These straightforward lead acid battery watering instructions have been put together to ensure that your battery operates without a hitch at all times.
The battery is the lifeblood of your floor cleaning equipment, and regular maintenance of flooded lead acid batteries is essential to maximizing runtime and overall performance. Unluckily, one of the biggest investments you’ll make for the duration of your cleaning machine is the battery.
It’s critical to adhere to correct procedures and industry best practices when adding water to lead acid batteries in order to safeguard your investment, maximize runtime, and extend the lead acid battery’s lifespan. Here’s how:
How to Water a Lead Acid Battery?
Safety should always be first, so make sure you wear personal protective equipment such as protective eyewear and gloves when working on batteries. The two most popular lead acid batteries are VRLA, which offers maintenance-free operation, and flooded batteries, which require regular watering servicing. If you’re unsure of which battery you have, make sure to check the information on the battery.
The warning labels on your battery should direct you to “DO NOT OPEN” the battery, or “AFTER WATERING SERVICE, KEEP VENT CAPS TIGHT.” The warning label’s instructions must be strictly followed. You can quickly and safely rehydrate a flooded lead acid battery using a battery watering system or battery watering gun.
The density of the electrolyte solution rises as a battery charges. The battery will overfill and become damaged if too much water was added before charging because the electrolyte levels will expand. Further dilution of the electrolyte and decreased battery performance can result from over-watering batteries.
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Do I Add Distilled Or De-Ionized Water before Or After Charging Lead Acid Batteries?
Only when fully charged should lead acid batteries to be watered. This is because charging a lead acid battery causes the density of the electrolyte solution to increase and the volume to expand.
By over-watering (adding too much water to the fill well) as a result of adding distilled or de-ionized water prior to charging, a water overflow that could harm the battery can occur. Over-watering can also throw off the proper electrolyte dilution balance, negatively impacting the battery performance.
When to Water a Lead Acid Battery?
A substance called an electrolyte, which is a solution of sulfuric acid and water, is found in flooded lead acid batteries. The plates in a lead battery contain an active material that should be continuously bathed in electrolytes while oxygen and hydrogen gas are released during charging. The only time a battery should ever be filled is after it has been fully charged.
Check that there is just enough water on the plates to cover them before charging. Following charging, add just enough water to bring the level to the vent’s bottom, or about ¾ below the cell’s top. Read More: How Do Lead-acid Batteries Work?
If you are using a battery watering system, also known as a battery filling system, this will automatically fill to the proper level. Using an electrolyte indicator, which will give you a visual cue when a battery needs to be filled, you can automate the checking process.
It’s important to note that you should never add sulfuric acid to a lead acid battery. Batteries don’t normally consume sulfuric acid; instead, they only consume water. When your battery’s water level is low, top it off with deionized water to keep it operating at its best.
What Type of Water Should Be Used?
Use bottled water instead of tap water. Regular tap water won’t work to fill your battery. Even if they are added in small amounts, certain minerals found in tap water can damage batteries. This is particularly true for water softened by water softeners which contain chlorides. To be safe, distilled water is your best bet and is a much smaller investment than a new battery.
Remember, that water will sit on top of the acid solution in your battery until it is mixed by the bubbling produced by charging. It is best to take electrolyte hydrometer readings after charging is finished.
How Does Temperature Impact Battery Watering?
The performance of batteries can be impacted by temperature, which has a significant effect on battery water levels. Less battery run time and a greater need for battery watering result from hotter conditions outside or inside.
Make sure to check the battery’s water levels more frequently (at least twice per week) if it is used or stored in warmer climates.
Why Do Lead Acid Batteries Need to Be Watered?
Lead acid batteries are entirely recyclable and frequently provide excellent performance and durability with only a modest initial outlay. Since the development of lead-acid batteries more than 160 years ago, technology has advanced significantly.
However, the basic chemistry and function are still the same: Lead-acid batteries consist of lead plates that are fully immersed in a pool of electrolytes made up of sulfuric acid and water. In order for ions (electricity) to move between the plates of a lead acid battery, that water is essential to its operation.
But during the recharging process, as electricity flows through the water portion of the electrolyte, that water is broken down into its core elements: hydrogen and oxygen gas. (Batteries should be charged in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of flammable gases because these gases are combustible.)
The water level within the battery decreases as more water is converted into hydrogen and oxygen gases. This is why most lead acid batteries need to be “watered” — have distilled or de-ionized water added to the electrolyte fill well — periodically to ensure proper function. Some lead acid battery types—such as those with Tennant Smart-fill™ Automatic Battery Watering technology—can compensate for water loss on their own and do away with the need for manual battery watering.
Both under and over-watering your battery could affect its function and possibly shorten its usable lifespan because the chemistry of lead acid batteries exists in a delicate balance that ensures optimal function. That is why it’s so important to adhere to recommended watering schedules and methods.
Conclusion: Fill Lead Acid Battery
Lead acid batteries can offer excellent value for the price and performance, but they do need some maintenance. You can make sure you’re fully realizing this value, getting the most run time and charge cycles out of your battery, and maximizing the performance of your Tennant cleaning machine by adding distilled or de-ionized water to your lead acid battery.
Keep your batteries from drying out; water them as needed, especially in the summer, and you’ll have a battery that works to the best of its ability every day.
How Full Do You Fill a Lead Acid Battery?
Before charging, make sure there is just enough water to cover any exposed plates (rectangular metal parts visible when you look inside a battery). After charging, add enough water to bring the level to the bottom of the vent, about ¾ below the top of the cell.
Can We Fill Water in Lead Acid Battery?
Never fill a battery with normal water. It will damage your battery. Use only distilled water, please. It is also referred to as demineralized water and deionized water.
Should I Add Water Or Acid to My Battery?
You might wonder when and if it’s appropriate to add acid or just water when you notice the acid level in your batteries starting to drop. We recommend that unless a battery was tipped over and all the acid spilled out, you add only distilled water.