Battery Reconditioning — All Steps in 1


These are the tools that we use to recondition batteries. We need safety glasses, a plastic funnel, a battery hydrometer, a battery post cleaner, a common screwdriver, a voltmeter with probes on it – these are the probes – a battery load tester and the chemicals that we add. This is how we use the battery post cleaner.You’ll notice it has wire brushes up inside it. You place it on the post, turn it several times, remove it and then go to the next post, push it on, turn it several times, and remove it. That gets rid of the corrosion and dirt off the sides of the post. The first thing you do is to check the voltage of the battery before you do anything else. If the battery doesn’t read at least 12 volts, you’ve got a problem with one of your cells. The next thing you should do is check the cells to see if one of them is dead. This is how you remove the battery caps. You take a common screwdriver, catch it under the edge, pry up, go to the other side if you have to, and put them out of the way. Now that we have the caps off, we can proceed with the cell test. This is how we test the cells: We have these probes that we’ve made from coat hanger wire. They’re expendable – when they get corroded out you just throw them away and make new ones. you just clip them on to your voltmeter, then you place – this is how you start off – you just clip them onto your voltmeter, and then you start with the positive terminal and you put your cable on it, and you go to the first cell, and you get a reading of two volts. Then you go with the positive cable to the first cell, and then to the second cell, and you should get a reading of two volts. Then you keep going down the battery positive/negative, positive/negative, positive/negative, positive/negative. You must get a reading of at least 2 volts for each cell, or you’ve got a weak or a bad cell. Alright. Now we’re going to do a battery load test. It’s important how you hook this up to the battery. You always take and hook up the positive lead first and the negative lead last. That’s so you won’t make any sparks and have an explosion. Now I’m going to set the meter up on top of the battery so you can see it properly. You’ll notice that it’s reading in the high green, it’s reading 13 volts. Now what we’re going to do is the load test. There’s a switch on the bottom of the load tester that puts a load on the battery. It heats up a heating coil which is behind this grill here. When I put this switch on, you’re going to see the meter drop. Now what you would do is you would count 10 seconds by going a thousand 1, a thousand 2, etc. until you get to 2010 very slowly. You feel the heat coming out of the grill here. And then when you let go of the switch, well, there are two things you want to know. First of all, you notice it barely dropped down into the yellow. Second is, when we let it go, it goes right back up to about 13 volts again. So that means the battery is really in very good shape, this particular battery. So that’s how you use a load tester. Now when you take it off, you always take off the ground first – you do it opposite than going on, and take off the positive last, again so you won’t make any sparks. Now we’re going to explain the battery hydrometer to you. The battery hydrometer is a glass tube with a suction bulb on it that draws the electrolyte from the battery up into the glass tube until the float inside begins to float. Now when the float is floating, it has markings on it. You can see a red strip from there to there, a narrow white strip and then a little wider green strip. Now, how does that work? Well, if it floats up and it’s in the green that means the battery’s in pretty good shape. The more that the float sticks up out of the electrolyte – in other words, if it’s down in here somewhere – the stronger the battery is. If it only floats up into the white, that means the battery is only in fair shape. And if it goes up into the red then it really needs a charge. So what we’re going to do now is we’re going to do a couple of sample tests just so that you can see how this works. This is the actual test: You place the hydrometer down in the cell so it touches the top of the plates. You squeeze the bulb, as hard as you can. Get all the air out of it. Then draw the electrolyte up into the glass cylinder. Now you see the float is floating already, so you can stop right there, hold it level, and let it float. You’ll notice that it’s just at the top of the green into the white. So obviously that’s an indication that the battery needs some charging, because the specific gravity of the electrolyte is low. Now remember, this fluid is called electrolyte It’s a mixture of sulfuric acid and water. it’s very dangerous, you don’t want to get it on your clothing. Now we put it all back in the cell. The proper procedure is to read each cell same way. You’ll notice that this cell is a little stronger. There’s more of the green showing. So we put that one back it’s still needs a charge. This also is a good way to test a cell. If you don’t have a voltmeter to see if it holds two volts, obviously if it’s a bad cell it’s not going to give you a very good reading on a hydrometer. So the hydrometer is another way to see what condition your cells are in. Now this one is about the same as the one we just did. It’s at the top of the green, again indicating that a charge is needed. While you’re doing this you should also check the level of the electrolyte inside the battery, and that level should be at least an eighth of an inch above the top of the lead plates. Alright now. Once we determine that this battery is available for reconditioning, it’s time to add the China Depot battery reconditioning chemicals. This is how we do it: we take a plastic funnel, and a tablespoon, and we get a heaping spoon, and we start with the first cell. Add it, it’s very dry so it goes in easily. Then we go to the next cell, another heaping spoon, Then into the third cell way to them..right on down until we’ve done all the cells in the battery. We don’t have to be too fussy. We get to the last cell, and we’re all set. Okay now that we’ve added all the chemicals we’re ready to put this battery on the charger, and it will be on for about 24 hours and we should have another perfectly reconditioned battery. And again, we’re using the China Depot battery reconditioning chemicals It’s our own formula and we’ve used it for about 25 years. Thank you very much.