Conventional Automotive Battery. The caps on top of the battery grant the user access to the electrolyte so that proper levels can be maintained.
Conventional lead-acid batteries are wet cell batteries that contain liquid electrolyte. Conventional lead acid batteries should be checked regularly. If electrolyte levels appear to be low, demineralized or distilled water is recommended for refilling.
What is the optimal level of electrolyte?
Maintaining proper electrolyte levels is your biggest asset in a long and productive battery life. But how do we know know the proper amount? Many times we find that people will actually put too much water in their batteries. This causes the battery to overflow during the charging process. This leads to corrosion, which can have a huge effect on your batteries performance.
When adding water to our lead-acid battery, we first want to make sure we are using distilled, or demineralized water. Tap water contains minerals that can cause build up on the plates. The electrolyte should completely cover the lead plates inside of the battery, but should not extend past the bottom of the lip going into each battery cell. We want the top of the electrolyte to sit about 2 mm below the bottom of that lip.
Corroded Battery Post. Corrosion can have a devastating affect on your batteries performance.
What's the deal with maintenance free?
One popular variety of wet cell battery is the maintenance free battey. Maintenance free, or sealed batteries, do not have access to the electrolyte and lose their water at a slower rate. While this seems ideal, there are some important considerations one should make to ensure a maintenance free battery is best for their application. First, we want to make sure that the charging system is charging at the proper level. Overcharging can lead to rapid loss of electrolyte, shortening the life of your maintenance free battery. Furthermore, if the battery is being used at high temperatures, one might consider going with a serviceable battery so proper electrolyte levels can be maintained.
Maintenance-free Wet Cell Battery. Aside from the vents, the battery is completely sealed and does not require maintenance.