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Battery School

General Battery Care Procedures

General deep cycle battery care procedures

Reasons Why Batteries Fail

Physical Condition: Sediment accumulates under the plates and can short out a cell. Plate separators fail to insulate the positive and negative plates in a cell and the cell becomes shorted, ruining the battery.

Insufficient Electrolyte: Allows top exposed portion of plates to sulfate rapidly. This reduces the battery's ability to accept recharge. Accelerated erosion of lower portions of plates in a higher than normal acid content electrolyte may also occur when the electrolyte solution is low. The battery also has a higher internal resistance when low on water. High resistance means heat which mean shorter battery life.

Sulfation: When a battery is allowed to remain discharged too long the accumulated lead sulfate on the plates hardens. The sulfate from the plate is not able to reconstitute the electrolyte to the higher specific gravity, or to restore the plate material to a more active composition.

Overheating: A battery operated when the electrolyte temperature reaches 125 F, increases chemical action. This increases corrosion of the plates and reduces battery life. When overheated, the battery plates tend to buckle and destroy the structural integrity of the battery.

Freezing: When the electrolyte freezes, the ice formed will dislodge active material from the plates. Battery case may crack and electrolyte will leak out when thawed.

Corrosion: Corrosion from spilled or splashed electrolyte forms deposits that can conduct electricity and cause battery drain. Clean off all corrosion. Prevent its accumulation by coating terminals and exposed metal cable connectors with high temperature grease.

Vibration: Vibration from an improperly installed battery shakes off active material from the positive plate and reduces battery life. When installing a battery, always insure the battery is securely fastened down.

Overcharging: Overcharging rapidly converts water to gas and decreases the electrolyte water content. The electrolyte level drops, and becomes more acid in content. This subjects the plates to a higher concentration of acid and results in some plate area not being covered with electrolyte. Prolonged overcharging generates excessive heat inside the battery which buckles the plates and destroys the battery. About 58% of battery failures are caused by overcharging.

General Difference Between Gel and Wet Batteries

State of Charge and Sulfation

Connect Your Batteries for Optimum Efficiency

Just A Little Corrosion Causes Big Voltage Drops

Don't Be Misled By Battery Ratings

Which Deep Cycle Battery Do I Choose?

Daily Amphere-Hour Consumption For Your RV

Safety Tips on Charging Batteries

Determining When A Battery is Fully Charged

Why Are My Batteries Discharged

What is the difference between series battery connections and parallel battery connections and how do they increase battery capacity and voltage?

Jump start procedures

Preparing your batteries for winter

Advantages and Disadvantages of using two 12 volt batteries connected in parallel or two 6 volt batteries connected in series.

Testing the battery