How to Tell if Your Deep Cycle Battery is Bad
There’s no doubt that a good deep cycle battery is essential for any RV or boat owner. However, just like any other type of battery, a deep cycle battery will eventually start to deteriorate and lose its effectiveness. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a dead battery just when you need it the most. To help you avoid this frustrating situation, we’ve put together this guide on how to tell if your deep cycle battery is bad:
Why Is My Agm Battery Not Able to Perform Even Though It Is on a Trickle Charge?
Some agm batteries do require some activity to be viable enough to perform. We have seen some agm batteries in storage on monitoring chargers with voltage levels 12.5 not able to hold a load. We have found discharging the battery for a short period of time increases the ability to take a charge and return the battery to near full performance.
1. Check the Voltage
One of the easiest ways to tell if your deep cycle battery is bad is to test the voltage. Ideally, a fully charged deep cycle battery should give you a reading of around 12.7 to 12.8 volts. If your battery is giving you a reading of less than 12 volts, it’s a sign that it’s starting to deteriorate. This is particularly true if you’ve recently charged the battery but the voltage is still low.
2. Check the State of Charge
Another good way to tell if your deep cycle battery is bad is to check its state of charge. You can do this using a multimeter or a battery monitor. If the battery is fully charged, you should see a reading of around 100%. As the battery starts to discharge, the percentage will decrease. If you notice that the battery is not holding its charge as well as it used to, it may be a sign that it’s time for a replacement.
3. Check the Appearance of the Battery
Take a look at the battery and check its physical appearance. If you notice any bulges or cracks in the battery casing, it’s a sign that the battery is damaged and needs to be replaced. You should also check the terminals to make sure they’re not corroded or damaged. If you’re not sure what to look for, take your battery to a professional who can inspect it for you.
4. Check the Water Level
Deep cycle batteries require regular maintenance, and one of the most important things you can do is to check the water level. Make sure the water level is covering the plates inside the battery. If it’s not, top it up with distilled water. Be careful not to overfill the battery, as this can cause damage. If the water level is low, it’s a sign that the battery is not functioning properly.
5. Check the Age of the Battery
Finally, it’s important to remember that deep cycle batteries have a limited lifespan. If you’ve had your battery for several years, it’s a good idea to consider replacing it. Most deep cycle batteries last between 3 to 5 years, depending on how well they’re maintained. If you’re not sure how old your battery is, check the date code on the battery casing. The first two digits will tell you the month, and the second two digits will tell you the year the battery was manufactured.
Knowing how to tell if your deep cycle battery is bad is essential for any RV or boat owner. By checking the voltage, state of charge, appearance, water level, and age of the battery, you’ll be able to determine if it’s time for a replacement. Remember, a good deep cycle battery is a critical component of your vehicle or watercraft, and it’s important to keep it in good working order. With a little bit of maintenance and attention, you can ensure that your battery lasts for many years to come.
Categorised in: Battery Issues
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