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What Happens If a Battery Runs Out of Water?

  • By: Chris Patton
  • Date: April 17, 2021
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Water is one of the important components of most lead-acid batteries. As expected, this substance is an ideal medium for chemical reactions.

So what happens to batteries that have become dry? Well, if you have this scenario, it might affect the behavior of your battery.

If you want to know exactly what happens to batteries that don’t have water, read on.

what happens when your battery runs out of water

What Happens If a Battery Runs Out of Water?

To understand the importance of water in batteries, you will have to know how a lead-acid battery works.

As the battery charges, electricity passes through water and breaks it into oxygen and hydrogen. Because of this reaction, the battery will run out of water.

If your lead-acid batteries run out of water, they will lose power and start to discharge. After some time, the device will become damaged.

Unlike most types of batteries, lead-acid batteries need water to function properly. But as soon the dries up, it lowers electrolyte and battery cells. On top of that, the battery plates become rusty and lose their performance.

What are Reasons for Batteries Running Out of Water?

Several factors make batteries for losing water. Here are some of the most common causes of this problem.

  1. Usage

If you hardly use your battery, you might end up with dried cells. Normally, this problem occurs with vehicles that have been parked for ages.

  1. Charger

Chargers are ideal accessories for any device.  But when you juice up your batteries with the wrong charger, the water will evaporate and dry up. If you still use this device, you will end up with a dead battery.

  1. Overcharging

Excessive charging is another way to ruin your battery. After all, this affects the quantity of the electrolyte and water.

  1. Temperature

Do you keep your battery in a warm location? If yes, there is a high chance that your cells might have run out of water. For this reason, it is recommended that people who stay in hot climates need to inspect their batteries frequently.

Asides from heat, cold temperatures can affect the amount of water in batteries. Let’s say you stored a lead-acid battery in the cold, the case might crack and lose the contents

  1. Leakages

Sometimes batteries leak out and dispose of water. However, this problem is common with older models of batteries.

How Can I Stop My Battery from Running Out of Water?

Luckily, there are simple ways to maintain the ideal water level of your battery. Here are some tips for performing this task.

Tip 1: If you are refilling the electrolyte in lead-acid batteries, use distilled water. Do not use tap water as they contain chemicals that can affect battery performance.

Tip 2: Before working on the battery, consult the owner’s manual for any advice. When it comes down to it, this literature contains the best information for caring for your battery.

Tip 3: Ensure the water level stays above the battery plates. For optimum performance, fill the battery until the electrolyte reaches half an inch above the battery plates.

Tip 4: Perform regular checks on the battery with a level indicator. Thanks to these smart devices, you will know the best time for refilling the battery with water.

Tip 5: As you refill batteries, avoid using other solvents except for distilled water. With this in mind, stay away from vinegar or sulfuric acid.

Warning: Working with lead-acid batteries can be risky. To avoid any accidents, wear protective clothing and stay alert.

How Often Should I Add Water to My Battery?

The frequency of your refills depends on the usage of the battery. If your vehicle runs for long hours, you might have to refill it weekly. However, if the battery works for a short period, it would help if you charged it once a month.

Can I Have Too Much Water in My Battery?

Yes, it is possible to have excess water in your battery cells. When this happens, the electrolyte becomes weaker thereby affecting overall battery performance.

Wrapping Up

It is common for people to check the water level of their batteries. With this habit, it is easy to keep your battery from running out of water.

There are tons of reasons that can lead to water loss on batteries. Such factors include bad chargers, extreme temperatures, and excess charging. Also, long periods of inactivity can make a battery dry.

To deal with water loss on batteries, refill the batteries with distilled water. Remember to check the water level with smart indicators.