What Ruins a Deep Cycle Battery?

Deep cycle batteries are designed to be regularly discharged “deeply,” meaning using most of their capacity. As such, they are a great storage source for renewable energy. However, certain things can ruin a deep-cycle battery if not correctly taken care of.

Overcharging

One of the more common causes of damage to deep-cycle batteries that we come across regularly is overcharging. Overcharging can occur when the battery is left plugged in for too long or charged at too high a voltage. This causes the electrolyte solution inside the battery to become too hot, which can lead to permanent damage. It’s essential to use a charger specifically designed for deep-cycle batteries and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when charging them.

Sulfation

Sulfation occurs when the battery has been sitting idle for an extended period without being used or recharged. Sulfation causes crystals to form on the plates inside the battery, reducing its ability to hold a charge and eventually leading to failure. To prevent sulfation from occurring, it’s important to recharge your deep cycle battery every few months, even if you’re not using it regularly.

Discharging too often

Another common way deep-cycle batteries can be damaged is by discharging them too deeply or too frequently. That might seem odd since deep cycle batteries are, after all, meant to be discharged deeply. However, they are still batteries and can be damaged if discharged below around 50% of their capacity.  

Discharging deep-cycle batteries too frequently can also damage their lifespan and performance. Deep cycle batteries are designed to be regularly discharged using most of their capacity, but if drained too quickly and without proper recharging or rest, the electrolyte solution inside the battery can become too hot, leading to permanent damage.

Any deeper than 50% reduces their lifespan and could lead to permanent damage. A few batteries available have an 80% safe discharge rate. Still, they tend to be significantly more expensive and harder to find.

Taking proper care of your deep cycle battery will ensure that it lasts as long as possible and continues providing reliable power for years to come.

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