storage batteries,and storing them...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dragonfly, Dec 13, 2011.


  1. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I was recently asked IF it were possible to "store" lead/acid, ( wet cell) batteries...In my opinion, yes! I say that as long ago (when I was much younger) If that's even possible....I worked at a few "service" stations and truck stops...The batteries we had were on the shelves for who knows how long...all kept dry and not filled with sulphuric acid until needed.
    Now as I understand it, "today", when you buy a battery for the most part, it comes pre-filled and ready to go...sort of. I'd guess, they are NOT as up to par as they would be having been freshly filled...?
    Anyway, IF I had the inclination today, I'd buy whatever sizes and amount of wet cells I'd need, I'd take them home and CAREFULLY drain them... into say a plastic bucket, saving the acid for later *usage. I'd then rinse the plates off with a good amount of distilled water, leave the batteries inverted for a few days to dry out, then I'd re-cap and store them until I need them.
    *The acid would need to be put into either a dark ( brown) plastic or glass chemical jar or jug, then stored in a cool dry and dark place.
    Once the current batteries expire or no longer take and hold a charge, I'd simply refill the stored batteries with the separated acid ( or buy and keep some on hand for later use) and be back in business in no time...
    Your thoughts?
     
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Or just buy them Dry, in the first place.... That is how I buy Mine..... When I need Replacements. ..... YMMV....
     
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  3. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Have no actual experience with this, but my understanding from reading other places is it won't work.....once you soak the plates with acid, even if you drain/flush, the clock starts running on them. My guess is you'd find them sulphated up down the road if you tried to put them back in service.

    As Bruce said, just buy them dry to begin with, along with the acid in a separate container. I have several in storage like that.
     
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  4. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Most places I go to buy batteries sell them wet and ready. Where would one go for a dry, never been filled battery?
     
  5. Redneck Rebel

    Redneck Rebel Monkey++

    Used to be able to get them that way from my father in law, but he worked at a Johnson Controls auto battery plant.
     
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Sears often has them, and any good mechanic's shop can get them. (Thinking automotive here, dunno about deep cycle marine or golf cart cells.)
     
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    You buy them from the Battery Distributer, rather than a retail outlet. One of the reasons that I have ALWAYS had a Business Account, and License, is that distributers will usually only talk to a business. Batteries are NOT shipped from the OEM to the distributer, WET. The distributer, or retailer, is where the Acid is added to the cells. Dry Batteries are NOT Hazmat, where WET Batteries ARE. Dry Batteries will Store dang near forever. I had a set of Sub Batteries once, that were built in the late 40s, and DRY, that when we filled them with Acid, in the mid 90s, were just like the day they were built. Used them in a 110Vdc powered Vessel.
     
  8. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    By the way, LOT of motorcycle and ATV type batteries are dry with an acid pack with them. They aren't much amp/hr or size, but to run some small stuff, like a two way radio, field telephone, that kind of thing, they would do fine. I keep several of them in storage for that purpose, plus as a backup for my ATV.
     
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  9. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    Yep, both my aftermarket bike batteries were bought 'dry'.

    How much better, if at all, is the life expectancy of Gel Cell and AGM battteries compared to Lead Acid?
     
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Gells, and the newer AGMs, are manufactured with the electrolyte already installed, and start to degrade at that point. The technology is good for 15+ Years if not abused. The biggest abuse is from OVER CHARGING, and will kill them off VERY Fast. Never EVER charge them higher than 14.4 VDC for a 12 VDC Battery and correspondingly for other different voltage setups. The only other "Gothca" for that technology, is they WILL Freeze and that destroys them, so you MUST keep them from freezing.
     
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  11. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Perhaps store them in a vented insulated shed or box?
     
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    AGMs and Gells do NOT Need vented enclosures as they ARE sealed... and it they pop the seal they are DEAD, or dying....
     
  13. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    If you buy a dry battery where do you get the acid to fill them and does the acid store for a long time?
     
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Usually the Distributer will give you the Acid, when you buy the battery, and YES, Sulfuric Acid stores dang near forever, if kept in a cool, dry, Air Tight, Acid Proof, Container.

    NOTE: In handling Acids.... NEVER Pour Water into Acid, to dilute it.... ALWAYS pour the Acid into water..... ALWAYS... otherwise you are going to be in BIG trouble, and DEEP S**T..... ..... YMMV... but not likely.....
     
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  15. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Diluting/dissolving concentrated acids in water released bunches of heat, and I mean bunches. Water into acid is explosive due to the heat released.

    Even when doing it right (acid into water) it pays to go slowly if you are mixing in plastics, it can heat up far enough to melt. That'll make a mess of your day, too.
     
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  16. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    Back in high school chemistry, we dribbled the acid down a glass rod slowly into the water - safer that way - slow & easy!
    The Chem teacher made his own HCL in the back room. Cheaper than buying it premade, I guess.
     
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  17. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Trust me....it WILL explode and burns like a devil!
    I had to "test" it after chemistry class in High School!
    BANG,...OUCH OUCH OUCH! ( I dove into the pool as quick as possible!)
    And don't toss match heads into sulphuric acid either...Yup, it hurts too!
    (hey someone had to be the "TEST DUMMY" right?)
    Think of all the neighborhood kids I saved from that terrible burning!
     
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  18. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    Our Chem teacher, Mr. Green, was a great guy. We learned that a chunk of metallic sodium plunked into a coffee can of water out in the grass from the open hallway just when the upper floor classes were letting out was great fun! PO'd their teacher though......
    Another one we did was.... if I remember correctly - been near forty years..... a few little bits of zinc in a plastic bag reacting with some low-concentration of HCL, makes hydrogen gas which then makes a healthy room-shaking "BOOM!" when hit with a match.

    I loved Chemistry Class!! b:: [LMAO]
     
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  19. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I was in a chemistry lecture hall with about 200 others, first year of college. Prof was discussing that exact reaction. Had an Erlenmeyer flask with stopper and thistle tube on it, and a short delivery hose tipped with a bit of drawn glass tube. In went the zinc, on went the stopper, and down the tube went the acid. Uv cuss, the reaction commenced. He waited a couple seconds and lit the gas coming out of the delivery hose to demonstrate it was hydrogen (see the color, and all that--) and dropped the hose on the bench and went back to yammering and blackboarding. A couple minutes later, POW!! The stopper and it's stuff went straight up and impaled itself in the ceiling, about 25 feet up. That little glass tip on the hose had melted shut. Good thing the flask held or there might have been some acid burns in the front rows. That tube was still in the ceiling 2 months later during finals.

    Forty years? Nah. 51 +/- a month or so. Funny how some events stick in your mind.
     
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  20. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    I finally switched to a gel cell battery for my KLR650, due to the OEM and first aftermarket batteries dying with a totally dry cell on one side. I think the occasional lay down and not keeping a check on the electrolyte levels did them in. No worries with the newest battery! [applaud]
     
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