Tucked away out of sight, your marine batteries bring life to most of your vessels systems. Since you expect your marine battery to perform whenever you go out on the water, it’s also important that you know how to maintain them. A marine battery is susceptible to many kinds of problems that could lead to them prematurely failing but most of these possibilities are negated by simple, regular maintenance habits that will keep you up-and-running when you need to be.
1. Keeping Batteries Clean
It’s easy to take an out of sight, out of mind approach with batteries and let them accumulate dust that you just don’t clean up often. It is important to keep the terminals and connections clean to insure minimal resistance across the connections. Resistance equals heat, see below! To clean your terminals, use a quality battery cleaner and a wire brush to clean away any dirt or corrosion that has accumulated. When finished, insure the connections are tight and spray the terminals with corrosion preventer.
2. Prevent Battery Meltdown
To prevent a meltdown, you want to be sure of two things: one that you maintain check and maintain the electrolyte level, and two being that all of your terminal connections are clean, free of corrosion, and properly tightened Loose or corroded terminals will generate an abundance of heat that can cause extensive damage to your battery and wiring. If you’re using a flooded lead acid battery, it is imperative that you check the fluid levels several times a season. If the lead plates are exposed, the battery can short internally creating an explosion or a melted case. Even if the battery does not short, exposed plates can lead to irreparable sulfation and ruin a battery. If you find one of your batteries low on fluid, be sure to top it up only with distilled water! Using bottled or tap water can damage the battery. If you want to keep your marine battery working for you, it’s important to check for proper electrolyte level, corrosion and loose connections.
3. Winterizing Your Battery
Winter is still a ways away but it’s good to start thinking about everything that needs to be done in order to winterize your boat. Did you know that your batteries can freeze over the winter? As your batteries state of charge reaches 0, the freezing point of the electrolyte approaches that of water. A discharged battery left on board will freeze and may crack the case. To prevent this, many boaters will take the battery off the boat and store it in a warm location over the winter. While removing the battery is not necessary, it is important to disconnect the battery to prevent any electrical drain, as well as to insure it remains charged over the winter. Even with nothing connected to it, a battery will self-discharge itself so a monthly recharge is recommended. Better yet, attach a marine rated battery maintainer to keep the charge level topped off all winter.
Reach Out to Tidewater Today!
If you’re in the greater Baltimore area and are in need of boat services, contact Tidewater Yacht Service at 410-625-4992 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our location is at 321 East Cromwell Street Baltimore, MD 21230. Get in touch with us today! Whether you need hauling, systems repaired, or storage, we have the experience and expertise to help. We’ve been providing our services to the Chesapeake Bay for over 30 years and know how to properly handle your vessel with care.