Winter Battery Storage

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jl008018
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Joined: 08 Nov 2013, 16:16
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Winter Battery Storage

Post by jl008018 »

I usually bring my batteries indoors for the winter. However, I left them (forgot them) in the boat, disconnected, and the boat is in a non-heated garage for the winter.

Any issues leaving them as is or best to head back up to retrieve before the real cold weather hits?

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Johnny
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Winter Battery Storage

Post by Johnny »

it helps a lot if you begin with what part of the country you are in
and what temperatures do you normally deal with in the winter ??

here in Florida - no problemo
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Scott F
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Winter Battery Storage

Post by Scott F »

I live near Chicago and have left my batteries in an unheated garage for 30 years. I just replaced my starting battery this year. It was 9 years old. So it doesn’t look like the cold hurt the battery much.

CedarRiverScooter
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Winter Battery Storage

Post by CedarRiverScooter »

I store boat battery in basement too, but others report that outside storage isn't a problem, as long as it starts out with full charge. A discharged battery can freeze.

jl008018
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Winter Battery Storage

Post by jl008018 »

The boat is stored in the south west part of Michigan. The batteries are fairly new (2-3 years old) but could probably use a charge.

-CN-
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Winter Battery Storage

Post by -CN- »

Here in Wisconsin I always bring my boat batteries inside. In a several motorcycles I would leave them in unheated storage and connect the batteries to a trickle charger such as a Battery Tender and the batteries in that situation also lasted the entire time I owned those bikes. My ATV is currently outside and plugged into a Battery Tender as well. Whenever I've gotten lazy and left the batteries for too long into the winter without either bringing them inside or putting them on a Battery Tender, they went completely dead after a few weeks of cold weather.

SeaFaring
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Location: Maryland

Winter Battery Storage

Post by SeaFaring »

I just installed my third battery in a 2013 motorcycle due to leaving it unridden and uncharged during cold months in the mid Atlantic. So I have bad luck with batteries in winter.


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jl008018
Posts: 31
Joined: 08 Nov 2013, 16:16
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Winter Battery Storage

Post by jl008018 »

Thanks for the replies. I am going to make the trip up there to retrieve the batteries and bring them home into a heated garage.

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DaleH
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Winter Battery Storage

Post by DaleH »

jl008018 wrote:Thanks for the replies. I am going to make the trip up there to retrieve the batteries and bring them home into a heated garage.
Battery Charging Tips

Discharged Battery - Checking for lost cell capacity

* Do this if you have an already discharged battery. You need a hydrometer for this, not a DVM. Take measurements of each cell, as this allows you to see if 1 or 2 cells are discharging faster than the others. This is a fairly good test to see if a cell has lost capacity.

Charging a Battery

* CHECK the cell levels first! Electrolyte is lost during the charging process, so the best time to water your batteries is always at the end of the charge cycle. However - if the electrolyte level is extremely low or the plates are exposed to air (sulfated), add some water to cover the plates BEFORE charging, but don't fully top it off. If needed, top off the cells (I only use distilled water, but check your battery maker's recommendations) and wait at least 2-days BEFORE charging, so the water can be fully converted into electrolyte.

* Once charged, or you think it's charged, you also need to wait ideally 24-hours (generally the most conservative and best approach) for the battery to settle and the surface effect to dissipate. Otherwise, at least an overnight rest will usually do. For the most reliable reading for the state of charge, wait at least the day.

* Make your measurements between temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees F, as temperature affects the specific gravity of the measurement, when using a hydrometer.

* NOTE that batteries exposed to extremely low temperatures for long periods can be damaged by freezing unless they were fully charged.
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Hanr3
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Winter Battery Storage

Post by Hanr3 »

I've done it all ways.
This year the trolling motor batteries are in the boat under my lean-to with the on-board charger plugged in. The main battery is in my garage on a charger.
My riding mower battery is still in the mower. My oaks are still dropping leaves. But that battery will also make its way into the garage and I will rotate the charger between it and the man battery all winter. Give me something to do while I wait for the dogs to take care of business.

I used to put all four on my work bench and rotate the charger to the next battery on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Being lazy this year. lol

However to answer your question. I agree with the others. Top off the fluids and top off the charge. Disconnect from your boat and let them sit all winter. Some devices in the boat will draw a small amount of current even when off, like a radio. It draws some current to keep the clock correct. Always best to disconnect the batteries if you are letting them sit all winter without a charger.
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