Deep-cycle batteries are a life saver for construction professionals. They make it possible to take electrically-powered equipment off grid. At sites with no power or in hard-to-reach places, deep-cycle batteries make construction possible. Deep cycle batteries are expensive and, while a necessary cost, they need to be properly maintained in order to last for their full life cycle.
Whenever possible, keep your batteries at 80% or higher charge. When batteries drop below 80%, they sulfate which leads to deterioration. This runs contrary to the popular belief that batteries should be completely discharged before recharging. “This is a misconception, since battery manufacturers may advertise that their batteries are rated for a certain number of charge cycles,” says Stefan Eshleman, senior product engineer at JLG. “Batteries are rated for the number of amp hours in and out, so it doesn’t matter how many get removed or replaced in each cycle.”
Putting the batteries on charge whenever they are not in use is a good habit and helps to ensure they spend as much time as possible at 80% or more.
Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) batteries need their water replaced regularly. Every time an FLA battery is charged, a small amount water evaporates. When the water level drops below the lead plates, the battery capacity is reduced. Regularly topping up the water will prevent this from happening. Remember to only use distilled water—tap water contains minerals such as iron which can lead to battery deterioration.
Don’t use a starter battery load test for deep-cycle batteries. Starter batteries and deep cycle batteries are not the same and a dodgy test result could cause you to replace a deep-cycle battery prematurely.
Don’t allow your FLA deep-cycle batteries to freeze. Flooded Lead Acid batteries can freeze at temperatures as high as 41° F (5°C) when they are discharged. This will reduce the life expectancy of the battery.
Taking proper care of deep-cycle batteries will ensure longevity which saves you time and money.