Watering a forklift battery can significantly improve its life and maintain its efficiency. In fact, Toyota recommends that the forklift battery should be filled to appropriate levels every 10 charges to keep the battery functioning at it's optimum.
In case it is a reconditioned battery the watering should be done after every 5 charging sessions.
However, a lot of care should be taken to ensure the batteries are watered in the right way. In this article, we give you some of the most important tips to follow;
Do It At The Right Time
You can easily cause damage to your battery when you do not water the battery at the right time. The best time to water your battery is probably before your shift long after you have charged the battery and it has properly cooled down.
If you water the battery before charging it you will not leave adequate space for fluid expansion caused by the battery's heating during charging. And this will eventually lead to an overflow. Watering the battery during charging will also lead to the same problems.
Use The Battery Room
To ensure your safety you should make use of the battery room or an area set aside specifically for watering the batteries. The area should be well ventilated to enable the diffusion of the hydrogen gas produced during charging.
It should also be away from any sparks or fires as the hydrogen gas is highly flammable.
The ideal room should also be on a flat level surface so that you can properly monitor the levels of the electrolyte and establish whether the battery needs water.
Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Batteries are a potential hazard to you as they contain electrolyte that has concentrated sulfuric acid in it. If this electrolyte comes into contact with the skin during the watering of the battery it can lead to skin burns or chemical irritation.
It is therefore very important that when you are watering your battery you have on PPE to limit the chances of the electrolyte from coming into contact with the skin.
The key PPE that you should go for in this case are protective gloves, protective aprons, and eye protection.
Use Distilled Water
The kind of water you use on your battery is also important for the health of your battery. It is recommended that you always go for distilled water with PH levels of between 5-7.
Tap water should always be avoided since it contains impurities that usually attach to the plates contained in the battery.
All this will eventually lower the efficiency of the battery and also significantly reduce its life cycle.
Ensure you water the batteries at the right time.
Ensure the watering is done in a proper battery room.
Ensure you are using PPE.
Ensure you use proper distilled water.
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