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Battery Watering fill line

Take the Worry Out of Watering Deep-Cycle Batteries While Making Them Last Longer

The switch to battery-powered aerial platforms, scissor lifts, and boom lifts allowed these vehicles to be smaller, more maneuverable, and safer. Most use deep-cycle FLA batteries because they offer the lowest operation cost if you maintain and replenish water in the battery cells. That’s where the difficulty often lies. Busy schedules and long work hours often leave batteries improperly maintained in this critical area resulting in a loss of performance and life.

Addressing this issue results in two options:  replace your vehicle(s) batteries with more expensive lithium or maintenance-free lead batteries, or make watering simpler to assure your batteries are watered properly so they can last longer and provide optimum performance.  With the availability of a variety of battery watering monitors and single-point watering systems, there’s no reason that your batteries’ maintenance should be neglected.

A battery watering monitor replaces one vent cap on a single battery of a battery pack and indicates the battery pack’s water level. Since batteries are usually connected in series in a pack and charge and discharge together as a pack, you typically only need one monitor per vehicle to indicate the condition of the battery pack. Vehicles with multiple packs in parallel will need one for each series pack.  Watering monitors use a built-in probe and processor that triggers an LED indicator light to signal when the pack needs water. The indicator light can be mounted in the battery compartment for easy access by maintenance personnel or in a more convenient location that the operator can easily monitor.

Combined with one of several types of single-point watering systems on the market, watering batteries can be made very simple.  Watering systems are designed to work on just about any battery model. Most are very simple to install with many kits available pre-assembled for your specific vehicle, battery manufacture, and battery configuration. When batteries need watering, attach the inlet connection of the watering system to the kit’s siphon valve and a hand pump that supplies water from an appropriate source (most often a large container of distilled water). After a few pumps to start the siphon, all of the batteries in your pack are filled to the correct level without the fear of overfilling.

The advantages of maintaining the electrolyte levels more frequently and reliably results in battery packs lasting much longer – as much as 7 – 10 years in many instances, especially when battery packs are not discharged more than 50% as recommended by most manufacturers. Combine this with charging your batteries at every opportunity and performing an equalizing charge at least once per month. You’ll see a dramatic increase in the life and overall performance of your batteries.

In addition to saving money over the long run and making your batteries last longer, the drudgery of battery watering can be reduced to a quick and simple procedure.

8V batteries with watering kit

5 Benefits To Using A Single Point Watering System

Anyone using deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries in their electric vehicle or other equipment knows the importance of routinely watering the batteries. During charging, the water content of the electrolyte will decrease due to the electrolysis of water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. If left unchecked, the electrodes inside each cell can become exposed, resulting in a loss of battery performance. Regular watering is essential to the continued life and performance of any flooded deep cycle battery.

Electric vehicles and other equipment using deep cycle batteries typically have from four to eight individual batteries – each with multiple cells. Watering each cell can take a significant amount of time, especially if you are maintaining a fleet of vehicles. Battery packs are often located in areas that are not easily accessible, increasing the time required for watering.U.S. Battery offers two single-point watering systems (SPWS), Battery Watering Technologies and Flow-Rite, which can make battery maintenance quick and easy while offering several other benefits.

  1. You Can Fill All Your Batteries At Once
    A SPWS connects to all of the cells in each of the batteries within the pack allowing you to fill them with water from a single point.
  2. Save Time During Regular Maintenance
    On a single battery-powered vehicle, you can water all of the batteries in about a minute, versus what would normally take 45-60 minutes per vehicle.
  3. No Chance Of Over Watering
    With an SPWS, the battery cells fill up to the proper level and shut off to prevent overfilling.
  4. Monitoring Systems Can Tell You When To Water
    Some SPWS offer a sensor that can monitor water levels in the battery and indicate when they need watering.
  5. Extended Battery Life
    Frequent maintenance extends the life of your batteries which in turn lowers your annual operating costs.

Click here for more information and installation instructions for our SPWS

Consistent Battery Maintenance Is Key To Longevity And Performance

There’s something to be said about due diligence, especially when it comes to your golf car’s batteries. While many individuals and golf courses are content with simply charging batteries overnight, and checking water levels whenever they get around to it, others conform to a strict maintenance schedule that ultimately prevents numerous conditions that can lead to poor performance and ultimately, battery failure.

Run It Till It Dies

The downtime while your batteries are charging is often inconvenient and some golf car owners run the car until it’s nearly out of power or dead altogether. Batteries that experience frequent deep discharges (discharges of more than 50-percent of a battery’s rated capacity) will have dramatically shorter life than batteries with lower depth of discharge (DOD). The use of ‘opportunity charging’ or charging at every opportunity instead of waiting to recharge until batteries are fully discharged will dramatically increase battery life. (This should not take the place of fully charging regularly.)  If you need longer runtime between charges, consider switching to batteries with higher amp-hour capacity.  This may require switching to a different type of battery with a lower voltage per monoblock but higher capacity.

For example, a golf car with a 48-volt battery pack can use four 12-volt batteries, six 8-volt batteries or eight 6-volt batteries (if space is available).  While all provide the same 48-volt pack voltage, the eight 6-volt batteries provide the highest capacity and runtime. According to Fred Wehmeyer, Senior VP of Engineering at U.S. Battery Manufacturing, a battery that is routinely discharged to 40% DOD will last about 2.2 times longer than a battery that is discharged to 80% DOD. The initial cost for eight 6-volt batteries is higher than four 12-volt batteries; but considering how much longer they will last, the return on investment is much greater.

Water Whenever

Failing to consistently check water levels and add water to your batteries can also result in low capacity and eventual battery failure if left unchecked. Watering flooded lead-acid batteries is one of the most basic and important maintenance procedures. During battery charging, gases evolved from the decomposition of water results in water loss. This lost water must be replaced by regular water addition.  The rate of water loss can be even higher at elevated temperature and water levels must be checked more frequently. If water is not replaced regularly, the tops of the battery plates in each cell can become exposed to air and damaged to the point that capacity is reduced and battery life is shortened.  Electrolyte levels should always be maintained above the top of the plates by adding water before charging and after charging to about 1/8-inch below the bottom of the vent wells.  Final watering should be done after charging to prevent electrolyte overflow.

If you really hate watering batteries, consider a Single Point Watering System and a battery watering monitor. These often come in kits that are pre-made for specific golf cars and/or battery packs. Monitors such as U.S. Battery’s Sense Smart Valve works with SPWS systems and indicates via a dash or battery mounted LED when the batteries need water.

Summer’s Over; Park It Till Next Year

Improper battery storage is, unfortunately,  a common practice with resorts and RV owners. Storing your golf car with the battery pack in a discharged condition for a long period of time can lead to sulfation (a condition that leads to the development of large lead sulfate crystals that reduce the battery’s available capacity). Over time, this sulfation can reduce both the full charge capacity and overall life of the battery.

The battery pack should always be fully charged before the vehicle is put into long-term storage. In winter months, this also prevents the batteries from freezing. Maintaining the batteries at full charge will keep your batteries in good condition until the next time you use them.

U.S. Battery’s 12VRX XC2

US Battery’s 12VRX XC2 is a popular choice for 12-volt deep cycle batteries used in a variety of applications. Originally designed for the 48-volt EZGO RXV vehicles without watering systems, the 12VRX has become popular in many other 48-volt and 72-volt golf cars in addition to equipment in applications such as aerial work platforms, recreational vehicles, and floor cleaning machines.

US Battery developed the 12VRX as a substitute to the popular 12VXC battery in order to address the difficulty of manually watering the rear battery on RXV golf cars. The cell vents on the 12VRX are configured horizontally on the battery as opposed to the chevron or “V” shaped spacing of the 12VXC. This allows the battery to be manually watered in equipment where space is limited or where batteries are partially covered. In addition to being easier to water, the 12VRX also differs from the 12VXC in how it is lifted. The 12VRX contains lifting tabs on top of the battery that eliminates the need for the handles located on the ends of the 12VXC. This saves almost a full inch in length, allowing the 12VRX to be installed in tight compartments where the 12VXC does not fit.

While the 12VRX is only compatible with Battery Watering Technologies (BWT) watering systems, the 12VXC is compatible with both Flowrite and BWT watering systems. For RXV golf cars with existing watering systems, US Battery offers a third 12-volt deep cycle battery called the 12VXZ. This battery is designed to fit in the RXV vehicles and still be compatible with the OEM Flowrite watering kits. Of all three batteries, the 12VRX is the most universal in regards to fitment.

U.S. Battery’s 12VRX offers unique advantages for a variety of applications. Advantages include providing high capacity (155 Amp Hours at the 20-hour rate), the ability to reach peak capacity in fewer cycles than other batteries in its class, and the ability to provide the most total energy throughout the life of the battery. This premium battery is part of the company’s Endurance Plus™ line of batteries, designed to provide high value and optimum performance. U.S. Battery products are manufactured and assembled by hand in the U.S.A. See U.S. Battery’s full line of 12-volt deep cycle batteries here https://usbattery.com/products/12-volt-batteries/

 

 

 

Hate Watering Your Batteries? There’s An Easier Way

Single Point Watering Systems Make Watering Batteries Safe And Easy

Monitoring the level of electrolyte in your Flooded Lead Acid batteries is one of the necessary maintenance procedures to keep your batteries working properly, and extend their service life. While it sounds like a simple process, it can be very time consuming and cumbersome. Checking the water level in four or six batteries in a vehicle often requires removing the vent caps on each battery and visually inspecting the water level. In many cases, that can be difficult depending on where the batteries are located in the vehicle. If they’re difficult to reach, it can also add difficulty in adding the right amount of water, as overfilling can also cause problems, as well as not adding enough water too.

One of the ways to make the process much easier is investing in a Single Point Watering System (SPWS).  These systems allow you to add water to all of your vehicle’s batteries at one time, from a single water tube that is easily accessible. In addition, SPWS units also stop the flow of water, once it reaches the proper level within each of the battery cells. For battery powered vehicles with difficult access to the battery compartment, this makes battery maintenance much easier, and can ultimately extend the life of the batteries which can save you money in the long run.

Sense Smart ValveGoing one step further, SPWS manufacturers also have sensors available, that can be used with your watering system to monitor water levels in the battery pack and indicate when the batteries need watering. Manufacturers such as Flow-Rite and BWT have complete systems that are easy to install, and consist of valve caps that replace the factory units and allow water to be poured into each cell via a network of hoses. Most systems are also available pre-assembled for your particular application, and do-it-yourself systems are also available for custom applications.

It’s also good to point out that SPWS usually last a long time with proper care, and with constant monitoring, you’ll never need to spend too much time out of your weekend checking and watering your vehicle’s batteries again. For more information on a variety of single point watering systems for flooded lead-acid batteries, and sample installations, visit www.usbattery.com.

Battery Watering Technologies Visits U.S. Battery Manufacturing To Discuss New Designs And Continued Growth Of Single Point Watering Systems

Battery Watering Technologies, manufacturers of single point watering systems, visited U.S. Battery’s Corona, California plant to discuss the growth of its product line, and the use of SPWS in various industrial applications. Tyler Owen, Vice President Battery Watering Technologies, and Lee Pinkston, Western Regional Account Manager at Battery Watering Technologies (BWT) said that sales of SPWS in partnership with U.S. Battery Manufacturing, continues to maintain steady growth.
According to Dan Grigsby, Western States Regional Manager for U.S. Battery, the use of SWPS is increasing in a variety of industries such as golf car, aerial platform, fork-lifts, solar energy storage, and in the RV industry. “Proper watering with a SPWS can provide dramatic improvements to increase battery life, as well as reduce the time, effort, and annual costs involved in watering a fleet using FLA batteries,” said Grigsby.

Pinkston provided examples of BWT’s SPWS valves that feature internal spark arrestors, a three-piece z-lock hose-tee for added strength, and an indicator eye that allows the operator to see when the battery cell is properly filled. The company manufactures a float design unique to a variety of make and model batteries, to ensure proper electrolyte levels are reached with different battery case and cell cap designs. BWT’s gravity feed and direct flow valves that are used to water single or multiple batteries at once were also discussed, along with recommended tips for battery watering. “BWT offers a variety of fill systems that make it easy to water multiple batteries,” said Pinkston, “But there are important things to remember about watering batteries in this manner that can help prevent accidental siphoning and spills. The first is to never water before charging the battery and never leave a gravity feed system unattended. Only use only distilled or filtered water, and if you are using a direct fill system always make sure it has a pressure regulator attached to it to avoid accidental spills from over pressurizing the system.”

U.S. Battery Manufacturing has a four-year relationship with BWT and offers all of the company’s SPWS products with any of U.S. Battery’s Deep-Cycle batteries. New and exciting technology is in the works that will be available from both companies and will be announced later in the year. For more information on BWT SPWS products or U.S. Battery products, visit https://usbattery.com/products/watering-systems/ Contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945.

Pictured above from left to right: Don Wallace, U.S. Battery CMO/Executive Vice President, Mike Wallace, U.S. Battery Creative Manager, Lee Pinkston, Western Regional Account Manager Battery Watering Technologies, Heather Arredondo and Dan Grigsby, U.S. Battery Manufacturing Western States Regional Sales, and Tyler Owen, Vice President at Battery Watering Technologies.