How Often Do You Need To Water A Battery? Is it Important?
Your battery is the heart and soul of your electric forklift, and the best way to maintain it is by watering and recharging. The more consistent you are in doing so, the more likely your electric forklift will stay highly maintained. In fact, with proper watering and charging guidelines, an industrial battery is supposed to last up to 5 years of service, barring any manufacturing defects. 5 years of service can be very helpful, especially since a battery usually costs roughly 30% of the forklift. The cost is just too high to neglect your battery. One of the important aspects of watering your battery is knowing how often you need to water it.
How Often Do You Need To Water a Battery?
In a perfect world, a battery runs for 8 hours, charges for 8 hours, and cools an additional 8 hours. During the cooling period, the battery is filled with water and available for the next day. However, this isn’t a perfect world, and each company handles their shifts differently. Some may have forklifts operating 24/7 while others may only operate an electric forklift once a week. Ideally, you want to water your battery once a day or once a use.
The best time to water your battery is always right before each shift, after it has had some time to cool.
If watering occurs before or during charging, it can lead to the water boiling over and acid leaking from the battery.
Why Do You Need to Water a Battery?
An industrial battery needs to be watered so it does not burn out. If batteries aren’t properly watered, then the costs of the maintenance on the battery and forklift increase, while the batteries lifespan diminishes. An industrial battery should last up to five years, if maintained properly. By not doing so, one risks lowering the life expectancy of a forklift battery by up to 50%, or two and a half years!
In the 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. Should you fill too much water in the battery, it can overflow. When a battery overflows, it loses some of the acid inside which significantly shortens its shelf life.
The battery needs extra space to compensate for fluid expansion when it’s charging. Make sure the water level is high enough to cover the lead plates inside the cells. Doing so will correctly maintain your battery.
How Do You Water a Battery?
Watering a battery isn’t as easy as simply lifting the lid and pouring water. For a step by step approach of how to water a battery, check out our post – Your Lift Truck Could Use A Drink: A Crash Course In Battery Watering.
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