Lead acid batteries are the least expensive but require maintenance. Don’t shy away if you have a staff who can follow simple directions. Well maintained batteries can last 4-6 years depending on how often you use your machine. Following these simple guidelines will help extend the life of your batteries.
MAINTAIN PROPER WATER LEVELS
Maintaining proper water levels at all times keeps the lead plates from burning up inside the battery, thus causing premature failure. This day in age there are simple watering kits available, so you no longer have to open caps and be exposed to possible battery acid. The kits are simple to install and then only require you to put a hand pump/hose into the distilled water bottle and pump until the batteries are full.
ALWAYS used distilled water. Minerals from tap water can attach to the lead plates and cause failure.
ALWAYS fill your batteries AFTER they have been charged. We recommend once a week. Pick a day/time the staff will remember. Ie If you are charging your machines overnight, then fill the batteries as part of the start of your day one day a week.
We recommend having a log sheet where you charge your machines. Have your staff sign the sheet each time they put water in the batteries.
CLEAN AND TIGHTEN ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS REGULARLY
Machines jostle around when being used and it is natural for connections to start to shake loose after a while. Loose connections on batteries are a recipe for disaster. I have seen individual terminal posts melt due to arching electric and loose connections. It is good practice to check and clean if necessary when putting water in the batteries. Have a section on your log sheet for this as well.
Watch this video for a tutorial on how to properly clean and maintain your batteries.
CHARGE AT 80% DISCHARGED
Your battery indicator is there for a reason. When the lights are in low yellow or have made it to the red zone, go put your machine on charge. Optimal charging is at 80% discharged batteries, however anywhere between 50-80% discharged is good. Newer chargers are Smart Chargers and will shut off when the batteries have a full charge.
Batteries last on charging cycles. If you plug the charger in for 5 minutes or overnight, it counts as 1 charge. Deep cycle lead acid batteries typically last 300 charging cycles. If you follow all maintenance to a T and charge once a week, you are looking at 6 years. If your staff is in the habit of charging the machines every night whether they need it or not, the batteries will last about a year give or take. If they also in the habit of charging the machine for a quick 10 minutes to finish a job then putting it on charge for the night, that will count as 2 charging cycles.
If you allow your machine to run until it’s dead each time, you are killing your machine. The unit will try to pull power from different places and you will get electrical spikes and possibly burn out your other electrical components, the next most expensive items on the machine next to batteries.
Make sure you have the right size batteries in your machine. If you find you are charging your batteries constantly, maybe you should think about upgrading to a larger amp hour battery to get a longer run time.
Store your machines in normal temperature areas. Cold and Heat are your enemy. If you leave your machine in a boiler room where temperatures are warmer than normal, your batteries will discharge their electric faster. This will result in more charges being needed even if you are not using the machine.
If you leave your machine in a room with no heat in the winter and expose the unit to colder than normal temperatures, your batteries will take a beating. The extreme cold will damage the lead plates and cause premature failure.
If storing your machines for long periods of time (months) without use, we recommend charging and doing maintenance to the unit every month to keep the battery life lasting long.
Trojan Battery makes a great user guide just click below to view. If you need any further assistance in maintaining your batteries, feel free to contact us any time.