Over Filled Battery

Submitted: Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 07:36
ThreadID: 117281 Views:2165 Replies:9 FollowUps:10
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Accidently over filled the first cell in the Overlander battery in the Pajero yesterday.
About 10-12 mm too high, miss took the level marker.

Wondering what the best solution is?

1. Ignore it.

2. Allow the battery to equalise & then suck out the excess & distribute it over the other cells.

Thanks
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Reply By: Bigfish - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 08:43

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 08:43
I think anyone who looks after their batteries has made the same mistake. I have always just left it. Filling it to overflowing would require some sort of a decant though. The levels between the cells would not be exact anyway.
AnswerID: 551787

Reply By: Member - Bigred13 - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 08:44

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 08:44
Suck it out with a battery hydrometer,not siphon with a hose and your mouth ha ha,or it will eventually boil out once you start charging it and make a mess.
AnswerID: 551788

Reply By: Member - Kiwi_In_Aussie(Wagga) - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 09:42

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 09:42
I wouldn't 'suck out the excess...."

"..When your battery was filled originally it was filled with an acid/water solution. The acid doesn't evaporate, but the water in the acid does evaporate, leaving a somewhat more concentrated acid in the cells. (assuming the battery doesn't burp out acid from the overflow tube)

When you fill the cells, you're just adding water (thus the need for pure water) to the acid to get it back to it's intended dilution.

If you overfill the cells, you're diluting the acid slightly. If you remove some electrolyte from the overfilled cells, you're removing some acid. You can't remove just the water once it's mixed with the acid. Theoretically, you could save the electrolyte and use it to refill the cells at some future date, but that's impractical. You could test the specific gravity of the electrolyte at some future date...."

So based on the above that cell would not have the correct acid/water ratio

I would discuss this more with a professional battery supplier -batteries are expensive and you don't want to get it wrong



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AnswerID: 551789

Follow Up By: Jackolux - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 09:52

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 09:52
Put the cap on and don't worry about it , she be right .
1
FollowupID: 837299

Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi_In_Aussie(Wagga) - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:01

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:01
Jackolux

I assume you are joking with this comment (but I don't see the :-)) so not sure

If you aren't joking then this is a terrible suggestion not only because of the issues I raise above but if he just ..."Put the cap on and don't worry about it...' then he takes the risk of the excess electrolyte coming out of the breather hole in the cap and causing incredible damage to the wiring and\or battery storage area of his car

If this happens he could be talking big $$ to repair

You going to contribute?? - after all he followed your suggestion
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Follow Up By: Phil 23 - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:11

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:11
Ok,

Leaving it as is,
Agree, taking any out is removing some original electrolyte.

Might check the SG's later if it's too far out I might top up the other cells to balance it a bit more.

After all, the levels will always drop again.
Especially after a couple of equalisation charges.

Cheers.
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FollowupID: 837303

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:12

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:12
Bearing in mind that there is some 'swell' in the electrolyte during charging, and provided that the electrolyte level is not so high as to overflow from the vent, then simply leaving it as is will cause no problem.
The amount of "dilution" would be very small and of no consequence. The excess water will eventually be consumed by electrolysis.
Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 551790

Follow Up By: Zippo - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 11:19

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 11:19
Aaaarrrggghhh! A subject almost as touchy as car fridges ...

Without knowing the filler mark system on your battery, I concur with Allan's advice.

The acid is part of the chemical reaction in the plates during charging/discharging (evidence of which is the SG change from charged to discharged). The AMOUNT of acid present is more important than the actual concentration. As you haven't lost any acid (unless you REMOVE some!) the chemical process itself should be unimpaired.

The "normal" filler tubes I am familiar with have a pair of slots. "Full" is when the electrolyte reaches the bottom of the slots. Unless your overfill has reached the top of the slots, there should be no problems. If it has reached that point, any gassing from electrolysis can force electrolyte out of the filler tube. I'd be checking that aspect, and if the slots are still partly above the electrolyte I would personally connect up a charger and let it slowly gas off the extra water over a period of time.
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FollowupID: 837311

Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 23:02

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 23:02
Back in the day the rule of thumb was 10mm above the plates for the electrolyte.

A charged battery should measure the acid at roughly 1250 gm/L
1.25 S.G.
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FollowupID: 837406

Reply By: Slow one - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:42

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:42
Phil,
just buy one of these and your problem will be solved. I use one all the time for different applications including measuring out chemicals.

Oil syringe
AnswerID: 551797

Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 13:18

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 13:18
My solution was to take out as much of the fluid as you can and put in largest diameter dish you can find and leave in sun and wind to evaporate. This way you can reduce the water without losing the acid. Just put back in battery when the volume has reduced enough.

I got good at this as it was a common occurrence, at least until I got glasses. Makes one hell of a difference when you can see.


Neil
AnswerID: 551806

Reply By: swampfox - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 13:45

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 13:45
HI
Never leave a battery overfull .It will spill out of the over flow vent and cause corrosion.Also corrodes terminal . Even a thin film corrodes badly .
Remove with a hydrometer or syringe .
The big question is What were u filling it with ?
U can buy a rubber neck battery filler that fits a coke bottle etc U just stick your thumb over the end to stop flow . The better ones have a breather tube also [provides a constant flow out of the bottle ]

Distilled water off course

swampfox

AnswerID: 551808

Follow Up By: swampfox - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 13:51

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 13:51
not knowing your situation, the rubber neck also allows u to rotate the bottle to stop the flow, particularly usefull when batteries are under a truck tray etc . A mirror on a stick and a torch are usefull
also.

swamp fox
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FollowupID: 837324

Follow Up By: Phil 23 - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 15:17

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 15:17
Was using a rubber battery filler on a beer bottle,
But I mistook the correct fill mark.

Didn't actually need a top up & it's now a cm too high.
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FollowupID: 837328

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 16:20

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 16:20
Just use a battery hydrometer and draw out the fluid until it is at the correct level or maybe a millimeter or 2 high. The amount you are going to dilute that cell will be insignificant.

Cheers
Pop
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FollowupID: 837330

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 17:17

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 17:17
I'd be drawing the excess off with a syringe or whatever and distributing it evenly among the other cells so all are at an = level then giving the batt a charge with my Ctec charger set on the recon setting ,,, removed from vehicle so less chance of acidic bubbling spill and corrosive vapours…..
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FollowupID: 837333

Follow Up By: SDG - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 18:54

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 18:54
Still hear of plenty of people, including battery dealers, who use tap water.
Last battery i had lasted over ten years on tap water.
Been told by the battery people, it depends on the type of tap water in the area. Hard, soft, ph, other chemicals, etc



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FollowupID: 837339

Reply By: snow - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 11:08

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 11:08
Of course prior to commencing this apparently complex & involved task be sure to have reviewed the electrolyte SDS, ensure that the vehicle is fundamentally stable, vehicle has been ilsolated and that all required PPE is worn.
AnswerID: 551848

Reply By: mike39 - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 16:27

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015 at 16:27
If you inadvertently over fill with distilled water (as you did), immediately remove sufficient to regain correct level.
The existing acid solution is of a higher density (SG) so the added water will be initially sitting on top as a strata level.
Of course this will only be until the battery charging is recommenced.
Otherwise I would not be too concerned, modern charging systems closely control against over voltage causing boiling/gassing.
mike
AnswerID: 551853

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