DEEP CYCLE BATTERY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Bill Darden
August 14, 2001


A word of caution: lead acid batteries contain a sulfuric acid electrolyte, which is a highly corrosive poison that will produce gasses when recharged and explode if ignited. This will hurt you-BAD! When working with batteries, you need to have plenty of ventilation, remove jewelry, wear protective eyewear (safety glasses) and clothing, and exercise caution. Do NOT allow battery electrolyte to mix with saltwater. Even small quantities of this combination will produce chorine gas that can KILL you! Whenever possible, please follow the manufacturer's instructions for testing, jumping, installing, storing, charging and equalizing batteries.


This FAQ assumes a 12-volt, six cell, negative grounded, lead acid battery found in most recreational applications in North America. For six-volt batteries, divide the voltage by two; for eight-volt batteries, divide by 1.5; for 24-volt batteries, double the voltage; and for 48-volt batteries, multiple by four.
The technical stuff is in italics.


CONTENTS

1. WHAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE?

2. WHY BOTHER?

3. HOW DO I TEST A DEEP CYCLE BATTERY?

4. WHAT DO I LOOK FOR IN BUYING A BATTERY?

5. HOW DO I INSTALL A BATTERY?

6. HOW DO I CHARGE (OR EQUALIZE) A BATTERY?

7. HOW DO I INCREASE THE LIFE OF A BATTERY?

8. WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF BATTERY FAILURES?

9. HOW CAN I STORE BATTERIES?

10. WHAT ARE THE COMMON MYTHS ABOUT BATTERIES?

11. HOW LONG WILL A DEEP CYCLE BATTERY LAST ON A SINGLE CHARGE?

12. HOW CAN I REVIVE A SULFATED BATTERY?

13. HOW CAN I REDUCE RECHARGE TIME?


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