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    • Rick

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cupper

Battery Problem...

Question

Last night I topped off my batteries with distilled water and gave them a good charge. One of them must have been filled too high (I thought I didn't over fill, but I was wrong apparently) because when it was charging the water/acid bubbled over. Now I have a mess in my garage. I put baking soda down to neutralize it. My questions are...

1.) Is my battery ruined? It's a Trojan I just bought last year for $150.

2.) Is there anything else I need to do for clean-up other than get rid of the soda that was put down?

Thanks for any help you can offer. I was always told to check water levels in the battery... when I checked last night they appeared to be at about half. Obviously I am not an expert at this type of thing. Any advice anyone has for keeping batter levels at a good point would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Your battery won't be ruined from overfilling. Use a straw to remove the extra water. Insert straw, put your finger over the end and transfer to a container. Repeat till the level is correct.

A low level in the battery is what you want to avoid. You don't want the plates exposed to air. During charge and discharge will lower the fluid level in the battery. Check the level every other charge and you shouldn't ever have a problem.

Clean up. I would sweep up and dispose of acid soaked baking soda. I'd then make a paste of water and soda and work it into the area. If you can hose it off without getting the acid all over then do that after the paste has had time to neutralize the acid.

Even with the correct type deep cycle charger I get one battery that'll mist during a charge. I can see the residue on top that battery. I'll wipe it down and charge the battery on the ground outside.

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Thanks alot ST... I really appreciate the advice.

How far should the acid level be from the top for a properly filled battery?

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Its got to cover the top of the plates. I go mid way from top of plates to the battery case. I would guess that to be about 1/4-1/2" above the plates.

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I agree with Surface Tension. Keeping the plates covered is very important. A battery will heat up while charging and this will cause the water inside to evaporate so it's good to check the level periodically and refill as necessary.

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Thanks alot ST... I really appreciate the advice.

How far should the acid level be from the top for a properly filled battery?

Some batteries have plastic that sticks down inside. You want to fill with distilled water so it touches the bottom of the plastic and it looks like a cats eye.

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Distilled water. Why? Well because it lacks the minerals that tap water has and those minerals will like air, become deposits on the plates inside the battery. You can buy distilled water or you can make your own. Hmmmm, make your own eh? Yep use the water out of your dehumidifier.

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The fluid in the battery expands as the battery charges so if you have it full cold, there is a good chance it will boil over when you charge it.

The instructions on my first onboard charger (the only battery charger instructions I've ever read) said to add enougn water so the plates are completely covered. Charge the battery, then add more water to bring it up to the proper level.

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I read the exact same thing (on my on-board charger instructions) as PatK said. By doing this you will avoid the boiling over effect, mess and cleanup.

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Check out a product called Thermoil Demister to help with misting problems on batteries.

[Note from admin: Edited. Please read forum policy before posting again. Thank you.]

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cupper, while ST has the right idea (and alot of surplus time to kill grin ) for lowering your cel levels... a 'turkey baster' liberated from the kitchen works very well. If you happen to have an 'over-protective cook' in the household, they also can be bought for like $1.50 at the supermarket. Phred52

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You can also use one of those little battery testers with the floating plastic balls. They pull some liquid up from the battery and depending on how many balls float, it will tell you the charge level of that cell. If there is too much elecrolyte in that cell the tester can be used to remove just enough to set the level correctly. Check the local auto store and they should have them,

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