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grockell

Socket drive size and winter battery care

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Hi all,

 

Firstly, a quick shout out to everyone in this forum for all their help and advice to date. This really is a great community! I hope I will be able to pay it back with my own advice in the future when I become a little bit more clued up!

 

I wasn't sure whether to post this in the boat building and maintenance, but considering I'm still a boat baby I thought it best to start here ?

 

1) I sprung a leak from a jubilee clip on my inlet into my engine radiator today, nothing major and crisis averted thankfully. The experience made me realise how important it is to have a socket set on board. What are people's view on drive size? 3/8, 1/4 or 1/2 inch?

 

2) Regarding keeping my acid lead batteries happy over the winter. Someone I met mentioned it's prudent to insulate the battery bank with rubber. Is this good advice?

 

3) I need to install a mains battery charger for when I moor up in a marina for the winter. Any recommendations? 

 

Thanks ya'll

 

George x

Edited by grockell
thought of something else!

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Sockets drive size - it depends on the size of socket! So for 6-12mm you probably want 1/4 inch. For bigger stuff, 1/2 inch. Personally I wouldn’t bother with 3/8th. Halfords do some quite good socket sets with multiple drive sizes. At full price they are expensive but usually are on offer at a “massive discount”.

 

Batteries and rubber mats - no it’s an old wives tale. The important thing is to get them fully charged and maybe top the charge up every couple of months, especially if there is an automatic bilge pump. Or of course if you are living aboard, charge them frequently.

Edited by nicknorman
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4 minutes ago, grockell said:

What are people's view on drive size? 3/8, 1/4 or 1/2 inch?

Not sure that it’s something worth have strong opinions on, I mean we are not in the same ball park as pump out vs. cassette, at least I don’t think we are.  I would just buy a good solid set from Screwfix or the like...

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9 minutes ago, grockell said:

1) I sprung a leak from a jubilee clip on my inlet into my engine radiator today, nothing major and crisis averted thankfully. The experience made me realise how important it is to have a socket set on board. What are people's view on drive size? 3/8, 1/4 or 1/2 inch?

 

2) Regarding keeping my acid lead batteries happy over the winter. Someone I met mentioned it's prudent to insulate the battery bank with rubber. Is this good advice?

I've got a mixture of 3/8 and 1/2" socket drivers, with adaptors between the different sizes, including down to 1/4" for teeny tiny sockets. If I was just buying one set, then I'd probably go for 1/2" drive. which will do everything on a boat.

 

My batteries live under the rear deck, unheated, all year round. No insulation, including some excursions to minus silly temperatures in bad winters, where the canal was frozen a foot thick. No problems. Lead acid batteries are fine like this. Insulating them will only slow down their cooling, not prevent it.

 

Jen

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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1. 1/4" sq Drive is ideal for small sockets for things like jubilee clips and 3/8 for most things on the engine but a few things may require the leverage afforded by a 1/2 set. I bought a fairly cheap combination set with 1/4 and 3/8 drive for the boat but then I have my "now not so professional" tools to fall back on when a 1/2 drive was needed. The only thing I think I used it for was the internal anode holder but not so many inland engines have those.

 

2. just keep them well charged in my view, you are not in the Arctic.

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It really depends upon how competant you are or want to become. Not a slight on you, a genuuine comment. For a novice I would suggest a 1/4 drive set and a 1/2 set. After that the worlds your lobster

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If you are going to be connected all the time you wont need a very big charger as really you will only be maintaining, something like 10 amps, but if you intend to use a generator than you will want something bigger as you wont want the genny going all day. So if you don't plan on a geny then Ctek 10 amp

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Many years ago I was "caught short" without any tools so purchased a cheapo 3/8 drive socket set from "The Range", it includes a little 1/4 inch reducer as the smaller sockets are 1/4 inch. Its my most used socket set. The 3/8 rachet broke after a few years so I replaced that with a good quality one.

I have 1/2 drive impact sockets and torque wrench for any big jobs (cyclinder head, injection pump drive) but 1/2 is a bit heavy for day to day use so only comes out for the big jobs.

 

90% of jobs are 10, 11 or 13, with a bit of 17 and so 3/8 is just right, 1/4 is a bit on the small side.

 

.............Dave

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A quick google suggests that a fully charged lead acid battery won't freeze until the temperature gets to levels that you just don't see outside Siberia, Northern Canada, or the Antarctic. -50, to -70C or so for a near fully charged battery. A flat battery can freeze in a British winter though, which is another reason to keep them charged.

 

Jen

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I knew you lot would come up with the goods, many thanks for all your helpful comments!

 

Socket set and battery charger on Xmas list, check. And if I've been naughty and santa brings me coal instead that won't be so bad:clapping:

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12 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

If you are going to be connected all the time you wont need a very big charger as really you will only be maintaining, something like 10 amps, but if you intend to use a generator than you will want something bigger as you wont want the genny going all day. So if you don't plan on a geny then Ctek 10 amp

I'd second the choice of a Ctek multi-stage charger. Does all the things that lead acid batteries love plus has a reconditioning function that revives an iffy battery suffering from sulphating. But go for the largest model you can afford – the M300 (20 amp) is the largest they make, otherwise a M200 – that way you can fully recharge the battery bank if needs be rather than just providing a maintenance charge. The M300 will recharge up to a 500 amp battery bank from scratch; anything more and it will only be maintenance. The M200 (if I remember correctly) is 15 amp so something like a 400 amp battery bank is it's max. Have a look on the Tayna site (https://www.tayna.co.uk for confirmation, information and excellent prices.

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Depends on where they are sited and your boat layout of course, but it usually stays a bit warmer where the batteries sit. For example, on my trad stern boat with engine under, I have a max-min thermometer monitoring by engine 'ole when I'm not aboard. Last Thursday it had recorded the lowest temperature  over the previous 10 days in the control space above at 1.0 degrees C. Below, at the batteries, the lowest had been 5.7.  Tis the water that keeps the lower space a few degrees warmer, even when there's ice.

 

I agree with the thrust on this though - unless you're on a shore supply to keep them floating, leave them fully charged and isolated so nothing can run them down.  Do a bit of research before you write to Santa so as to get the right charger. (Edited to add - I'm not of the school that thinks you need a big charger to charge, say, 400Ah of batteries from flat. That's not something that you need to do in reality and, if you did need high capacity charging, you have an alternator which will do that. When my 100 Amp charger went duff, my little Ctek 5.0 amp kept my 400 amp bank floating quite happily and ran the fridge.)

 

Don't over tighten those jubilee clips - when the system gets hot and expands the rubber can get squeezed until it's ability to recover is reduced. Sometimes, all appears fine until the engine cools.... Drip... Drip.... Drip....

Edited by Sea Dog
Charger thing.
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12 hours ago, system 4-50 said:

OP: Please delete question 2 until you are sure that AdeE will not be around.

Well, now you come to mention it - rubber certainly seems to keep those around @rusty69 warm - must be just the blood circulating.

 

 

Miss Whiplash.jpg

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For battery charging you can spend a fortune or buy something good that does the job. If plugged in you just need to maintain the batteries so dont spend a lot. I have a MASO 5 amp multi stage unit on my motorhome, they also do an 8 amp and maybe others? It does a fine job when plugged in and maintains on a float of 13.7 iirc. The price delivered was £28. If you want a charger for using from say a gennie at canal side you need a bigger charger than this.

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21 hours ago, grockell said:

 

I wasn't sure whether to post this in the boat building and maintenance, but considering I'm still a boat baby I thought it best to start here ?

 

1) I sprung a leak from a jubilee clip on my inlet into my engine radiator today, nothing major and crisis averted thankfully. 

 

Engine radiator? Is this an additional cooling system that someone has installed with a fan because your skin tank is undersized? How is the hot air expelled from the engine space? Bilge blower? Always wondered whether that would work.

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56 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

For battery charging you can spend a fortune or buy something good that does the job. If plugged in you just need to maintain the batteries so dont spend a lot. I have a MASO 5 amp multi stage unit on my motorhome, they also do an 8 amp and maybe others? It does a fine job when plugged in and maintains on a float of 13.7 iirc. The price delivered was £28. If you want a charger for using from say a gennie at canal side you need a bigger charger than this.

As you say, no need for a big one to maintain.

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7 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

Well that's what he said

Well in that case it's a fair assumption. ?

 

I was just making it clear for the benefit of anyone else reading this who wasn't aware, which is why I used the general pronoun "one" rather than "he" or "the OP".

Edited by blackrose

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29 minutes ago, blackrose said:

Well in that case it's a fair assumption. ?

 

I was just making it clear for the benefit of anyone else reading this who wasn't aware, which is why I used the general pronoun "one" rather than "he" or "the OP".

 

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So it's ok for you to repeat what Smelly said but for some reason you take exception if I repeat what you've said? Why do some people get so pedantic on this forum? Dude, it doesn't matter, let it go.... ?

Edited by blackrose

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2 minutes ago, blackrose said:

So it's ok for you to repeat what Smelly said but you take exception if I repeat what you've said? Dude, it doesn't matter, let it go.... ?

Sorry, didn't mean to offend just wanted to highlight that a larger one would be needed on a genny, as you said

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