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On Board Battery Charger

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I was just wondering what everyone does with their on board chargers?  I leave mine unplugged until the night before I go and then charge all night then unplug in the morning.  This is what the guy at the dealership told me to do, but I have seen that you should leave it plugged in all the time.   So I am confused and wondering what the right move is in regards to this? 

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Deep cycle marine batteries should be charged ASAP after use.  I'm not an expert on batteries but my understanding is that, due to the chemistry of lead acid batteries, leaving them discharged or in a partial charge state can drastically reduce service life.  I always plug my onboard charger in just as soon as I get my boat back within range of an outlet.  I usually leave it plugged in until it switches over to maintenance mode.  If I'm right back out on the water the next weekend, I usually won't plug it back in.  If my boat sits for a couple weeks before I get to take it out, I'll plug it back in for a top-off charge overnight.

When it comes to winter storage, I don't have any access to an outlet where I store my boat, so I usually pull the batteries and put them on a shelf in the garage with one of those 1/2 amp battery tenders hooked up.

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I charge them up ASAP when I get off the lake. Leaving batteries partially charged will shorten their life. Then I unplug the charger. Too many bad things can happen to/with electrical devices left energized and unattended for expended periods. If it's more than a few days before I go again, I will plug the charger in and "top off" the charge for the next trip. Usually only takes 30-45 minutes for the lights to go green again.

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5 hours ago, crazyjoeclemens said:

Deep cycle marine batteries should be charged ASAP after use.  I'm not an expert on batteries but my understanding is that, due to the chemistry of lead acid batteries, leaving them discharged or in a partial charge state can drastically reduce service life.  I always plug my onboard charger in just as soon as I get my boat back within range of an outlet.  I usually leave it plugged in until it switches over to maintenance mode.  If I'm right back out on the water the next weekend, I usually won't plug it back in.  If my boat sits for a couple weeks before I get to take it out, I'll plug it back in for a top-off charge overnight.

When it comes to winter storage, I don't have any access to an outlet where I store my boat, so I usually pull the batteries and put them on a shelf in the garage with one of those 1/2 amp battery tenders hooked up.

 

This is pretty much exactly what I would have written if crazyjoe hadn't beaten me to it.

Tight lines,

Bob

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I have a 3 bank Minn Kota 330D that has suddenly started having the "Check Connection" light coming one for 2 of the banks. I changed out the fuses hoping that was the issue but doesn't look like it is. Connections look good but I guess I should clean them up still and see if that helps. Hoping it's not time for a new charger :(

 

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Batteries definitely need to be charged ASAP when you get back from the lake. Personally I leave my charger plugged in until I'm ready to go again, but then again that's usually no more than a day or two.

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19 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I have a 3 bank Minn Kota 330D that has suddenly started having the "Check Connection" light coming one for 2 of the banks. I changed out the fuses hoping that was the issue but doesn't look like it is. Connections look good but I guess I should clean them up still and see if that helps. Hoping it's not time for a new charger :(

 

 

 

I have a Dual Pro 3 bank charger and love it. It's kept 3 batteries working about 2 years longer than they should have. 

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If my boat is not being used, the charger is plugged in.

If you are scared to leave your charger plugged in to maintain your batteries properly, you should buy a better charger. 

Well,  I guess that would depend on if you even bought a good enough charger to start with that has the maintenance mode.

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I keep mine plugged up all the time. What you should do is gonna depend on your charger though.

If yours just throws the coal to the batteries as long as it's plugged up, then yeah, you're not going to want to leave it plugged up 24/7. Consult your charger's operating manual to see how it functions. 

If you find your charger works in stages, the last of which is gonna be called maintenance or float then there is no reason to ever unplug it. In that maintenance mode it is most likely going to turn itself off and wait for the batteries to drop below 12.6 ish volts then go back to charging. It's essentially unplugging itself until it needs to get back to work. If your onboard doesn't do that then it would be money well spent to upgrade to one that does. 

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