Have you heard that you could not store lawnmower or boat batteries on a garage floor if it was a concrete or a cement floor? This tidbit of knowledge has been passed down over the years, with few people even knowing why they were not supposed to put the battery on the floor. It was easy enough to put the battery elsewhere, so no one really thought much about it.
Why can’t batteries sit on a concrete floor?
One day, somebody asked this question, probably because he or she sat a battery on the floor and did not feel like moving it. If it was back in the 1960s, there was a legitimate reason to get the battery off the concrete floor.
The combination of the slightly conductive hard rubber battery casing and a damp, therefore, slightly conductive concrete garage floor, will cause the battery to discharge. Even though the battery casings were hard rubber, they were still porous.
Before hard rubber, battery casing were tarred wood, which is equally as likely to absorb moisture from unsealed concrete. The idea of keeping batteries off a concrete floor has been around for a long time, passed down from previous generations.
Keep batteries on concrete
Today’s batteries have plastic cases there is no risk of the battery degrading from being on a concrete floor. At Northeast Battery, we tell our distributors that storing batteries on a concrete floor is a good idea, as it helps keep the battery cool, so it discharges less. You do not want to sell a customer a battery that is close to dead.
FarmCraft101 set six batteries on different surfaces and then load tested periodically. Concrete acted as a temperature buffer; the batteries stored on concrete were fine.
Snopes, the Internet’s fact checker, agrees that storing a battery on concrete won’t harm the battery. No current can pass through today’s hard plastic battery casing; however, this was once good advice.
Four battery storage tips
Take the battery out of your lawnmower, boat or any item that you will store during the off-season. Vampire power and a battery’s self-discharge will decrease the battery’s shelf life if you do not remove the battery. To keep your Trojan, Odyssey or other battery ready to go on the first warm day:
- Store battery where it’s not subjected to temperature extremes
- Store battery in a well-ventilated area
- Fight corrosion with baking soda and water: clean battery with a 50/50 solution, rinse and dry battery before storing it
- Recharge battery once a month
While there is ample evidence that you can store a battery on a concrete floor now, the common misperception that it will discharge faster will not die. Fortunately, it is a harmless fallacy; if batteries are on the floor it’s easy to forget to charge them.