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09vRide

Charging / Battery help

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09vRide

In the winter I keep the two batteries in my boat (in a garage) on a low amperage battery charger/tender with the OEM main battery switch in the OFF position. It is a Yuasa 12v900 charger. http://www.yuasabatteries.com/chargers.php

I have a pigtail lead that I keep on each battery and every 30 days I rotate which battery is on the charger. This system has worked well for two years. In the spring the batteries are fully charged and I have no problems for the boating season.

Today I go to switch the batteries and as soon as I do I get electrical burning/smoke coming from the battery boxes. I quickly disconnect charger, clear smoke and investigate. I find that both of the pigtail leads have melted insulation between the quick disconnect and the attachment points to the batteries. No insulation is melted on the wires leading from the charger to the quick disconnect.

I double checked the polarity and it was correct. In fact I've made no alterations to this setup for two years and it has been fine until today. I'm assuming that this happened to the first battery at some point during the last 30 day cycle and then on the second battery when I switched them today....?

So my questions are:

Does this sound like a malfunctioning battery charger to you?

Is it likely that my batteries have been compromised by this? (Batteries are the original OEM Deka Marine Master 24M6)

How much life should I get out of the OEM batteries/ Is it time to replace them anyway?

Can I expect any damage to the boat electronics from this?

Edited by 09vRide

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Wayne

Could the pigtails have corroded inside the insulation and turned into a resistor?

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09vRide

Could the pigtails have corroded inside the insulation and turned into a resistor?

Could be a possiblity. However there is no evidence of corrosion on any other exposed metal so I doubt conductors corroded in the insulation.

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Earmark Marine

Like Wayne wrote, a bad connection can arc and burn and cause a worse connection.

I would say your batteries are as good as they test. If you don't have them load tested then make sure they hold their full charge voltage for several days without a charger and without a measurable decline. A new flooded battery is 12.7 volts after you allow the charger voltage to dissipate. An older but still good battery should maintain 12.6 volts.

David

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electricjohn

^^true^^ Loose or even overtightened electrical connections can cause minute arcing in the connection that would be hard to see unless in total darkness. This arcing will cause enough heat to melt insulation if allowed to persist. Temperature variations do effect the tightness of electrical connections mainly because of all the different metals involved at the termination point (ie lead, copper, steel, ect). I put my batteries in my basement for the winter, throwing a quick charge on them usually in late February, and that is it. I have never had a boat battery last less than 10 years, my best 14 years. This is also in a salt water environment. A battery is a chemical reaction that either produces or absorbs electrons, by use or by charging. The battery will only allow this reaction for so long before the compounds inside are depleted leading to battery failure. Constant charging of an unused battery keeps this reaction going, slowly depleting the internals of the battery for no purpose and thereby unnecessarily shortening its life..

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Steve B.

I'm just surprised the unit didn't sense a fault and interrupt power to the output.

Just a little spooky.

Steve B.

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