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Batteries leaking?


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Okay, I just bought brand new batteries for my boat this Spring...I'm thinking May. I put them in my boat but never hooked them up and that's where they've been all Summer long with the boat cover on so they weren't exposed to the sun or rain. Because life seems to have go9tten in the way this Summer we haven't even used the boat once. I just went out today and put the batteries in place and hooked them all up when I noticed that they were a little wet around the terminal covers (see the pictures below). These are brand new batteries and they weren't the cheap Walmart specials either (bought them at Advanced Auto Parts), are they bad? Is there something wrong with them or is this normal? I wanted to go out with the family this Labor Day weekend and do a little fishing but I don't want to take the boat out if there's something wrong with these batteries...what does everyone think?

Starter battery.jpg

Trolling battery.jpg

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  • Super User

Did you charge them before checking the electrolyte fluid level ( water)? 

The charging wet cell batteries creates heat and vapor, if humid condensation can develop. Do your self a favor and clean the battery post and terminals then coat with electrolyte grease ( Vaseline works).

Tom

PS, enjoy your Holiday outing?

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1 minute ago, WRB said:

Did you charge them before checking the electrolyte fluid level ( water)? 

The charging wet cell batteries creates heat and if humid condensation can develop. Do your self a favor and clean the battery post and terminals then coat with electrolyte grease ( Vaseline works).

Tom

The store I bought them at said all their batteries come fully charged and no need to charge them.

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  • Super User

Check the fluid level and charge them. Batteries don’t hold a full charge for months. We’re  the batteries hooked up with cable shown in the photo, if so they maybe near very low voltage stored under a cover humid climate.

Tom

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i had a pair of Interstates in my last RV, they seemed to get wet around the caps all the time, no idea why but it didn’t effect them change wise. I’d do as Tom suggests and check the fluid and charge them and see how it goes.

 

Fwiw, I use the spray battery terminal sealer.

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18 minutes ago, WRB said:

Check the fluid level and charge them. Batteries don’t hold a full charge for months. We’re  the batteries hooked up with cable shown in the photo, if so they maybe near very low voltage stored under a cover humid climate.

Tom

No, i just hooked them up today, that haven’t had anything hooked to them all Summer.

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Batteries can loose charge just sitting on a shelf, how much depends on the battery, I leave a battery maintainer hooked up to them. Some of the better chargers have a float mode that starts at the end of the charge cycle, that is the same thing.

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  • Super User

The information given to you at the time of purchase was sketchy.  You should charge newly purchased batteries.  You can check the them with a hydrometer from your local auto parts store.  They should be 12.8 volts when fully charged.

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Brought the batteries to Auto Zone and they checked them out and charged them. The guy said the batteries were both good and nothing wrong with them. He said probably condensation but both checked out goo, water levels are good and only took 15 minutes to charge fully so I’m good to go ?. I’ll throw them back in the boat and hook them up and hopefully get out on the water tomorrow!

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  • Super User

Have a safe outing??

Pare the batteries deep cycle marine? Lot of hassle taking them out to have charged! Hope the Auto shop knows what they doing and charged using 10-15 amps.

Tom

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Super User

Somebody needs to get themselves a little smarter on battery care/maintenance. 

Typical lead acid batteries self-discharge at a rate of approximately 5% per month.   

A battery that sits for 24 hours at a charge level below approximately 80% starts to sulphate.  

As the surface area sulphates, it can no longer transfer electrons between the plates, causing the battery to start losing capacity.  This can turn a brand new, unused battery into lead scrap metal within several months.  

A battery needs to be recharged every six to eight weeks, just sitting on the shelf.  That's why I only buy batteries from high volume places.  After sitting on a shelf from six months at low volume dealers, and not having a maintenance charge, you are getting only half the battery, if you are lucky to get that much.

As for the moisture around the lead post, that's not uncommon and is why you clean your terminals and post at least every year, if not sooner.  This is primarily caused by the batteries being stacked on top of each other and during shipping, damages the seal between the lead post and plastic case.  

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