‘A new bat­tery was flat in a few weeks and the charger wouldn’t work again’

Canal Boat - - Ask The Experts - TONY BROOKS

A liveaboard boater with very frugal elec­tric­ity use couldn’t keep the bat­ter­ies charged and the charger wouldn’t start charg­ing.

A new bat­tery was flat within a few weeks and the charger wouldn’t work again. It was de­scribed as ‘smart’, but the on­line in­for­ma­tion im­plied it only had a two- or three-amp out­put and gave no in­di­ca­tion of what it did when it de­cided the bat­ter­ies were fully charged.

I sus­pect that when this charger showed ‘fully charged’ it ei­ther shut down or dropped to a main­te­nance volt­age but did not go back to high volt­age when the bat­tery dis­charged or a load was ap­plied. This al­lowed the bat­tery to over dis­charge and sul­phate.

Try not to use a cheaper car-type charger: make sure you get one that will track the dis­charge and load and re­act ac­cord­ingly. If you have to use such a charger, turn it off and on ev­ery day to force it to restart its charge.

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