When a battery is first received the cell acid levels should be checked and the battery should be put on charge. After removing from charge the specific gravity readings of each cell should be recorded and kept for the life of the battery.. If the electrolyte levels are low before the battery is put into service do not add water but contact your dealer or Surrette Battery Company Limited. Only add water as it is consumed.
Preventive maintenance involves, at a minimum, checking the cell electrolyte level for correct acid volume once a month and equalizing once every six months. The cells should be watered back to the original acid level which is 1/4 – 1/2″ below the bottom of the vent well (tube inside the battery cell with slots on each side). Distilled water is preferred but local water (not chlorinated) maybe acceptable if it is not “hard” or does not contain high iron levels. Use of non-distilled water can cause mineral build-up in the battery cell.
The minimum recommended preventive maintenance program is summarized as follows:
- Water each cell to original level as required
- Equalize as required or once every six months
- Record the specific gravity readings of each cell every three months.
Occasionally cleaning the battery terminals and case / cover is a good practice and recommended. A weak solution of household baking soda and water can be used to neutralize any spilled acid (100 g per liter or 4 Oz per pint). Make sure the vent caps are securely tightened and NO soda solution gets into the battery cells.
Good record keeping is stressed as review of these records can help to determine the “health” of the battery and can prove invaluable if system problems develop.
When the bank is first put into service a pilot cell should be monitored to assure the batteries are being properly charged. Measure and record the specific gravity of the pilot cell when the battery is thought to be fully charged (after the bulk charge) and compare this with the previous reading.