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Battery Maintenance

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A collection of pointers on the handling, use and storage of Lead-acid (wet) and SLA (sealed) vehicle batteries.


bulletNever use typical automotive or wet-type chargers on gel/sealed batteries (they will quickly ruin your battery).
bulletAlways observe the proper charging rate for your battery


bulletNever dispose of batteries in a fire, They can rupture and explode.
bulletAllow dispose of batteries at a recycling center equipped to handle batteries.
bulletSome places charge a fee depending on the weight and chemistry of the battery.

Risks involved in improper use and maintenance

bulletExplosion: Improper charging, poor maintenance or battery failure can cause low acid/electrolyte levels, resulting in high concentrations of hydrogen gas and an explosion. While possible with all batteries, an explosion is much less likely in gel/sealed batteries.
bulletFire: Dropping a tool or touching a watch or bracelet across the terminals can result in a shock, sparks, smoke and even and explosion.
bulletCorrosion Damage: Overfilled or excessively charged wet lead/acid batteries can force acid into the battery box resulting in cable corrosion and/or damage to clothing, property and people.
bulletPollution: All old batteries must be recycled through an approved source to prevent improper disposal.


bulletAlways store batteries FULLY CHARGED.
bulletStore in a cool, dry location.
bulletDo NOT allow a battery to freeze.
bulletMake sure there is no chance the contacts can be shorted.
bulletCheck all batteries once a month and recharge as needed.
bulletWet batteries can hold their charge up to 3 months.
bulletSealed batteries can hold a charge for up to 6 months.
bulletModern batteries do not require you to store them off the floor.

Maintenance Tips for Wet Batteries

bulletCheck battery electrolyte levels at least once a month. Replace water as needed
bulletNever add new electrolyte. This concentrates the acid and corrodes the battery faster.
bulletFill water with distilled water and only to proper level.
bulletMonitor the battery for electrolyte discharge which could be an indicator of a possible electrical problem.



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Last modified: June 29, 2009
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