Forklift Battery Reconditioning .pdf
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Forklift Battery Reconditioning
Preparing the Forklift Battery for Refurbishment.
A forklift battery can weigh several thousand pounds, and a person may need a forklift to remove it.
Users should check the faulty forklift's user manual for specific instructions on battery removal and
maintenance. Upon removal, the user should place the battery in a well-ventilated concrete wash.
Record the voltage readings, using a voltmeter. Check the battery label for an indication of the battery's
voltage. Discharge the battery to 80 percent of its labeled voltage.
Cleaning the Forklift Battery.
Once the user has discharged the battery to the appropriate level, it is time to clean the battery
terminals. Sprinkle the top of the battery and the terminals with baking soda. Wet the baking soda with
clean water and scrub the battery with a soft- to medium-bristle brush. The baking soda neutralizes any
traces of acid on top of the battery, but the user should wear protective clothing, such as goggles,gloves
and an apron while working with the battery as battery acid is highly corrosive. If baking soda fails to
remove all the dirt from the top of the battery, use dish detergent to remove additional grime.
Measuring the Acidity of the Battery Water.
The user needs to remove the cell caps to access the battery water. Battery water should contain 30
percent sulfuric acid and 70 percent water. Use a hydrometer to measure and record the acidity for
each cell. This information indicates how much water or acid the user should add to each cell.
Refreshing a Forklift Battery.
The user must add battery acid or distilled water to individual cells to restore the required water to acid
ratio. Do not use tap water to top up battery fluid, as tap water contains minerals and contaminants that
could damage the battery further. The user should check the acid concentration during this process to
guide the addition of water and acid. Once each cell contains the ideal ratio of acid to water, the user
should replace the cell caps and connect the battery to the charger. Eight hours of charging should be
enough to charge the battery fully.
If the battery does not attain the expected voltage, the user should recheck the water to acid ratios in
the cells, make any adjustments necessary, and charge the battery again. Users should discharge
batteries before each new charge cycle to avoid overcharging and permanently damaging them. It may
be necessary to repeat this process a number of times. If the water to acid ratio is correct, it could
indicate damaged cells. Measure the voltage of individual cells to identify damaged or faulty units by
attaching one probe of a voltmeter to a terminal and immersing the other probe in the cell liquid. Users
should replace faulty cells or have the batteries refurbished by professionals.
Removing Sulfation from a Forklift Battery.
Sulfation is one of the most common causes of lead acid battery failure. While a battery is in use, small
sulfate crystals form. Usually, these are not harmful, but when a battery does not charge properly or
fully, this lead sulfate converts to a crystalline form that deposit on the battery's negative plates,
forming large crystals. These reduce the battery's active material responsible for low resistance and high
capacity and lowers charge acceptance. Charging takes longer due to higher internal resistance.
Users can reverse some types of sulfation. An anti-sulfation or desulfation device applies pulses to the
battery terminals to prevent and reverse the process. These devices tend to lower sulfation on healthy
batteries, but may not be capable of fully reversing the condition in damaged batteries. As a
preventative measure, use a special desulfation charger to reduce the likelihood of damage to new or
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