Tips For Reconditioning Lead Acid Batteries – Zero Waste

Introduction – Rationale for Reconditioning Lead Acid Battery

Lead acid batteries are recycled 99% of the time. In the spirit of ShrinkThatFootprint, consider recondition your car battery. Reconditioning a car battery is simple and only requires a few materials that can be easily sourced. Instead of replacing your car battery, reconditioning it will save you money and also help the environment by reducing waste. In this post, I will talk about reconditioning lead acid battery.

Vehicles with an internal combustion engine have a battery that provides electrical power to start the engine. The battery also powers the lights, radio, and other accessories when the engine is turned off. A car battery typically lasts four to five years but can lose its charge over time. When this happens, the battery needs to be reconditioned to work properly.

A dead battery can cause several problems, including a clicking noise when you turn the key in the ignition, dim headlights, and slow engine cranking. If your battery is over three years old, it’s a good idea to have it tested to see if it needs to be reconditioned.

reconditioning lead acid battery

What Is Battery Reconditioning? 

In simple terms, it is restoring a battery to its like-new condition. You can do this with most types of batteries, including lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and lithium-ion batteries. Reconditioning involves cleaning the battery cells, fully charging and then discharging the battery, and then recharging it to 100%. Doing this can significantly extend the lifespan of a battery. 

Not only does reconditioning prolong the life of a battery, but it can also improve its performance. When a battery is first manufactured, its cells are full of energy and can deliver peak power. However, the cells become damaged and degraded over time, resulting in a loss of capacity and power. Reconditioning helps to restore the cells to their original condition, allowing the battery to once again deliver peak performance. 

Reconditioning batteries has many benefits, both for individuals and businesses. For individuals, it can save money by prolonging the life of their existing batteries. For businesses, it can lower operating costs by reducing the need to replace batteries as often. And for everyone, it helps to reduce electronic waste and environmental pollution. 

Can Lead-Acid Batteries Be Reconditioned? 

The answer is yes, but it’s important to understand how the process works before attempting it. Lead acid batteries use a chemical reaction to convert stored energy into electrical energy. Over time, these chemical reactions can break down the battery’s internal components, causing it to lose capacity.

However, through a process called reconditioning, it is possible to restore a lead acid battery to its original condition. Reconditioning involves running a current through the battery to trigger a new chemical reaction that reverses degradation effects.

As a result, reconditioned lead acid batteries can provide the same level of performance as new batteries. While the process is not particularly difficult, it requires specialized equipment and knowledge. As such, it is best left to experienced professionals.

Tips For Reconditioning Lead Acid Batteries

The process of reconditioning a lead acid battery is quite simple. It involves restoring the battery to its full capacity by recharging it fully and then discharging it completely. You can repeat this process several times until the battery is restored to its original condition. There are a few important things to remember when reconditioning a lead-acid battery.

1. Clean The Battery

First, clean the battery terminals with a wire brush. This will help remove any build-up of corrosion that can prevent electrical contact. Remember to wear gloves and safety goggles when handling batteries, as the acid can be harmful.

2. Verify The Voltage:

Next, check the battery voltage with a voltmeter. The ideal voltage for a lead acid battery is 12.6 volts. If the voltage is below this, it needs to be recharged.

3. Clean The Battery Cells:

The next step is to clean the battery cells with baking soda and water. This will help remove any deposits preventing the battery from holding a charge. Pour the cleaning solution into the battery cells and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with clean water.

4. Recharge The Battery

Next, recharge the battery using a slow charger. This will help to avoid damaging the cells. The ideal charging voltage for a lead acid battery is 2.4 volts per cell. For example, if you recondition a 12-volt battery, you would charge it at 29.2 volts. Once the battery is fully charged, allow it to rest for 24 hours before continuing.

5. Discharge The Battery

After resting, discharge the battery completely by connecting it to an electrical load. This can be done by connecting a light bulb or resistor across the terminals. The load should be around 50 watts for a 12-volt battery. Allow the battery to discharge until the voltage drops to 10.5 volts.

6. Repeat The Process

Repeat the charging and discharging process two more times. This will help to restore the capacity of the cells. After the third cycle, you should return the battery to normal use.

These steps will help you recondition your lead acid battery and prolong its life. Always wear gloves and safety goggles when working with batteries, as the acid can be harmful.

reconditioning lead acid battery

What To Watch Out For In Reconditioning A Lead Acid Battery

If you’re considering reconditioning a lead-acid battery, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, wearing protective gear such as gloves and goggles is important. This is because the battery acid can be harmful if it comes into contact with your skin or eyes.

Secondly, you need to make sure that the area you’re working in is well-ventilated. This is because the fumes from the battery acid can be harmful if inhaled. Finally, you need to be careful not to overcharge the battery.

If you do, it can cause the battery to explode. So, if you follow these simple guidelines, you should be able to safely recondition your lead acid battery.

Conclusions

In conclusion, reconditioning a lead acid battery is a simple process that can be done at home. However, it’s important to take precautions such as wearing gloves and safety goggles and working in a well-ventilated area. Additionally, you need to be careful not to overcharge the battery. If you follow these guidelines, you should be able to safely recondition your lead acid battery.

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