How to Extend the Lifespan of Lead Acid Batteries

March 10, 2021 3:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s important to stay on top of preventative maintenance with your forklifts to ensure you get the longest life possible out of them, and a big part of that is prioritizing forklift battery maintenance.

Forklifts in Jefferson, WI run on lead acid batteries, due mostly to their ability to withstand some particularly tough environments and their inexpensive nature. A well-maintained battery will last approximately 1,500 charge cycles, which should give you about five years of reliable operation before you need to change the battery. Of course, that “well-maintained” stipulation is an important one.

Here are a few of the steps you can take to extend the life of your forklift’s batteries for as long as possible.

Maintain the water levels

Even in a standard working environment, water will evaporate from your forklift battery, which makes it necessary for you to regularly check the water levels. Do this every five charges or so, then add new, clean water as needed. Keep in mind that you should only use purified/distilled water to prevent contaminants from fouling the battery.

If you have a large number of forklifts in your fleet, you might find it beneficial to invest in specialty watering guns or single-point watering systems, which will increase the efficiency with which you water your batteries. Keep in mind that water should only be added once the battery is fully charged.

Battery equalization

Battery manufacturers will have recommendations for how to maintain battery equalization. This process involves intentionally overcharging batteries (in a controlled manner) to get rid of some of the sulphation on the battery plates. This is a type of forklift battery maintenance that should occur on a regular basis in your Jefferson, WI facility, as it will help you to keep the battery electrolytes in proper balance and ensure the long-term health of the battery.

This process should be done every five to 10 charges. Just be aware that it will take longer to accomplish than a standard charge, so you’ll need to set aside the proper amount of time to get it done.

Washing batteries

Forklift batteries tend to experience some corrosion buildup. It’s important to remove this buildup when you see it, as it could otherwise cause some significant and irreversible damage to the plastic casing and terminal, both of which could shorten the life of the battery.

Check your batteries for corrosion on a regular basis, and wash them with water and an acid neutralizer as needed. Before charging the battery again, make sure it’s completely dried. Follow all OSHA and EPA regulations for washing the battery, including washing in a closed area with wastewater disposal nearby, and wearing protective gear to comply with all of these agencies’ safety regulations.

Interested in learning more about some of the steps you can take to maintain your forklift batteries and extend their lifespan? Contact Remis Power Systems Inc. with any questions you have, and we will be happy to provide you with further information about forklift battery maintenance in Jefferson, WI.

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