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Old 01-09-2022, 10:54 PM   #1
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battery water filler

Basic question but this has been annoying me:

When filling my flooded lead acid 8D's I've been using a battery water filler which automatically shuts off flow at the appropriate level.

Or does it?

Seems that when I top off, the cells will "spit" a little bit for a week or so.

Operator error is possible - If you have a slight tilt to the nozzle it will overfill. But even being careful about this I feel like the bottle dispenses a little too much.
Seems that mine dispenses to a level that's right at the bottom of the fill tube. If I'm off with the angle it can be a little above the fill tube. I think ideal is a little below...

Is anyone aware if different bottles have different length nozzles?

Is the distance from the top of the plates to the bottom of the fill tubes a standard length?
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Old 01-09-2022, 11:17 PM   #2
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I find the 8D overfill a bit as compared to the 6v
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Old 01-09-2022, 11:41 PM   #3
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So find a way to extend the filler's tube a tad?
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Old 01-10-2022, 02:31 PM   #4
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I never used one of those filler jugs. I was well aware of them.
I used a 2 litre plant waterer/sprayer which was pump pressurized. I removed the spray tip and simply used the open flexible tube as the filler.

A few seconds to pump it up and it was ready. I did have to pump it a couple of times over the filling time but no cell overfilling. The only time it spit was from my own handling goofs.

I could easily not quite fill the cells by observing how much I put in.
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Old 01-10-2022, 03:28 PM   #5
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They can and will overfill. Do not blind faith trust them. Fill, check, repeat. You will get a feel for how long pretty quickly.
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Old 01-10-2022, 07:23 PM   #6
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Jim Healey has a good article on his web site about automatic battery fillers. I was having similar problems to what you describe. Following Jim's advice, I replaced the caps with the auto watering system in 10 minutes. Now I just clip on the squeeze bulb, put the end of the tube in a gallon jug of distilled water and a few squeezes later -batteries all filled. Little indicators pop up on each cell as a visual that it is full. $100 but worth it.

One caveat: The watering caps come in different sizes for some types of batteries. Specifically, Trojans use different caps than my Deka/East Penn-made GC2's & L18's, so check what you have before ordering and be mindful when you replace the batteries in future.
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Old 01-10-2022, 07:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
I never used one of those filler jugs. I was well aware of them.
I used a 2 litre plant waterer/sprayer which was pump pressurized. I removed the spray tip and simply used the open flexible tube as the filler.

A few seconds to pump it up and it was ready. I did have to pump it a couple of times over the filling time but no cell overfilling. The only time it spit was from my own handling goofs.

I could easily not quite fill the cells by observing how much I put in.


When I had open lead acid golf cart batteries, this is what I used. Works extremely well without the spray nozzle and only $10!

https://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-1-Ga...HDXA/307766754

Ted
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Old 01-10-2022, 07:39 PM   #8
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I read somewhere recently that they should only be topped off at full charge, as the electrolyte expands as the charge increases. The claim was that topping up at low SoC risks overfilling.

Sorry I don't remember the source.
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Old 01-10-2022, 07:51 PM   #9
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I read somewhere recently that they should only be topped off at full charge, as the electrolyte expands as the charge increases. The claim was that topping up at low SoC risks overfilling.

Sorry I don't remember the source.
Yes, that's correct. The water expands during the charging process.

Ted
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Old 01-10-2022, 09:27 PM   #10
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I use latex gloves and a paper/plastic cup filled with varying amounts of distilled water. Also wear glasses. I have enough trouble keeping track of my battery hydrometer without trying to locate other things needed to put water into batteries.
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Old 01-10-2022, 09:38 PM   #11
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I use latex gloves and a paper/plastic cup filled with varying amounts of distilled water. Also wear glasses...
Pretty much my method when I had unsealed LAs, except the gloves and glasses. A plastic beaker with a little spout, like comes with a domestic iron, is good(ignore calls at home like "where is the iron filler beaker?") or paper cup tweaked to form a spout. If vision is an issue, a little mirror, maybe the dentist type, would help.
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Old 01-10-2022, 10:50 PM   #12
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I use a plastic ketchup bottle, like this. Works really well, doesn't squirt or spill or dribble until I squeeze it, even held horizontally because I have to be a contortionist to get to some of the batteries. Walmart.Click image for larger version

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Old 01-11-2022, 07:55 AM   #13
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Enema bulb along with a flashlight to see the fill point.
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Old 01-12-2022, 06:43 PM   #14
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I use a clear tube turkey baster. Easy to control and see thru if needed.

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Old 01-12-2022, 09:26 PM   #15
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I use a small plant watering jug too. I attach a length of clear vinyl hose to the spout to extend it's reach.

I would check the battery water level on an automatic battery filling device often. I had an automatic watering device on my golf cart batteries years ago. It did not maintain the water level in the battery well. Found the level below the plates on several checks.
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:14 PM   #16
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Google "Water Miser battery caps." They have a little chamber that stops the "spitting" around the caps. Supposedly reduces regular water loss. They seem to work for me. Because they sit proud of the battery top, that might cause some automatic fill jugs to overfill. I generally fill with my hydrometer, but I can see that a catsup container might be faster depending on the amount of loss.
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Old 01-17-2022, 02:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatswing View Post
Jim Healey has a good article on his web site about automatic battery fillers. I was having similar problems to what you describe. Following Jim's advice, I replaced the caps with the auto watering system in 10 minutes. Now I just clip on the squeeze bulb, put the end of the tube in a gallon jug of distilled water and a few squeezes later -batteries all filled. Little indicators pop up on each cell as a visual that it is full. $100 but worth it.

One caveat: The watering caps come in different sizes for some types of batteries. Specifically, Trojans use different caps than my Deka/East Penn-made GC2's & L18's, so check what you have before ordering and be mindful when you replace the batteries in future.


I bought this a couple of years ago and it is great, particularly in my case where my batteries are challenging to reach:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have a distilled water jug connected to this through a bulb (fuel line bulb as used on outborads). A few squeezes every few weeks and it's good to go.
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Old 01-17-2022, 05:49 PM   #18
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Looks like a terrific solution: flashlight in one hand and the wand in the other.
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Old 01-17-2022, 07:43 PM   #19
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All this is exactly why I just replaced the perfectly good batteries in my ‘new’ boat with AGM’s. At least with me, maintenance hassle drives laziness, and that can get more expensive than extravagance, at more inopportune times. And fortunately my boat doesn’t have many batteries.
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Old 01-17-2022, 08:17 PM   #20
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I've used the Pro-Fill system on three boats now. On all of them at least some of the fill caps were hard to get to so the system made it a lot easier. A few squeezes on the bulb and they're all full to the correct level.
And as said earlier, only fill after charging. I once had a job tending forklift batteries in a large warehouse and our procedure was to top off just before putting the battery back in the truck after charging. Get it wrong and they'd puke all over the floor. Hell of a mess with those huge batteries.
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