Understanding Your Lead-Acid Batteries
One of the most commonly used batteries is the lead-acid battery, which is found in almost anything that moves. This includes cars, forklifts, boats, and motors. A lead-acid battery consists of lead oxide and lead plates. It has 65% water solution and the remaining 35% is sulfuric acid. You can test your battery with a hydrometer or a voltmeter, depending on the type of battery you have. A hydrometer will help you measure the amount of sulfuric acid present in the battery.
Taking care of your batteries will have an impact on their lifespan. Thus, you need to take care of your lead-acid battery if you want to make the most out of it. Batteries are like any of us; the more you give, the more you receive. If you give nothing, eventually, so will the battery. In order to properly take care of the battery, you need to know what it is and how it works.
Everything you need to know and understand about lead-acid batteries
Lead-acid batteries are one of the most used batteries around the world. There are many things that one needs to understand when looking for a lead-acid battery.
If you are planning on handling a lead-acid battery, it is best that you take all precautions as contact with it may damage your skin. Before you begin handling the battery, take off all your jewelry. Some batteries are very explosive due to the amount of hydrogen gas present in them. They also consist of acid, sulfuric acid to be particular, which is highly dangerous and can eat up many surfaces or even your skin. It would be a good idea to use goggles as well since they would keep your eyes safe. If you are handling a battery that has a ground cable, it is advisable that you let it stay where it is; it won’t let the electricity pass through you.
Know your lead battery types
There are two different types of lead batteries.
- Starting: This battery delivers quick bursts of energy.
- Deep cycle: It has a long life but is slower in delivering energy.
If you want your battery to last long, you will need to maintain it as such. You will need to clean it regularly and wash it with baking soda and water. Tighten up those cable connections and clean the cables too while you’re at it.
A lead-acid battery is serviceable and will need its fluid to be checked as well. If it’s low, top it off with mineral-free water or preferably distilled water as it completely clears the battery off contaminated cells. Make sure you do not overfill your battery as it may cause trouble, especially in warm weathers.
Applying a little silicone sealer on the base of the post of the battery and adding a felt battery washer, coated with petroleum jelly, would prevent it from corroding.
Testing your battery
You can test your lead-acid battery in various ways, but the method that will give you the most accurate reading is by measuring its gravity and battery voltage. The voltage can be measured by a voltmeter and the gravity can be measured by using a hydrometer.
To check the battery, you must first fully charge it. Remove its surface charge and let it sit for at least 12 hours. Only then should you begin testing it.
Load testing is another effective way of charging your battery. It removes the amps from the battery.
Selecting your battery
When you are going out to buy a new battery, you will encounter a lot of options to choose from. One of the best options for you to choose would be the lead-acid battery with the greatest amp hour rating or reserve capacity. If your battery is supposed to withstand harsher environments, it is best you pick a battery that would give you the performance that is best suited for it.
Ensure the freshness of the battery before making a purchase. This is highly important. If a battery has been sitting for a long time, it is more likely that the process of sulfation has already started inside. Check the manufacturing date before buying.
It would be a good idea for you to buy a battery with a warranty. If anything were to go wrong with the battery within the given time period, you could get the battery easily fixed or replaced.
As the energy requirements have increased, the average battery life has become shorter. 80% of the time, a lead-acid battery fails due to sulfation and the fact that people are unaware of this process. In sulfation, your lead plates get covered in the crystalline form of lead sulfate, which causes them not to charge easily. The reasons that this happens is varied. It can be because the battery has been sitting too long between charges, there was no energy input available when it was stored, the battery was undercharged, the heat may have caused internal discharge, cold weather impact, or electrolyte level is low.
A lead-acid battery requires charging as soon as it has been drained of it. If not, it will start the sulfation process and cause the battery to lose its capacity of recharging itself.
Even if you are not aware of a lead-acid battery or would not like to deal with its maintenance, it would be a good idea to hire someone or ask someone else to do it for you. At least this way, you will be ensuring that your battery will last until the end of its assorted time. Remember that if you learn to recondition your own battery, you will be saving yourself a lot of money in buying a new battery. In fact, if you set up a business around that, it will turn out to be the most profitable venture for you yet.