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Replacing and Recharging Your Forklift Battery

According to OSHA, industrial forklift batteries should last approximately 2000 discharge/charge cycles or 2000 work shifts (under normal conditions). However, frequently transporting heavier loads will drain forklift batteries more quickly than moving light objects.

Warning signs a forklift battery is dying and should be replaced include:

  • Delayed turning over of the forklift
  • Dimming or flickering headlights
  • Ammeter showing a high RPM discharge
  • Battery case has corrosion buildup
  • Battery emits a rotten egg smell

4 Things to Know About Replacing Forklift Batteries

  1. All batteries need sulfuric acid to work properly. Sulfuric acid is extremely corrosive and can cause all degrees of burns if splashed on skin. When you are replacing forklift batteries, always wear protective gear made to resist sulfuric acid (OSHA approved face shields, chemical aprons and rubber gloves).
  2. Remove jewelry and all nearby metal objects from the area before replacing forklift batteries. Metallic objects can short circuit battery terminals and cause an explosion or arc.
  3. Double check that the forklift is aligned with the hoist before lifting out the battery. You don’t want a hoisted battery swinging even slightly as you remove it. Also, make sure hooks are firmly secured in the battery’s lifting holes.
  4. Inspect vent captions to make sure they are working. Compartment/battery covers need to be open to allow heat to dissipate.

4 Things to Know About Forklift Battery Repair/Recharging

  1. Make sure ampere hour ratings are no more than 10 percent of the forklift battery being charged. The battery’s model number tells you the number of cells, amps per cell and plates. To find the ampere hour rating, subtract one from the plate number and divide that number by two. Then multiply that number by the middle number. That should give you the ampere hour rating.
  2. Never water forklift batteries prior to charging them. Overfilled batteries will spill over while charging, allowing dangerous sulfuric acid to erode floors and possibly cause accidental burns. Also, water forklift batteries only with de-ionized or distilled water. Make sure the plates are covered inside the battery cells.
  3. Keep looking for gas bubbles while recharging forklift batteries. The sight of gas bubbles means the battery is almost fully charged. Resulting from the positive plate producing oxygen and the negative place producing hydrogen, bubbling is necessary for creating consistent acid levels across all plate areas.
  4. Forklift batteries that are too hot or too cold won’t charge correctly. NEVER charge a frozen battery and NEVER charge batteries hotter than 115°F.

Replacing and recharging forklift batteries should only be done by people with the experience and knowledge necessary to perform this action correctly. Staffed by skilled personnel who can replace and recharge all your forklift batteries, Industrial Powersource ensures optimal functioning of your forklift batteries so don’t need to worry about unexpected operational delays or serious accidents. Contact IPS Battery today for more information about our extensive line of services and products.

Posted in: Battery Knowledge, Battery Safety, Commercial Batteries, Forklift Batteries, Heavy Duty Batteries, Industrial Batteries, Industrial Chargers, Reconditioned Batteries

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