Thread: Battery charging?
04-08-2008, 01:07 PM #1
It's that time of year to get the ski's back on the water. I treated them for storage before it got cold, some time in November. The batteries eventually died since then. I now need to charge the batteries to get them started. Can I jump them like an automobile with a 6v jumper/charger and run them for a day to get them charged or is it best to let them sit on a charger. I tried jumping one of them Sunday and it just clicked. I may not have been getting a good connection or the jumper was not working. Is there a recomended charger/jumper? I have two ski's. What is the cheapest, form Harbor freight maybe? I just bought one of the small portable yellow ones from PepBoys but I think it only does 12v.
04-08-2008, 01:17 PM #2
04-08-2008, 01:51 PM #3
Charging a battery at 1/10 of the battery's AH rating is best. So a 20AH battery should be charged with no more than a 2 amp charger for 10 hrs.
You don't wanna use a 6v charger! Unless VW made some jetskis back in the 60's.... Just joking, but seriously, your ski is a 12 neg ground system.
A cheapo jumper pack from SlapBoys or WallofchinaMart will work just fine, I use them all the time. Or a set of good tow truck jumper cables. Just don't run the engine on the car/truck when jumping. Rectifier sine waves clash, "Worlds Collide, Jerry, Worlds Collide!"
Next time, disconnect your battery at the end of the season, top it off with a 2amp charger, and it will be good as new next spring! Unless you bought a crappy WalMart battery, and then you'll only get a season at best out of it....
Last edited by delagem; 04-08-2008 at 01:53 PM. Reason: I'm still not wearing any pants
04-08-2008, 01:53 PM #4
OK, so I'll have to try charging it again. The charger I was using was a Schumacher. I believe it is the one below or one almost exactly like it. I left it on for a few hours while I went fishing but it gave no indication that it was charging. When I came back the meter was still on zero. Maybe it was not connected good enough. hmm..
04-08-2008, 02:14 PM #5
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
- near Toronto, Canada
I have been using a VCD Electronics BatteryMINDer, model 12248, but they also sell a smaller 12117 model.
What I like about this product is that it doesn't simply charge the battery, then keep it topped off. It also runs a mild electronically controlled current pulsation through the cells, which over time is supposed to reverse the effects of sulfation, and restore lost battery capacity.
I used it over the past winter, with the battery still hooked up in the Virage TXi, but haven't had the boat in the water since then.
The 12248 unit is pretty complete, and can accurately charge regular lead-acid, sealed, gel, spiral wound and AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) type batteries, with selectable charge rates, and even battery temperature charge rate compensation.
AGM or spiral wound are I think the best battery types for a PWC, and will be what I buy as replacements.
04-08-2008, 02:19 PM #6
I can confirm that hooking a dead 12v battery to a 6v charger will get you nowhere. And that hooking a 2amp walmart charger to a jetski backwards makes a really cool "twang!" sound every 5 seconds. And I could show you the precise place to cut into a Ducati wiring harness to replace the diode after hooking that battery up backwards. And that the bill for hooking up your tractor battery backwards into a Fiat Spyder costs $1500. I could go on and on.....
04-08-2008, 02:28 PM #7
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
- near Toronto, Canada
If it works by sensing the voltage of the connected battery (and many 'smart' chargers do), that may be the problem.
If your battery is truly, completely discharged, then there isn't enough voltage for the charger to sense the battery being connected, so the charger doesn't do anything.
If the battery is really flat, the cells may also be too damaged to hold a decent charge, if you can get it to charge at all. Only recharge such batteries with a LOW charge current, 2 AMPS maximum. A high charging current into a discharged lead-acid battery can aggravate any internal battery plate damage, and can accelerate complete battery failure.
Monitor the battery while you are charging it. Don't just leave it hooked up and go away. If the cells are damaged or shorted internally, the battery could overheat and start venting sulfuric acid gases.
If it starts venting, turn off the charger, let it settle down, then dispose of the battery - it is only good for battery recycling. If it has any battery acid on the outside, clean it up with a baking soda and water mix.
You can try connecting your battery by itself to a 'simple' 12 volt battery charger, not a smart one, at low current. Charge it for an hour or so, then re-connect it to the smart charger, and see if it charges properly.
Personally, if I had a battery that had really become completely discharged, I would not trust it to hold a decent charge over time. I would buy and use another battery. It is just not worth the risk to me to be paddling home from somewhere on the water...
04-08-2008, 03:28 PM #8
04-08-2008, 05:14 PM #9
K447 makes a good point. Some of the "automatic" chargers are so smart, that they won't let you charge a battery that is totally flat. (not smart at all if you ask me!) My big charger does that at the higher settings. Just flashes "Check Batt" on the display. You have to charge them at the "2amp" and "manual" settings until it has some voltage, then it will work. Yours may be this way, if the battery is totally dead it won't even start to charge. You'd have to read your manual, or try the lowest setting and see. But yeah, you should be showing a significant # of amps on the gauge at the start.
Last edited by delagem; 04-08-2008 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Where's my pants?
04-08-2008, 08:06 PM #10
- Join Date
- Aug 2006
Buy a Battery Tender Jr. and never worry about a battery problem again.
they charge at 750mA and have quick disconnects to make fast and easy charging without having to worry about unhooking the battery.
Charge the battery once a month during storage, and after any days of riding that you have done alot of stopping and starting.
Just my .02
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