Today, I began my battery upgrade project by cleaning all my battery posts and existing wire connections.
I started by making a paste of three tablespoons of baking soda and about one tablespoon of water. This was too much for my project, so next time I’ll halve the amount.
Before I touched anything, I cut off 12V power to the rig using The Infamous Yellow Button.
The terminals on one of my batteries were pristine while the other battery was in terrible shape!
I used a tooth brush to apply the paste to the terminals and scrub everything clean, then I wiped away the residue with a soft cloth.
Then, I used some electrical tape to clearly identify my positive and negative wires, red for positive, white for negative:
This will come in handy when I go to reassemble everything!
I bought a multipack with several colours of electrical tape and I will be colour coding everything as I put my battery bank back together. Solar will be yellow (a self-explanatory choice), inverter wiring will be green (because it’ll feed my study, which is green!), and the battery monitor will be blue (because I’ll turn blue (and feel blue) in bad weather if my batteries are running low).
The cable running between my batteries to connect them in series was the shock of the day. The positive end had essentially dissolved and fused to the battery terminal.
The negative end was in perfect condition:
I was able to completely remove the residue from the battery terminal, but the cable obviously had to be replaced. I thought to use one of my new 12″ cables, but discovered that the clamp-type connector wouldn’t work with my setup.
So I hopped in the truck and drove all the way to Canadian Tire and back to exchange the cables and get an extra one. The closest match to my old cable that they have now has a shortest length of 18″, which will be good for going from the terminals to the shunt and fuse, but is a bit long to go between the batteries.
Now that my terminal cables are clean, I can starting thinking about bringing in the new wiring. I don’t want to start something I can’t finish, so first, I need to decide just where I’ll be placing my battery monitor. If it’s going in the living room, the wiring will have to come through the floor above the battery bank and I can start getting it connect. But if it’s going to the study, the wiring will have to be run under the rig and for that, I’ll need a helper and might as well not start yet. Decisions, decisions!Share on Facebook