Inspect & Maintain 12-Volt Battery
A 12-Volt deep cycle battery requires frequent inspection. To preserve the life of the battery, be sure to do these four things:
- Charge the battery every 30 to 60 days to keep it fully charged when it’s not in use. A fully-charged battery will measure about 1.265 specific gravity. If it’s not charged, it will measure at 1.120 specific gravity, or 11.7 Volts DC. If the battery level drops below 10.5 Volts, the cells will face permanent damage. You can measure specific gravity with a hydrometer. For the best results, don’t let your battery charge drop below 80 percent.
- Flooded batteries require water, and water should be kept above the plates to avoid damage. Water should be added after fully charging the battery if necessary, unless the plates were exposed before charging. If exposed, the plates should first be covered with ⅛ inches of water. Be sure to check the water level again after charging the battery. Use distilled water to avoid minerals. Check the water at least once a month until you’re able to determine how often it needs filling.
- When it’s not in use, store the battery in a cool location off the concrete floor where it’s about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and keep it away from heat and ignition sources.
- Keep all of the terminals clean to ensure a good connection.
NOTE: Wear goggles and gloves for your protection when performing maintenance on the battery.