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Charging A Trolling Motor Battery - Really That Much To Do?

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I have a relatively new Alumnacraft 14' and got a Minn Kota motor & marine battery from the dealer. I've been charging the battery with my trickle charger, but that takes forever and I know it's not the best method. I was going to upgrade to a Schumacher 1200A - http://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-SC-1200A-CA-SpeedCharge-Maintainer/dp/B000BQSIWK/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

I was reading the instructions online, and found the following:

 

1. Attach at least a 24-inch-long, 6-gauge (AWG), insulated battery cable to NEGATIVE (NEG, N or -) battery post.

2. Position yourself as far away from the battery as possible, and then connect the black (NEGATIVE) output clamp to the free end of the cable. Do not face the battery when making the final connection.

 

Really? Does anyone really do this? I understand the whole saftey concern....but is there really that much risk of a fume leak and spark from a 21st century battery?

 

Just wondering if everyone really does this, or if the consensus is just slapping the negative clamp on the negative terminal?

 

I'm not concerned about the money of buying extra cabling and such. Just wondering if it's worth the hassle and necessary?

 

All opinions welcomed!

Thanks.

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This is called manufactures trying to avoid law suits

Lead acid batteries have sulfuric acid in them and can give off explosive gases when over charged or charged at a high rates, created the potential for it to exploded by the spark sometimes created when connecting/disconnecting the a charger.

If you accidently reverse the polarity (connect the cables backwards) it's possible the charger could cause a short circuit that could cause the battery to explode. Just like if you are trying to jump off a car and connect the jumper cables backwards, or pull the stunt some people do, arcing the negative and positive together to see if it has plenty of spark. These are all conditions that can cause a battery to explode when conditions are just right, though it usually does not explode, but it can and has happened many times.

Just to protect their butts, they a telling you to do this to make sure you are clear enough to avoid injury and head turned so you can't get acid in yours eyes if it did.

Does anyone really do what they recommend, if so, they are a rare breed, because most just connect the charger to the battery and go on their merry little way.

I've dealt with thousands of batteries in my life, I have had a couple to explode during that time, do I do what they recommend, NOOOOOO!

Just make sure you charge it with the caps on it, you connect the cables before turning on the charger, and I recommend give it about an hour after charging to settle before disconnecting the cables, just in case it has given off some gases, the spark you sometimes might get when disconnecting the cables won't ignite them, (still, this is a rare occurrence but is possible).

Oh, and if you are charging it in an enclosed compartment/space, make sure to leave the compartment open so it can get fresh air.

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x2. Don't connect/disconnect the cables to the battery terminals when the charger is plugged in (this prevents sparking.) Charge in a well ventilated area. I use that charger, and I'm very happy with it. 2 years and it hasn't failed me yet.

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I have the same plug on my charger wires that I have on my trolling motor. I just unplug the motor and plug the charger in. If you don't have a permanently installed charger, this could not be any simpler or safer.

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i have that charger for my size 27 battery, it's great. worth the buy

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I have a trickle charger and an Interstate trolling battery, even on a 10 hour trip I only run my battery to maybe 50%, my only advice like most have given is to hard wire a connector tot he battery or on-board charger vs. gator clips. Speed charging a battery will end its life sooner than later IMO. As fora 21st century boat, they all run on gasoline and it will ignite :) keep the battery hatch opened on your storage box lids when in storage or your garage. 

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Scott F  Has it best ....I think.

 

If the plug & socket are in the EXPOSED deck area ?  Then the Hydrogen & Oxygen bubbles coming out during a recharge. HOPEFULLY are far enough away from a accidental spark. 

 

Also the plugs should be polarized. So there can not be a backward charger connection done.

 

Good setup Scott.

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