Effective maintenance procedures for lead-acid batteries
Lead-acid batteries used in cyclical discharge applications such as forklifts, personnel carriers, wire-guided vehicles and ‘golf-carts’ require that the battery is ‘topped-off’ with distilled water. Watering intervals are required weekly on average.
Automatic or ‘single-point’ watering systems reduce the labor time required to water the batteries opposed to providing maintenance to each individual cell manually. However, these systems are prone to failure in some applications. When used properly and maintained affectively (monthly inspection), single point watering systems will provide cost savings.
Under-watering reduces battery power and promotes life reducing heating. Over watering results in acid exposure (boil-overs) creating external shorts, corrosion and electrolyte imbalance, resulting in reduced battery power.
The discipline of adding distilled water to each cell manually is the most proficient technique. Proper maintenance insures maximum battery performance and life. Training to perform the procedure is ultimately simple and only requires that the individual use all necessary precautions and PPE.
The labor time to perform regular maintenance varies per battery on average minutes.
The intervals of each battery’s requirements for maintenance also vary drastically based on the depth of discharge rate and age. As lead acid batteries age, watering requirements increase.