tender. I use the same thing for my Harley ... works great ... you just leave it plugged in ... it has a built in chip so it only charges the battery when it senses it needs it ... about $35 at a harley shop or JP cycles catalog.
 
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