…Can Marine Batteries Get Wet?

Heading out on your boat is a fun diversion from life’s responsibilities. The surrounding water lulls you into a relaxed state, and the (hopefully) warm sun is heaven after a long week.

Your boat, however, has its own set of requirements from the captain. Engine and exterior-surface care are often prioritized. Think about your marine battery, too. This tool is one of the most important items on the boat. Can it get wet? Although marine batteries are designed for boat living, they shouldn’t be wet for several reasons.

Moisture on the terminal side

If you’re a boating enthusiast, you know that vibrations are a concern with marine batteries. Every effort is made to secure the battery from movement in its isolated location. However, water can drip into this area at times.

Ideally, keep water away from the battery’s topside. The terminals reside in this area, which creates power issues. Consider this situation:

  • Water drips onto the terminals
  • A puddle of water forms between the terminals
  • Current begins to run between the terminals
  • The battery discharges with incredible speed

The water creates an electrical pathway, which leads to power leaving the battery. The boat can be stranded during this scenario.

Submerged base in water

Understanding your batteryis an incredibly important thing when it comes to keeping it charged and ready to go. A common myth surrounds the battery’s housing. Many people believe that the plastic base can be submerged in a little bit of water.

Although the plastic housing is meant to be an insulator, a charge will slowly move out of the battery. Water on the terminals or at the base is typically saltwater. The salt molecules in the water allow the electricity to move with ease. Boating enthusiasts must be aware of the battery’s condition at all times. Water isn’t healthy around any electrically charged item.

Secret leak areas

You may not realize that the battery terminals and housing aren’t the only areas where water becomes an issue. The battery may be installed in the perfect location, but the wires are drooping down into some water. It’s possible for some energy to discharge through the wire insulation and into the saltwater. The salt molecules perform their conductive action again to draw power away from the battery.

Ideally, secure the wires along a wall where water cannot make contact with them. Electricity may only trickle out of the battery, but it makes an impact over time.

The Freshwater Aspect

Freshwater doesn’t have the same impact on marine batteries as saltwater. There is some conductive action, but it’s muted to a certain degree. The lack of salt in the water is the main difference. All water, however, is corrosive. Continual exposure to freshwater will break down the battery with rust and slow, discharge rates.

If you notice that the battery is submerged in freshwater, you should react in the same way as saltwater. Dry the housing and terminals. Marine batteries will always be negatively impacted by any type of water. Be cautious by staying dry in the hull.

Treating the batteries with care

Aside from keeping the battery dry, there are several tasks that you can perform to prolong the battery’s lifespan. Try these tips, including:

  • Applying dielectric grease to the terminals
  • Adding distilled water to batteries requiring the liquid
  • Installing a cover or boot on the positive terminal

Each care tip reduces the possibility of power leaving the battery. There’s no perfect way to keep a battery for as long as possible. However, trapping the charge inside the battery until the power is needed is the best way to boat. You’ll always have power when needed. Simply keep an eye on the battery in case of any water infiltration into the vessel.

Get all your marine battery questions answered by our team. 

See You Soon at SolarFest! August 18th – 19th

We choose to work in the “greenest” industry in the world. More than 98% recycle/reuse closed loop utilization of lead–acid batteries, and support solar energy, wind and alternative energy systems.

August 18th-19th, we’re headed to SolarFest. We’ll be joining in a “two-day celebration of the power and the possibilities of renewable energy and sustainable living.”

With us, we’re bringing our Trojan and RELiON products.

Just about our entire suite of RELiON products is ideal for solar energy. Make sure to come check out for RELiON RB48v series and RB24V series.  We’re also bringing our Trojan Solar AGM line, which you won’t want to missAsk our team about them today.

Along with showcasing our batteries, we’ll be listening to nationally recognized speakers, taking part in workshops, learning about renewable energy and conservation, and more, like:

  • green buildings
  • zero-emission transportation
  • public policy and activism
  • sustainable living and food
  • technology and innovation

At Northeast Battery, we’re conscious of our impact on the environment and about climate change. Our customers are, too. At SolarFest, consumers and business owners can learning about reducing our carbon footprint, like how to cut down on your electrical, heating and cooling and transportation costs. 

Here are all the details you need. See you soon!

WhereStratton Mountain Resort

When: August 18th – 19th. Doors open at 8AM Saturday and stay open until 4PM Sunday.

Get your tickets here

Battery 101: This Is Where You Can Drive Golf Carts

It’s the peak of summer vacation time and everyone is wanting to take a golf cart and hit the roads of their preferred vacation spot. For many of us, we will enjoy the use of the golf cart so much we’ll start asking where else we can use one.

Whether you are planning on hitting the golf course, tooling around the resort, or wanting an easier way to get around the neighborhood, golf carts are becoming the transportation of choice. Just because you want to grab and cart and hit the road doesn’t mean you can. These are the places you can take your golf cart.

Getting off the beaten path

While you can’t hit the highway in your golf cart, there are some states that will let you hit the side roads. Most restrictions center around being registered and sticking to areas that have a speed limit of no more than 25 miles per hour. Every state is a bit different with their rules and restrictions, so make sure you check out the laws before you head out on the open road.

Why hike when you can golf cart?

There are some states that allow you to take your golf cart on any recreational pathway. Like hiking or seeing the sites but just can’t walk the distance anymore? Hop on in your golf cart and you can enjoy the outdoors with the hikers, bikers and runners! Just make sure you are respecting others on the path.

Living the easy life

Golf carts are a common sight in and around retirement communities. Why get in the car to go to the clubhouse when it’s easier and cheaper to grab the golf car, right? Carting is also a great way for those who may not be able to take the car out and about anymore to still get around without too much trouble.

Golf carting through academia

Many college campuses today are spread really far apart. While biking around campus is still very commonplace, golf carts are on the rise. It used to be just administrators and groundskeepers who could be seen carting through campus, but now that golf carts are becoming more accessible, students are getting in on the fun too.

Following the rules

Now that you know where you can take your cart, it’s important that you understand the rules. First and foremost you need to research the golf cart restrictions in place where you are.

You can always use your golf cart on your own property, or other private properties where you have permission.

Once you hit the street those freedoms go away and you’ll want to make sure you’re following all the rules. Not sure where to begin? Start with a call to the local Department of Transportation. They can get you started in the right direction.

Always Think: Safety First

Now that you have all of the rules and guidelines handled, it’s a good idea to think about safety. Take some time to brush up on your traffic hand signals and put a call into your insurance.

Most of the time when you rent a golf cart they will provide insurance as well, but it never hurts to call your own agent and make sure you are fully covered. You’ll also want to make sure your cart has been properly maintained. You’d hate to head out to the beach only to find yourself stranded along the way.

Batteries vs Concrete Floors: What You Need To Know

Have you heard that you could not store lawnmower or boat batteries on a garage floor if it was a concrete or a cement floor? This tidbit of knowledge has been passed down over the years, with few people even knowing why they were not supposed to put the battery on the floor. It was easy enough to put the battery elsewhere, so no one really thought much about it.

Why can’t batteries sit on a concrete floor?

One day, somebody asked this question, probably because he or she sat a battery on the floor and did not feel like moving it. If it was back in the 1960s, there was a legitimate reason to get the battery off the concrete floor.

The combination of the slightly conductive hard rubber battery casing and a damp, therefore, slightly conductive concrete garage floor, will cause the battery to discharge. Even though the battery casings were hard rubber, they were still porous.

Before hard rubber, battery casing were tarred wood, which is equally as likely to absorb moisture from unsealed concrete. The idea of keeping batteries off a concrete floor has been around for a long time, passed down from previous generations.

Keep batteries on concrete

Today’s batteries have plastic cases there is no risk of the battery degrading from being on a concrete floor. At Northeast Battery, we tell our distributors that storing batteries on a concrete floor is a good idea, as it helps keep the battery cool, so it discharges less. You do not want to sell a customer a battery that is close to dead.


FarmCraft101 set six batteries on different surfaces and then load tested periodically. Concrete acted as a temperature buffer; the batteries stored on concrete were fine.

Snopes, the Internet’s fact checker, agrees that storing a battery on concrete won’t harm the battery. No current can pass through today’s hard plastic battery casing; however, this was once good advice.

Four battery storage tips

Take the battery out of your lawnmower, boat or any item that you will store during the off-season. Vampire power and a battery’s self-discharge will decrease the battery’s shelf life if you do not remove the battery. To keep your Trojan, Odyssey or other battery ready to go on the first warm day:

  • Store battery where it’s not subjected to temperature extremes
  • Store battery in a well-ventilated area
  • Fight corrosion with baking soda and water: clean battery with a 50/50 solution, rinse and dry battery before storing it
  • Recharge battery once a month

While there is ample evidence that you can store a battery on a concrete floor now, the common misperception that it will discharge faster will not die. Fortunately, it is a harmless fallacy; if batteries are on the floor it’s easy to forget to charge them.