How to Water a Lead-acid Battery simply: forklift battery watering made easy
Forklift battery maintenance – it’s a chore, but a necessity. Watering batteries is one of the most overlooked steps of battery maintenance. Without water they will not hold a full charge and will eventually need to be replaced. In today’s age, more than ever, proper battery watering methods are vital to reaching the full life expectancy of a forklift battery. Since the battery usually costs roughly 30% of the entire cost of the forklift, proper battery watering procedures are essential.
Batteries can be under-watered, so this process requires routinely scheduled service visits, whether that visit is needed or not. The visits are often too frequent or too late, which is either inefficient or damaging to the battery. Watering cells individually often results in uneven and un-watered cells, and filling up batteries can also be quite dangerous as the operator has to get close to the battery hazards.
With proper maintenance, a forklift battery should last 1,500 cycles (or about five years). Unfortunately, that’s not a guarantee — and without proper maintenance, a battery might experience significant performance issues well before the scheduled end of its service life.
In modern lead acid batteries that run most electric forklifts, water fills the individual cells to ensure a functional mix of the chemicals and electrolytes that power the equipment. Should water levels dip too low in your forklift battery, it can cause preventable damage to your equipment. Improper water levels can lower battery life and reduce cycle time between charges, decreasing your forklift’s effectiveness while increasing energy and maintenance costs. To prevent this damage, you should do the following:
Water the battery after charging. Unless the metal plates of the individual cells are exposed, watering before charging can cause overflows and electrolyte imbalance. If the plates are exposed, top the battery enough to cover them, recharge, and then complete regular watering after charging.
Use pure or distilled water. Water that is dirty or filled with particulates can cause electrolyte imbalances and damage the battery. Distilled water isn’t usually needed so long as pure, clean water is used.
If available, use a single-point watering system. They save you time and make sure water levels are appropriate in all battery cells.
Avoid lengthy exposure to cold temperatures. If water freezes in your batteries, it can damage them.
HERE ARE SOME KEYS TO BATTERY WATERING:
● Always wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including safety glasses, gloves, and long sleeves
● Use only distilled or demineralized water (never add battery acid)
● Only water after charging is complete (watering before charging may cause battery electrolytes to overflow, a chemical spill that also diminishes battery capacity)
● If battery plates are uncovered or not submerged electrolyte, do not charge them. Instead, fill batteries until just the tops of the battery plates are covered with liquid. Then they are ready for charging.
● Now, watering schedules will vary based on the operating environment, battery age, and temperature. Ask your manufacturer or installer for recommendations – and be sure to put routine maintenance in your calendar.
FINALLY, CONSIDER A BATTERY WATERING SYSTEM
The BULLSPOWER watering system is an advanced, single-point Forklift battery watering system making battery watering easy and saving you valuable time and money.
BULLSPOWER – Watering SystemIf you’re using BULLSPOWER batteries then you’ll find the BULLSPOWER watering system a truly innovative solution that focuses on faster, easier and safer battery watering.
Watering is the most important part of a battery maintenance program. Single point watering systems have gained popularity as they allow you to water your batteries quickly and easily.
You can even fill your batteries in less than one minute and, avoid the mess of over filling..
BULLSPOWER is the leading manufacturer of deep-cycle forklift batteries and, the company knows the importance of battery maintenance and the impact it has on your battery’s life.
Your Checklist for Better Lead-Acid Battery Watering
Use this checklist to determine whether your operation is on the right course. Remember, every facility is different — you may need to take additional steps to ensure appropriate battery maintenance for your entire fleet.
● My battery room team understands the purpose and importance of battery watering.
● My operation has established a process for assigning battery washing responsibilities to specific workers.
● Batteries are watered every 5-10 charges or according to the battery manufacturer’s specifications.
● Batteries are only watered after charging, never before.
● Workers perform a visual inspection of batteries before watering. If the battery has signs of oxidation or corrosion (white crystals or dust on the terminals or plates), the worker will report the issue before attempting to water the battery.
● My operation keeps a log for battery watering and other key maintenance tasks, or uses an electronic battery management system that creates these logs automatically.
● Battery room workers understand how to safely respond to a boil-over and have an ample supply of appropriate spill response equipment.
● Battery room workers understand how to maintain good ergonomics when watering batteries and have appropriate ergonomic equipment.
● The operation has a process in place to allow workers to submit concerns about potential safety and ergonomic hazards, along with a process for addressing those concerns.
● Batteries are cleaned regularly with appropriate supplies.
● My battery watering equipment is suitable for the way my workplace operates. Damaged equipment is repaired or replaced immediately.
With the right equipment — and proper management — forklift batteries can operate reliably for upwards of five years. Actual lifespans depend on usage and other factors, but regular watering is the most important consideration. A precise battery watering system is an excellent long-term investment for keeping your fleet on the floor. Call BULLSPOWER at +86 752-2819469 to learn more about battery maintenance solutions for the whole fleet.