How can you recondtion a forklift battery yourself?
In this article you will discover how you can overhaul a forklift battery yourself using a 10-step plan. Few people own a forklift truck, so you might ask why we devote a section to this.
Forklift batteries are very powerful batteries that are not only found in forklifts or fork lifts, but are also often used in storage systems for alternative energy. Quite interesting, therefore, to find out how you can overhaul a forklift battery.
Forklift batteries are deep cycle or full traction batteries. These types of batteries not only give an electrical response so that a vehicle starts, but also provide for a constant energy demand. A deep cycle battery can discharge up to 80% without being damaged and is therefore very suitable for battery storage systems for alternative energy.
These batteries are also lead-acid batteries . You will therefore have to be careful if you want to overhaul a forklift battery yourself. As we have seen before, a lead-acid battery consists of lead plates that are immersed in a liquid that contains sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is a dangerous substance that can seriously damage your skin and clothing. If you want to overhaul a forklift battery, you will also have to take the necessary precautions.
The big disadvantage of forklift batteries is that they are very expensive. Reconditioning a forklift battery yourself can therefore save you a lot of money.
10 steps to recondtion a forklift battery yourself
- Step 1: determine the voltage of your forklift battery.
In most cases the number of volts is stated on the battery. If you cannot find this immediately on your forklift battery, you can count the number of end caps and multiply this number by 2.
12 caps mean a 24 V battery
18 caps mean a 36 V battery
24 caps mean a 48 V battery
- Step 2: check whether the battery still gives this actual voltage.
You can easily do this with a multimeter. You connect the black probe of the cord with the COM input and the red probe with the V / Ω input of the multimeter. Then you put the multimeter in the DC function. As a result, the multimeter measures the average value of the voltage offered. You then connect the red probe to the positive pole of the battery and the black probe to the negative pole. The voltage should be approximately equal to the voltage level of the battery. If this voltage is lower, one of the cells may be damaged and you will have to test each cell individually.
- Step 3: test each cell individually.
You can also do this perfectly with a multimeter. In principle, each cell must have a value of 2V. If one of the cells has a value of less than 2V, this cell is damaged and gives a negative influence on the functioning of the entire battery. Unfortunately, the battery will no longer work even after revision.
If all cells still have a minimum voltage of 2V, then your battery has to do with sulfation and you can still overhaul it perfectly.
- Step 4: determine the load of each cell separately with a hydrometer.
If you determine the value of the electrolyte fluid from each cell with a hydrometer, this fluid must indicate the same value for each cell. If this is not the case, then there is something wrong with this cell, but it is not completely broken. The problem with this cell will then probably be sulfation and this can be solved in some cases.
- Step 5: discharge the battery to 80% of its capacity.
When the battery is discharged, you can start the real overhaul work.
- Step 6: remove the caps from the cells.
If you notice that the cells do not contain enough water (they must have just been submerged in water) then add distilled water. You can optionally add Epsom salt to this. This will ensure that the sulphation dissolves.
- Step 7: close the cells again.
If you have filled the water and if the plates are under water for about 1 cm, close the cells again with the sealing caps.
- Step 8: completely clean the battery.
Now that you are still working on the overhaul, you may as well be cleaning the entire battery. Remove the covers from the poles and clean them with baking soda. This will dissolve any corrosion. Then spray everything clean and wipe the battery dry with an old cloth.
- Step 9: recharge the battery.
At the start of this entire overhaul process you have discharged the battery up to 80% of its capacity. So it’s time to recharge it to its full capacity. Keep in mind that this charging process can take around 8 hours.
- Step 10: test the revised forklift battery.
Your battery should do it perfectly again!
Reconditioning a forklift battery is not that difficult, but takes some time. However, with this you can save hundreds of euros, which makes the overhaul of a forklift truck battery worthwhile.
Want to know more about overhauling a forklift battery?
If you want to know more about overhauling a forklift battery, see if our Battery Recondtion Program is for you. If your forklift battery or any other battery fails, view this page and learn step by step how you can very easily bring almost any dead battery back to life.