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Today I got the batteries out and was planning on getting them ready for this year. My question is how much water to fill it with? Here's the scenario. The starter battery came with the boat I bought last year. Had no problems with it last year. When I opened up the tops, one of the six cells was dry as a bone. Does this mean the battery is shot? I filled it up, not to the top, and continued to fill other five to the same level. I was shocked it took almost a third of a gallon of distilled water to complete this. Does a battery really lose that much water during the winter? They were stored on a piece of wood in the basement all winter and I charged them on the 15 of each month to hopefully keep them working this year. I then opened the deep cycle battery and filled it also, that took about another quarter of the gallon. Now the deep cycle isn't even a year old. Do batteries really lose that much water while being stored? I'm asking for some advice and guidence, Thanks.
 

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Natlight said:
Today I got the batteries out and was planning on getting them ready for this year. My question is how much water to fill it with? Here's the scenario. The starter battery came with the boat I bought last year. Had no problems with it last year. When I opened up the tops, one of the six cells was dry as a bone. Does this mean the battery is shot? I filled it up, not to the top, and continued to fill other five to the same level. I was shocked it took almost a third of a gallon of distilled water to complete this. Does a battery really lose that much water during the winter? They were stored on a piece of wood in the basement all winter and I charged them on the 15 of each month to hopefully keep them working this year. I then opened the deep cycle battery and filled it also, that took about another quarter of the gallon. Now the deep cycle isn't even a year old. Do batteries really lose that much water while being stored? I'm asking for some advice and guidence, Thanks.
Both of mine where pretty low too. Fill with water and charge them. Give them a load test when done charging and you'll know how good they are.
 

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Had both starting and trolling batteries stored in my heated workshop on the work bench all winter. Charged each once monthly. Last week I put them both back in the boat and each one needed about 8 oz of water. However each cell was as low as the next. None lower than the other on each battery......

Sounds like a lot of water to me but I'm not a battery guru.........I'd do the load test as suggested.......................better safe than sorry. I would assume there still under warranty just in case??????????
 

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Borrowed a load tester from my buddy. The starter battery failed twice, but the other two deep cycles passes with flying colors:) . They better have since they are less than a year old. Well, looks like I need a new battery this weekend. Thanks for the replys.;)
 

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As a mechanic, I can offer some insight to battery maintenance (But I'm not a battery professor). First of all, it is perfectly normal for your batteries to be low on water after a season, simply from evaporation. You should keep your batteries hooked to a trickle charger when not in use for extended periods of time. If your battery discharges, the lead cells inside your battery become coated with corrosion, weakening the overall condition of your battery.

As for Deep Cycle batteries, remember, start of the year you should give them a slow charge, maybe at 2amp rate. If it won't initially take a charge, crank your charger up to the highest setting for 5 minutes, if it shows it won't take a charge, give it the full 5 minutes, then switch to the lower charge rate.

Hope this makes sense and helps at least somebody.

Happy Boating!
 
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