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  1. #1
    Moderator RX951's Avatar
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    Proper Battery Maintenance

    Proper Battery Maintenance
    It is important to briefly discuss proper battery maintenance for our motorized hobbies.
    All batteries require a little tender loving care in order to reach their full potential, which is why I want to discuss a few tips.

    Batteries:

    Always check the battery for any loose or corroded connections, and verify that it has the proper level of battery acid. If the level is too low, distilled water can be added to reach the proper level. Be careful when filling the battery, as the acid is very corrosive. In addition to checking the battery connections and level, also check the vent hose, if applicable, to make sure that it isn't kinked. Finally, inspect the condition of the battery straps. Make sure that they hold the battery securely in place.

    1. CHECK WATER LEVELS IN BATTERIES EVERY 2 TO 3 months.

    2. ADD Distilled WATER IF NECESSARY VERY SLOWLY AND NOT TO LET WATER OVERFLOW! PROPER WATER LEVEL IS important whenever FILLING AND WHENEVER POSSIBLE, FILL BATTERIES AFTER VEHICLE HAS BEEN CHARGED. DISTILLED WATER IS PREFERRED BUT TAP WATER IS OK.

    3. NEVER CHARGE BATTERIES WHEN PLATES ARE EXPOSED. (WHEN NO WATER BATTERIES DRY) THIS WILL CAUSE SEVERE DAMAGE TO BATTERIES.

    4. BATTERY COMPARTMENT AND TOPS OF BATTERIES “MUST BE WASHED DOWN” and kept clean.

    5. ALWAYS KEEP OPEN FLAMES AND SPARKS AWAY FROM BATTERIES. (BATTERIES ARE EXPLOSIVE WHEN EXPOSED TO FIRE & SPARKS)

    6. Battery Terminals should always be free of corrosion and terminals tight.
    There are several different types of battery maintenance devices on the market to help properly maintain your battery.
    The Primary reason for properly maintaining your battery is for longevity and performance.

    Note:

    The average life of a liquid filled battery, depending on usage, is six to 48 months. But, according to a recent study, only 30% of all batteries actually reach the 48-month point. Why is that? The reason is a series of problems caused by sulfation buildup. And the solution is a line of patented battery maintenance systems from PulseTech using a revolutionary pulse technology.
    Sulphation buildup occurs as lead sulphates form on the battery plates during the normal charge/discharge cycles. During this process, some of the sulphates enlarge to the point where they can't accept energy so they stay on the plate. Over time these sulphates can build up until efficiency is reduced and the battery dies. This process is the main reason for over 80% of all battery problems and failure. It is a natural by-product of battery operation and sooner or later it will kill your battery. This is especially true for infrequently-used and stored vehicles, but it is also a major problem for frequently-used vehicles. The result is a battery that is not fully charged so it will sulphates . Ultimately, it too will die.

    -Sulfation is caused by overcharging batteries
    -Sulfation is caused by undercharged & dying batteries
    -Sulfation is caused by over using, or pulling down the battery over 80%
    -Sulfation is caused by Incorrect charging voltages


    Normal Battery Plate



    Battery Plate with Sulfation




    Storage:
    If you are going to be storing your motorized hobby for a long period of time, it is crucial to ensure these steps are taken:
    Remove the battery
    Check your battery and battery chargers for specific safety instructions.
    Remove the battery by first disconnecting the negative terminal followed by the positive terminal.
    Store the battery indoors in a warm place such as a shed or garage. We do not recommend storing the battery in your house, as it can give off dangerous fumes.
    If the battery case is older, place the battery on a rubber mat for storage. Placing an older battery on concrete may cause the battery to conduct a current and eventually discharge it.
    Attach the battery to a Trickle/float charger and remember to check the battery water level every month throughout the storage period.
    There are several different types of battery maintenance devices on the market to help properly maintain your battery.

    Your local cycle shop carries these items as well as Ebay, Harbor Freight tools, Northern Tool, Wal-Mart, and automotive parts stores such as Auto-zone, O’Reilly and Pep-boys.

    Some of the features most associated with some of these chargers are:

    * Automatic 4 stage charging program
    * Voltage regulated for gel-cell batteries
    * Will not overcharge your battery
    * Perfect for long term maintenance & storage


    A Battery Float Charger is used for the maintenance of 12 volt batteries that are stored or used periodically in such items as boats, vehicles, ATVs, tractors, snowmobiles, PWC etc., or in cold weather.
    It prevents self discharge of the battery, while maintaining and extending the life of any 12 volt battery.
    The most important aspect of a float charger is that the floating circuit maintains a full charge without overcharging. (Other types of chargers provide a strong, rapid charge, and tend to boil out liquids and decay electrodes.) Automatic safety shut-off. Simple to use: just hook it up, plug it in, and forget about it!

    Below are examples of Float Chargers.






    I personally use this one from HarborFreight tools.







    References:

    http://www.batterystuff.com/tutorial_battery.html#9

    http://www.parkeryamaha.com/index.as...n=Custom&ID=33

    http://www.foremostboaters.com/maint...terize_pwc.htm

    http://da.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do


  2. #2
    Hydrotoys's Avatar
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    Great post.
    I'm using a battery tender junior, hard wired to my ski. I keep the head unit, inside the back compartment, and just plug it up, when I bring the ski home from the lake.

    I've bought batteries online here before.
    http://www.motorcyclebatteriesusa.com/index.asp

  3. #3
    ABBOTT's Avatar
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    awsome Billy! I have had a few batteries look that looked like that.

  4. #4
    Hydrotoys's Avatar
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    http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/

    This site was found over on rec.sports.jetski newsgroup.

    Good info, battery related.

  5. #5
    Hydrotoys's Avatar
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    Here's that safety word again...
    Words of caution: Lead-acid batteries contain a diluted sulfuric acid electrolyte, which is a highly corrosive poison and will produce flammable and toxic gasses when recharged and explode if ignited. According to PREVENT BLINDNESS AMERICA, in 2003 nearly 6,000 motorists suffered serious eye injuries from working around car batteries. When working with batteries, you need to wear glasses (or preferably safety goggles), have plenty of ventilation, remove your jewelry, and exercise caution. Do NOT allow battery electrolyte to mix with salt water. Even small quantities of this combination will produce chlorine gas that can KILL you! Please follow the manufacturer's instructions for testing, jumping, installing, discharging, charging, equalizing and maintaining batteries.

  6. #6
    One day at a time..... N8R's Avatar
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    i got the harbor freight tender

  7. #7
    Moderator RX951's Avatar
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    i got the harbor freight tender
    thats the same one I have.......over 5 years old and working fine.
    great price too.

  8. #8
    One day at a time..... N8R's Avatar
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    ive got 5 @ $10.00 a piece

  9. #9

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    Greetings--

    Can I maintain BOTH of my batteries over thw winter season with one charger- perhaps connecting them in paralell to one trickle charger ?

  10. #10
    Moderator RX951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piney View Post
    Greetings--

    Can I maintain BOTH of my batteries over thw winter season with one charger- perhaps connecting them in paralell to one trickle charger ?

    Just alternate them. Put one on for a couple of weeks, then switch over to the other for a couple of weeks.

    thats what I currently do now for my two skis.

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