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When Is the Best Time to Add Water to a Forklift Battery? 

 September 19, 2021

By  Phil Borges

It is necessary to regularly take care of and maintain a forklift battery to ensure that it works efficiently for all its cycles. A major part of this involves adding water to a forklift battery. How do you know when to use water? When should you add water to a forklift battery?

The correct time to add water to a forklift battery is after charging it so as to avoid leakages or overflows. You can make use of either clean or distilled water. Enough water should be filled to cover the plates of the battery to a certain extent while avoiding excess water levels.

It is important to be aware of some of the nuances involved in terms of adding water to a forklift battery so that you know exactly what you can expect to do. If you want to find out more about this, you can keep reading further.

Do You Add Water to a Battery Before or After Charging?

You should add water to a battery after charging and never before or during the charging period. This is to ensure that the battery has enough time on its own to cool down after charging. Ideally, you should leave a gap of a few hours after charging before you can go ahead and add water to it.

It is essential to take this kind of precaution because there is a high risk of leaking or overflowing if you add water before or during charging. This could then result in a decrease in the efficiency of how the forklift battery works. Moreover, this could end up significantly decreasing the lifespan of the battery due to fewer remaining cycles.

Usually, the best time to do this would be right before you begin your shift. This can help ensure that you have given the battery its required time to rest. An important thing to keep in mind while charging is to allow the battery to charge to its fullest extent so that you don’t necessarily need to undergo the process too many times.

That way, you can end up saving money, time as well as resources.

What Type of Water Is Used in Forklift Batteries?

You should make sure that the water you use in a forklift battery does not contain any kind of minerals or dirty substances. While the former can cause issues with electrolytes and their acidic content (leading to corrosive elements), the latter can lead to decreased levels of efficiency of the battery.

Therefore, you must make it a point to only use water that is completely clean. Avoid tap water at all costs since it contains many minerals. If you are using pure water, you should test it out first to ensure its cleanliness.

If you are not too confident, a better option for you would be to use distilled water that has been evaporated and condensed.

Another solution could be to opt for deionized water. This means that the water has been sufficiently filtered and treated to get rid of the ions and dirt. While this might not be as efficient to use as distilled water, it will still definitely be good enough for use in a forklift battery.

What’s more, you can also afford this process more easily while distillation can be a bit of a high expense to carry out due to the kinds of equipment required for it.

What Is the Purpose of Distilled Water in Battery?

Distilled water is an extremely pure kind of water. It is obtained through several processes that include filtering the water to get rid of all kinds of impurities, followed by evaporation of the water into steam that leaves dirty substances behind.

This steam is then condensed to obtain a final product of water that is completely devoid of minerals and dirt. It can, therefore, be one of the best possible solutions when it comes to correctly adding water to a forklift battery.

By adding this kind of distilled water to a battery, it becomes easier to ensure that you maintain the functioning of the battery without reducing its efficiency. Since this battery comprises certain levels of both water and acid to power up forklift trucks, you must take measures to maintain these levels.

During the charging and operating processes, this water can end up evaporating and disintegrating. By using distilled water to fill up the battery, these water levels can be restored in the cleanest and most effective way possible.

However, if you are sure of the purity and cleanliness of the water that you want to use, then it is possible to forego the use of distilled water in favor of a cheaper alternative.

How Much Water Do You Put in a Forklift Battery?

You should make sure to add sufficient amounts of water to a forklift battery that can fill up all the cells of the battery to an appropriate level. This level includes watering in a way that the water can make it to the top of the plates of the lead-acid battery.

It is important to leave a certain amount of gap between the tops of the plates and the cap of the cell. This is because you need to leave some space to allow for bubbling to take place. If there is not enough space to support this kind of bubbling, the solution inside the battery could easily spill over, causing damage to the efficiency of the battery.

This kind of spilling over can also be a health and safety hazard in the workspace for the people present nearby.

When To Add Water To Forklift Battery?

You can water a forklift battery approximately once a week, especially if you make use of the battery on a daily or regular basis. However, the time period between watering might differ depending on how much you use the battery, how frequently you charge it, how old the battery is, how big the battery is and how much capacity it has.

If your battery is relatively new and has a capacity to hold higher levels of electrolyte, then you might be okay to water the battery two or three times a month. However, if you use the battery every day, then watering it once a week is certainly required. You might even need to do so more frequently if the levels are too low.

You should keep track of how often you do this. You should also keep checking the water levels inside the battery so that you can record whenever you need to water it. Ideally, it might help to keep checking this water level every five times you charge it.

If the battery is newer, you can even check it once every ten charges until the battery grows a bit older. This can be a good way to prevent your battery from draining out prematurely.

How Full Should You Fill a Battery with Water?

A forklift battery should be filled with water in a way that reaches all the cells. Within each cell, you should make sure that you cover the plates while leaving a gap of a couple of inches between their top and the cap of the battery.

This level of water will be enough to compensate for the loss of water that tends to take place with charging and operation.

However, make sure that you don’t overfill the water beyond the mentioned level since that could result in overflowing and damaging the battery. It could also spill the water and chemicals out into the room, leading to potential health and safety issues.

You must also remember not to underfill the water as this will adversely affect the way that the battery operates. In fact, underwatering can reduce the lifespan of the battery significantly and can also have you paying more in bills.

If you want to ensure that you fill the battery with the right amount of water, you can make use of a single-point watering system that fills up all the cells to the required level using a hose. The device used for this can then turn itself off on its own once the level is reached in all the cells.

About the author

Hi, I'm Phil Borges.. thanks for reading.. My wife says I can't shut up about batteries so to save my marriage I've started this blog .. where I'd be ranting about batteries! Please leave a comment if you have any questions, I'm happy to help!

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