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Old 07-30-2013, 08:48 PM   #43
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You never add acid. If the case is cracked and leaking, you need to replace it or both. They (in most cases) need to be replaced in pairs if they are in serial or parallel.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:54 PM   #44
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You never add acid. If the case is cracked and leaking, you need to replace it or both. They (in most cases) need to be replaced in pairs if they are in serial or parallel.
Thanks. It is one cell in one battery that keeps boiling out the vent. Is this from plate damage from maybe getting to dry?
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:59 PM   #45
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Yep. That'll do it. Check the battery voltage with a digital VM. It probably reads less than 12 or 6 volts, whatever type it is.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:08 PM   #46
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After adding water to my batteries over the past few years, at some point do I need to add acid? If so, where do you get it?

I also do like the mineral oil idea and right now I have one leaking battery so I might try this method to see if I can get a few more months service out of it.
Sulfuric acid is created through the electrolyis process wherein H2O (water) loses Hydrogen atoms which are effervesced out of the battery during the charging cycle. Sulfer is introduced into the solution as an internal agent within the cell and making H2SO4 (sulfuric acid)

Note there are still 2 atoms of Hydrogen in the acid, but now one atom of sulfer and 4 atoms of Oxygen vs the relationship of 2 atoms of Hydrogen and 1 oxygen in water (H2O). The relationship between the Hydrogen and Oxygen is changed in the new solution.

In essence, charging produces acid in the battery cell and one should not need to insert any sulfuric acid. But I suspect it can be done.

You no doubt know that sulfuric acid is extremely corrosive and while you can get it and add it to a battery, I would not recommend it. Tough stuff to handle and if spilled it can really mess things up,

Some batteries are shipped dry and the electrolyte is added at the retail point, but that solution has the correct concentrate for the battery.

I would not recommend that a lay person add sulfuric acid to a battery - I understand the chemistry but I consider myself as one of these lay persons when it comes to adding acid to a battery. I would think getting the right concentrate might be touchy.

Good luck on whatever you decide to do, I doubt it would increase the battery life by adding acid, but I have no direct knowledge on this matter, perhaps a real battery shop expert might be lurking out there and might comment,

Well that is my 2 cents worth.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:14 PM   #47
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It was traumatic enough just removing 4 oz of electrolyte out of each cell to put the mineral oil in and I work on my batteries all the time to keep them maintained.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:14 AM   #48
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Libero,

You've got some points mixed up, it would be better to suggest that people just go look at a pretty good description of the electrochemistry involved in this wikipedia discription of Lead-Acid batteries.

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Old 07-31-2013, 08:27 AM   #49
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Libero,

You've got some points mixed up, it would be better to suggest that people just go look at a pretty good description of the electrochemistry involved in this wikipedia discription of Lead-Acid batteries.

Barb
It is possible I have some points mixed up, my old memory banks are not what they used to be, have not dabbled in chemistry equations for about 40 or 50 years, but the point is, charging batteries creates sulfuric acid, don't think you need to add any. But perhaps it might work. But please PM me where I was off base. It is a bad day when I don't learn something. Use my phone for most of my posts and not often near my PC for lookup. Thanks for the comment.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:17 AM   #50
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It is possible I have some points mixed up, my old memory banks are not what they used to be, have not dabbled in chemistry equations for about 40 or 50 years, but the point is, charging batteries creates sulfuric acid, don't think you need to add any. But perhaps it might work. But please PM me where I was off base. It is a bad day when I don't learn something. Use my phone for most of my posts and not often near my PC for lookup. Thanks for the comment.
Mant thanks for the explanation; I should have know this but I'm not as smart as I use to be.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:52 AM   #51
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H2SO4 is there when the battery is made - hence the term Lead-Acid battery. You have to have the acid there BEFORE current will flow during discharge. Yes, the H2SO4 is regenerated during the recharge cycle, so no you don't need to add it. Over time, sulfonation will lead to a reduction in the amount of sulfuric acid available to conduct current, which is why using a hydrometer is the best way to test the batteries to make sure that they are still performing as they should.

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Old 07-31-2013, 10:54 AM   #52
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Thanks, of course H2SO4 is added during the initial charge process, I sincerely hope I did not imply otherwise. Back in the day most wet cells were shipped dry and a concentrate was added at the retail point. Maybe this is still done. Actually the electrolyte concentrate and what is in the "in service battery" is not 100% Sulphuric acid. So by adding acid at some point through the battery life cycle might be tricky to get the right concentrate. It is much safer to store and ship new wet cell batteries without the electrolyte.

Indeed batteries can and do "sulfate" there is a lot of info regarding this aspect on this site.

I wonder if anyone does add acid through the battery life cycle and what effect that might have.

Thanks again. As I said it is a bad day when I don't learn something and another bad day if I don't make a mistake. This usually means I have not done anything that day.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:00 PM   #53
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OK.....I'll add the 4 ounces of mineral oil to the 6 volt batteries and 2 oz to the starter deep cells. I usually just got my turkey baster and mirror... sat down on my little stool and checked them all each month. Usually each cell needed some water. Then I used my tooth brush and cleaned each terminal with my handy vinegar and soda solution. I fill each cell to just below the vent. If I only filled it 1/8 in. above the cell I'd need to check them more often than once a month. Older threads on this were about 50/50 on whether to use the mineral oil or not so that's why I just bit the bullet and continued doing it the old fashioned way. My monthly inspection is due next week so that's when I will add the mineral oil since I know I will have plenty of room for it. I will add to this thread the following month what my results were. NOTE Maybe not a very interesting thread but it concerns an extremely important part of the coach.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:22 PM   #54
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I decided to check the batteries today for the first time since we purchased it in May. The water level was above the plates by 1/8". I remember that years ago when I worked at a gas station, that the proper level was to the ring at the bottom where the caps goes. Is that still correct today? I searched the site and do not find a definitive answer.

So can you help me out?

Thanks
I fill my 4 12Vdeep cycle house batteries up to the level of the "slit rings", (but ONLY if/when they are fully charged).
Apparently the electrolyte expands when charging and can/will overflow if you fill to the split rings and then charge them.

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Old 07-31-2013, 02:58 PM   #55
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Using mineral oil is like the "CHF"; it works and it's free (almost).
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:30 PM   #56
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As long as the plates are covered your batteries will work fine. If you only fill them up half way between the plates and the ring you will need to check the levels more often. The reason you don't want to fill it to the very top is because of expansion which will cause the fluid to come out of the over flow, or through the caps. I keep mine at the bottom of the ring because the only thing worse than some water coming out of the caps is your battery drying up.
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