Battery maintenance is vital for keeping lift trucks and other warehouse equipment in good working condition. Poor battery handling practices can hinder a lift truck’s capabilities and derail a project’s completion. Battery watering is a crucial step in equipment maintenance.
Battery watering helps in preserving the integrity of the internal plates. Insufficient water or lack of it often leads to overheating, which in turn wears off the plates and reduces the battery’s performance capabilities. Topping off with excess water can trigger an overflow and affect the battery charging cycle.
1. Boost Battery Performance
A typical lead-acid-based battery usually contains water, sulphuric acid, and plates containing lead dioxide. During the charging process, a small portion of the water breaks down into oxygen and hydrogen. Additionally, when the batteries are in use, the heat they produce causes evaporation, thus reducing water levels.
Refilling the batteries with water allows them to function optimally while improving the safety of machine operators.
2. Reduced Battery Maintenance
Good use of battery watering equipment can save you the agony of recurring battery maintenance issues. Poor watering techniques raise downtimes and can inflate your warehouse operation costs. An overheating battery can potentially explode, thus harming your machine operators.
3. Minimizes Operating Expenses
Appropriate battery watering schedules optimize warehouse operations and can result in significant savings for warehouse managers. Batteries are costly to replace hence the need to be consistent and up to date with maintenance procedures. Moreover, an efficient watering routine can extend the battery’s life cycle besides improving the battery’s storage capacity.
What Type of Water to Use During Battery Watering
It’s essential to use the appropriate water for lead-acid battery refilling. Tap water is unsuitable because it contains calcium, magnesium, iron, and other metals that may react with battery components. Generally, hard water and any water that contains high levels of dissolved minerals will limit the battery storage capacity in the long run.
Rather than using tap water, consider the following alternatives:
• Deionized Water
Water deionization entails the use of electrostatic processes to eliminate dissolved mineral impurities. Deionized water is also a cheaper alternative to using distilled water. Though deionized water contains organic compounds, these residues cause no harm to battery components.
• Distilled Water
Distillation removes over 90% of dissolved minerals and other organic compounds, thus yielding extremely pure water. Distilled water undergoes the processes of heating, cooling, and condensation.
When to Water a Battery
It is advisable to refill your battery water after completing a full charge. Once the battery charge is full, refill the water to the highest level and remember to top off. Watering your batteries at inappropriate times can damage their internal components.
Avoid refilling discharged or partially charged batteries because it causes acid levels to rise and spill over, thus damaging the battery’s internal components. If you suspect the battery plates need replacing, consider sourcing your supplies from a reliable supplier. Lastly, it’s important to train your machine operators on the best battery watering and maintenance practices.