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Old 08-23-2017, 11:01 PM   #1
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Topping off water in batteries

I tried searching. I thought I would have come across a thread by now asking about this important task.

The last time I had batteries that needed regular water checks Im pretty sure I remember that there was a better way of checking water levels.

Now when I check them I peer down a dark hole in the hopes of determining if I need to add water and heaven forbid I should need to add some because I can't tell how much is enough.

From what I can tell the water needs to be 1/8 inch below the bottom of the opening. Why can't you determine water level from the caps?

I noticed there are some topping off systems and some topping off jugs with a cap that auto shuts off which would probably suit my 2 6V batteries just fine but wondered if they are the way to go.

Im paranoid of overfilling and if its a PITA I tend to put it off. I want to just take care of it and not have to worry.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:31 AM   #2
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As a kid there were FULL Service gas stations........
Drive in and an attendant or 2 would come skipping out.
One would handle pumping/cleaning windshield and other would pop open the hood...checking belts/hoses and topping off battery levels with a JUG

JUG just like this..



All these years later.....they are still available and easy to use

I have one since 2006 for filling batteries on my 5th wheel and truck
Simple.....holds 2 quarts
I have mine full of distilled water
Pop the battery caps
Insert spout on jug.push down and it fills IF water is needed. Stops when level reaches tip of spout.

Glug, glug, glug, glug, glug, glug........ just topped of my 12V battery.
How hard was that


Any 'auto parts store' have them...O'Reillys , Auto Zone, Kraggen, NAPA (ouch!), CarQuest ---Manny/Moe/Jack


Course there are those 'fill systems'......GREAT for those impossibly tight battery compartments that require one to be a contortionist to blindly reach



But I'm CHEAP and the JUG works great
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:55 AM   #3
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Ok thanks That was the jug I was thinking of, it seemed too simple figured there had to be a catch. Lol
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:52 AM   #4
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I use a fill system like the one above. Water check/fill is easy. A little pricey though. This is a task I don't look forward to doing, so making it easier helps me to get it done.
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Old 08-24-2017, 04:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forkyfork View Post
I tried searching. I thought I would have come across a thread by now asking about this important task.
There are several ways to search on iRV2, but here are two that work well. They are actually the same method in the end:

1) Use the blue "powered by Google" search box that's under the banner picture on each page, or

2) Go directly to Google, and type in a search strings such as

"battery" "fill" "system" site:irv2.com

Here's a link to the results of that search.
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Old 08-24-2017, 05:32 AM   #6
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Eventually those batteries are going to need to be replaced. At that point you can get agm or sla batteries that do not require topping off.
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Old 08-24-2017, 05:46 AM   #7
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Topping off water in batteries

Too many cables, too small an area to use a auto fill jug like that for me. I've read but don't know for sure, but the hose watering system has to be disconnected in winter storage (below freezing in our dry, indoor storage facility).

So, I rely on periodic inspections which requires me to loosen up the tiedown handles and shove the cables over just to pop the caps and then I use my handy-dandy mag light and a turkey baster with a red solo cup of distilled water from a jug.
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:05 AM   #8
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When we changed batteries I added the Pro Fill systems. Had AGM and loved them but cost was prohibited this time so wet cells it is. All in it was 50% of the cost of AGM. if we add 300 watts of DIY solar from Amazon it will be about the same cost all in as the AGM would have been.
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:45 AM   #9
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I use the Pro Fill system on the house batteries. Mine are under the entry step and require removal of 3 screws to gain access. Now I connect the bulb pump and put the hose into a bottle of distilled water squeeze the bulb a few times until firm and done.
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
There are several ways to search on iRV2, but here are two that work well. They are actually the same method in the end:

1) Use the blue "powered by Google" search box that's under the banner picture on each page, or

2) Go directly to Google, and type in a search strings such as

"battery" "fill" "system" site:irv2.com

Here's a link to the results of that search.
I did search...its a pet peeve of mine when people don't and ask the same TP question for the 5th time that week. Lol

I searched directly on the website even used battery fill and came up with 47374 unrelated threads. I will use the google search box next time.

I am still surprised that people are more concerned about TP.
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:46 AM   #11
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I want the pro fill system but pretty sure I can get by just fine with the jug. I'm going to have another look later but I'm pretty sure I can get to the back cells. Its under the step but it uses a slot and latch so getting to it isn't much of a procedure.
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:58 AM   #12
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Add water slowly with a dixie cup or as mentioned a turkey baster etc. Mine are in a tight area so i use a flashlight and a mirror and do it in the evening or when the sun isn't bright. You do want to stay just below the bottom of the split ring but it's not going to over fill if you just touch the bottom of the ring. When it does touch you will see that the water looks like a cats eye. Add slowly and watch the shape of the water as it touches the tube and stop. I do it that way and never have corrosion and only rinse my batteries off once a year or so and I'm charging at 14.8 volts.

The venting happens through those slots cut in the sides of the tube. If you bring the level up so high that the vent slots are covered you will have a mess on your hands. The watering systems are usually good but in theory the flaw is that if a valve fails you can have no water going to a cell or over filling of a cell. If you surveyed everyone who has used them I would be surprised if you found many complaints. I worked with those systems for 35 years so I have seen the worse case conditions such as poor maintenance of the filling system and super hot batteries from massive over charging AND thousands of fill valves.

I'm a prime candidate for a watering system but with as little water as they need I'm comfortable with seeing what I have every time. I also dip for Specific Gravity at times so a regular cap is fine. Long ago we also used caps with float valves before single point watering. The float rod was exposed to the environment so they would stick at times. I see that they now have enclosed float styles which look much better.

Just one example
https://doyleshamrock.com/product/ba...r-level-gauge/
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:44 AM   #13
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I also use a small turkey baster and distilled water. It is part of a routine, when checking several other items.

You don't want to overfill a battery. I have heard that a battery cell should be filled so that the water level is just over the plates... about an 1/8 to 3/16th's over the plates. And, check often. If you are using your RV and/or plugged to shore power, probably at least monthly.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjxj View Post
You do want to stay just below the bottom of the split ring but it's not going to over fill if you just touch the bottom of the ring. When it does touch you will see that the water looks like a cats eye. Add slowly and watch the shape of the water as it touches the tube and stop. I do it that way and never have corrosion and only rinse my batteries off once a year or so and I'm charging at 14.8 volts.

The venting happens through those slots cut in the sides of the tube. If you bring the level up so high that the vent slots are covered you will have a mess on your hands.
This is the other info I was hoping to find. How full is too full. It was difficult to see what 1/8th away was but knowing if it slightly touches the bottom of the ring it isnt the end of the world as long as it can breathe.

My other concern is what do you do if its overfilled? I would think removing it would alter the acid level.
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