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  1. Hitman - Avatar

    Hitman says:September 25, 2012 at 15:17

    Heres the method I used:
    1 - Examine the exterior of the battery closely for any physical damage. If the battery casing is split or cracked, or if the terminal posts are loose, it is unlikely that you will be able to recondition it.
    2 - Clean the terminal posts with a battery post cleaner. If the battery has side terminals, use a wire brush. Connect the positive lead of a voltmeter to the positive battery terminal and the negative lead to the negative terminal. Note the battery voltage, which should be between 11.5 volts and 12.6 volts for a 12-volt battery, and between 5.8 volts and 6.3 volts for a 6-volt battery. If the voltage is below 10.5 volts or 5.25 volts, respectively, the battery is probably not suitable for reconditioning.
    3 - Put on suitable protective clothing, including heavy-duty rubber gloves, a plastic or rubberized protective apron and safety goggles then remove the caps from the battery cells. Place the battery into a large plastic bin. Taking great care, tip the contents of the battery into the bin. In addition to the electrolyte, tip out any sludge that has accumulated in the cells.
    4 - Place the battery on a level surface. Using a plastic funnel, fill each of the cells with distilled water to a level just above the plates. Replace the caps on the cells and shake the battery gently to agitate any remaining sludge, holding it above the plastic bin while you do so. Remove the cell caps or bungs and empty the battery carefully into the bin. Repeat this step if necessary to remove as much sludge as possible.
    5 - Heat two liters of distilled water to about 150 degrees F and add 450 grams of Epsom salts. Stir until the Epsom salts are completely dissolved. Do not use tap water because it contains chemicals that will contaminate the battery.
    6 - Fill each of the battery cells with sodium sulfate solution to a level just above the plates. Ensure the battery is level during filling. Place the battery in a well-ventilated area ready for charging and leave it to settle for at least 30 minutes. If the battery has side terminals, fit charging posts to the terminals.
    7 - Connect the positive lead of a battery charger to the positive battery terminal and the negative lead to the negative terminal. If you have a dual-mode charger, set it to "Constant-Current" mode. Turn on the charger and monitor the current. If the current output is adjustable, set it to no more than 20 percent of the rated capacity of the battery in ampere hours. For example, if you have a 40-ampere-hour battery, the current should not exceed 8 amperes.
    8 - Charge the battery for up to 12 hours. Measure the charging voltage at 2-hour intervals and stop charging if it reaches 14.5 volts. Check the battery temperature at the same intervals and stop charging temporarily if the case feels hot when you touch it. Resume charging once the battery has cooled.
    9 - Check the battery voltage, which should be about 12.6 volts for a 12-volt battery, and 6.3 volts for a 6-volt battery. Test the battery with a load tester in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. If the battery voltage is correct and the battery passes a load test, the reconditioning has succeeded.

    Tips & Warnings

    - If the battery voltage is just below 10.5 volts on initial test, it may still be worth attempting to recondition the unit, depending on the cost of a new battery. You will invest some of your time but it will not cost a lot to find out if the battery is bad.

    - Use a drill with a drill-stop if you need to drill the battery case. It is otherwise too easy to slip and ruin your battery.

    - To prevent sulfation recurring, give the battery an equalizing charge at monthly intervals. This is a charge at about 16 volts which generates a higher current than usual and encourages the breakdown of crystalline lead sulfate.

    - Remember that when charged or partially charged, battery electrolyte contains sulfuric acid, which is corrosive. Take suitable precautions and wash any splashes off your skin immediately using clean water. Be particularly careful when emptying the battery, if you drop it into the bin, you will probably splash acid over yourself.

    - Do not smoke or use any naked flames in the areas where you are charging batteries.
  2. Hitman - Avatar

    Hitman says:September 25, 2012 at 15:20

    I checked the battery voltage before I put it on a charge and amazingly it was already showing 11.56Volts so I loaded it with a 12Volt 5Watt light and it shined brightly with no problems.
    Wow over 20 hours of discharge at 1 amp and it still hasen't dropped under 11 volts.
    After trying to recharge this battery 3 or 4 times it dosen't seem to be holding a charge anymore, it was suggested by a user called wings to add sulfuric acid to the mixture untill the specific gravity is reached then recharge again.
  3. emergencylighting - Avatar

    emergencylighting says:May 8, 2013 at 14:00

    Nice article.Thanks for sharing this useful info.I like it.

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