Battery Maintenance & Battery Handling

BASIC RULES FOR BATTERY MAINTENANCE AND CARE

Please follow through on these simple rules to ensure optimal equipment performance.

RULE 1: ALWAYS WEAR PROTECTIVE SAFETY GEAR WHEN HANDLING LEAD ACID BATTERIES

  • Lead Acid Batteries by their construction expose working personnel to four potentially dangerous elements: sulfuricacid, explosive gasses, electricity and heavy weight
  • Consult Safety Data Sheets before handling
  • Be sure to remove metal jewelry and always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) including safety boots, face shield/safety glasses, rubber gloves and rubber apron when handling a battery; wash hands with soap and water after handling

RULE 2: PROPERLY CHARGE THE BATTERY

  • Lead Acid Batteries by their construction expose working personnel to four potentially dangerous elements: sulfuric acid, explosive gasses, electricity and heavy weight
  • The charging area should have adequate ventilation when batteries are on charge; explosive hydrogen gas is generated during the charging process and it must be able to disperse effectively
  • Before charging, check to ensure the electrolyte is covering the top of the plates; if not, add just enough distilled or deionized water to ensure the plates are covered; overwatering right before charging can cause acid overflow
  • Make sure you have been trained to on how to charge a battery; use the proper charger size and follow charging instructions carefully
  • Connect and disconnect the battery with the charger in off position to prevent dangerous sparks
  • Batteries with steel covers should be recharged with the covers in an open position

RULE 3: CHECK THE BATTERY ELECTROLYTE LEVEL WEEKLY

  • The plates of flooded batteries must always be fully submerged in electrolyte
  • After charging, check the electrolyte level again and add distilled or deionized water to ¼” below the vent well (see diagram) to cover the plates if low. Never add electrolyte
  • WARNING: Fully watering a battery before charging can cause an acid overflow
  • Any acid lost from the battery will result in power loss and shortened power life
  • Acid that gets on the outside of the battery will attack the external parts of the battery and should be cleaned off immediately

RULE 4: KEEP CELL VENT CAPS ON AND BATTERY TOPS CLEAN AND DRY

  • Keep vent caps on when the battery is in use, on charge or when cleaning the top; this prevents acid splashes and foreign matter entering and damaging the cells
  • Only carefully remove caps to inspect electrolyte levels before charging and when watering a battery after charging
  • For minor spills or overflow of electrolyte fluids, use an acid neutralizer to wipe them up right away with a rag or paper towel and dispose of it immediately
  • Every couple of weeks, wipe down battery tops with a battery cleaner
  • If corrosion has accumulated, use a corrosion remover to clean it off; this prevents damage to the outside of the battery
 

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