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Woody33

Replacing 90ah with 115ah batteries?

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Hello, new to the forum and boating! - my leisure batteries require replacing as They are not holding charge. If I'm replacing the bank of three, I presume there is no issue replacing all three which are 90ah with 115ah versions?

 

Oddly (or maybe not) there doesn't seem to be a dedicated starter battery, just a switch to use power from all or just 2 batteries.

 

Any guidance appreciated.

 

Current batteries are yuasa 35/90.

Matt

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5 minutes ago, Woody33 said:

Hello, new to the forum and boating! - my leisure batteries require replacing as They are not holding charge. If I'm replacing the bank of three, I presume there is no issue replacing all three which are 90ah with 115ah versions?

 

Oddly (or maybe not) there doesn't seem to be a dedicated starter battery, just a switch to use power from all or just 2 batteries.

 

Any guidance appreciated.

 

Current batteries are yuasa 35/90.

Matt

110 and 115a batteries are usually quite a bit taller than 90a, do you have the room.

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Others will reply, but the starter needs a starter battery. like an automotive one : cold cranking [CCC ratings] the starter  is quickly re-charged by the alternator on the engine, and then goes back to sleep. Often number "1"

 

The domestic batteries [might be  on "2"] are "Deep Cycle" [different  amp hour capacity, different pricing, different internal structure] They are supposed to be discharged by your lights , TV, etcetera, and are slowly [in several stages, but as per your charging system ] ,  re charged by the alternator, or the solar or any other means of inputting "charging"

 

Best practice is to keep the starter battery for starting the engine.

 

Edited by LadyG

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Ask someone to have a look and advise is my advice. You  should be prepared to pay for advice by a professional, but if you are not sure what is what, this will be an "investment"

You may need some rewiring.

You may need two 110 amp hour deep cycle batteries, or maybe not. Domestic

You may, or you may not, need one new starter type battery. Starter. Probably does not need to be 110amp hour capacity.

Some batterie need tender loving care and regular maintenance your manual intervention.. These are called flooded.

 

Some types of batteries are like starter car batteries and are sealed, they will be more expensive if used as domestics[house] batteries.

Do not use car batteries as domestic batteries, they are chalk and cheese.

Edited by LadyG

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2 hours ago, LadyG said:

Ask someone to have a look and advise is my advice. You  should be prepared to pay for advice by a professional, but if you are not sure what is what, this will be an "investment"

You may need some rewiring.

You may need two 110 amp hour deep cycle batteries, or maybe not. Domestic

You may, or you may not, need one new starter type battery. Starter. Probably does not need to be 110amp hour capacity.

Some batterie need tender loving care and regular maintenance your manual intervention.. These are called flooded.

 

Some types of batteries are like starter car batteries and are sealed, they will be more expensive if used as domestics[house] batteries.

Do not use car batteries as domestic batteries, they are chalk and cheese.

Sorry but in many caess not so. The vast majority, if not all, so called dual purpose batteries are (as Gibbo described them) starting batteries with handles and when you look at their specks often give both an Ah capacity and CCA. Actually to be 100% correct that should be MCCA which is a slightly different standard.For instance my Exides that have now done 6 years in domestic use are rated at 115Ah @ 20 hour rate and 760 CCA.

 

The quote is far too general. Flooded lead calcium batteries need no more maintenance than sealed types until they age and the topping them up may extend their life a little where as sealed batteries in the same state will quickly dry out and fail.  If lead calciums are needing a lot of topping up then there is almost certainly a charging fault. Wet open cell batteries are far easier for ordinary boaters to diagnose than any sealed battery.

 

The batteries that do need looking after to protect your investment are the so called deep cycle ones and the 2v cells because if you don't keep them charged and from what I hear also equalise them regularly they will fail just as quickly as any other lead acid battery.

 

For the OP - By all means change them to 115 Ah batteries as long as they fit.  If you do not know if your battery bank is split and the method by which it is split and the charge distributed do not buy expensive batteries, sub £100 dual purpose leisure batteries will do the job. Only buy expensive when you KNOW all about your charging system and KNOW you can keep the batteries all but fully charged the vast majority of the time. Otherwise view batteries as consumables.

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7 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

Sorry but in many caess not so. The vast majority, if not all, so called dual purpose batteries are (as Gibbo described them) starting batteries with handles and when you look at their specks often give both an Ah capacity and CCA. Actually to be 100% correct that should be MCCA which is a slightly different standard.For instance my Exides that have now done 6 years in domestic use are rated at 115Ah @ 20 hour rate and 760 CCA.

 

The quote is far too general. Flooded lead calcium batteries need no more maintenance than sealed types until they age and the topping them up may extend their life a little where as sealed batteries in the same state will quickly dry out and fail.  If lead calciums are needing a lot of topping up then there is almost certainly a charging fault. Wet open cell batteries are far easier for ordinary boaters to diagnose than any sealed battery.

 

The batteries that do need looking after to protect your investment are the so called deep cycle ones and the 2v cells because if you don't keep them charged and from what I hear also equalise them regularly they will fail just as quickly as any other lead acid battery.

 

For the OP - By all means change them to 115 Ah batteries as long as they fit.  If you do not know if your battery bank is split and the method by which it is split and the charge distributed do not buy expensive batteries, sub £100 dual purpose leisure batteries will do the job. Only buy expensive when you KNOW all about your charging system and KNOW you can keep the batteries all but fully charged the vast majority of the time. Otherwise view batteries as consumables.

All very sound advice as usual 👍 Even though I have many years of experience with living with batteries I still treat them like diesel. You use it and replace, batteries are not an investment.

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3 hours ago, bizzard said:

110 and 115a batteries are usually quite a bit taller than 90a, do you have the room.

This!  I deliberately use 95ah batteries as 3 of them fit in a box which only held 2 x 110s. 

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1 hour ago, mrsmelly said:

Even though I have many years of experience with living with batteries I still treat them like diesel.

That's why they don't last you very long.  Try putting them in the battery box, not the fuel tank!

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3 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

That's why they don't last you very long.  Try putting them in the battery box, not the fuel tank!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh so thats what it is!!

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I think what Tony says is good advice. There are all sorts of batteries, all of them offer the earth, all of them sound like the bestest newest technology, some cost a hell of a lot but quite honestly I've had a few Numax 110 AH batteries and I have had few complaints with them. Being a grumpy old git I quite like the ones that you can top up  with distilled water too.

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10 hours ago, Woody33 said:

Oddly (or maybe not) there doesn't seem to be a dedicated starter battery, just a switch to use power from all or just 2 batteries. 

 

10 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

You probably have 2 domestic and one starter connected vis a 1 2 both off isolation switch 

 

Check the switch. If it is a 1-2-both-off switch it should be in position 1 (assuming this connects to the start battery) for starting, then move it to "both" while the engine is running, so you recharge the starter and domestic batteries. When you stop the engine, switch to 2, so that your electricity use comes only from the  domestic batteries, leaving your start battery fully charged. Make sure you never switch to "off" while the engine is running - it may damage the alternator.

 

If all this sounds too complicated, consider changing to a VSR (voltage sensitive relay) to do it all automatically.

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Thank you for your assistance everyone, really helpful to a newbie!

 

There is a '1-2-both-off switch' on the narrowboat and checking the photos I took earlier, there does appear to be 2 x Yuasa 90ah/35 leisure batteries and a powerstart 100ah battery which I'm guessing is the starter battery, hopefully wired to position 1.

 

The label on the starter battery has an 'installed' on date sticker which only goes up to 2014, so presuming this is rather old!

 

Thinking about replacing all with these dual-purpose batteries, which will fit in the space well.

 

https://advancedbatterysupplies.co.uk/product/3-x-numax-cxv31mf-batteries-110ah-deep-cycle-battery/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Woody33

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6 minutes ago, Woody33 said:

Thank you for your assistance everyone, really helpful to a newbie!

 

There is a '1-2-both-off switch' on the narrowboat and checking the photos I took earlier, there does appear to be 2 x Yuasa 90ah/35 leisure batteries and a powerstart 100ah battery which I'm guessing is the starter battery, hopefully wired to position 1.

 

The label on the starter battery has an 'installed' sticker which only goes up to 2014, so presuming this is rather old!

 

Thinking about replacing all with these dual-purpose batteries, which will fit in the space.

 

https://advancedbatterysupplies.co.uk/product/3-x-numax-cxv31mf-batteries-110ah-deep-cycle-battery/

 

 

 

 

 

 

As has been said previously there are all sorts of claims for batteries. better to split your batteries into one dedicated “starter” battery and two “domestic” batteries. Some kind of battery monitoring/managing system is also desirable. Various claims are made for different systems, take professional advice.

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9 hours ago, Stewart Kirby said:

...take professional advice.

My unprofessional advice is - don't. Spend some time on this forum using the search engine which is now excellent and make up your own mind.

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9 hours ago, Woody33 said:

The label on the starter battery has an 'installed' on date sticker which only goes up to 2014, so presuming this is rather old!

My starter battery is 2008 vintage and it's identical to the "leisure" batteries I replaced at 7 or 8 years old.  It'll fail now I've had to say that, obviously, and it'll be your fault! ;)  Narrowboat starter batteries have quite an easy life, since the engine they start is almost invariably run long enough to fully recharge them after each use. If yours is OK, leave it as a dedicated starter battery and forget about it.

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37 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

My starter battery is 2008 vintage and it's identical to the "leisure" batteries I replaced at 7 or 8 years old.  It'll fail now I've had to say that, obviously, and it'll be your fault! ;)  Narrowboat starter batteries have quite an easy life, since the engine they start is almost invariably run long enough to fully recharge them after each use. If yours is OK, leave it as a dedicated starter battery and forget about it.

Agree but the OP mentioned jump leads so maybe they jumped off the domestic bank which would imply they were OK but we have not been told exactly what he meant by that. If he did jump off the domestics then maybe its just the start battery than needs changing.

 

To the OP: now you have confirmed that you have an OFF, Bat1, Bat2, Both switch I would advise that as soon as you have recovered from the battery purchase you seriously consider doing away with that witch, fit two proper quality master switches and a Voltage Sensitive Relay to split the charge. That way everything is automatic and there is no danger of misuse of the big switch.

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13 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

 

To the OP: now you have confirmed that you have an OFF, Bat1, Bat2, Both switch I would advise that as soon as you have recovered from the battery purchase you seriously consider doing away with that witch, fit two proper quality master switches and a Voltage Sensitive Relay to split the charge. That way everything is automatic and there is no danger of misuse of the big switch.

.......then buy and install a battery monitor so you don't need to buy another new set of batteries in 3 months time.

Read the 'battery primer' thread. Someone will post a link.

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As OP will have realised, there is a fair bit of complexity in the question due to the large number of variables.

The battery primer must be the best place to start and you don't actually need to delve much deeper.

.

..

.

 

However, there is a discussion on ybw, which may provide a solution to a problem which OP may not have been considered. In this situation it is probably overkill, but it may warrant consideration, long term for some boaters. It discusses VSRs [voltage sensitive relay] the optional black box which will "allocate" the electricity being put in to the battery bank.

Ywb, is primarily salty water sailors, and they may have very different needs and usages.

http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?472093-VSR-and-solar-inter-working-question

 

Edited by LadyG

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7 minutes ago, LadyG said:

However, there is a discussion on ybw, which may provide a solution to a problem which OP may not have been considered. In this situation it is probably overkill, but it may warrant consideration, long term for some boaters.

Ywb, is primarily salty water sailors, and they may have very different needs and usages.

http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?472093-VSR-and-solar-inter-working-question

 

 

I suspect the difference between battery use and charging on a sailing boat unless passage making under power is so different to typical inland boating to make the worries expressed in the link simple non-events. If you motor out of harbour (say 15 minutes) sail all day, then motor back in it is very likely you may not fully recharge the start bank (if you have one) and then the possibility of a depleted start battery pulling the voltage from solar connected to the domestic bank down enough to disengage the VSR becomes real but in inland use engines are run for far longer periods so start batteries spend almost all their time fully charged.

 

The basic rule for any split charging system is that unless there is a very good reason to vary it the charge source should connect to the batteries that are likely to be the most discharged for the most time. For inland boats this is inevitably the domestic bank.  Doing it this way the flat domestic batteries will hold the charging voltage down so not only do they get priority but also it prevents the relay of any sort closing and then having to pass the charging current plus current from the better charged battery through the contacts. It seem to me that it is when charge sources, especially alternators, are connect to the start battery you get overheating relay contacts an a short life. For inland boats I am convinced all charge sources need to connect to the domestic bank and any relay sensing is done from that bank. It will extend the life of the relay contacts.

 

If you are running the engine for more than a hour or so a day I do not believe you need start battery priority but you do need domestic priority.

 

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11 hours ago, David Mack said:

consider changing to a VSR (voltage sensitive relay) to do it all automatically.

 

57 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

I would advise that as soon as you have recovered from the battery purchase you seriously consider doing away with that witch, fit two proper quality master switches and a Voltage Sensitive Relay to split the charge.

Agreed 100%. Selector switches are easy to forget to change over and would never have been invented if low cost VSRs had been available at the time. 

6 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

For inland boats I am convinced all charge sources need to connect to the domestic bank and any relay sensing is done from that bank. It will extend the life of the relay contacts.

Again, I fully agree. That YBW thread is not relevant to inland waterways boats and I’m not really convinced that it’s relevant to salty water boats either. Even a sailing boat that doesn’t have a fully charged starter battery at the time the VSR connects is unlikely to have the domestics pulled so low that the VSR will disconnect. The starter battery may not be fully charged but the very few Ah that will have been used to start the engine are unlikely to put much of a drain on the larger domestic bank when the VSR connects. 

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1 hour ago, Tony Brooks said:

To the OP: now you have confirmed that you have an OFF, Bat1, Bat2, Both switch I would advise that as soon as you have recovered from the battery purchase you seriously consider doing away with that witch...

Tony, I admire both the depth and breadth of your boating related knowledge, but I think you should draw the line at starting a witch hunt! ;)

 

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29 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

Tony, I admire both the depth and breadth of your boating related knowledge, but I think you should draw the line at starting a witch hunt! ;)

 

A wizard idea.

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1 hour ago, Sea Dog said:

Tony, I admire both the depth and breadth of your boating related knowledge, but I think you should draw the line at starting a witch hunt! ;)

 

That's what happens when one is probably an undiagnosed dyslexic. I have always missed letters out and read what I think is on the page rather than what actually is. I do think those Switches are the work of the devil though.

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