How to Recondition a Deep Cycle Battery

Don’t throw that old deep cycle battery away! You can recondition it yourself with a few tools. A battery charger, baking soda, Epsom salt, distilled water, and our guide are the essential items you need for this straightforward process. 

Your golf cart, R.V., electric vehicle, and a couple of other technologies run on a different type of battery. They’re called deep cycle batteries, and they expend far more energy than regular ones because they’ve been designed to run consistently and for a longer time. In addition, using a deep cycle battery certainly has its advantages, primarily if you reside in a cold clime.

Deep cycle batteries are potent and durable and excellent backup batteries too. This battery doesn’t charge itself like the regular type because it’s not made with an alternator. So, you have to charge it after use.

However, it will eventually become weaker and may not provide enough power for your vehicle. In that case, instead of throwing it away, you can recondition it. 

Reconditioning a deep cycle battery involves returning it to its full-charge capacity and conventional electrolyte level. We assure you that the process is easy, and we’ll guide you through it in this blog post. So, stay right there!

What do you need to recondition a deep cycle battery?

Here are the items you need to recondition a deep cycle battery:

  • Baking soda
  • Epsom salt
  • Protective eyewear
  • Gloves
  • Distilled water
  • Battery charger
  • Funnel
old deep cycle battery

How to recondition a deep cycle battery

While it may seem like throwing away an old deep cycle battery is a great idea, an even better idea is reconditioning it. This method is somewhat straightforward and certainly cheaper than getting a new one. 

After completing the following steps, you’ll find that your old-time deep cycle battery is better off being reused:

Test your battery 

Before reconditioning your deep cycle battery, you can test using a voltmeter to check its form. It comes with two cables – a black one for the negative terminal and a red one for the positive one. A reading below 12.4V means your battery requires reconditioning. 

Clean the battery 

As batteries age, their exterior parts begin to corrode. This occurs in the form of a white powder that’s pretty toxic, so ensure you have little contact with it. Removing the toxic powder is pretty easy; create a mixture of water and baking soda. The baking soda neutralizes the effects of the acid. 

Before cleaning the battery, you have to take apart the terminals. Always take off the negative one before the positive one. Use the proper wrench size for this, then clean the terminals thoroughly with the baking soda and distilled water solution. 

While cleaning the battery, wear protective gear on your eyes and hands.

Remove the battery caps

You’ll have to replenish the water in the battery. To do that, you have to remove the battery caps, and a vital tool you may use is the flathead screwdriver. Needle-point pliers may also come in handy. Before refilling the battery, you have to transfer the acid to a suitable container for later disposal. Be mindful when dealing with battery acid.

Clean and fill the battery’s insides

You’re going to be refilling the battery with distilled water and Epsom salt, but first, you’ll need to clean it with baking soda and water. Use the funnel to fill the battery cells carefully with this solution and shake thoroughly. 

Distilled water is best for this procedure because it doesn’t contain materials that can result in corrosion, unlike tap water.

Then, prepare fifteen ounces of Epsom salt and a gallon of water, and carefully fill your deep cycle battery cells with this solution. 

Charge it

Finally, your battery will be capable of charging, so use a car battery charger for it. Set it to slow charge and let this run for twenty-four hours. 

A sulfate buildup may prevent the battery from charging, but this is a problem a battery rejuvenator will solve. It releases just enough energy waves into the battery plates, destroying the sulfate and returning the charge capacity. 

Then, you can use the load tester to confirm the full functionality of your reconditioned deep cycle battery!

How to maintain a deep cycle battery 

Inevitably, your deep cycle battery will give in to wear. However, using it well is the only way to prolong its lifespan. That includes applying some maintenance tips, some of which are:

Use distilled water 

When replenishing your battery, use distilled water that doesn’t exceed 200 T.D.S. T.D.S. here means Total Dissolved Solids. 

Practice periodic battery testing

Before your deep cycle battery finally gives up, it’ll have repeatedly shown you a couple of signs, which is why periodic tests are ideal. Many options, including hydrometer readings, indicate the balance and true-charge level. 

Then, voltage checks indicate a weak or bad battery, while load testing is best for determining a truly bad deep cycle battery. 

Stay on your battery maintenance 

If you’re like the average person, the longer you use your battery, the less attention you pay to it. Instead of this, why not intensify your battery care? You can subject it to longer charging periods, test it periodically, and ensure it is dirt and corrosion-free.

Keep your terminals clean and corrosion-free at all times 

Dirty battery terminals never bode well. Corrosion buildup results in a bluish, whitish, or greenish substance around the terminals. It can disturb the usual performance capacity of your vehicle, damage some electrical components, prevent the battery from charging and subsequently prevent it from coming on when you turn the ignition.

Perform periodic equalization charge

Electrolyte stratification occurs when higher concentrations of acid fall to the bottom of your battery. It’s a result of improper acid circulation, and it reduces the battery performance, or worse still, damages the bottom of the battery. 

An equalization charge entails charging your deep cycle battery at a high voltage that causes the electrolyte to bubble. This prevents stratification by mixing the acid and water.

The don’ts of reconditioning deep cycle batteries

  • Don’t waste time reconditioning a badly damaged deep cycle battery. It’ll likely turn out futile. 
  • Avoid reconditioning your battery unless you have all the necessary tools. This is both for your safety and for preventing further damage to the battery. 
  • Reconditioning more than three times will result in a significant battery depreciation. So, don’t expect a similar performance to when it was still new. 

Bottom line 

Reconditioning dead batteries is both environmentally safe and financially beneficial. It’s also a straightforward process, as we’re confident you’ve realized. 

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