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Battery Additive-Introduction, Quantity and Desulfation
Do you have a car battery that has deteriorated its performance? This could be due to sulfation which is a buildup of crystals from lead sulfate. This chemical process can cause a battery to deteriorate its performance or even stop working in its early stage. The good news is that this chemical process can be reversed by adding magnesium sulfate.
The process is easy for most of the batteries except for those that are capped. These caps help them to maintain high levels of acid hence adding a lot of work to drill them during reconditioning. Maintaining high acid levels for these type of batteries make them low maintenance. But this does not mean that you will never recondition them. It can be done, but the only setback is that you will do a lot of work.
Using too much Epsom salt will damage your battery. After reconditioning the battery, it will serve you for at least two months before you can repeat the process again. Note that reconfiguring the battery does not bring it back to its original condition. Hence this is a temporary solution that you can use before replacing your lead acid battery. If it has broken plates or clips, then you will have to replace them. Epsom salt solution also cannot replace the electrolyte completely as it is only supposed to be used as a top-up. Make sure to fill the exact amount to avoid overflow. After filling the battery, you should charge it overnight or a minimum of 12 hours.
What is a battery additive?
A battery additive refers to a chemical mixed with the electrolyte of an aging lead acid battery to boost its performance. The additives are responsible for dissolving the buildups of lead sulfate. This method has been used for more than 70 years, and it’s still effective today. If you have an old lead-acid battery, do not be quick to throw it away before trying to revive it using additives.
Although additives are helpful in boosting the old batteries, they should not be added to new ones. This is because it may cause some negative effects to the good battery. If the battery has cracked plates, then adding the additives alone will not help. Besides, these chemicals cannot entirely replace the active material. They are designed to work as a top-up rather than a replacement.
Benefits of using additives
?Affordable: Additives are cheap; hence they help you save a lot of cash instead of buying a new battery every time it degrades.
?Readily available: You can find these additives in nearly all electronic shops. This makes them convenient and reliable to use in times of dire need.
?Worth the experiment: Do not throw away your flooded lead-acid battery without trying to save it.
Examples of battery additives
?Magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salt): This is a combination of Sulfur, water, oxygen, and Magnesium. It is the most common additive that is used today. Magnesium sulfate
?Caustic Soda: This refers to a white chemical consisting of hydroxide anions OH and sodium cations. It exhibits odorless and colorless properties. This material can be used as an additive as well. However, you need to be very cautious while dealing with caustic soda as it is harmful. Just like sulfuric acid, caustic soda liberates a lot of heat. Hence it can cause burns when it splashes on your skin.
?EDTA: These are the initials for aminopolycarboxylic acid, which is a white chemical that mostly binds calcium and iron ions. Similar to caustic soda and sulfuric acid ETDA is highly exothermic. It can also be used as an additive for your lead-acid battery. But you need to exercise safety precautions just like when dealing with all other additives
How much Epsom salt do you use in a battery?
Epsom salt is one of the best additives that you can use to revive a lead-acid battery. But so many people do not know the right amount to use. If you are using one liter of distilled water, measure 2 ? tablespoons of Epsom salt. After mixing it up with distilled water, you have to wait until it dissolves completely before filling it up.
Note that you are supposed to pour the Epsom salt into the warm distilled water. So start by heating it up to 150 degrees. If you add undissolved Epsom salt to your battery, then the situation will get worse.
Epsom salt can be used to recondition the battery up to 4 times. If you have reconditioned the battery four times, then you need to buy another because it will die completely. One can take you a maximum of 3 months. Always wear protective clothing when reconditioning the batteries to avoid accidents.
If you accidentally come into contact with the battery electrolyte, flush that area with lukewarm soapy water solution for 30 minutes. Note that rinsing with pure water can make the situation worse. However, sulfur is used in treating some skin conditions. Lead-acid batteries contain highly concentrated sulfur that can damage your skin. After flushing your skin with warm soapy water, seek medical advice. Not unless your skin looks and feels completely healed.
What’s the best way to desulfate a battery?
The best way to de sulfate a battery is by using Epsom salt. Let us look at the steps of desulfating a battery using Epsom salt.
1. Warm 1 liter of distilled water and mix with baking soda until it dissolves completely
2. Empty the chemical from the battery.
3. Put the mixture of distilled water and baking to the empty battery
4. Use a recommended keeve to mix it up inside your lead acid battery
5. Let it remain still for at least 5-10 minutes before pouring it out
6. Mix distilled water with Epsom salt (for one liter of distilled water, add 2? tablespoons of Epsom salt). Make sure it dissolves completely. Fill the battery electrolyte with this mixture and charge your battery overnight.
Do not throw away the old batteries because you can condition them to serve you a little longer. Epsom salt is the best additive to use because it is efficient, reliable, and cheap. However, you should use the recommended amount to avoid damaging your lead acid battery.