Topping up a battery...... when is best?

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 19:28
ThreadID: 58380 Views:5187 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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G'day all,

Just thought would ask the expertise amongst us a question.

When you are topping up a standard lead acid battery with distilled water..... is it best to do this before charging.. or after?

Obviously if you check with a hydrometer, then top up, it drops as you just diluted the acid, but will it condense up again better during charge, or is it best to top up after charging?

I usually do so before a charge, but a discussion at work got me wondering

Ron
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Reply By: Shaker - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 19:52

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 19:52
Before.
AnswerID: 307775

Reply By: nsngood - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 20:11

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 20:11
i agree with shaker definatly before.Mainly for the reasons mentioned. i.e. you will dilute the battery fluid and therefore decrease the charge (although not a significant amount ).Also by topping up the fluid you know the level is correct and wont run the risk of ruining the battery as is the case of charging a dry battery.
AnswerID: 307779

Reply By: Member - Phillip S (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 20:33

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 20:33
Before...and make sure you cover the plates when you top up....and be careful of course ( but you knew that)
AnswerID: 307784

Reply By: Ron173 - Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 07:22

Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 07:22
Thanks for replies,

conclusive... before it is,

logic would have determined so, but sometimes there is twist to whats logic these days

Rgds

Ron
AnswerID: 307829

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 08:36

Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 08:36
Ron,
Just be aware that if a battery is very deeply discharged, it's fluid level drops. The when recharged it rises, so don't get caught with a dead battery, top it up and then recharge it, because it will end up overfull.
But this shouldn't be an issue for batteries that are used normally.
AnswerID: 307843

Reply By: Gronk - Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 09:43

Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 09:43
Just don't do as some dealers ( read apprentice ?? ) do and instead of topping up they FILL up...

Water only needs to cover the plates by approx 5 to 10mm..
AnswerID: 307850

Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 10:32

Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 10:32
Isn't there an indicator? ie: split tube.
0
FollowupID: 573698

Reply By: neil&brenda - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 22:46

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 22:46
Ron, Before is best. Diluted, yes, but will absorb charge. Will be as if level was never low. Electrolysis is a wonderful thing! Cheers
AnswerID: 308440

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