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New Battery storage
04-28-2011, 09:10 PM
I received a brand new battery from a friend as a replacement for a battery of mine he thought he damaged. The original battery seems to be fine. My question is: Can I empty the electrolyte from the NEW battery and store it for future use? I know that if I leave the electrolyte in the New battery, it will have to be charged from time to time as it will discharge while in storage. Thanks
04-28-2011, 10:15 PM
Personally, I wouldn't bother. Your existing battery may seem fine for now, but whatever damaged it may have actually shortened its life. You may be needing the new one sooner than you think. Also, how old is the existing battery? Generally speaking, 5 years is the typical battery lifespan.
In my experience, batteries, when charged but not used will survive indefinitely. Its the discharging and recharging of day-to-day use that decreases their lifespan. If charged and not used, they last a long, long time. I have several rarely-used vehicles with 15+ year-old batteries that are in fine shape.
Yes, it will need the occasional recharging, but doing so once every 3 months, for a few hours on a trickle charger is all that's necessary, so charging up is no big deal.
Finally, draining electrolyte exposes you and others to a very harmful and corrosive chemical. This chemical is safest stored in a battery. You simply do not want it in another container that might get accidentally opened/spilled/broken by another person or pet, where it might scar/blind/hurt someone.
04-29-2011, 09:28 AM
I strongly recommend against emptying the electrolyte. The leftover acid and the exposure of the lead will just let it oxidize and scale.
Best thing you can do is test the voltage every couple weeks. If it falls below about 12.5v, put a trickle charger on it for a day. Lead acid batteries don't have a memory. What kills them is that the acid attacks the lead when its discharged or discharging. Keeping it charged can give a very long shelf life.
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