Once the exhilarating jet skiing season comes to an end, it’s time to tend to your jet ski battery. Charging your battery may seem daunting if you’re a first-time off-season rider, but fear not, it’s a simple process. This guide will walk you through the steps to charge your battery and ensure its optimal performance when you hit the water again.
Charging Your Jet Ski Battery: Step by Step
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to charge your jet ski’s battery:
- Ensure that the battery is placed in a location where it won’t be exposed to water.
- If you’re using a wall charger, make sure the battery is near a power outlet.
- If the battery is inside the jet ski, remove the necessary access panels to reach it.
- If you’re charging the battery while it’s still in the jet ski, disconnect the negative cable (the black one) to prevent any damage to the onboard computer.
- Connect your battery charger to a wall outlet and wait for the green light signal.
- Follow the charger’s instructions to connect it properly to the battery.
- Before leaving the battery to charge, double-check that everything is functioning as it should. With a smart charger, a green LED light will indicate readiness, while a red light may indicate an issue with the charger or battery.
If you don’t have a smart charger, it’s important to avoid leaving the charger connected to the battery for an extended period. Regularly check the battery’s charging progress to prevent overcharging.
How Long to Charge a Jet Ski Battery?
Without a smart charger, you’ll need to manually monitor the battery’s charge and disconnect the charger to avoid overcharging. Generally, it takes approximately 45 minutes to charge a completely dead battery up to 65%. For a full charge, you’ll need to charge the battery for around 2 hours.
To be on the safe side, check your battery every 30 minutes after connecting it to prevent overcharging. If you only need to top off the charge and your battery is around 85% charged, it should only take 15 minutes to half an hour. Keep in mind that batteries usually charge quickly, and smart chargers automatically manage the charging process.
The Ideal Voltage for Charging a Jet Ski Battery
A 12-volt battery is the most suitable option for your jet ski. When browsing for a charger, make sure it’s a 12-volt charger with an amperage of fewer than 2 amps. Charging your battery too quickly can cause damage, so it’s best to stay within the recommended voltage and amperage range.
To prevent your battery from dying, especially if it has been sitting idle for an extended period, consider using a trickle charger. This type of charger ensures that your battery remains charged and ready for action, protecting it from dying due to inactivity.
The Best Jet Ski Battery Chargers
The smart charger is your best bet for efficient charging and automatic shut-off once the battery reaches full capacity. Here are a few highly recommended smart chargers:
- Battery Tender Jr: A spark-proof charger with a 12-foot output cord. It’s the top choice among smart battery chargers, offering protection against overcharging and a 5-year warranty.
- NOCO Genius 6V/12V: An excellent charger available in 6 or 12 volts. It comes with a 5-year warranty and delivers reliable performance.
- Motobatt Baby Boy 500: This charger features a 2-stage charge and automatic shut-off for fully charged batteries. With its efficient voltage and amperage measurement system, it charges faster and more accurately.
- BatteryMINDer Plus Model 1510: A smart charger capable of charging up to four batteries simultaneously. It can revive almost-dead batteries, comes with a 10-year warranty, and ensures long-lasting performance.
If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, you can opt for a solar-powered charger. These chargers are especially popular for jet ski owners who store their vehicles outdoors. They are environmentally friendly and eliminate the need for electricity. Here are a few reliable solar-powered chargers:
- ALLPOWERS 18V 5W: This weatherproof charger works in all conditions and is compatible with PWC batteries, as well as car, motorcycle, and tractor batteries.
- Betop-Camp 12V 10W: With a clear PV glass cover, this charger offers increased efficiency. It works under all daylight conditions and displays a flashing LED light when fully charged.
- MOOLSUN 12V 10W: A portable charger that you can take wherever you go. It works in various weather conditions and ensures reliable performance.
- Zeal life 12V 1.8W: This charger is known for its ability to operate in both sunny and cloudy weather. It’s environmentally friendly and comes with a one-year warranty.
Jump-Starting a Jet Ski Battery
Jump-starting your jet ski with a car or truck is not recommended, as the powerful batteries and charging systems of these vehicles can overwhelm the jet ski’s electronics, potentially causing irreparable damage.
For safe jump-starting, you have a few options. One way is to use a freestanding battery, ensuring it has a full 12-volt charge. Connect the freestanding battery to your jet ski’s battery and jump-start it. Alternatively, you can jump-start your dead battery by connecting it to another jet ski’s battery. However, be cautious and avoid connecting your jet ski to other vehicles to prevent any potential damage.
The simplest and safest method is using a battery booster, which should always be on hand. Whether you’re dealing with a dead jet ski, motorcycle, or car battery, a booster will quickly revive it. Simply charge the booster using a home outlet or car cigarette lighter, attach it to your dead battery, turn the dial to “on” and “jump,” and start up your jet ski.
Remember, it is crucial never to jump-start your jet ski in the water, as it can be extremely hazardous and potentially fatal. The battery booster is the easiest and least dangerous method for jump-starting your jet ski.
Common Reasons for Jet Ski Battery Failures
If you find yourself replacing your jet ski battery frequently, several factors may be contributing to this issue. Here are some common culprits:
- Multiple clicks when starting: If you hear multiple clicks when turning the key, it’s a sign that your battery may be faulty.
- Lack of a charging system: Unlike cars, jet skis lack a charging system that replenishes the battery while running. Jet ski batteries rely on a Stator, which only maintains the charge without fully charging it.
- Sulfation from inactivity: If your battery remains unused for extended periods, it can develop sulfation, causing the plates to build up and lose charge. Infrequent jet ski use compared to cars contributes to shorter battery life.
- Issues with the charging system: If your battery continuously fails to hold a charge, there may be a problem with the Stator or another part of the charging system. Checking the battery’s voltage can help diagnose this issue.
- Improper battery size: Choosing a battery that is either too big or too small can affect its lifespan and your jet ski’s overall performance.
Proper Jet Ski Battery Storage
During the off-season, it’s crucial to remove your battery from the jet ski and store it in a dry location away from extreme cold temperatures. Proper maintenance ensures a fully charged battery when you’re ready to hit the water again. Follow these steps to store your jet ski battery correctly during the winter:
- Locate the battery at the back of the jet ski.
- Referencing the manufacturer’s instructions, remove the battery by loosening the securing bolts.
- Flip back the rubber cap from the negative terminal and use a Phillips screwdriver to disconnect the negative terminal from the battery cable. Do the same for the positive terminal.
- While keeping it level, carefully lift the battery out of the jet ski. Wearing protective gloves is recommended.
- Place the battery on a rubber mat in a dry garage or shed.
- Connect the battery to a smart charger (trickle charger) and ensure it starts working.
- Check the battery’s fluid level every four weeks. If it falls below the lower-level mark, refill it with distilled water. Be cautious and refrain from touching any spilled fluid.
Keep in mind the following precautions: avoid storing the battery in your house due to potentially hazardous fumes, keep open flames and sparks away from the battery, refrain from placing the battery on concrete to prevent draining, and ensure it remains out of reach of children. Additionally, protect the battery from freezing, as extreme coldness can render it unusable.
For the simplest charging experience, consider using a storage unit with electrical outlets to ensure ease of charging during the off-season. Choose a high-quality battery that will last for many years with proper care, as it is a worthwhile investment compared to cheaper alternatives.
By following these guidelines and maintaining your jet ski battery properly, you can ensure a seamless riding experience every time you hit the water.