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Charging batts

Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
So, I have an idea about battery charging..I am at the boat several times/wk doing various things and sometimes just enjoying a beer (or three)..My shore power charger is a 60a sterling Pro whatever bought from Maine. Batts are 6V FLA. Whenever I am at the boat, I’m starting to turn the charger off for a minute and then back on. The charger goes to conditioning (bulk) mode at 14.9V (depending on temp) for at least 1/2 hr. I have it timed for a specific profile but don’t remember the times. I’m thinking this helps with sulfation and maybe not have to equalize so often. This would help particularly in winter when the boat is not used as much. Obviously, keep up with water levels.. Thoughts?
 
May 24, 2004
6,795
CC 30 South Florida
No need to equalize that frequently. What you could do to optimize your regime is to deeply cycle the batteries to close to 50% at least once a month. It keeps the plates active (exercise). Frequent shallow cycles to less than 10% are actually slightly harmful.
 
Nov 13, 2013
640
Catalina 34 Tacoma
I don't see the need to equalize often. In fact, I have never knowingly equalized and my grp 27 FLA batteries are 6 years old now. I have a dumb 15a 30 y/o Newmar charger that I never leave on. When in storage I run a timer for 4hrs a week at 13.7. When in use, I try and not go below 12.1v. Has been working so far.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,849
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
I don't see the need to equalize often. In fact, I have never knowingly equalized and my grp 27 FLA batteries are 6 years old now. I have a dumb 15a 30 y/o Newmar charger that I never leave on. When in storage I run a timer for 4hrs a week at 13.7. When in use, I try and not go below 12.1v. Has been working so far.
I think your batteries are livin' on borrowed time. :)

 
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Likes: jssailem
Oct 9, 2008
1,733
Bristol 29.9 Dana Point
I've thought the same thing. In fact posted something related some time ago, can't recall doesn't matter.
2 things:
1. With my dumb but reliable charger (Charles) I too get bulk volts at startup every time I come to the boat and flip the charger on, which is about twice a week. I leave it off when away -long unrelated story- and anyway this would occur every time the boat leaves the dock, so I see it as normal.
2. My last compliment of 2 batts, replaced simultaneously, lasted 7 years for a Deka and 4 years for a Costco/not Interstate, the previous brand, and I'm not even sure sulfation killed the Costco, it may have just been crap battery.
The Deka was still going, I just replaced it because it was old and I was replacing the Costco anyway.

Sorry to repeat what you said :) but I ask the same question: do we really need EQ with bulk-startup chargers, especially if we cycle the chargers regularly?
 
Last edited:

Ward H

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Nov 7, 2011
3,129
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
I'm thinking it will not help. Why you ask?
For winter storage Maine Sail promotes fully charging your batteries to a high state of charge, then disconnecting them for the winter. If sulfation was an issue for a fully charged battery I doubt this would be a good method of storage for 6 months or so.

It sounds like you leave your charger on and your batteries are fully charged so probably little or no benefit to force them into the Fast Charge/Bulk stage.

BTW, the time at each stage is based on battery acceptance of amps and the internal programming for each profile. You can change the Absorption voltage and Float voltage only, by changing profiles or setting a custom profile but you can not change the time at each stage.