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What Happens When Batteries Get Wet-Effect, Performance and Boat Battery

What Happens When Batteries Get Wet-Effect, Performance and Boat Battery

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Most battery users are left wondering the effects of wet batteries.  It is difficult to get water out of a battery. This is because the equipment features a safety vent that prevents liquids to leak out. As a result, water causes malfunction when it stays around the terminal.  Henceforth, it is recommended to dispose of the battery safely after contact with water. This will help to avoid failure and damages to the appliances. This article will cover everything you need to know about a wet battery.

What happens when lithium batteries get wet?
Lithium batteries are common in phones, laptops and other electronics. Although the cells are an advanced invention, it does not mean that they cannot have downsides. Lithium cells are sealed but they are not waterproof. They can be wet or damp when placed in a watery area.

Lithium forms a highly flammable hydrogen and lithium hydroxide when it   reacts with water. The solution formed is highly alkali. The cell can easily be damaged when it has water. If the amount of water is much, send it immediately to a repair shop. If it is small, get rid of the moisture. You cannot use the tool when it has water because a short circuit will occur. Check if the protection board or battery core is short circuit. Moreover, a damaged one can easily catch fire seeing that lithium reacts with water.

Fresh Water on Lithium Battery

Fresh water makes lithium cell to get shorts and discharges. This happens when it has stayed for a long period of time.

Salt Water on Lithium Battery

You have to get a new lithium cell if it gets wet with salt water. This is because salt water conducts electricity. Therefore, it makes the cell to be discharged fast unlike freshwater. Furthermore, if you see a white powder then that indicates salt water.

Treat lithium batteries like a fire arm, it should not be in contact with water. Leave it dry and keep in a cool dry place. Alternatively, put the cell in a dry lock box. These extra precautions improves longevity.  Lastly, buy a waterproof battery to lower water from entering as well as give you peace of mind.

Can you submerge batteries in wet water?
It is dangerous for a battery to get wet in most cases.  Also, it depends with the type of cell and the activity. Small batteries such as AA and AAA are 98% solid. Nonetheless, they have vent holes and tiny spaces at the end. Water can find its way through the hole. Henceforth, it will mix with the chemicals inside and come out with diluted chemicals. On the contrary, large batteries like the one for cars are frequently filled with strongly acidic liquid or alkaline. The cell has air space and vent holes above the liquid. When the battery is submerged in water, the water gets inside then mix with chemicals and leaks out.

The chemicals that leak out through holes can cause health hazards. For example, it burns the skin in case of contact. The battery becomes damaged seeing that it cannot work efficiently with diluted chemicals.  Air dissolves in the solution if it is submerged for long. In addition, the metals feature corrode and rust. Soaking it in water can also result in slow discharges. This is due to formation of a conductive path by water. Moreover, the rate of discharge depends with the purity of water. Water with dissolved salts is highly conductive. Pure water does not carry a lot of energy.

It is not advisable to use the cell after it is immersed in water. Take it to an experienced person who will use the correct tool to fix it. These tools include hydrometer and sulphuric acid. The hydrometer measures the concentration of the solution.

Can boat batteries get wet?
Boating enthusiasts often prioritize engines and other exterior surfaces. However, a battery is an important tool on the boat. Even though marine batteries are designed to move on water, that does not mean it should get wet.  Marine batteries tend to vibrate thus one should secure the cell from moving. This can result in dislocation and water can enter into the surrounding areas.

How can water enter the boat battery?
Terminals:  the terminals are found on the top side of a battery. Therefore, you should keep water away from entering the top side of a cell. Water forms an electrical path which makes power to leave out of the cell. This scenario can leave the boat stranded in the middle of a water body. Consider the terminal getting wet in the following ways:

●A small pool of water  can form in between them

●Drops of water

●The cell can discharge at a high speed

●A current can run in the middle of terminals

Battery housing: battery users believe that the plastic base of a battery can be submerged in water. Nevertheless, the housing is designed to serve as an insulator. Charge will move out of the water slowly.

Hidden leaks on wires: terminals and housing are not the only areas that get wet. The cell can be put correctly in a perfect location but not the wires. When the wires are submerged in water, energy can discharge through the wire and go to water. Henceforth, users should keep the wires along a wall to avoid any contact.

Boat owners should be keen on the condition of the cell. Water is an enemy to any item that is electrically charged. Freshwater and salty water have different impacts on the battery.  Salty water has salt molecules that allow electricity to move easily.  On the other hand, fresh water does not have salt hence corrosion and slow discharge rates.  Above all, keep in mind that all types of water is not ideal.

Final Thoughts
It is important to understand your battery when it comes to water. If you notice the battery has submerged to water, dry the terminals and housing. Water affects batteries negatively. Be cautions by ensuring the cell is always dry. This will help to prolong the lifespan. Apart from that, there are methods to increase life span.  This includes to put distilled water on the battery, use dielectric grease, and install a cover on the positive. These tips will help to trap charge in the cell until it dies.

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