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Old 12 October 2016, 16:48   #1
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Maintenance free battery causing overcharging??

I replaced the battery on my Northcraft with a maintenance free type, My engine is a 1993 100hp v4 Suzuki, I didn't notice any problems with overcharging last week but on my 2nd outing at the weekend, having just fitted a chart plotter and dsc radio, and charging the battery just to be sure! While cruising or WOT I noticed the voltage reading 18v and an over voltage warning on the radio, I spent the rest of the day just mainly idling, the engine does have a rectifier/regulator which I changed for another 2nd hand one (that now doesn't charge at all) I'm begining to suspect the battery is at fault as I have checked all earth connections, battery connections and replaced the isolator and any non marine connections I have found! Have any of you guys had a similar experience??
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Old 12 October 2016, 17:15   #2
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I'd very much doubt it's the battery (although could be fried from overcharging) sounds more like a voltage regulator problem
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Old 12 October 2016, 17:25   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordburg2001 View Post
I replaced the battery on my Northcraft with a maintenance free type, My engine is a 1993 100hp v4 Suzuki, I didn't notice any problems with overcharging last week but on my 2nd outing at the weekend, having just fitted a chart plotter and dsc radio, and charging the battery just to be sure! While cruising or WOT I noticed the voltage reading 18v and an over voltage warning on the radio, I spent the rest of the day just mainly idling, the engine does have a rectifier/regulator which I changed for another 2nd hand one (that now doesn't charge at all) I'm begining to suspect the battery is at fault as I have checked all earth connections, battery connections and replaced the isolator and any non marine connections I have found! Have any of you guys had a similar experience??
I've been getting weird warnings of over voltage, that sound similar to that - the battery seems fine, the connections all look good etc. What I *think* I have discovered is actually the cable from the isolator switch to the battery is goosed inside. Not enough to give open circuit, but enough that the regulator isn't really seeing the battery. (Fortunately its only a 20HP and designed to run with/without battery so not blown the alternator). Its not been afloat to test since "fixing" this.
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Old 12 October 2016, 17:41   #4
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All cables look spot on and as I say I replaced anything that remotely looked dodgy, in fairness I can't rule out the rectifier/regulator yet as I bought 2nd hand. I have read that the older engines don't like gel or maintenance free batteries as it can (confuse?) the regulator!
I've also read that cdi wont cover warranty on any of their regulators if a maintenance free battery is used. When I bought the boat 2 weeks ago the battery in it was on old lead acid type but wouldn't take a charge, I never suspected for a minute that a modern battery would make any difference!
I'll pick one up tomorrow and try it just to rule it out and let you guys know how I get on.
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Old 12 October 2016, 18:14   #5
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Gel batteries require a different form of charging circuit (though I don't recall what's different.) AGM should be fine with standard.

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Old 12 October 2016, 19:05   #6
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Maintenance free just means no topping up its still a lead acid battery
The charging system senses the state of the battery and adjusts accordingly if the regular is knackered it will either not charge or will continuously charge at its max
Simple test would be to swap your old battery back on and see what happens
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Old 12 October 2016, 19:29   #7
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As I say the old battery was totally goosed, the boat had been lying for a few years prior to me getting my hands on it. Never heard anything relating to battery problems in the motor trade but I've heard a few marine guys all say the same thing about batteries. Don't understand it myself. I'll double check battery cables tomorrow front to back and at isolator if all else fails I'll try a battery before ordering a new regulator. If more than one marine technician has mentioned it there must be some truth in it?
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Old 13 October 2016, 04:36   #8
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Could your old battery have failed because it's been over charged and you have an ongoing problem? Over charging for a while will almost boil the battery electrolyte and its level will fall. Did/Does the old battery have low electrolyte level?

For info: if the electrolyte level falls below the top of the plates, it's possible to explode the battery because there will be a fair amount of hydrogen in there. Arcing across the top of the plates can ignite it and the next thing you know you've got a battery box full of pieces surrounded by sulphuric acid....don't ask me how I know this!

My money is on regulator failure or improper regulator wiring.
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Old 13 October 2016, 04:39   #9
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old battery shorted out blown regulator?
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Old 13 October 2016, 05:08   #10
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It worked fine the first week I was out with the new battery, the only difference the second week was that I had charged the battery fully and added electronics
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