Batteries cannot work without the liquid inside the battery. They are designed to store power with the help of the different parts that make up the battery. However, the essential component of the battery is the liquid substance.
In battery maintenance practices, we are usually advised to check the liquid level frequently. If the battery liquid levels fall below a certain level, the battery will not function normally. However, a lot of people don't know the contents of the battery liquid.
The contents of the battery liquid vary from one manufacturer to the other. However, several manufacturers use the same battery liquids in their batteries. Therefore, you need to know the liquid in your battery to avoid using the wrong one.
This article will look at how battery liquid works and why you need to have this liquid in your battery. Therefore, stay tuned and get the best out of this session.
What is battery liquid?
We have all noticed that some batteries have some colorless and odorless water-like substance. However, other batteries do not have a liquid substance, and they are known as dry-cell batteries.
The liquid inside the battery is an electrolyte used to bathe the plates of battery cells. The most common electrolyte used in batteries is a mixture of sulfuric acid and water. Sulfuric acid is a corrosive liquid; thus, it should be handled with great care.
The plates inside that battery contain an active substance that must be bathed in the electrolyte to produce electrons during the charging process. It is always advisable that you check the electrolyte level before charging the battery.
When the battery liquid levels fall, we top up the liquid using battery water and not acid. You should add enough water to the battery to the vent's bottom level, about ? below the cell's top.
Batteries consume water during charging and not sulfuric acid; thus, it is wrong to add sulfuric acid because its percentage inside the battery does not change. The battery remains healthy when it has enough battery liquid.
Sometimes back, I used my battery for an extended period without checking the electrolyte level. I used to assume that it was in the right condition since it was working normally. However, one morning the car failed to start, and when I checked the battery, the electrolyte level was critically low.
I topped up the battery, but it worked well for a few months, then it failed. I had to buy a new battery due to my ignorance. However, there are free maintenance batteries that do not need topping up. They do not have caps to be used in topping up.
The frequency of adding the battery liquid to the battery depends on how frequently you use your battery. A golf cart battery that is used on weekends only will take time, while a car battery that is used frequently will need frequent topping up.
How does battery liquid work?
The working principle of battery liquid is so simple. Battery acid is an acid that is used in a chemical cell or battery. Therefore, a car battery acid contains about 30-50% sulfuric acid and water. Let us take an example of a lead-acid battery in this explanation.
A lead-acid battery has two lead plates separated by a liquid containing sulfuric acid and water. When the battery is being used, electrons move from the negatively charged lead plate to the positively charged plate via the electrolyte.
However, when the battery has gained full charge, the lead becomes the negative plate, the electrolyte is sulfuric acid, and lead dioxide is the positive plate. When the battery is overcharged, battery water's electrolysis gives hydrogen gas and oxygen gas that are lost.
Therefore, the battery liquid reacts with these plates to generate electrons. These electrons move during the charging and discharging of the battery. Without the electrolyte, this cannot be possible at all. If the battery is fully discharged, it results in two identical lead sulfate plates separated by water.
The moment the two plates become lead sulfate plates, the battery I said to be completely dead and cannot be charged or recovered.
Why do you need battery liquid?
Battery liquid is a crucial part of the battery working system. The battery cannot and will never work without the battery liquid unless it is a dry cell. The battery needs the electrolyte to charge and to discharge.
The battery should be filled with the electrolyte after charging, but you should check the water level before charging. Ensure that there are enough water and sulfuric acid to cover any exposed plates of the battery.
During charging, there is hydrogen gas and oxygen gas production, which are the water components. Thus, some water is lost during charging, meaning they must be replaced to the required level frequently.
However, you might become busy to the extent of forgetting to do that. You need to think about free-maintenance batteries that do not require topping up because they are completely sealed and require little maintenance.
Adding too much water into the battery before charging will make the battery overflow. During charging, the electrolyte expands; thus, the levels will rise. Excessive watering of the battery will lead to dilution of the electrolyte; thus, the battery's performance will reduce.
Watering the battery more often will prolong the life of your battery. A high concentration of acid inside the battery will damage the battery plates; thus, you must balance the amount of acid and battery.
However, never add tap water to your battery because it contains contaminants that may affect its functionality. Therefore, if you water your battery correctly, you will enjoy a long lifespan of your battery.
The batteries cannot work well unless they are well maintained. Frequent checking of the battery's electrolyte level is vital in extending the lifespan of the battery. Do follow the guidelines given by the manufacturer, and you will get the best out of it. Batteries do not easily disappoint when they are given good care.
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