With your forklift battery representing a significant investment, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure optimal performance. Regular maintenance is critical – but don’t worry; this doesn’t have to be overly time-consuming. Adopting simple forklift battery watering techniques gives you the best chance of preserving its lifecycle and enjoying maximum value from your purchase.

Here are answers to frequently asked questions to help make sure your lead-acid batteries are kept safe from any common mistakes associated with watering a forklift battery.   

How often should we water a lead-acid forklift battery?  

Typically, forklift batteries need watering once weekly or every five to ten charges.  

Should we add water before or after we charge the battery? 

To keep your forklift battery healthy, water it after a charge. Adding water to a forklift battery before it’s charged could cause damage to the battery.  

When is the best time to water a lead-acid forklift battery?  

The best time to water your battery is right before each shift after it has time to cool.   

If we water a lead-acid forklift battery properly, how long should it last?  

A properly maintained battery should last five years.  

What happens if we don’t water our forklift battery properly?  

Improper water levels can lower battery life and reduce charge cycle time. Not properly watering a forklift battery can diminish the life expectancy of a forklift battery by up to 50%, or 2 ½ years.  

Do older batteries need to be watered more frequently than newer batteries?  

Yes, older batteries can dry out more quickly.  

Do we need a specific type of water for our forklift battery?  

Always use clean water (pure or distilled) to water your forklift battery. Dirty water or water filled with particulates will upset the electrolyte imbalance and damage the battery.  

Why can’t we use tap water to water a forklift battery?  

Most tap water contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, and other minerals your battery doesn’t need. High mineral count water is known as “hard” water. Hard water will upset the electrolyte balance, limiting the battery’s ability to store a charge.  

What can we do to extend our lead-acid forklift battery?  

Avoid lengthy exposure to cold temperatures to extend the life of your battery. If water freezes, it will damage your battery.  

Another tip to extend the life of your forklift battery is to charge it to 100 percent before each use. Batteries have limited charges, so each one counts, whether total or partial.  

Can we schedule forklift battery maintenance?  

Yes. TMHS offers planned maintenance for forklift batteries and chargers in Los Angeles County and the surrounding areas.   

Forklift batteries are expensive, so proper maintenance should be part of any warehouse or distribution center’s routine. We hope that this blog post gave you the vital information you need to learn how to water a forklift battery and how often it should be done.  

If you need forklift battery maintenance or have more questions about watering a forklift battery, contact us to speak to an equipment specialist.