Is a Special Charger Required for Deep Cycle Marine Batteries?

July 29, 2020 10:49 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

We’re often asked whether you need a special charger for a deep cycle marine battery in Houston, TX. The answer is no—however, proper charging is very important to ensure both a long life as well as avoid damaging the battery.

What is a marine battery?

Marine batteries, as the name suggests, are batteries specifically designed for use in boats and other watercraft. There are three main types of marine batteries: starting batteries (which provide quick bursts of power for short periods of time), deep cycle batteries (which discharge slowly over longer periods) and dual-purpose (which combine the benefits of the former two types of batteries).

Deep cycle batteries are good for electric trolling motors as well as other appliances and features that use smaller amounts of energy over a long period of time. This includes fish finders, audio systems, on-board appliances and more. They’re meant to be used for high rates of charging and discharging on a regular basis.

How to properly charge your deep cycle marine battery

Charging your marine battery in Houston, TX is easy when you follow these tips:

  • Check the water level: Ensure the water level is above the plates and below the acid fill level tube before charging.
  • Water vs. acid: Add distilled water if available—this is the best choice, but you can use tap water if it’s otherwise clear and no sediment is present. Never add acid. Acid never leaves a battery—only the water evaporates. Adding acid is a very short-term fix and ultimately will not serve your needs.
  • Switch off your automatic shutoff features: Some chargers have an automatic shutoff feature to turn off the charger when charging is complete. If the battery is severely discharged, do not use the automatic feature first.
  • Use a hydrometer: To be sure the battery is completely recharged, use a hydrometer. A battery is fully charged if the specific gravity is 1.265 in all cells. Up to 25 percent variance between cells is allowable.
  • Recharge as soon as possible: Recharge any discharged battery within 24 hours. Corrosion will occur in the plates if left in a discharged state.
  • Avoid overcharging: Do not overcharge the battery, as this can burn the material on the plates and contributes to grid corrosion.
  • Go low and slow: Charging your marine battery in Houston, TX at a slow rate is best. Ideally, you should charge at 10 percent of the amp hour capacity of the battery. You might consider keeping it hooked up to a trickle charger, which slowly charges the battery whenever it’s not actively in use.
  • Load test: If you’re not sure whether your deep cycle marine battery is still good, take it to a battery shop like Texford Battery Co. and have it load tested.

When you need replacement batteries or a charger for a deep cycle marine battery in Houston, TX, Texford Battery Co. has you covered. We specialize in battery sales and services, with over 3,000 different kinds of batteries available. Call us today to learn more about our services and selection.

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