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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Canterbury/Dover
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    6,998

    Default Lead acid battery water consumption.

    Standard non sealed lead acid, 85ah..so called leisure batterys.

    They seem to consume water at a rate of 300mls every three months is this about right?

    Boat is in fairly constant use, and batterys are on constant charge when along side.
    Formerly known as colmce.
    http://www.seafieldfarmcottages.co.uk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Here or there
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    74,433

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vara View Post
    Standard non sealed lead acid, 85ah..so called leisure batterys.

    They seem to consume water at a rate of 300mls every three months is this about right?

    Boat is in fairly constant use, and batterys are on constant charge when along side.
    mine use nothing
    how fast are you charging them
    Brexit: ‘taking back’ what we had never lost, in order to lose everything we had...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Algarve
    Posts
    7,407

    Default

    Batteries lose water by gassing, which is caused by overcharging of one sort or another. You could lower your shore power charger's voltage and save a bit of water, but why bother, water's cheap.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    937

    Default

    How well is the battery box ventilated?

    (I understand there was a fairly recent case in which hydrogen and oxygen from over-charged and gassing batteries ignited, and the resulting explosion did rather a lot of damage.)

    How many volts are you getting from the charger?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    falmouth
    Posts
    12,181

    Default

    I seem to remember from the blurb that came with my sterling alternator regulator that 14.4v was the max you could go without gassing and 14.8 volts, the max their system would allow would cause significant gassing. But once your batter charger oif alternator reaches 14.4 at the battery it should drop the voltage down to something like 13.4 anyway. Thats sufficient to counter act the njatural internal discharge of a lead acid battery.

    In short get out the digi volt meter and check your batteries. If the voltas are OK and the batteries still gassing then you have a duff cell.
    this post is a personal opinion, and you should not base your actions on it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    North Wales, sailing Aegean Sea or Menai Strait
    Posts
    19,654

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vara View Post
    Standard non sealed lead acid, 85ah..so called leisure batterys.

    They seem to consume water at a rate of 300mls every three months is this about right?

    Boat is in fairly constant use, and batterys are on constant charge when along side.
    Mine use about the same, with solar panels and engine charging, very rare mains charging. The Sterling alternator regulator literature warns that this is likely to happen.
    Answers to some technical queries at http://coxengineering.sharepoint.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    River Trent
    Posts
    2,294

    Default

    The strange thing is that although the Sterling charger manual warns that with fast charging this can happen, I've noticed a dramatic improvement (i.e. reduction) in water consumption since installing smart chargers for both engine and shore power.

    I leave the CETEK shore power charger on permanently and the batteries hardly ever need topping up - maybe once a year if that.

    I've concluded that water consumption says a lot about the charging system, as the old charger used to boil them quite a bit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Emsworth Hants
    Posts
    10,598

    Default

    >They seem to consume water at a rate of 300mls every three months is this about right?

    That sounds about right we were charging our batteries every day and not overcharging them, we had a voltmeter on them and a smart charger. As the batteries have sealed caps on each cell to stop leaks when heeling I have no idea where the water goes or how an explosion can occur unless the caps leak.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    40,070

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KellysEye View Post
    >They seem to consume water at a rate of 300mls every three months is this about right?

    That sounds about right we were charging our batteries every day and not overcharging them, we had a voltmeter on them and a smart charger. As the batteries have sealed caps on each cell to stop leaks when heeling I have no idea where the water goes or how an explosion can occur unless the caps leak.
    If they are losing water they will be losing it as hydrogen and oxygen. If the gasses can accumulate in the battery compartment then there is potentiall for an explosion if anything ignites the mixture

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Western Scotland
    Posts
    1,840

    Default

    This thread comes at a time when I have found that one of by domestic batteries is down to 10.5 volts and I have started looking for a replacement. I have found that water consumption of the existing ones is about the same as that reported in this thread and am looking for non-sealed batteries for that reason, but all I can find are sealed ones. I am not keen on sealed batteries as you cannot top them up. Has anyone found unsealed ones recently?
    Ken.

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