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TiminMb 01-18-2005 04:17 PM

o/t restoring a lead acid battery
Is there any way to restore a lead acid battery cell? I have an old 2 volt cell that I used to use to start my model airplane engines. Its sat unused for a couple of decades and I am now attempting to recharge it. It seems to be stabilizing at only 1.3 volts. I'm wondering if a guy can drain the old acid out and refill it with new acid, or any other tricks that might bring it back to life? It has a removable top plug to add or remove fluid. Its clear, so I can see whats going on inside. It just looks like it always did, black plates running top to bottom, acid still covering the top of the plates.

GP'n 01-18-2005 04:31 PM

Re: o/t restoring a lead acid battery
Ok if you can see through the base take a look at the plates from end to end and check for bridging of the plates this most commonly occurs at base of the plates. One that sits for quite awhile is very susceptible to this. If not then if you do drain it and put new electrolyte in it may rejuvenate the plates but in most cases it won't the coating (on the plates) usually gets eaten away enough and you wind up with a partial charge like you are getting.

But there is hope [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Find an industrial battery re-builder and in most cases they can help you out on the best action to take and may even be able to repair that battery.

TiminMb 01-18-2005 04:39 PM

Re: o/t restoring a lead acid battery
If this helps, the cell came out of an emergency lighting unit where it formed a battery. Might be a deep cycle design? Am I best to charge it with low current (50 ma) or higher current (2-10 amps) to restore it?

I'm just having fun, so this isn't too important. I'm sure I could replace it with a nicad or something. Or maybe even find a replacement cell at a battery specialist. The lead acid was good, because it delivered higher voltage than the nicads. I need somewhere between 1.5 and 2 volts I believe. Just thought someone might know the tricks, if there are any.

Jim_Lou 01-18-2005 05:42 PM

Re: o/t restoring a lead acid battery
One of the causes of failure is that the material slowly flakes off the plates and settles to the bottom. Eventually enough settles that it shorts out the plates. Vigorous shaking will get it stirred up. Then dump it out and fill with fresh acid. That might get it going for a while.

Another cause is bridging as GP'n described. It's a crystaline growth between plates. Sometimes it can be brned off by a very high rate of charge. On a single lead-acid cell that might be five volts or so. That can be dangerous, though, so only do it for a few seconds. That should be enough to burn any whiskers off. Don't let it get hotter than warm to the touch.

In the end, it's probably shot, but you might get a little more use out of it.

JeepnGreg 01-18-2005 06:06 PM

Re: o/t restoring a lead acid battery
arent lead-acid batteries sealed which would prevent the pouring out part?

i've always heard them refered to as sealed-lead-acid batteries...i have a few laying around...and they are infact sealed and cant be poured

i could be wrong of course, since theres plenty of things i dont know.

TiminMb 01-18-2005 06:21 PM

Re: o/t restoring a lead acid battery
This one is not sealed. It is capped with a screw off cap that has a pressure release valve on top. I think they call them sealed vented lead acid or something similar. A single cell like a fancy coiled lead acid would be a nice replacement. or six so I can have both 12 volts and 2 volts.

OlllllllOCJ 01-18-2005 06:48 PM

Re: o/t restoring a lead acid battery
arent lead-acid batteries sealed which would prevent the pouring out part?

[/ QUOTE ]

Most auto/motorcycle/farm/lawn tractor. whatever lead-acid batteries are not sealed. Yes many of the Un-interruptible Power Supply (UPS) and Security system batteries are sealed, or at least they look like it.


JeepnGreg 01-18-2005 07:00 PM

Re: o/t restoring a lead acid battery
aaah, i seeee said the blind man to the deaf woman as he picked up his hammer and saw

JimmyZ 01-19-2005 06:43 AM

Re: o/t restoring a lead acid battery
Years ago I heard of an old farmers trick to make their batteries last longer. They would pour off the acid for reuse after thry used a garden hose with high pressure nozzle to dislodge any crude in the cells. Now go to Ripoff Shack and get their 4 "D" cell battery holder and rewire it for all parallel. Get at least 8 batteries, 4 for use 4 for back up. With 4 batteries in parallel there is less voltage drop across the glow plug. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

John_Strenk 01-19-2005 11:30 AM

Re: o/t restoring a lead acid battery
It's not the difference in the little bit of voltage it's the current available on a glow plug engine.

Seriously theose cheap plug on glow starters are great as long as you can maintain a good connetion and keeps your fingers out of the prop.

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