Battery care and maintenance is a key element in making sure your cleaning machine functions at it’s most efficient - failure to take care of your batteries can affect the performance of your machine and lead to the batteries needing to be replaced more quickly.
Battery Care & Charging Procedures
- Only charge batteries once daily, if possible for a minimum of 8hrs and only charge batteries when the charge has depleted to 20% or less - the red ‘low battery charge’ light should be flashing.
- Avoid opportunity charging (quick charging between uses) it is detrimental to battery life. Opportunity charging is not good because the cooling time is eliminated, shortening life (ie. One charge cycle per day is preferable.)
- Never charge a wet battery with a sealed (gel cell) battery charger. The wet battery needs the higher voltages to finish the charge and without it the batteries never come back to 100% and sulfation can occur.
- Never charge a sealed (gel cell) battery with a wet battery charger. The higher voltages (above 14.8 volts) that a wet battery charger generates causes excessive gassing too fast for the sealed battery to recombine, causing dry-out and battery failure.
- Never let the water level of a wet battery fall below the plates. Lack of maintaining the level in a wet battery causes damage (sulfation) to the exposed portion of the plate that reduces capacity.
- Always fill your serviceable, wet batteries with distilled water after they have been charged. If the level is at least above the plates, do not fill the battery until after recharge. The level will expand during charging and if you fill them before recharging, the level will possibly bubble out of the battery. The plates must be covered with water for recharge but be careful not to overfill.
- Always keep the tops and terminals of batteries clean and free of corrosion. The film on top of the battery can cause the current to migrate between the posts, accelerating self-discharge.
- An overly discharged battery may need to be cycled a few times before it can recover fully. If a battery begins to heat before coming up to a full state of charge, it may be necessary to discharge the battery and recharge it a few times. This charge and discharge cycle may help the current acceptance of the battery and facilitate its recovery to a usable condition.
- As batteries age, their maintenance requirements change. Generally their specific gravity is higher. Gassing voltage goes up. This means longer charging time and/or higher finish rate (higher amperage at the end of charge). Usually, older batteries need to be watered more often. And, their capacity decreases.
- Inactivity can be harmful to deep cycle batteries. If they sit for several months, a ‘boost’ charge should be given; more frequently in warm climate (about once a month) than in cold (every 2-3 months). This is because batteries discharge faster at higher temperatures than at colder temperatures.