Maintain your boat's battery
21 October 2010
Tips to maintain your battery
- Most marine batteries are lead acid type. They should be kept clean and dry in a well ventilated box with a lid to remove possibility of anything falling on to terminals.
- Smearing petroleum jelly on terminals can reduce or eliminate corrosion on connections.
- Ensure terminal connections are tight – loose connections will reduce current power and can cause sparks.
- Ensure fluids are at recommended levels and covering the cell plates – mineral free water (distilled) should be used to top up the levels, do not over fill.
- If charging a battery, remove it from the boat and charge in a ventilated area – remove cell caps to allow gas build up from the charging process to escape (this hydrogen gas is very volatile and sparks can cause an explosion).
- Never test a battery with metal across the terminals to see if they spark – this could potentially result in an explosion. Instead, use a voltmeter to indicate the level of charge or a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity (about 1.26 for a fully charged battery).