How To Recondition Lead Acid batteries by Walt Barrett


all right 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 low tester and the chemicals that we add this is how we use a 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 yourself and 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 if you take a common screwdriver catch it under the edge pry up go to the other side if you have to you put them out of your 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 onto your voltmeter and then you place this is how you start off you just clip them on a 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 2 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 2 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 week or a bad cell all right now we’re going to do a battery load test and 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 spots 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 we’re going to do 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 the 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 one one thousand two that cetera till you get to a thousand ten very slowly you’ll feel the heat coming out of the grill here and then when you let go of the switch well there’s two things you want to know first of all you notice that barely drop down into the Yeow 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 then 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 flow is flowing 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 is 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 Barry’s 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 this cell until it touches the top of the place you squeeze the ball 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 now you notice that it’s just at the top of the green almost into the white so obviously that’s an indication that the battery needs some charging because the specific gravity of the electrolyte is a low all right now remember this blue is called electrolyte and 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 sub and the prep procedure is to read each self the same way now you’ll notice that this cell is a little stronger there’s a more of the green showing when we put that one back it still needs to charge this also is a good way to test the cell if you don’t have a voltmeter to see if it holds 2 volts obviously if it’s a bad cell it’s not going to give you a very good reading on the hydrometer so the hydrometer is another way to see what condition your cells are in now this one’s 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 all right now once we’ve determined that this battery is available for reconditioning it’s time to add the china Depot battery reconditioning chemicals and 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 salt add it very dry so it goes in easily then we go to the next cell no the heaping spoon and then to the third cell way down down till we’ve done all the cells in the battery we don’t have to be too fussy you 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’ll 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 we’ve used it for about 25 years thank you very much okay now we’re going to show you how we do the sealed batteries it’s a little different operation of course you still need your safety glasses now this is where it gets different you need an electric drill with a stop drill bit which is set at a shallow depth so you won’t drill through and hit the plates in the battery you’ll also need caps so that when you’re done adding your chemicals in water you can seal the battery back up again you still need a battery post cleaner you still need a plastic funnel and you still need the additive this is the China Depot battery additive you’ll notice it’s very dry and it’s very easy to pour in through the funnel okay this is a sealed battery you can see there are no holes in it for caps I’ve done something that we don’t normally do which is I when I steamed off the label to get at the battery so I could see it I also remove this piece which I would normally not do if you look at this you can see how these batteries work when the battery is being charged the moisture comes up and hits the inside of this and drips back down into drains and puts it back inside the battery again so the water never gets lost okay now as you know we have to drill holes in this battery to get into it to add either water or chemicals or both now the only way we can do that is we know what these batteries are like because you’ve had them apart many times if you look inside there are dividers between the cells you could also see these round holes here that line up with these round holes in the battery so if you turn the cap back over again this cover and if you look at it you may not be able to see it in the light but there are impressions all the way through marking where each hole can be drilled and I have taken a pencil and marked the center of each hole right down so the next thing we’re going to do is we’re going to drill the holes in the top sometimes you have to drill a pilot hole because the half inch drill bit that we normally use tends to slip on the top of the battery what I’ve got here is what they call a center drill it’s a little different from a stop drill but you can at least get a pilot of all started whether you notice the tip is tapered and I’m going to make these holes now just so you can see how we do it it doesn’t take much just a place to get the larger half a bit started that’s it that’s what I’m gonna do just like that it helps if you got a drill like this that has a slowest seat on it okay okay now that we’ve drilled the pilot holes I’ve replaced the pilot drill with the half-inch stop drill bit remember that this drill must be a half an inch this collar that we have on here prevents the bit from going all the way down and smashing the battery place so now we’ll go ahead and make these holes [Music] okay now we drill the holes and we performed all the tests like we did in the previous video now we can see the battery back up and we use our special caps to turn the depot battery ceiling caps and you just assert them in the hole and press them down and just give them a little tap and they go right in you