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Froggy

Advice sought re. battery replacement

165 posts in this topic

We currently have four 6 volt leisure batteries and they seem to be in a bit of sorry state, with one of them bubbling acid and therefore potentially dangerous. Two of these batteries are Trojan T-105 and the other two appear to be cheaper unbranded alternatives. Due to other ongoing expenses on the boat we're looking to replace these with minimum cost and are thinking of putting in two 12v batteries instead. I'd be grateful for any advice on this and recommendations regarding specific batteries that would be suitable alternatives. As far as i understand the Trojan T-105 batteries have a very high 225ah capacity, giving us a total capacity of 450ah if replaced like for like, compared with probably about half that if replaced with two reasonable quality 12v alternatives, but I suspect we could probably get away with this. We've only been boating for a couple of months and it would be interesting to read the advice of others and to learn what set-ups they use themselves.

Edited by Froggy
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Best would be full traction. Second best would be semi-traction like the T105s. Third best would be Gel. Fourth best would be wet lead-acid.

 

How long they would last will depend entirely on how well you look after them but cheap lead-acid are unlikely to give more than 2 years service even with the best of care.

 

You might like to check out this thread: http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=89391#entry1947906

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We currently have four 6 volt leisure batteries and they seem to be in a bit of sorry state, with one of them bubbling acid and therefore potentially dangerous. Two of these batteries are Trojan T-105 and the other two appear to be cheaper unbranded alternatives. Due to other ongoing expenses on the boat we're looking to replace these with minimum cost and are thinking of putting in two 12v batteries in instead. I'd be grateful for any advice on this and recommendations regarding specific batteries that would be suitable alternatives. As far as i understand the Trojan T-105 batteries have a very high 225ah capacity, giving us a total capacity of 450ah if replaced like for like, compared with probably about half that if replaced with two reasonable quality 12v alternatives, but I suspect we could probably get away with this. We've only been boating for a couple of months and it would be interesting to read the advice of others and to learn what set-ups they use themselves.

Is yours a 12 or 24 volt system?

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If I were the OPs I'd replace them with 4 Trojan T105s. 2 x 110Ah 12v batteries only allow a useage of 110Ah if you don't want to go below 50% State of Charge.

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Is yours a 12 or 24 volt system?

It's a 12 volt system.

 

If I were the OPs I'd replace them with 4 Trojan T105s. 2 x 110Ah 12v batteries only allow a useage of 110Ah if you don't want to go below 50% State of Charge.

The trouble is, the T105s would cost about £600 compared with less than £200 for two 110-120ah 12 volt batteries. Unless the engine was run every day to keep them maintained wouldn't the T105s become an expensive luxury? One, moreover, that we can't really afford given other expenses on the boat.

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I have 3 x 110 Ah Exide open cell wet lead acid leisure batteries on a holiday boat and so far I have had three or four years out of them so far but then I do try to look after them. They are not the cheapest but cost less than £100 each (I think it was around £75 but can't find the invoice).

 

You say that money is tight so as long as you buy towards the quality end of the price range, have enough capacity and also sufficient charging I feel wet leisure batteries (12V) will be fine for at least two years. Remember however much you spend on a battery of whatever type you will kill it just as easily if you over discharge them and never fully charge them.

 

As long as you keep them near fully charged batteries with pocketed plates will usually last longer than non-pocketed and AGMs will probably have a longer life than open wet cells. The pockets or the wadding in an AGM help to keep the plate material on the plates so its harder for it to drop off and short the bottom of the plates.

 

It is really all about you balancing battery life, your way of using them and what you can afford. Perhaps we do not all want to risk damaging expensive batteries so are happy with cheaper ones that have a shorter potential life nad may well be far easier to diagnose when faults occour.

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I have 3 x 110 Ah Exide open cell wet lead acid leisure batteries on a holiday boat and so far I have had three or four years out of them so far but then I do try to look after them. They are not the cheapest but cost less than £100 each (I think it was around £75 but can't find the invoice).

 

You say that money is tight so as long as you buy towards the quality end of the price range, have enough capacity and also sufficient charging I feel wet leisure batteries (12V) will be fine for at least two years. Remember however much you spend on a battery of whatever type you will kill it just as easily if you over discharge them and never fully charge them.

 

As long as you keep them near fully charged batteries with pocketed plates will usually last longer than non-pocketed and AGMs will probably have a longer life than open wet cells. The pockets or the wadding in an AGM help to keep the plate material on the plates so its harder for it to drop off and short the bottom of the plates.

 

It is really all about you balancing battery life, your way of using them and what you can afford. Perhaps we do not all want to risk damaging expensive batteries so are happy with cheaper ones that have a shorter potential life nad may well be far easier to diagnose when faults occour.

I am of a similar opinion because, although we are on the boat at least part of each week, it's not 24/7 and therefore it won't be possible to run the engine ever day. Additionally, i can't help thinking that running an engine daily just to charge batteries, with no cruising involved, is likely to cause more wear and damage to the engine than the cost of replacing batteries, even on an annual basis.

 

If there were 6 volt batteries available that were considerably cheaper than the T105s i might reconsider going for 12 volt alternatives.

 

Alpha batteries seems to be a major online supplier. If anybody can point me to cheaper alternative sources I'd be grateful.

Edited by Froggy
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Yes it's a pity T105s have got much more expensive recently. I suppose it's an exchange rate thing since they are American. If it were me I'd try to get 2 x T105s rather than 2x wet leisure batteries but you can only afford what you can afford, and as has been said you don't want to get expensive batteries and then spoil them in quick time by undercharging them. So on balance you are probably best with medium priced leisure batteries.

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Yes it's a pity T105s have got much more expensive recently. I suppose it's an exchange rate thing since they are American. If it were me I'd try to get 2 x T105s rather than 2x wet leisure batteries but you can only afford what you can afford, and as has been said you don't want to get expensive batteries and then spoil them in quick time by undercharging them. So on balance you are probably best with medium priced leisure batteries.

That's an interesting alternative that would then allow us to add two more at a later date. The attached picture shows our current battery configuration. Which leads would I bypass if I just connected two (or, for that matter, if I replaced with two 12v batteries)?

I'm thinking of buying 3 of these. Looked after, I hope they would last 3 or 4 years.

 

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111004481874?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

The 4 year warranty on those is interesting. Surely such warranties come with a lot of strings attached and you can't just neglect the batteries and then claim replacements?

post-27433-0-53765100-1485106412_thumb.jpg

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I'm thinking of buying 3 of these. Looked after, I hope they would last 3 or 4 years.

 

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111004481874?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Mine lasted 3years but that was with shore power and kept at or near 100% most of the time.....

Ill say no more on that.

I replaced them with some of these

https://www.batteryservicehub.com/batteries/pegasus-traction-batteries/pb-flat-plate/

Specificaly the PB12130S

Cost about £350 for 3 if my memory is working.

Edited by Loddon
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It's a 12 volt system.

 

The trouble is, the T105s would cost about £600 compared with less than £200 for two 110-120ah 12 volt batteries. Unless the engine was run every day to keep them maintained wouldn't the T105s become an expensive luxury? One, moreover, that we can't really afford given other expenses on the boat.

But 2 XT105's would give you about the same Ah for about £250 and would probably last twice as long as your also ran's

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The 4 year warranty on those is interesting. Surely such warranties come with a lot of strings attached and you can't just neglect the batteries and then claim replacements?

Correct. The warranty usually covers manufacturing defects, not abuse.

But 2 XT105's would give you about the same Ah for about £250 and would probably last twice as long as your also ran's

Only if correctly charged. You can kill Trojans almost as fast as cheap batteries.

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I would suggest the first thing you do is disconnect the pair with the falt cell in it and see how the other two perform, they may still be good enough to last you a bit longer. At the same time check the condition of all the connections onto the batteries.

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But 2 XT105's would give you about the same Ah for about £250 and would probably last twice as long as your also ran's

So, please correct me if I'm wrong, looking at the photograph in post #12, if I was to replace the existing batteries with two T105s, the positive and negative leads in the far right of the photograph leading down to the engine bay would remain as in the picture (i.e. the positive lead to the positive terminal of battery 4, being the battery on the far right, and the negative lead to the negative terminal of battery 3), as would the short lead linking the positive terminal of battery 3 with the negative terminal of battery 4, and all other leads would be removed, am I right?

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So, please correct me if I'm wrong, looking at the photograph in post #12, if I was to replace the existing batteries with two T105s, the positive and negative leads in the far right of the photograph leading down to the engine bay would remain as in the picture (i.e. the positive lead to the positive terminal of battery 4, being the battery on the far right, and the negative lead to the negative terminal of battery 3), as would the short lead linking the positive terminal of battery 3 with the negative terminal of battery 4, and all other leads would be removed, am I right?

Yes. Exactly so.

 

Note that if you have only 2 batteries when BSS comes along you'll need to fill the empty space with something (piece of wood or maybe old batteries) to mechanically secure the 2. It'll fail if the batteries could slide around.

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Yes. Exactly so.

 

Note that if you have only 2 batteries when BSS comes along you'll need to fill the empty space with something (piece of wood or maybe old batteries) to mechanically secure the 2. It'll fail if the batteries could slide around.

Thanks for the advice re the battery space since the BSS is impending. It's a long time since I studied connecting batteries in series and parallel at school, and I don't understand how the current is flowing in this circuit. With the bank of four in the photograph, the current presumably flows from the positive of battery 1 via the short lead to the negative of battery 2, then via the positive of battery 2 straight to the engine bay via the terminal on battery 4 and back to battery 1 via the negative leads. So how are batteries 3 and 4 involved in the circuit?

Edited by Froggy
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I would suggest the first thing you do is disconnect the pair with the falt cell in it and see how the other two perform, they may still be good enough to last you a bit longer. At the same time check the condition of all the connections onto the batteries.

I suspect that all the batteries have been in the boat for some while, but it might be worth a try, and yes, the lead terminals definitely look as though they need a good clean up!

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Thanks for the advice re the battery space since the BSS is impending. It's a long time since I studied connecting batteries in series and parallel at school, and I don't understand how the current is flowing in this circuit. With the bank of four in the photograph, the current presumably flows from the positive of battery 1 via the short lead to the negative of battery 2, then via the positive of battery 2 straight to the engine bay via the terminal on battery 4 and back to battery 1 via the negative leads. So how are batteries 3 and 4 involved in the circuit?

Series is simple. Pos from batt 1 to Neg of batt 2. You now have 12V between Neg of batt 1 and Pos of batt 2.

 

If you have another pair (3 & 4) you connect the top Pos's together and the bottom Negs together and you've put them in parallel.

 

Paralleled batteries will (if of equal size and charge) split the load 50:50.

 

(Three bats in parallel will share the load 33:33:33, Four 25:25:25:25 etc)

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We currently have four 6 volt leisure batteries and they seem to be in a bit of sorry state, with one of them bubbling acid and therefore potentially dangerous. Two of these batteries are Trojan T-105 and the other two appear to be cheaper unbranded alternatives.

 

 

My bet would be the battery bubbling acid is one of the unbranded ones.

 

As already suggested, try disconnecting the unbranded ones and running on the Trojans alone. They might outperfom the bank of four once you remove the one dragging the bank down.

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My bet would be the battery bubbling acid is one of the unbranded ones.

 

As already suggested, try disconnecting the unbranded ones and running on the Trojans alone. They might outperfom the bank of four once you remove the one dragging the bank down.

You guessed right! smile.png

 

EDIT: Just in case you're wondering why I had to edit the above sentence, it was to configure the smiley correctly! laugh.png

Edited by Froggy
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You guessed right! smile.png

 

 

Ok, so just a bit of spanner work that costs nothing!

 

It may or may not work, but read some threads on here about deslphating the Trojans to maximisae their performance.

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Series is simple. Pos from batt 1 to Neg of batt 2. You now have 12V between Neg of batt 1 and Pos of batt 2.

 

If you have another pair (3 & 4) you connect the top Pos's together and the bottom Negs together and you've put them in parallel.

 

Paralleled batteries will (if of equal size and charge) split the load 50:50.

 

(Three bats in parallel will share the load 33:33:33, Four 25:25:25:25 etc)

 

In the OP's photo the load would be more equally shared between the two pairs of batteries if the red wire to the rest of the boat was connected to the other end of the long red bridging link. i.e. move the wire arrowed to connect to the terminal circled.

 

post-7909-0-05383600-1485115537_thumb.png

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That's an interesting alternative that would then allow us to add two more at a later date. The attached picture shows our current battery configuration. Which leads would I bypass if I just connected two (or, for that matter, if I replaced with two 12v batteries)?

 

To operate with 2 T105s you would just "cut down the middle" ie remove the two LH batteries and disconnect and remove the long leads that link the LH and RH pair.

 

If you want to run two 12v batteries you just connect their +ves together, connect their -ves together, and connect the long leads from the boat to a +ve on one battery and the -ve on the other (to help balance the current flowing in and out of the batteries).

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