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The Importance of Pure Water

The power plant of your machinery.

The battery is the power centre of your machinery from forklift trucks to golf carts. It’s also one of the biggest investments in the battery room so it makes sense to keep them in the best condition, maximising the life and performance to increase your ROI.

Did you know:

  • Most industrial batteries have a lifespan of 1500 cycles.
  • If you charged the battery each working day then a battery should last 5 years.
  • If you abuse the battery with opportunity charging or poor maintenance this can drastically reduce the lifespan of the battery.

Battery maintenance is an important yet often overlooked task in the battery room. Many people continue to choose lead-acid batteries over the dirtier diesel-powered trucks and the expensive lithium-ion ones. While lead-acid batteries do require more a little more maintenance, the benefits hugely out way the costs.

Proper maintenance and care is necessary to lengthen the life span of your forklift and its battery. The key benefits your business will experience from being involved in a battery maintenance schedule include:

  • Greatly improved ROI in your battery room.
  • Maximised battery life.
  • Maximised battery performance.

 

How do they work?

How does a lead-acid battery work?

All lead-acid batteries consist of flat lead plates immersed in a pool of electrolyte. We need to refill the battery regularly as some of this water is lost during the recharge cycle. Keeping the battery properly filled will ensure that the plates are not irreparably damaged in the water level dips below the top of the plate. The second step and most important part of this maintenance process is using the correct water. Here’s a great Wikipedia article on the history of the lead-acid battery.

 

So I can just fill them up using water from the tap?

Don't use tap water when topping up!

No. The minerals found in hard water, primarily calcium and magnesium carbonates, are not harmful to humans. In fact, they are beneficial.  However, those same minerals are extremely harmful to industrial batteries and are a leading cause of poor battery performance. The minerals in hard water affect cell voltages and increases self-discharge resulting in a shortened battery run time and reduced battery life.

Adding water softeners will not work either as this will introduce more sodium into the water. Contrary to what some believe, "city water" isn't good for batteries either, because the chlorine and fluoride that are added to municipal water supplies aren't good for batteries. It is also important to know that these impurities are dissolved in the water and cannot be removed by conventional filters.

The old way to ensure pure water for batteries was to use distilled water but distilling your own water is not practical, it's energy intensive and it's costly. Reverse osmosis is another method to purify water for batteries. But the process is slow and reverse osmosis systems are expensive to install, operate and maintain.

The most cost-effective way to ensure water purity is to make your own pure water directly from the tap through deionization. Deionized water is created by running water over two beds of magnetically charged materials that remove the minerals from the water. Deionized water is not as pure as distilled water, but it is perfectly suitable for watering your batteries and it is far more affordable.

 

How can I make pure water?

HydroPure™ Deionizer System by Philadelphia Scientific

Our HydroPure™ Deionizer System reduces the high price of buying bottled water, distilling water or using reverse osmosis. Through increased battery life and less frequent battery purchases the system pays for itself.

Each disposable HydroPure Deionizer cartridge purifies about 600 gallons (2,400 litres) of water based on average water quality. The system's purity light tells you exactly when the cartridge is used up and our Deionizer is pressurized, so it can be used directly with our battery watering guns. It can also be used to fill up our water tanks and carts for use with a single point watering system such as our Water Injector System™ or Stealth Watering System™.

The HydroPure Deionizer system comes with everything you need to make your own pure water, installation takes just minutes and replacing spent cartridges takes just seconds.

 

Tips to keeping the batteries properly filled.

Keeping your battery in tip top condition.

Following these simple maintenance steps and using the correct tools alongside pure water can help to maximise the life and performance of your batteries:

  • Check water levels and refill appropriately every 5 to 10 or so charges for the first few years. As the battery ages or if it's heavily used, you may need to do this every 5 charges. Our SmartBlinky™ range of products can make this very easy to do.
  • If the battery needs to be refilled, only do a sufficient amount to cover the plastic element protector by roughly ¼ of an inch. The additional space is needed for expansion while gassing at the end of the charge. An easier way to do this is using our Gun-X which works directly with the HydroPure Deionizer system.
  • Refill the battery with deionized water after charging only. Never add water before beginning a charge.
  • Check two or three pilot cells every 5 or so charges to check that the fluid level is above the perforated plastic element protector after charge.
  • Never over fill as it will cause overflow on the next charge. An acid loss will inevitably shorten overall running time, can cause overheating and can even lead to battery tray failure which results in costly repairs and clean-up bills. Each overflow will cause the battery to lose 3% of its capacity!

 

Got any more information?

Check out our How It Works video!

We pride ourselves in being the Lean Battery Room Experts and we have all the key points on our HydroPure™ Deionizer webpage. You can also check out our animated How It Works video which explains how the HydroPure Deionizer works and what happens if you don't use pure water when topping up your battery.

If you’d like even more information on the system or have any specific questions on how the system can be used within your battery room head over to our Contact webpage and get in touch with one of our national offices in your region.