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Battery Activation and Charging Procedure for Dry Charged Batteries
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Posted: July 29th, 2011

Please note: The below information only applies to our Dry Charge conventional wet cell batteries. All of our AGM, Maintenance Free, and Gel batteries do not require acid and come charged and ready to install.

First and foremost... Take great care when working with your battery!

Batteries contains electrolyte (sulfuric acid) which is a highly toxic and dangerous substance if it comes in contact with your body. When carrying acid or a battery filled with acid, keep it away from your body. Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when working with the battery to keep any possible acid from touching your hands or eyes.

Batteries are also capable of delivering a high current discharge. Any jewelry should be removed and other metal objects should be kept away from the battery to avoid shorting across the battery terminals. It's best to use only insulated-handled tools when working with your battery, as well.

Initial Filling of your Battery

Wet cell batteries like our Dry Charge batteries need to be filled with electrolyte (acid), which is dangerous to the eyes and skin. When working with acid, you should follow these simple precautions:

  1. Wear protective goggles to protect your eyes. If you do splash acid in your eyes, hold your eyelids open while washing your eye with lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes. Have someone contact your doctor immediately for further instructions, while you wash the affected area.
  2. Wear rubber gloves that extend well past your wrists. If you splash your skin, flush continuously with lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes and contact your doctor for further instructions.

You can purchase electrolyte directly from our website when you order your battery. Simply set the "Include Acid Pack" box and then add your battery to your cart. If you have any questions about ordering acid, you can give us a call at 1-800-405-2121. You can also purchase acid at most large auto parts stores.

Once you have your acid, carefully fill each battery cell with electrolyte. Be sure to not overfill. Fill to a level that is just below the overfill line marked on the battery case. Once the cells are properly filled, replace the caps. Hand tighten only.

You only need to put electrolyte in your battery once. If you need to fill the battery at a later date, use distilled water to keep your battery cell chambers to the proper level. Keep your cell levels above the minimum mark and below the maximum mark (these should be shown on your battery case).

Charging your Battery

Both hydrogen and oxygen are emitted while batteries are charging. Hydrogen is a very flammable gas and oxygen supports combustion. Because of this, you should always place your battery in a clean, well ventilated area when filling or charging your battery. Your chosen workspace should be free from anything that might spark a fire, such as welding, smoking, grinding, open flame, etc.

Important Note: If you charge your battery at too high an amperage, you may cause the battery to overheat and even explode. Please read your instructions carefully regarding safe amperage charge levels for your battery.

Initial Charging Procedure:
Once you've filled your battery with acid and the battery caps are hand-tightened, you should charge the battery with a low-amperage battery charger. For best, safest results, a battery should never be charged at amperage greater than 10% of the battery's capacity. So, if you have a 10 Ah battery, use a 1 amp battery charger. If the battery is 5 Ah, then you should use a 0.5 Amp (500 mA) battery charger. It can take around 10-12 hours to fully charge your battery, so we recommend that you use an automatic charger that will cut the charge off when the battery is fully charged.

Recharging your Battery:
When recharging your battery, you should check your cable connections and terminals to be sure they are clean and dry. Automatic chargers are your best options, as these will fully charge your battery and then help to keep it maintained and healthy. This maintenance is also important to keep your battery in good condition if it sits for extended periods of times (but keep an eye on your acid and fluid levels!). For recharging, you can likely use the same charger you used for the initial charge.

You may also be interested in reading the following article about winter storage and maintenance:
Off-Season Battery Maintenance
Here you can learn about keeping your battery safe while it's not in use, the effects of sulphation, and see some charger recommendations based on your battery's Amp Hour rating.

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