Marine Battery Installation Guide

Installing a marine battery is very similar to installing a car battery. However, it differs if you’re using more than one battery. Installing a battery is an easy process, but hooking up multiple batteries can be a tough task if the user is not familiar with the rules and principles. You must be very careful while installing a marine battery. Some users would also be confused when uninstalling the old batteries. Here are few guidelines to help users take off old batteries and install new ones.

Removing the Old Battery

Firstly, all switches for on-board appliances, as well as the boat engine ignition switch, must be turned off. The negative cable should be removed and then secured to prevent it from springing loose and making electrical contact, which can be dangerous for the user. Finally, the positive cable needs to be removed. The old battery can be disposed by exchanging the battery while buying a new battery, or it can be sent to a battery recycle center. 96% of the parts of a lead-acid battery can be recycled. Remember that the batteries contain many harmful chemicals and gases, so if the battery is not disposed of properly, it can affect the environment.

Cleaning

The cables must be marked, so that there won’t be any confusion when installing the new battery. The battery case or tray and battery terminals should be cleaned properly with warm water. This helps to reduce acid and corrosion. Heavy corrosion and excess acid can be neutralized using baking soda and warm water. For protection, you should wear safety goggles and an apron. A stiff brush should be used to brush away the debris stuck to the case. The terminal connectors should also be cleaned thoroughly in case of any corrosion. If the cables, connectors, or battery terminals are excessively corroded, these must be replaced.

Installing a New Marine Battery

Here we will discuss the step-by-step process of installing a new marine battery:

Get a Marine Battery

Make sure to buy a marine battery and not an automobile battery. Marine batteries are specially manufactured to withstand heavy vibrations, high wave pounding, regular shifting, and higher draining than that of automobile batteries. So, for marine use, only a marine battery is recommended.

Appropriate Wire Size

If the old wires need to be replaced, you should buy the most appropriate wires. Battery wires will be the largest wires on-board, as these are required to supply huge amounts of power to the circuit breaker and the boat engine. Marine battery wires usually vary from 2 gauges to 6 gauges. If there is confusion, it is best to consult the manufacturer about which wire will best suit the power need of your boat.

Strapping

The battery must be secured before the connections are started. If you have a battery compartment on-board, the battery should be placed in it and strapped tightly, so the battery is not tossed around in the engine compartment by the movement of the boat. If there is no built-in battery compartment, the battery can be placed in a safe and secure battery box, which can be mounted to the boat.

Hooking Up

Finally, after the battery has been strapped in tightly, it’s time to hook up the battery. If the cables were already marked, the cables should be hooked according to the marking. First, the neutral or the black cable should be connected to the neutral or the black colored port. Then, the positive cable should be hooked. This process should be applied to prevent spark formation while hooking up the positive cable.

Installing Many Marine Batteries

Getting an Additional Battery and Setting Up

In case you need an additional battery or batteries, it is important to remember that the batteries must be the same type. For example, if the primary battery being used is an AGM battery, the second or additional batteries should also be AGM, and of the same group. Mixing different types and groups can be harmful for the battery life.

Once the additional battery has been bought, the battery must be strapped to the battery box, next to the primary battery.

Installation

The additional battery can be installed in one of two ways to increase the capacity to meet power demands:

Parallel Installation

Two batteries are connected positive to positive and negative to negative in a parallel system. In this, the neutral or the black port of the first battery should be connected to the neutral or the black port of the secondary battery. The positive port of the first battery should be connected to the positive or red port of the second battery. For more additional batteries, the same wiring can be continued. This type of connection increases the battery capacity and helps to maintain a specific voltage. This configuration also doubles the power or amp hour rating of the battery and gives longer life to the batteries.

Series Installation

Two batteries are connected, positive to negative and negative to positive, in a series installation system. In this the neutral port of the first battery is connected to the positive port of the second battery, and the positive port of the first battery is connected to the neutral port of the second battery. The same arrangement can be applied for more batteries. A series installation system does not increase the battery life but it increases the voltage of the battery and keeps the battery capacity constant.

Conclusion

The batteries should be installed the right way. You need to make sure that the batteries are attached with strong and high-quality straps, as the internal contents can be damaged due to excess pounding. You should never connect the batteries wrong, as this can lead the battery to explode. Installing the battery isn’t very tough, as long as all the principles are known.