Cleaning, Adjusting specific gravity – Ironclad Automobile Parts User Manual
e. Another convenient way to ensure proper fill levels is the
use of a single point watering (SPW) system. The EnerSys
Battery Irrigation System or EZ Fill System are effecient
methods of watering a battery. These reliable quality
systems allow the operator to fill to the proper level each
and every time.
f. Water should only be added to the battery when it is near
the end of charge and gassing or as closely as possible to
the end of charge time. As the electrolyte is at its maximum
level during this time, it is a certainty that the leve
established by the addition of water will not be exceeded at
any other time and overflow of the electrolyte (flooding) will
never occur. Fill to 1/4” below the bottom of the vent well at
the end of charge. See Figure 6 for details.
g. It is often inconvenient or impossible to be present at the
end of charge to perform watering. In this case, it is
recommended that the battery be watered as soon as
possible after the termination of charging, as in this way
levels will still be near the maximum and the danger of
over- or under-watering is minimized. Fill to the lower limit in
h. In Motive Power Service the
real need to add water may
vary from weekly to quarterly depending on application,
battery temperature, and battery design. To extend this
interval to the maximum period possible follow these steps:
1. Adjust cell filler to fill to maximum possible height.
2. Water while battery is on charge and gassing.
3. Do not add water until actual visual inspection shows
top of separators/plates is visible.
4. A Battery Water Monitor is an excellent way to indicate
when water is needed.
5. Once a repetitive routine is established, water your
battery at that interval.
i. Should the battery start to use excessive water look for
any of the following problems: charger not shutting off
automatically, charging rate exceeds rate on battery
nameplate, one cell shorted or weakened.
j. Caution - Avoid overfilling as it will cause overflow
(flooding) of electrolyte resulting in loss of electrolyte, tray
corrosion, ground paths, and loss of capacity or working
Figure 6 - Sketch showing permissible high and low
limits of electrolyte level. High level marker indicates
proper level immediately after charging. Low level
marker indicates immediately after charging watering
a. Check the battery for cleanliness at regular intervals.
When necessary, dust or other material which has
accumulated should be removed by cleaning the battery.
b. Electrolyte spilled on the battery cell covers, trays or
battery compartment, never dries or evaporates. It causes
grounds and corrodes any metal parts. For light cleaning,
regular use of a neutralizing cloth such as PRO Wipes
#853638 may help remove these harmful deposits.
c. To both clean and neutralize your battery use EnerSys
PRO Wash Cleaner/Neutralizer #94883. This spray on
premixed cleaning solution changes color as it neutralizes
electrolyte or acid. Use this cleaner or bicarbonate of soda and
water (1.0 lb./1.0 gal.) any time you see electrolyte on the
(MAKE SURE VENT PLUGS ARE IN PLACE
WHEN CLEANING OR NEUTRALIZING YOUR BATTERY.)
If any corrosion exists on metal parts of the tray or
compartment, clean as above and repaint with acid-resistant
d. For large installations a “washstand” should be provided
with water hose and adequate drainage. It should include a
container for the cleaner, brushes, etc.
A periodic washing is recommended at least twice yearly. A
clean battery is an indication of good maintenance and
increases battery life.
e. Be sure to keep vent plugs in place and tight at all times,
to avoid loss of electrolyte due to gassing or spillage. The
gas-escape holes in the vent plugs should be examined to
see that they are not clogged with dirt. Wash all vent plugs
yearly or as needed by immersing in a bucket of water and
20. ADJUSTING SPECIFIC
Acid or electrolyte should never be added to a cell without first
making sure that charging will not restore the gravity to normal
values. Therefore, a cell or a battery should first be given a
thorough equalizing charge. See Section 14.g. The equalizing
charge should continue until there is no change in specific
gravity for 3 consecutive hourly readings. Never make a
gravity adjustment on a cell which does not gas freely on
If after the equalizing charge, the specific gravity (corrected for
temperature) of any cells is lower than the normal gravity
shown on the nameplate or in the instruction book, the specific
gravity of the low cells should be adjusted to normal in the
a. Put battery on charge again at the finish rate, so as to have
the cells gassing for thorough mixing. Make sure all cells are
gassing before starting a gravity adjustment.
b. From the low reading cells draw off electrolyte down to the
splash cover. Replace slowly with electrolyte of 1.400 specific
gravity. NEVER USE ACID OF HIGHER SPECIFIC GRAVITY
THAN 1.400. In adding acid to the cells, pour it in slowly.
c. Wait 20 minutes for the added electrolyte to become
thoroughly mixed by the gassing charge and then read the
specific gravities. If the gravity of any cell is still below
normal, repeat the process. Repeat as many times as
necessary to restore gravity to normal. When gravity has
apparently been adjusted to within the proper limits, continue
the charge at the finishing rate for an additional hour for
thorough mixing of the electrolyte.
d. If the corrected specific gravity of any cells is higher than
normal, proceed as follows:
As the battery charges, withdraw from the cell a small amount
of the electrolyte and replace with water, repeating at
20-minute intervals, if necessary, until the desired reading
On completion of the gravity adjustment, record the voltage of
all cells while still on charge at the finishing rate, and then stop
the charge. In about 20 minutes after stopping the charge
record the gravity of all cells and the electrolyte temperature
of at least two or three cells.