How to Charge a Personal Watercraft battery

Charging the battery on a personal watercraft doesn’t just mean hooking up some jumper cables. It means removing the battery from the PWC, checking it for damage it may have sustained in the course of use, and ensuring its electrolytes are at optimum levels. Only after completing these maintenance checks do you connect the battery to the charger. All you will need is a standard powersports battery charger, such as a Battery Tender, and about three hours to fully charge the battery. 

1) Remove the nut from the negative battery post, using a 5/16-inch socket and socket wrench. Remove the cable from the negative post. Change to a 3/8-inch socket and remove the nut from the positive battery post. Remove the cable from the positive post.

2) Unscrew the fitting at the end of the battery breather hose and remove the breather hose.

3) Unhook the male ends of the battery bands from the female end of the battery bands. Lift the battery out of the PWC and move it to the Battery Tender .

4) Inspect the battery compartment of the PWC for liquid that could indicate the battery case is cracked. If there is no evidence of acid in the battery compartment, inspect the battery itself to ensure the case and terminals are neither damaged nor corroded. Check the electrolyte level in the battery, refilling it with distilled water — not tap water, not spring water, but distilled water only.

5) Look at the charger to ensure it is not plugged in. Connect the positive lead from the charger to the battery first, then connect the negative lead from the charger to the battery. Set the voltage you want to to charge to (14.4 volts for a wet cell battery; 14.2 volts for gel cell batteries) and plug the charger in. If you use a silicone-controlled rectifier-type charger, it shuts off when full charging is complete.

Extra tips:

*When working with or around batteries, wear safety glasses at a minimum. Rubber gloves also may be required.

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