There are many variables that affect how well, or how long, your battery will last. You should let it deep discharge and should keep it charged to a full capacity at all times. Also, make sure that the fluid never drops low enough to expose the plates. However, one of the best things you could ever do for your battery is to learn how to properly charge it. By charging a deep cycle battery the right way, you could end up with a battery that lasts beyond your expectations.
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The Right Way to Charge a Marine Battery
Allowing a marine battery to charge slowly is one of the best way to increase performance and longevity. Many of the new marine battery chargers use a three step charge. The first step provides a bulk charge, the second is the absorbing charge, and the third is geared toward battery charge floating, which simply ensures that it does not gradually lose the charge. If you have a battery charger that is able to charge in all three stages, your battery will charge up faster and more fully. This, in turn will increase the battery life and usability.
How Often Should You Charge A Marine Battery?
When it comes to charging a marine battery that is new, you should charge before it is discharged 20%. This will allow the battery to finish building up the plates that will allow it to hold a charge longer. As the battery ages, you can let it drop slightly more, but you should strive to never allow it to drop below 50%, especially since it does not normally take very long to recharge a battery. However, the length of time it will take for you when charging deep cycle battery depends on the charger you have and the battery rating itself. Some may take just a couple hours and others may take much longer.
Which Charger Works Best For Marine Batteries?
Charging marine batteries is not difficult if you have a good charger to work with. If you need a charger that is ideal for AGM battery charging, you should consider a smart charger. Although pricey, it may save you money in the long run. If you do not want a smart charger, you still have options. To help give you an idea of what chargers are available, you should look at the marine battery chargers listed below.
Schumacher SSC-1500A-CA Ship ‘N’ Shore 15 Amp SpeedCharge – Most Popular
This digital battery charger has a meter display that shows you charge status and test results. It has a retractable handle so that you can move it easily. It has push button controls so that you can view the display mode, charging rate, or the battery’s overall status. It should be used only with 12V batteries and offers a system test that helps to diagnose problems with the battery. This is one of the most popular battery chargers available.
NOCO Genius G3500 UltraSafe Smart Charger
This battery charger is rated for 6V and 12.V 3.5A batteries, even if they are fully drained lead-acid or lithium ions. It promises to charge up to 2x faster than other chargers and it can even repair damaged batteries. It is safe to use on batteries that control micro-hybrid vehicles and CANBUS electrical systems. It can stay safely hooked up to a battery 24/7 and to help you know everything you need to know about your battery it features LED indicators.
Black & DeckerBC2BDW 2 Amp Waterproof Charger/Maintainer
This fully automatic battery maintainer and charger is sealed to prevent absorbing dust or moisture. It gives you three ways to connect to a battery and charge. You can use battery clamps, rings, or a 12V DC plug. It does include low voltage compensation to provide maximum performance even if you use it with an extension cord. As a further bonus, it is CEC compliant.