How To Prevent Marine Batteries From Corrosion?

The ocean occupies 70% of the entire earth’s surface area. Ships are the way people rely on to travel. Today’s ships have abandoned traditional fuel power and use electric energy to drive navigation. For small ships that do not need to sail far, batteries can provide good power. power. Marine batteries are designed to withstand harsh marine environments and provide reliable power for starting engines, running electronics and providing auxiliary power. Features such as heavy weight, vibration-resistant construction and waterproof housing ensure reliable performance in marine applications.

Even so, marine batteries are not immune to corrosion. Marine conditions, such as high humidity and exposure to salt water, make corrosion more likely to occur.

Marine Batteries

This article will discuss the following:

  • Identify signs of marine battery corrosion
  • How to prevent marine battery corrosion
  • Consequences of ignoring corrosion
  • Urgent indication that you need new batteries

1. What is battery corrosion?

Battery corrosion refers to the oxidation of the metal terminals on the surface of the battery, causing it to produce green or white powdery deposits. Corrosion occurs when the electrolyte (sulfuric acid) releases hydrogen gas.

When hydrogen collides with air and moisture, chemical reactions can cause corrosion. This can occur when the battery is damaged, overcharged, or stored improperly for an extended period of time, and can affect the battery’s energy production and overall lifespan.

Marine Batteries                  Marine Batteries

2. How to prevent marine battery corrosion

Marine batteries are ruggedly constructed and can power your boat even in rough waters. However, constant exposure to the harsh conditions and corrosive elements of the marine environment makes it more susceptible to corrosion. Corrosion can cause clogging of battery terminals and connections and reduce performance, ultimately leading to battery failure.

Proper battery maintenance will extend the life of your boat battery and help you avoid costly battery replacements and accidents on the water. As you prepare your fleet for the boating season, take this as a tip:

(1) Clean battery terminals and connections. Before taking the boat out on the water, the battery terminals and connections must be cleaned with a wire brush to remove any dirt or debris. Do this at the beginning of each season to prevent further corrosion. After cleaning, use an anti-corrosion spray or terminal protector to provide an additional barrier against corrosion, which is especially important for boats in saltwater environments where salt can exacerbate the corrosive effects of moisture and other elements.

(2) Check your connection. Tight battery terminal connections help prevent corrosion. Additionally, some boat owners use anti-corrosion mats made of fiber between the terminals and cables to provide another layer of corrosion barrier

(3) Develop correct charging habits. Overcharging marine batteries can lead to increased hydrogen production, which can lead to corrosion. Therefore, the battery’s state of charge must be properly maintained using a charger that meets the manufacturer’s specifications to prevent corrosion and ensure that the battery has sufficient charge while on the water.

(4) Keep the battery clean and dry. Inspect the battery approximately every four to six months, and store the battery at the end of the season to remove any corrosion, dirt, or debris that may have accumulated around the battery terminals.

(5) Intelligent storage. At the end of the season, or whenever the battery is idle for an extended period of time, store marine batteries in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area away from salt water, freezing temperatures, and excessive humidity.


3. The consequences of ignoring corrosion

Of course, you don’t want your batteries to die at a critical moment, especially if they’re floating in the ocean. A severely corroded battery is likely to reduce the performance of the vessel. If left to corrode, corroded battery terminals can disrupt the flow of electricity, reduce the battery’s ability to hold a charge, and cause the battery to short out when you need it.

Corrosion can also cause physical damage to batteries, shortening their lifespan and requiring more frequent replacement.


4. How to Clean a Corroded Marine Battery

If you see signs of corrosion, such as a white powdery residue or discoloration around the terminals, clean the terminals and connections with a baking powder and water solution to neutralize the acid. After cleaning the battery, it is important to rinse it thoroughly with clean water and dry it completely before applying a protective spray or coating to the terminals.

Keep in mind that corrosion may extend into the cable and may not always be visible. Thoroughly inspect wires and connections to make sure corrosion has not spread, then closely monitor battery performance


When to replace a Marine Batteries?

Marine batteries have a lifespan of approximately three to four years and may be as long as six years, depending on maintenance and usage. However, if your batteries are more than five years old and you notice the problem with the following methods, you’ll need to replace them.

(1) The starting performance is weak. If your battery barely turns the starter when cranking the engine outside your head, the battery has lost power and needs to be replaced.

(2) Dim lights and electronic devices. If your boat’s lighting and electronics dim or even go out when you start the engine, it could be a sign that there’s something wrong with your battery and it’s time to replace it.

(3) Poor battery power retention. If your battery won’t hold a charge, it’s time to replace the submerged battery.

(4) If your battery has been immersed in water, it may be damaged and need to be replaced due to frequent discharge. If your battery discharges frequently during use, it is a sign that the battery is faulty and needs to be replaced.

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