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beatuplund

Battery Life

Question

beatuplund

A simple question: When do you call your boat battery "dead" and time to get a new one? I've got 3 years of fairly heavy use out of my trolling and starter batteries. They seem fine but am I asking for trouble to push a fourth year out of them?

Thanks for your help!

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BobT

I call it dead when it quits working.

Battery life is dependent upon many factors.

What type of battery is it; deep cycle, starting, or combination?

How many charge cycles?

How deep were the cycles?

How often has it been overcharged?

How often has it been undercharged?

How well was the electrolyte been maintained?

Was kind of water was used to maintain the electrolyte?

Has it been subjected to excessive vibration and physical abuse?

Has it ever been frozen or overheated?

These are some typical (minimum - maximum) expectations for batteries if used in deep cycle service. There are so many variables, such as depth of discharge, maintenance, temperature, how often and how deep cycled, etc. that it is almost impossible to give a fixed number.

Starting batteries: 3-12 months

Marine starting/deep cycle batteries: 1-6 years

Gelled deep cycle: 2-5 years

Wet cell deep cycle: 4-8 years

Hope this helps.

Bob

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Phred52

beatuplund, I have to agree with BobT. I run Trojan batteries in my boat, and then switch them to my fishhouse. I just answered a post about how long batteries and propane will last in a 16' house. My nearly 6 year old Trojan battery started at about 92% charged, I ran for 29 hours a forced air furnace (Atwood) and a light, and yes the blower was running slower and the light a little dimmer, but they were both still working. I believe keeping the battery cycling all year long is a good thing and adds to the life of the battery. When they quit working (taking and holding a charge), they're dead. That's when it's time to replace. Phred52

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eyebjim

In many cases when they quit working you can top off the water and the'll go longer. I just bought a new battery charger (The last one was 15 years old) and it is amazing. It will tell if the battery is open/shorted/sufated. It will fix them, if possible, when sufated. I had several batteries that I thought were toast and I was going to recycle. after I bought the charger and realized what it claimed to be able to do I started hooking up the bad batteries to see what it would tell me. I found out of 6 batteries that would not hold a charge it was able to make four of them work and I used them this past weekend and they worked like new.

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Phred52

eyebjim, That works if the battery isn't a sealed cell battery. The charger that you used wouldn't by any chance be a Vector SmartCharger, would it? That charger has a "recondition function" that actually does!! My Neighbor borrowed mine and reconditioned his 12 year old origional Ford Pickup battery and so far, it's gone through what we've had for this winter and then some. He borrowed it 2 1/2 years ago!! May as well milk 'em for all you can, long as you can, They don't seem to be getting any cheaper!! Phred52

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eyebjim

Actually it was a black and decker smart charger from wally world. Seems to work good. Like you said batteries aren't getting cheaper.

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