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For your forklift battery to function at its full capability, you need to water it regularly, so it doesn’t overheat. If your forklift has a lithium-ion battery, it needs an adequate level of water so it can charge efficiently and safely.

However, you don’t want to water it too much because of the risk of acid dilution, but you still want to remain cautious of overheating. With all of these nuances to consider, assessing when to water the battery is quite challenging. Learn how to know when to water your forklift battery.

Before You Charge, Never Top Off the Water

Your battery needs extra space for fluid expansion while you charge it, so avoid topping off the water beforehand. The water level should be enough to cover the lead plates inside each cell, but you don’t want to go overboard.

If you top off the water before a charge, it can lead to overflow, which causes the battery to lose some of its acid. Acid dilution can significantly shorten the life of your battery, so you only need to top it off after charging it.

Consider How Much Water You Use When Pouring

The forklift battery plates should stay underneath the waterline when you’re charging the battery. This protects the plates from overheating and drying out, but don’t overpour when you water them.

Drying out your plates causes the battery to lose capacity and potentially become nonfunctional. When your plates are over the line, pour water a quarter-inch above the plates, but never top it off before a charge

Keep a Consistent Schedule for Watering Your Battery

Timing is a critical component for watering a forklift battery. Typically, if you drive the same forklift every day, you need to water the battery once a week. However, any battery that was reconditioned or used for a longer period of time should receive a checkup after every five charges.

Checking the water levels is an essential component of your regular forklift pre-operation inspection. With proper maintenance, a new battery only needs a checkup every ten charges, but only during the first couple of years of use. All you need to do is open up the battery and inspect the elements to check water levels.

Overall, you can’t drive a forklift if the battery doesn’t work, so you need to monitor water levels carefully to be as productive as you can. However, after learning how to know when to water your forklift battery, you should have no problems maintaining each cell.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.