How to Know When to Add Water to a Battery

Water is part of a car battery’s design. It offers a buffer between the internal plates as gassing occurs during charging and discharging. This water is susceptible to evaporation, however. Although it’s essentially trapped within the battery housing, adding water to it on a regular basis is required. Get to know the tips and tricks behind adding water to your battery so that it’s never under or over watered.

Think Safety First

Before you evaluate a good or dead battery, think of safety first. Wearing gloves and protective eyewear are good rules to follow. Although you may be merely looking at the water, there are other components within the battery. Sulfuric acid is commonplace in batteries, reports Battery University. It can be extremely damaging to human tissue.

Service the battery in an isolated area away from other people. Always wear protective gear until the battery is closed and stored away. Avoiding injury must always be a priority.

Take a Look Before Charging

Pop open a vent cap before you charge the battery. You want to see the water level covering the plates. It doesn’t have to be a deep volume of water either. Water that’s barely covering the plates is acceptable.

Whenever possible, don’t fill the battery when it’s discharged. By filling the reservoir now, it might overflow during the charging session. The solution can expand as the charge accumulates in the battery. A low but ample amount of water is sufficient for charging.

Add Water After Charging

A textbook maneuver is to add water after the battery has been charged. Any expansion in the fluid will have taken place already.

Remove the vent cap to see the water and electrolyte levels. Carefully add distilled water to cover the internal plates. Remember that tap water will increase mineral levels that aren’t healthy for battery components. Keep the distilled water around for watering at anytime.

Avoid Dilution

Battery users might be concerned about a lack of water in the housing because it definitely damages the power source, reports It Still Runs. However, don’t fall prey to over watering the battery. Diluting the battery is just as harmful as neglecting this fluid.

Turn to a battery watering system for a more accurate strategy to regular maintenance. This system gauges when a battery needs water. It takes the guesswork out of battery maintenance.

Factor in Temperature and Use

Every golf-cart or car battery will need water at varying times. If you use the battery each day, the water will evaporate quicker than a unit in storage. Keep in mind that hot conditions will also impact the water’s level.

Check the battery each week if it’s a busy component. A monthly verification is appropriate for batteries used on a casual basis.

It’s natural for the water to evaporate, so don’t be concerned about defects in this area. Filling the battery is just part of its maintenance needs.

Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions

A simple trick to knowing when water is necessary for a battery is by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Each battery has slightly different instructions regarding this task. Some batteries might have maximum and minimum lines engraved on the housing, for example. There can also be instructions when it comes to a single point watering system.

If you’re unsure about the water level, refer to the instructions or ask Northeast Battery for suggestions. Treating the battery with care will keep it running for as long as possible.

To understand even more about today’s batteries, contact Northeast Battery today. Ask about maintenance-free and standard batteries. Learn all about the technology behind them. With this knowledge, you can prolong your battery’s life and save money overall.


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Heavy-duty equipment needs to have a reliable power source. That’s where ULTRAPOWER comes in.

The ULTRAPOWER 931S battery has heavy duty commercial technology with advanced calcium lead alloy that reduces the battery’s water consumption, keeping it to a minimum.

Plus, a thicker plate design with high durability technology gives this battery more cyclic stability, thanks to its ability to resist the damaging effects of vibration.

This winter, the more you order at once, the more gifts you get:

1 layer ordered = 1 ULTRAPOWER beanie + 1 bluetooth speaker

2 layers ordered = 2 ULTRAPOWER beanies + 2 bluetooth speakers

3 layers ordered = 3 ULTRAPOWER beanies + 3 bluetooth speakers

*one layer = 18 batteries, two layers = 36 batteries, three layers = 54 batteries.

To qualify, a layer order must be placed at one time, not spread out over multiple orders. Returning the batteries (unless under warranty situations) could result in reimbursing Northeast Battery for cost of gifts.

Call our team at 800-441-8824 to place your order today! Or, submit an order or RFQ online. Offer is valid while supplies of gifts lasts! 

Learn more about your swag gifts

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Promotion Terms and Conditions

*Gifts will be delivered in December, unless unforeseen shipping issues impact delivery dates. 

Discover Watering Systems From Douglas Battery

Your industrial batteries are tried-and-true products, but they have their maintenance needs. Watering each battery must be a priority. With dozens of batteries on hand at your facility, this watering task becomes a time-consuming process. Discover how Douglas Battery can change your productivity levels with modern watering systems. They’re ingenious to say the least.

The Watering Dilemma

When you work with rapid charge batteries in bulk, their maintenance needs tend to add up to a lot of time. Watering just one battery may take a few minutes. Multiply this time by dozens of batteries, and you have a veritable problem on your hands. It’s just not feasible to sustain this amount of time in terms of profits.

Enter the Douglas Battery watering system. It makes watering a simple act that takes all of the effort out of your time equations.

In-and-Out Ease

Uncapping each vent on a battery takes time, so change the setup with Douglas battery products. Snap a system onto your battery, fill it up and disengage in less than a minute. Performing this step in a manual fashion leaves you with several more minutes of manipulating the water level and recapping the cells.

Your employees can move onto the next task on their to-do list now. Allow Northeast Battery to show you how a watering system can work for your facility. We’re proud to demo any product that might improve your workflow.

Durable Materials

Polyethelene plastic supports a portable watering cart, whereas polypropylene tubing is used for every conduit between the system and battery. These durable materials allow you to water your battery products each day with no corrosion, heat issues or impacts to worry about.

Connections between parts are also designed with care. No complicated valves are found here. Simple, screw-on mounts keep you moving through your workday. These watering systems also support a wide range of pressures, including levels from three to 35 PSI.

Install Almost Anywhere

Facilities need versatility when it comes to any new installation. A brand-new watering system is a great idea, but locating it in the proper area is a challenge.

Douglas solves this problem with a three-port swivel “T” on its system. Turn this part a full 360 degrees until you find the right angle for your battery-maintenance needs. The system might be in a corner or sandwiched between fixtures. You make the location determination for optimal efficiency.

Safety First

Popping open the battery’s cells exposes employees to potential hazards. Spilled acid and other accidents are concerns in any industry. Watering systems protect everyone from possible injuries.

The water and battery connection are isolated. Workers simply snap on the connector and activate the system. Injury is almost impossible now.

Workers can even step away from the system because it has automatic functions. It’ll stop the watering process when the levels are verified by optical components.

Being a safety-conscious company, Douglas encourages every facility to consider water systems when batteries in bulk are commonplace.

Paying for Itself

Servicing each individual industrial battery without watering systems costs time and money. After an initial investment, Douglas systems will pay for themselves. All of your batteries will last longer than before. You’ll deal with fewer trips to the recycling center too.

Money savings also extends to other areas, such as:

  • Reducing downtime on machines that depend on battery power
  • Saving on overtime to simply manually service the batteries
  • Protecting the employer from medical costs associated with battery-charging mishaps

Give Northeast Battery a call today. We can discuss watering systems, batteries and chargers for your applications. Today’s technology makes it possible to keep up with battery maintenance and business goals each day.


Can a Trickle Charger Keep a Battery From Freezing?

Car batteries can be expensive items. You want to protect that battery’s lifespan with textbook care. Extreme temperatures are the enemy of any battery. With winter’s cold on the way, wondering about batteries and freezing temperatures is only natural. Learn all about trickle charging and if it can fight off a frozen battery.

Knowing How Cold Affects the Battery

Consider the chemical reactions that impact a battery under extremely cold conditions. Chilly weather reduces the battery’s electrolyte to a jelly-like substance, reports Heavy Duty Trucking magazine. Charging or discharging the battery in these conditions will stress the electrolyte. Molecules simply can’t move as fast as normal.

A battery charger with a trickle mode applies stimulation to the electrolyte. Some heat is generated through this process. By warming the electrolyte even a little bit, the battery can complete a full charge and retain most of its normal functionality.

Answering the Freeze Question

A lithium ion battery can fight off freezing temperatures when it’s fully charged. What is a trickle charger? It’s a power device that maintains a full charge on a battery. Put the two together, and a battery won’t freeze.

Firestone Complete Auto Care reports that a fully charged battery can withstand temperatures down to -76-degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, discharged batteries will freeze at around 32-degrees F. Using battery charging as a defense mechanism is both smart and convenient. It’ll be ready to use when you need it without much damage to the electrolyte through the winter.

Choosing Smart Over Dumb Trickle Chargers

Trickle chargers can protect a battery from freezing, but choose the proper type. Old-fashioned designs are considered “dumb.” They don’t have the same control over the charge cycle as today’s advanced designs. In fact, dumb chargers can end up damaging the battery, which might lead to freezing conditions anyway.

Smart chargers keep a battery powered with these defined phases, including:

  • Bulk
  • Absorption
  • Float

The bulk phase is where the battery gains about 80 percent of its charge. Absorption occurs near the tail end of the process to safely complete the cycle.

Float mode is when the traditional trickle charge occurs. The battery receives enough energy to maintain full capacity. This phase is where you want the battery to remain as it fights off potential freezing conditions.

Improving the Odds

A clever way to improve the odds of a battery lasting through cold weather is by cleaning the contacts first. Battery charging and longevity depend on direct conductivity between a power source and the electrolyte. Any corrosion on the contacts will negatively impact the charging efficacy along with reducing the battery’s lifespan.

What is a trickle charger? This tool provides constant power to the battery so that freezing is a rarity. Clean those contacts with a mixture of baking powder and water. Attach the charger afterward. Neither extreme heat or cold will affect the battery with diligent care.

Testing the Battery

When you’re ready to use the battery, test it out before heading out on an adventure. The charged level should read between 12.6 and 14.4 volts without a load, reports Road & Track magazine. Trickle charging the battery leaves it at a consistently full level.

A good reading means that the battery didn’t freeze during its hiatus. The charger worked as designed.

You may have a problem with the trickle charge or battery if the voltage levels are below 12.6 volts. Although trickle chargers can fight off a freezing battery, decline can still occur in cold weather.

Discuss your questions with the experts at Northeast Battery today! Understanding the relationship between cold weather and battery health is important when you work with these power sources. Avoid being stranded this winter with charged batteries that last well into spring.