The battery that is found in your car, motorcycle, tractor & boat is called a Lead Acid Battery.
Lead Acid batteries are the most economical battery. There construction is simple compared to
the construction of say a Lithium Ion battery. The down side of lead acid batteries is there
weight and the fact that they become wasted when they are left dead for even a short period of
time. The maintenance of a lead acid battery is just the opposite of a Cordless Drill battery
because the technology is different. Lead acids do best when left with a full charge where
NiCd's found in tool batteries are best left on a low charge.
If you have ever went to start your riding lawn mower or motorcycle in the spring you quickly
find out that these types of batteries don't hold a charge for several months. You also find out
that even after you jump start your mower or motorcycle that the battery just isn't the same as it
once was if it even charges at all. The reason for this is because the lead in the battery is
exposed to uncharged raw acid when the battery slowly discharges over time and looses its
charge. The lead in the battery simply rusts, thus blocking the flow of electricity and ability to
charge properly. Luckily there is an affordable, readily available compound that will reverse this.
To breath new life into your lead acid battery you will need to first purchase the chemical
Magnesium Sulfate. You probably just asked yourself "where in the WORLD do I get THAT!"
Believe it or not, but it is actually a very easily found substance. You won't find it on the shelf of
a store if you are looking for magnesium sulfate but you will find it on the shelf of almost every
department store and pharmacy if you are looking for EPSOM SALT and its only a few dollars!
To recondition your lead acid battery you will need Epsom Salt and a quart of distilled or rain
water. Warm up the water to about 150 degrees (very hot but not boiling). The temperature
doesn't need to be exact by any means and will still work even if the water is at room
temperature, it just won't work as well. Mix 10 heaping table spoons full of Epsom Salt into the
water and stir until most or all is dissolved. Then simply pour this warm solution into your
battery where you would normally put water to maintain the acid levels. Do not attempt to put
Epsom Salt directly into your battery because it will not dissolve into the battery acid, only water
will dissolve Epsom Salt. Most batteries will be low on fluid so adding this solution will not over
flow the battery. It is only recommended to add 1/2 quart of solution to an average size battery.
If your battery is full of fluid already then you will need to drain some of the solution to allow for
the 1/2 quart of Epsom Salt Solution. After adding the solution it is recommended to put the
caps back on and shake the battery a bit to mix all the chemicals.
Some batteries have caps that come off the top to maintain the acid levels easily but Low
Maintenance batteries require a bit more work to recondition. A low maintenance battery has its
top seald shut to prevent evaporation but it also prevents easy reconditioning. These batteries
can still be reconditioned but you will have to look for the "shadow" marks on the top plastic
that shows the holes into the cells. Simply drill holes in the plastic to get access to the cells
then pour in your warm solution. You will then want to plug these holes with plastic hole caps
that can be found at most hardware stores. When purchasing a new battery it is recommended
to look for the batteries that you can easily maintain in the future. It is also recommended to
purchase a small solar charger to keep your unused batteries charged over the winter to
prevent this problem from happening in the future. This method works most of the time but not
all the time. It depends on how bad the cells are decayed. This process can also only be done 3
to 5 times before the cells are worn out, prevent damage with a solar charger!
ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES AND GLOVES WHEN WORKING WITH ACIDS!