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Battery maintenance

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Battery maintenance

Postby Juan » June 19th, 2020, 7:49 am

If you have lead acid batteries that require topping off with distilled water or if they're hard to get to and you have to remove the batteries to add water, here's a simple fix. You can fill the cells to the correct level in less than a minute without even touching the batteries:

https://www.flow-rite.com/battery-care/technologies/qwik-fill/

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Re: Battery maintenance

Postby Steve Stinson » June 19th, 2020, 9:37 am

Yup - Just don't use the SAME squeeze ball and line that you use for your fuel line... :-D

One more thing - Don't over-fill your battery cells when you do this. If you don't have your batteries contained in boxes and you overfill the cells, the acid that spills into the bilge is very corrosive to aluminum hulls.

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Re: Battery maintenance

Postby Juan » June 19th, 2020, 11:05 am

Steve Stinson wrote:Yup - Just don't use the SAME squeeze ball and line that you use for your fuel line... :-D

One more thing - Don't over-fill your battery cells when you do this. If you don't have your batteries contained in boxes and you overfill the cells, the acid that spills into the bilge is very corrosive to aluminum hulls.

- Steve Stinson


I still have 2 lead acid batteries so I ordered a set to fill both at the same time. According to the instructions, when you squeeze the detachable squeeze ball it will fill the cells in both batteries to the correct level and then the ball gets firm *just like the primer ball on your outboard) so you can't overfill the batteries and spill any acid. The selling point for me was not having to disconnect all the wires and remove the batteries just to add water.
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Re: Battery maintenance

Postby silverking » June 19th, 2020, 12:12 pm

Handy gadget. My problem with gear like that is remembering where I stored it in the boat shed so I can actually use it. :lol:
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Re: Battery maintenance

Postby Juan » June 19th, 2020, 2:03 pm

silverking wrote:Handy gadget. My problem with gear like that is remembering where I stored it in the boat shed so I can actually use it. :lol:

At least you still remember where the boat shed is! :lol:
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Re: Battery maintenance

Postby dropaline » June 20th, 2020, 7:28 am

turkey baster works great!
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Re: Battery maintenance

Postby Juan » June 20th, 2020, 7:37 am

dropaline wrote:turkey baster works great!

So does a large hypodermic needle but both are useless in a confined space like under a console or in a battery compartment where the batteries are under the deck.
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Re: Battery maintenance

Postby Steve Stinson » June 22nd, 2020, 7:42 am

silverking wrote:Handy gadget. My problem with gear like that is remembering where I stored it in the boat shed so I can actually use it. :lol:



From the sound of the ad, I think you hook this thing to the batteries and it stays put - replacing the old battery caps. In that case, losing it wouldn't be a problem but any leakage from the hose would be.

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Re: Battery maintenance

Postby Juan » June 22nd, 2020, 11:46 am

Steve Stinson wrote:
silverking wrote:Handy gadget. My problem with gear like that is remembering where I stored it in the boat shed so I can actually use it. :lol:



From the sound of the ad, I think you hook this thing to the batteries and it stays put - replacing the old battery caps. In that case, losing it wouldn't be a problem but any leakage from the hose would be.

- Steve Stinson


Leakage would certainly be a concern but it's supposed to have a check valve at the end of the hose where the pump ball connects to prevent any water from leaking out of the hose and any water left in the hose will fill the batteries as needed. The hose with the check valve stays connected to the batteries and you only have to connect the pump ball (which looks like nothing more than a primer ball) when you want to add water. It has high praise in the reviews but I'll post how well it works when the set I ordered arrives.
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Re: Battery maintenance

Postby Juan » June 23rd, 2020, 4:12 pm

UPS delivered the Flow Rite battery gadget this afternoon and I had it installed 30 minutes later. If you have hard to get to lead acid batteries, I highly recommend one of these. You can quickly top off up to three batteries without ever touching them. It keep the acid at the proper level so the batteries should last longer (and since my batteries are so hard to get to, I probably checked the fluid once a year or less.) There's no way they can leak acid since there's a check valve in each cell and another strong one at the end of the fill tube. It's well worth the investment imo.
If there's a down side, it's a fuel line primer ball won't fit the tubing without reducing the hose size so you have to buy the primer ball (which is sold separately) or remove the check valve and use a squeeze bottle with a tapered spout if you have to add any distilled water.
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