Home Automobile How to determine amount of Sulfuric acid in Forklift Battery

How to determine amount of Sulfuric acid in Forklift Battery

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Forklift battery is a lead acid battery that has the same construction of automotive and truck batteries. Sulfuric acid is used to activate the cells of the battery and it is with the help of this acid electric current is provided.

It is same as car’s lead acid battery. Only difference is that it is larger, heavier and more difficult to refurbish. It is deep cycle batteries that allow the users to discharge them to lower levels than car batteries without damaging them. Many steps can be taken by the users to revive these batteries.

As these batteries contain sulfuric acid only trained and authorized persons should handle them. It is usually referred by the name battery acid or electrolyte. An electrolyte is the general term used to describe a non metallic substance like sulfuric acid or salts that can conduct electricity when dissolved in water.

The required amount of sulfuric acid is important in the battery, which is tested using standard battery acid tester called hydrometer. With the help of this test one can verify the specific amount of gravity of the acid that is produced inside the battery. This amount will help in calculating the unit of voltage that is left with.

So how to do this testing:

  1. First open the battery storage compartment on the forklift and remove the cap from one of the forklift battery cells.
  2. Then insert acid testing hydrometer into the cell and push in the bulb at the top and slowly release the pressure on the bulb. By incorporating this step battery acid is drawn into the hydrometer.
  3. Now pull the acid tester out of the cell and read the specific gravity. Markings will be located on the side of hydrometer. The common specific gravity reading will be 1.265 for fully charged cell and 1.13 or less for completely discharged cell. However these figures might vary from battery to battery but are the perfect base line to work with.

Sulfuric acid is highly corrosive in nature and thus one has to take some sort of precautions when handling battery acid:

  1. Wear splash proof goggles and protective clothing like apron or gloves. Safety goggles called face shield may also be necessary when handling sulfuric acid in an open system.
  2. Never store acid in hot locations or under direct sunlight
  3. Pour concentrated acid slowly in water and do not add water into acid. Always make use of non metallic containers and funnels
  4. Extreme care should be taken to avoid spilling or splashing the sulfuric acid solution as it can destroy your clothing and burn the eyes and skin.
  5. If in case sulfuric acid is splashed in the eye, immediately splash the eye with water and neutralize spilled or splashed sulfuric acid solution with baking soda solution and rinse the spill area with clean water.

After testing the battery in case your reading is low then it means the chemistry that makes electrons is lacking which in turn means that recharging of battery is required. Average of battery life has become shorter as energy requirements have increased.

Today not even half percentage of battery reach the 48th month mark. In fact 80% of the battery failure is  related to sulfation build up and this build up occurs when the sulfur molecules in the electrolyte become so deeply discharged that they begin to coat the battery’s lead plates and as the plate become so coated the battery dies. So it is vital to determine the amount of sulfuric acid lead acid batteries so that long life of batteries can be maintained.

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