4 Easy Steps for Watering Low Maintenance Batteries
First, realize it is imperative to have your low maintenance batteries watered properly. Not doing so can damage permanently your battery at worst and severely hinder the battery performance at best. Also, recognize the most common reason why good quality or lower quality batteries fail is lack of maintenance. It is an industry fact that very few batteries fail due to manufacture defect but rather due to user error. There are many maintenance free batteries made today that do not allow you to add water to them or they are made with calcium in the plates which compensates for water loss in the battery and therefore adding water is not needed. You can talk to the helpful people at www.powerstridebattery.com to learn about true maintenance free batteries that DON'T REQUIRE ADDING WATER. Getting back to “low maintenance” flooded lead acid batteries and the need to check their water level. These batteries require maintenance service by adding water as needed and generally, it is the accepted industry practice that Low maintenance batteries should have the water level checked every three months. If you are discharging and recharging your batteries rigorously then you may want to check them even more frequently.
Secondly, how do I check the water levels of my low maintenance batteries? Before you do anything, you do safety first. We suggest using protective eye wear and gloves to protect your eyes, face and hands. You should note that battery acid is really good at putting some holes in your clothes, and although that is the style now a days, some will want to avoid damaging nice clothes when maintaining batteries. Before opening your battery water caps you will want to make sure there is no dirt or liquid or any other foreign substance that might get into the batteries. Cleaning your batteries is a good practice and while you are at it spot check the terminals for dirt and corrosion. Take off all the battery watering caps on top of the battery so you can see the uniform status of the water level across all the cells of your battery. You will want to look at the rectangular shaped plates inside each cell to see if they are exposed and NOT covered by the water in the battery. The battery plates in the cells are vertically positioned so you will be see the edges of the plates not far from the cap opening of each cell and if they are not covered by water then the water levels are considered low. Different factors can be attributed to low water levels such as gassing and evaporation. If the low water level is caused by any leaking you will want to replace the battery.
Third, filling the cells with water is a simple task. Do not add sulfuric acid, but after charging, ADD ONLY DISTILLED WATER, which can be easily obtained at any food store. Tap water and other water sources have mineral content and chemicals which will negatively impact your battery. If you are going to use a funnel make sure no other liquid, oils or foreign substances get into the battery cells via that funnel. The distilled water should be added to cover the plates by 1/8th of an inch. Keep in mind you are dealing with battery acid in the battery so be careful to add water gently to eliminate splashing back up onto your skin or face. Once you have added the water you can go ahead and put the water caps back on securely and wipe everything down. If your batteries are used more regularly then they will have a need to be charged and watered more regularly too.
Fourth, don’t over fill your batteries! The reason why want to be careful about adding TOO MUCH water before charging is because the electrolyte levels will expand during charging and if too much