There are instances whereby you need to water your battery. It is important to keep track of the battery’s fluid levels while ensuring they are safe. Ensure you haven’t underwatered or overwatered your battery. To ensure the battery is operating at optimum levels, you should adhere to the battery watering guidelines.
Focus on Safety
As you get started, ensure you have worn personal protection equipment which includes gloves and protective eyewear. Also, ensure that you understand some batteries need to be watered regularly, whereas others are maintenance-free. Ensure you have checked the labeling on the battery and focus on the warnings, which include “do not open.” Follow the instructions that have been issued on the warning label.
When Should You Add Water?
Conventional batteries usually contain a mixture of water and sulfuric acid. The plates of the battery also have an active material that should be bathed regularly using electrolytes while hydrogen and oxygen gas are emitted during the charging process.
While the battery is only supposed to be filled after it has been fully charged, ensure you have checked the water levels first. Before you charge the battery, ensure there is enough water such that the exposed plates are covered. After the battery has been charged, you should add enough water.
If you own a battery, ensure you don’t add any sulfuric acid. As the battery usually operates, it will only take in water and not sulfuric acid. When the electrolytes levels are low, the battery should be filled with water to ensure it is healthy and also safe for use.
Never Over Water
As the battery charges, the electrolyte solution density usually becomes denser. Suppose too much water has been added before you start to charge the battery. In that case, the electrolyte levels usually expand, and the battery will eventually overflow, which means it will incur irreparable damage. Excessive watering usually results in the electrolyte being diluted, and the battery performance will be affected.
You should keep track of the number of times you usually add water to the battery. If you only use the battery during the weekends, you need to water it at least once a month. For a forklift, there is a high likelihood it is used daily, and it means the battery should be watered weekly. When the temperatures are high during summer, the battery needs to be watered regularly. Ensure you keep track of the fluid levels after the battery is done charging.
Avoid Tap Water
As you fill the battery, the regular tap water will not suffice since it has minerals that can harm your battery. You may assume small amounts are preferable, but that’s not the case. It is advisable to use distilled water. Fortunately, it is affordable, and it will ensure your battery is operating at optimum levels.
Always factor in the water settles on top of the sulfuric acid until the bubbling ensures both liquids are mixed as the battery charges. As you take hydrometer readings, you should take them after the charging process comes to an end.
First Charge the Battery and Disconnect It Before the Watering Process
As you charge the battery, it will emit some heat, and the water levels will be affected. Ensure you have charged the battery before you can water it to avoid variation in water levels because of overflow or evaporation. You are supposed to add low amounts of water to ensure the battery does not overheat as it charges for the low water levels.
An Overfilled Battery Should Be Cleaned Immediately
The overflow usually leaks the battery acid across the battery’s surface, and corrosion will take place if it is not cleaned immediately. The residual acid and corrosion will deteriorate the battery’s life expectancy since it will overheat during charging.
Ensure the battery doesn’t get dehydrated. It should be watered during the hot months and throughout the year.