Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Checking The Water Level In Sealed Automotive Batteries by Walt Barrett

In the process of reconditioning failed Sealed Lead Acid automotive batteries we have found that many were very low on water. Most people say that this is due to overcharging, and boiling of the electrolyte. This makes it highly advisable to check the charging rate of your alternator. If a battery is allowed to run low on water it is most likely the finish of that battery unless you catch it before the plates are above the level of the electrolyte. The problem is that sealed batteries have no ports to allow you to check the levels. One way we have found to get around this is to remove the battery and place it on the work bench in a darkened area. If you then hold a bright light behind the battery you can see the partitions, the plates, and the electrolyte levels in each cell. This usually works with black colored batteries also because they are usually only translucent when you inspect them with a bright light in back of them. It's almost like an Xray.
Now ,if you find the levels are too low but the battery is not ruined yet we offer a stop drill to drill service holes in each cell without ramming the plates. We also offer the battery tune up chemical additives, and plastic sealing caps to seal the drill holes which may be opened again for future inspection. Only do this after determining that the battery still is salvageable.
This tip can save you a great deal of money, and who isn't interested in saving money? Don't forget to check the charging rate in case it is what is causing the problem.
Personally, I'm not crazy over sealed batteries and am in the process of gathering consumer information on their failure rates as compared to the more serviceable batteries with inspection and filling caps.
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