How do you charge a jet ski battery? [video guide] (2023)

One of the most annoying problems is when you are looking forward to an exciting ride but your jet ski won't start due to a dead battery.

Maybe it just hasn't been used in a while or your battery is getting older. There can be several reasons why you need to charge your jet ski's battery!

That's why you have to start your skis in your garageas part of the pre-ride check Beforeon to the boardwalk! Selfthe best jet ski batteriescan be fired if you don't take care of them.

Charging a jet ski battery is not difficult, but there are some important things to consider. Getting it wrong can damage your battery or even the jet ski's electronics.

If you want to learn more about jet ski batteries, don't stop reading here. At JetDrift we have collected the best tips on how to properly charge, store, maintain and replace a jet ski battery.

How do you charge a jet ski battery?

How do you charge a jet ski battery?

To properly charge a jet ski battery it is important to always remove the battery from the jet ski and charge it with a smaller smart battery charger to avoid overcharging. You may also want to charge the battery more slowly; Usually a 1 amp charger will suffice.

Just like car or motorcycle batteries, jet ski batteries can be charged with an appropriate charger.

For your convenience we have put together a general step-by-step guide on how to charge your jet ski's battery. But before you do, be sure to check your owner's manual for more detailed, model-specific instructions!

1. Every manufacturer strongly recommends that you always remove the battery from the jet ski when you want to charge it. While it might seem more convenient to charge the battery in the ski, it can be dangerous in a number of ways. Since your ski's battery doesn't have to be charged every day, the little effort is definitely worth it.

2. Locate the battery in your ski and remove the access covers. Slide on the rubber caps and disconnect the cables from the battery. while you do this,Be sure to disconnect the negative (black) cable first.Then disconnect the positive (red) cable and finally the vent hose if present. Pay attention to the correct order, as an incorrect procedure can damage the electronics of the jet ski.

3. Finally, remove the straps and remove the battery from the ski. If your battery is mounted in a battery holder (bracket), you must remove the entire bracket with the battery.

4. Once you've removed the battery, a quick check never hurts. Is it in good shape? If you see cracks or deformation, buy a new battery immediately! Don't forget to check and clean the battery compartment as there may be dust or sand inside.

(Video) How to Charge Jet Ski Battery, Great Tips for Jet Ski

5. Store your battery in a cool, safe place near an electrical outlet. Make sure you work in a well-ventilated area. Some batteries produce hydrogen gas from the sulfuric acid, which must be removed from the room. Also, keep gasoline, matches, lighters and other flammable materials away from the battery and charger.

6. Before connecting the charger, it is recommended to clean the battery terminals to remove the corrosion. You can clean them with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 cup of water. Just stir them together, dip an old toothbrush in and scrub the ends. If baking soda is nearby, you can also use a wire brush to clean the connectors. Make sure they are completely clean and dry before plugging in the charger.

7. Before charging, always refer to your user manual for battery specifications and other instructions. Most ski batteries are 12 volts, but a double check never hurts. Also read the battery charger specifications for details on safe use.

8. Make sure the battery charger is unplugged before connecting the charging cables!

9. Connect the charger's positive (+) red cable to the positive battery post first.

10. Connect the negative (-) black cable from the charger to the negative battery post.

11. Connect the battery charger and set it to the required charge rate. As a rule of thumb, slower charging is always better for the battery. Generally,1 ampere is considered a good charging current for jet ski batteries.

12. It is recommended to use a smart charger, which detects when the battery is charged and automatically turns off or enters maintenance mode. Be careful as not every charger has this feature!

13. Always place the charger far away from your battery. It's best to place it as far as the charging cables allow. It's also important to note that while charging, you should keep the battery, charger, and cables in one place.

14. When your jet ski battery is fully charged, always turn off the charger first and unplug the power cord.

15. When removing the cables from the battery, be sure to remove the negative (-) black cable first, then the positive (+) cable.

16. Finally, reassemble the jet ski battery. Always secure the battery in place using the straps first, making sure it is properly secured.

17. When it comes to the cables,Always connect the positive (+) red wire firstto the positive pole and finally the negative cable (-) to the negative pole.

18. Check the colors of the wires before you connect them, as swapping the connectors will damage your jet ski's electrical system!

19. Tighten the terminal screws with a wrench and rock the cables back and forth to ensure they do not move.

20. You can apply a lubricating spray or grease to protect the connectors.

21. Don't forget to cover the connections with the rubber caps and attach the vent hose.

22. As a final step, secure the removed access panels (if you removed any).

But again, before you begin the process, always read your owner's manual for your manufacturer's recommendation on proper battery maintenance!

(Video) How to store and charge a PWC battery

How long does it take to charge a jet ski battery?

Another frequently asked question isHow long does it take to charge a jet ski battery??

When charging, the rule of thumb is that the slowest charge time is better for the battery (do not exceed 2 amps!). That means if you do it right, it will take several hours to charge a jet ski battery. If the battery dies, you'll probably need to charge it overnight!

But it always depends on the charging current, the battery type and its current status. Let's see some examples!

How many amperes does a jet ski battery have?

A jet ski battery typically holds 12-30 amps depending on the make and model. Batteries in the latest PWC models are typically 18-30 amps, but always check the sticker on the actual battery or your owner's manual for exact specifications.

How long does it take to charge these batteries? It always depends on the charging tariffs and the state of charge. Some examples:

If you have a half-charged 12 amp battery, a 2 amp charger can fully charge it in 3 hours. But when it's dead, it takes you 6 hours to fully charge it. However, experts say that a 1 amp charger is a much better choice for these small batteries, but it will take you twice the time with this charger.

Let's review the same problem with a 30 amp jet ski battery. If you use a 1 amp charger, it can fully charge a half-charged battery in 15 hours and an uncharged battery in about 30 hours. If you find it too slow, you can consider a higher charge rate, but as a rule of thumb:Never exceed 2 amps when charging a jet ski battery!

How Long Should You Charge a Jet Ski Battery?

As you can see, it takes many hours to properly charge your battery. Although most chargers offer "fast charging," many experts say you should charge a jet ski battery overnight. Because fast charging has a negative effect on the life of the battery! In general, your best bet is to stick with the 1 amp smart chargers and charge your battery over time or even more.

But is it possible to overcharge a jet ski's battery? Don't hesitate to read more to find out!

Can You Overcharge a Jet Ski Battery?

You may be wondering if it is possible to overcharge a jet ski battery or not. The bad news is that if you don't have a smart charger, you can overcharge your battery if you leave it on the charger for too long or use a charge rate that's too high.

But what are the risks of overcharging a battery? Firstly, overcharging your jet ski's battery can damage it, but unfortunately this is not the worst case scenario.

Another side effect could be when the battery boils the mixture of distilled water and sulfuric acid. Another problem could be when the battery case gets hot or, in the worst case, starts to swell or even melt.

In addition, flammable hydrogen gas can be generated in the sealed cells of the battery, which can lead to many serious accidents. In the worst case, the battery can explode if the accumulated hydrogen is ignited by an electrical spark. Of course, this is the worst situation with an overcharged jet ski battery, but this is a risk that exists.

This is one of the reasons why every manufacturer recommends removing the battery from your jet ski as the exploding battery can damage your ski in many ways! It is best to use a smart charger as it will not overcharge your jet ski's battery.

Also, stay below 2 amps as higher charge rates could damage or even destroy your battery. If you have a regular charger, always read its manual as well as the battery manual.

(Video) Jet Ski Battery ● Remove, Test, Charge, and Re-Install the Battery in your Personal Watercraft ✅

How Often Should You Charge a Jet Ski Battery?

When it comes to battery maintenance, you probably want to know how often you should charge a jet ski battery. The good news is that you should charge your jet ski battery in the winter if you ski frequently and the battery is in good condition.Because when you drive your jet ski, your battery is automatically charged. But if you rarely ride it, the battery can self-discharge.

To avoid completely draining the battery, you should check the voltage of your battery with a voltmeter on a weekly basis. When inspecting, do not forget that the jet ski requires a current that is above the voltage!

How many volts does it take to start a jet ski?

Jet ski batteries are typically 12 volts, but a fully charged jet ski battery should read over 12.6 volts (12.7-13+ volts). As a rule of thumb you need at least 12-12.5 volts to start a jet ski, but that always depends on the model and some external factors. It is best to charge your battery when it falls below 12.6 volts!

When checking your battery, this reference table may be useful to determine its condition:

Jet ski battery charge level reference chart

percentage of charge12 volt battery

The self-discharge rate of your battery depends on some external conditions like ambient temperature and many others.

As a rule of thumb, any jet ski battery needs to be charged at least once a month when your ski is not in use. This is because the chemical reactions inside the battery must remain active or it can easily be completely ruined.

Do you need to charge a new jet ski battery before use?

When it comes to buying a new jet ski, buyers have several questions about the ski, and battery health is no exception. In most cases, they come pre-charged from the factory, so you don't have to charge a new jet ski before using it.

However, if you are a cautious owner, you should do a quick check with a voltmeter and charge the battery before your first ride for optimal performance. If the ski has been stored at the dealer for several months, it is not uncommon for the battery to have to be charged.

Another problem could be if the battery in the new ski is not factory activated. If you are considering buying new skis, you can ask your dealer to activate the battery if necessary before picking up your new skis. But usually a good dealer will do this for you without being asked!

Can you jump start a jet ski battery?

It is highly recommended to avoid jump starting a jet ski battery. This is because there is a great risk of damaging the jet ski's electronics if you are propelling it with a car or other vehicle. Jumppacks are also not recommended for safety reasons!

What are the best jet ski battery chargers?

What are the best jet ski battery chargers?

The best jet ski battery chargers are the smart battery chargers with charge rates no more than 2 amps. These smart chargers turn off automatically when your battery is fully charged, so you don't have to worry about overcharging.

Consider a solar battery charger

Besides a regular jet ski charger, you can also consider a solar charger. These models do a good job when there is no outlet nearby. In addition, you can take it with you on the water as there are many waterproof portable models on the market.

(Video) How To Keep Your Jet Ski Battery Healthy Over Winter


Solar battery chargers are less powerful than regular battery chargers. This means that you can mainly use them to keep the battery charged. Another limitation is that you can only use them during the day.

Can you trickle charge a jet ski battery?

Can you trickle charge a jet ski battery? Although trickle chargers were common in the past, nowadays trickle charging a jet ski battery is discouraged. In general, when it comes to jet ski batteries, the battery tenders do a much better job than trickle chargers.

Is a trickle charger the same as a battery tender?

No, battery tenders are not the same as trickle chargers. The difference is that trickle charging means the battery is charged slowly but continuously even when fully charged to avoid self-discharge. In contrast, a battery tender allows your battery to self-discharge and kicks in to charge it when the battery charge falls below a certain level.

In addition, if you use a trickle charger, you run the risk of overcharging your battery, which can damage or even destroy it in many ways.

Does your jet ski need a jet ski battery tender?

Battery tenders (known as float chargers) are the best way to service your jet ski battery especially during the winter months. But don't forget that you have to remove the battery from the hull even if you want to use a jet ski battery tender!

It is also advisable to check the battery during the process. Although a battery tender works automatically, it's a good idea to check it and the battery to make sure everything is fine.


Charging a jet ski battery is not too difficult and is very similar to charging a car or motorcycle battery. But before you do, there are a few things to consider.

First, contrary to popular belief, you always have to remove the battery from the jet ski when you want to charge it. When charging a battery, sulfuric acid can leak out of the cells, overheat or, in the worst case, explode in your ski. It's just not worth the risk!

After removing the battery from the ski, place it in a safe place and connect the charger to it. Always check polarity while working. Mixing the cables can damage your battery and the electronic parts of the jet ski.

Your best bet is to use a small smart charger with a 1 amp charge rate. In general, a 1 amp charger can charge a jet ski battery from zero in about 24 hours (or even faster).

But it always depends on the charge level, the condition and the type of battery. Jet ski batteries typically last around 12-30 amps; The latest models typically require a 30 amp battery.

If you don't ski your skis for a long time and the battery voltage falls below a certain level, it should be charged. This limit may vary depending on battery type and condition, but some jet ski manufacturers recommend around 12.6 volts. It is also recommended to remove a jet ski's battery for the winter months.


Related articles:

How to Find and Remove a Jet Ski Battery [Video Guide]
How long do jet ski batteries last? Why do they keep dying?
The Best Jet Ski Battery [Buyer's Guide]

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