Time for a new battery?

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Time for a new battery?

Postby prisk » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:47 pm

It deems that when the boat isn't plugged in and the engines aren't running, none of the 12v devices work. The radio says "low voltage", but the chartplotter don't come on and neither will anything else. The lights on the breaker panel are all still yellow, however. When I turn on the engines or plug in to shore power, everything comes back on. Battery?
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby catalina_mike » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:06 pm

Yes your charger is supplying charging voltage and things work. 4-5 years is normal battery life. I just had a optima that lasted 8 years in our lake boat and that is a exception.
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:19 pm

Yes in Texas I would only see about 3 years at most on the batteries. That is keeping an eye on the levels as well. The heat isn't their friends for sure. I would just replace with cheaper Walmart Group 29 and get the 36 month replacement warranty along with additional 2 years of pro rated replacement. I am not sure what size your dealer used as according to my dealer Regal doesn't ship them with batteries and its up to the dealer to put them in. I had three Interstate G31 truck batteries in there when I purchased it.
Thanks, Chris

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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby nawtical1 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:17 am

You can purchase an inexpensive battery tester from any auto part store and conduct your own load testing. I start testing my batteries around the third year.
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby gofast24 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:29 pm

Chris_in_Texas wrote:Yes in Texas I would only see about 3 years at most on the batteries. That is keeping an eye on the levels as well. The heat isn't their friends for sure. I would just replace with cheaper Walmart Group 29 and get the 36 month replacement warranty along with additional 2 years of pro rated replacement. I am not sure what size your dealer used as according to my dealer Regal doesn't ship them with batteries and its up to the dealer to put them in. I had three Interstate G31 truck batteries in there when I purchased it.


Chris, Good advice other than replacing battery's every 3 years or so? Are you on shore power when not at sea? I put in a BCI Group 8D AGM battery three years ago (160 lb. monster) , still doing fine ! But when we did this I switched the Charles charger with a hidden switch on the back of it (against the bulk head wall) from flooded/wet cell to AGM mode. A few months later I replaced the 2X propulsion engine starting batteries from flooded to BCI Group 34 AGM, now they are happy with the charger settings as well! (The Charles Charger handles all 3 batteries and the gen set battery thru a isolation system). This weekend will replace the gen set wet cell starting battery with a BCI Group 24 AGM battery, it is fed charging current from the Charles as well but through a isolation diode circuit. I have a PDF file that indicates the open circuit voltage vs. state of charge if anyone is interested? Of interest is that the chart indicates a AGM battery at 12.4 VDC is 50 % discharged . So, I bought highly accurate (+/- 0.1 VDC) Blue Sea OLED helm panel mounted house battery voltage gauge if at sea, we dont let it get down below 12.4 VDC before turning all DC loads off (hard to do as we loose the fridge, fresh water pump, vacu flush toilets, cabin lights, etc, or just start the gen set? The % discharge level is directly proportional to the number of cycles that a new battery can handle before requiring replacement. Ya, I know I ramble on too much some times.
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby prisk » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:36 pm

I replaced the battery today. Turns out the old one had exploded (that explains the loud bang/crack noise I heard on Thursday). The water caps were blown off - one was in the bilge and one was behind the battery. The top was broken and peeled back partially, and the strap holding down the battery was broken. A part of the left side was blown clear off and parts of the battery case were lying around it. Glad it didn't do more damage.

Thinking maybe I should replace the cranking batteries in the off-season before the same thing happens to them. Although they seem to be performing just fine. They are also much harder to get at than the house battery.
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby catalina_mike » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:53 pm

prisk wrote:I replaced the battery today. Turns out the old one had exploded (that explains the loud bang/crack noise I heard on Thursday). The water caps were blown off - one was in the bilge and one was behind the battery. The top was broken and peeled back partially, and the strap holding down the battery was broken. A part of the left side was blown clear off and parts of the battery case were lying around it. Glad it didn't do more damage.

Thinking maybe I should replace the cranking batteries in the off-season before the same thing happens to them. Although they seem to be performing just fine. They are also much harder to get at than the house battery.


Something caused it to explode. Check your charger!
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby prisk » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:04 pm

I'll check the charger in the morning. I think perhaps that since the battery was already dead, trying to drive a load through it just made things worse. Probably should have seen that one coming...
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:30 pm

Most likely the reason was that the water level was low causing a massive amount of hydrogen off gassing, which boiled out more liquid and make the problem worse, which increased the current and you get into a runaway situation until the problem fixes itself. Your lucky that the entire thing didn't go up in flames, and was more or less contained to the batteries themselves. That is a major problem with flooded cell batteries during charge cycles. That is why they don't use them in enclosed areas because of the hydrogen off gassing and build up of this explosive gas.

I would for sure replace the others and check the water levels in each cell until you do get them replaced.

Gofast, I always left the boat plugged into shore power, and the battery charger on. Even when it was out of the water, it would say plugged in to keep things charged. Because you can't totally remove all loads on the batteries, even with the battery switches in off position they (Regal) wire to the hot side of the switch a number of things. There is always a load on the batteries, a small amount but none the less a constant draw.
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby prisk » Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:35 am

Chris,

You mentioned that you liked Walmart batteries. Here's what I found: https://www.walmart.com/ip/12V-110Ah-Re ... /130656963
and on Amazon for $50 less: https://www.amazon.com/110Ah-Replacemen ... p+31+regal

Looks like an AGM battery.
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:10 am

I just go with the flooded cell G27:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-Ma ... 7/28275658

For the price and warranty its hard to beat them for the most part. With the heat in Texas the batteries don't last. I am sure that AGM ones would but for the price you spend on 3 of them, you can purchase these a number of times for sure. The downside is keeping them topped off fluid wise as they are a pain to get too. :)
Thanks, Chris

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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby prisk » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:28 pm

Just added water. Good advice - they were pretty low. The voltages are 13.1 & 12.9 at rest with engines off and 14.2 on both with engines running. When I crank the engines they drop to 10.9 or so as the engine is starting.
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:53 pm

You can also get the battery conductance tester's as well from Amazon. They have many different price ranges. While the old resistive load testers are still around the newer conductance testers have pretty much replaced them now a days. I have used the older Midtronics units and they are good, but on the expensive side. They will give you the overall health of the battery.
Thanks, Chris

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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby erussl07 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:14 am

I have a Midtronics tester and I can say that it is very accurate.
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby gofast24 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:47 am

Chris_in_Texas wrote:I just go with the flooded cell G27:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-Ma ... 7/28275658

For the price and warranty its hard to beat them for the most part. With the heat in Texas the batteries don't last. I am sure that AGM ones would but for the price you spend on 3 of them, you can purchase these a number of times for sure. The downside is keeping them topped off fluid wise as they are a pain to get too. :)

Chris, agree but for $158 on Amazon I bought 2X Exide Group 34 AGM batteries for the propulsion engines starting systems and after setting the Charles charger to AGM for the 8D house battery both the charger and all 3 batteries are now happy :). The Exide AGM's have a 4 year full replacement warranty so with all AGM's no maintenance or boiling out the electrolyte, nothing to do but keep them charged at dock and when the house battery gets to 12.4 VDC (50% discharged) on the hook start the gen set or reduce as many DC loads as possible until returning to shore power.
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby prisk » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:31 am

After crawling back there to add water, I can confirm that I never want to do that again. AGM batteries from now on. Will even pay someone to install them. :)
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:07 pm

LOL... I know the feeling. I had to use a ratchet strap to get those silly things out of there. The dealer installed G31 batteries and those are heavier than the G27 ones. Thank goodness they had handles to hook on to them and pull them out. Glad you got to experience the wonderful world of "what were they thinking" by placing the batteries in that location. Why not put the fuel tank there for goodness sake. The odds of having to replace a fuel take is much less than silly batteries.

On a side note if you use AGM's make sure you use AGM's for all three batteries and you can't select battery technology by bank on the charger. You need also to change the charger to use the AGM profile with the switches on the front of the unit.
Thanks, Chris

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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby prisk » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:12 am

Oops. That might be a problem. I put in a regular battery for the house. Planning to put in AGM for the starting batteries.
What happens if there are different battery types and the charger is set for AGM or flooded cell?
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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:35 pm

They have different charging profiles, each phase is a bit different when they go from phase to phase. Either you will not charge the flooded cell correctly or the AGMs correctly and you won't float them at the correct voltage when charged. Ideally the voltage regulator out of the alternators has to be changed when you move from flooded cells to AGMs, however because normally the engines aren't on all the time vs the charger its not near as important with those.

With AGM's the colder it is the higher the float voltage has to be, and many smart chargers will compensate for this. What happens is when you get down in the 68F range you should be around 13.94 float on an AGM, however that is high enough to boil off a flooded cell, the colder it gets in theory the higher the float level should set at around 32F you are up to 14.4VDC float voltages. The Promariner charger will do temp compensation as well, but not sure to what extremes it will ultimately go to at temps change.
Thanks, Chris

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Re: Time for a new battery?

Postby gofast24 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:32 am

Chris_in_Texas wrote:They have different charging profiles, each phase is a bit different when they go from phase to phase. Either you will not charge the flooded cell correctly or the AGMs correctly and you won't float them at the correct voltage when charged. Ideally the voltage regulator out of the alternators has to be changed when you move from flooded cells to AGMs, however because normally the engines aren't on all the time vs the charger its not near as important with those.

With AGM's the colder it is the higher the float voltage has to be, and many smart chargers will compensate for this. What happens is when you get down in the 68F range you should be around 13.94 float on an AGM, however that is high enough to boil off a flooded cell, the colder it gets in theory the higher the float level should set at around 32F you are up to 14.4VDC float voltages. The Promariner charger will do temp compensation as well, but not sure to what extremes it will ultimately go to at temps change.


I our case I put in a group 8D AGM battery 3 years ago and switched the Charles Charger to AGM (meaning both starting batteries and the house battery are being charged/maintained/and float voltage of 12.8/ 12.9 VDC AGM's) , the location of the house battery doesnt matter where it is located as it weighs about 160 pounds! Last March replaced both starting batteries with Exide AGM34 batteries. All are doing well as of today, the Charles is happy seeing 3X AGM batteries and the battery's are happy as well. Next project is to change out the Gen Set battery from flooded to a Exide Group 24 AGM, then all batteries and we will be happy? The AGM's are great, accept a higher charge current, charge faster, and have a much better life cycle life if you dont over discharge them (less than 12.4 VDC especially on the house battery!) Note: The Exide AGM's have a 4 year full replacement warranty so that is a advantage as well.
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