What is an STD Battery?

STD battery means Standard wet battery or flooded lead-acid battery. It is most likely that you have come across this type of battery. They are the traditional lead-acid batteries and the most popularly used in trucks, cars, and automobiles. 

What Makes Up an STD Battery?

An STD battery consists of six cells, each filled with a solution of sulfuric acid and water- that is, the electrolyte. Each cell also contains the anode and the cathode. The anode is the positively charged electrode which is usually a lead alloy plate coated with lead dioxide, and the cathode, the negatively charged electrode, is filled with porous lead (also known as sponge lead). The electrolyte levels can be checked via the filler caps on top of each cell. The filler caps have a hole through which hydrogen gas can escape during charging. 

Short heavy straps connect the positive plates to the adjacent negative cell. Most wet cell batteries are cased in plastic, but you can find wood and rubber casing in older types.


How Does an STD Battery Work?

The chemical reaction that takes place between the electrode and electrolyte produces electrical power. The reaction produces lead sulfate; the chemical reaction produces electricity that flows through the cell when a load is attached. 

Are STD Batteries Efficient?

They are reliable and work well as starter batteries for standard cars. They are also cost-effective and can be durable if well maintained. 

Advantages of STD Batteries

  • They have good starting power.
  • They are not expensive.
  • They are reliable in extreme weather conditions.
  • Their life cycle is extended due to the alloy grids.
  • Basic charge acceptance.
  • Good for long runtime application.

Disadvantages of STD Batteries

  • They are not the best option for powering large accessories.
  • Requires high maintenance.
  • Risk of spilling acid.
  • They have a relatively shorter lifespan compared to other battery types.
  • Has a limited cycling ability.
  • Requires watering regularly.
  • More prone to corrosion and sulfation.

How to Maintain STD Battery

Standard wet cell batteries require maintenance and refilling, unlike other batteries where the electrolyte is not in liquid form.   

  • Monitor the water level: 

Ensure that the water level does not fall below the plates. When the water level is low, ensure to refill with distilled water. 

  • Use only distilled water:

Using any other water sources can damage your car battery or shorten the life span because of the minerals they contain. Distilled or deionized water is best for wet cell batteries. 

  • Clean battery terminals: 

Keep the battery terminals clean using battery cleaner spray or a paste made from baking soda and water. Unplug the clamps from the terminal before cleaning. 

  • Avoid keeping them in high or low temperatures

Overheating can cause damage to the internal components of the battery and weaken it. Low temperatures can also interfere with the chemical reactions between the electrodes and electrolytes, thereby affecting their normal function. 

  • Ensure to fully charge the battery

Avoid opportunity charging that is, charging for short periods too many times in a day. This can affect the lifespan of the battery negatively. 

  • Prevent corrosion

To prevent corrosion, coat the terminal with grease or petroleum jelly. Make sure the terminal is clean before applying the jelly. 

Refilling a Wet Cell Battery

Filling a wet cell battery is necessary because the electrolyte is composed of water and sulfuric acid at 65% and 35%, respectively. When the battery charges, the water evaporates due to the heating of the electrolyte; hence the electrolyte level decreases. Ensure to observe safety measures when refilling your battery- wear protective gloves and goggles, and handle the battery carefully to prevent acid spills. 

There are four steps to refilling your battery:

  • Unscrew the cover cap.
  • Check the water level. Normally, the water level should be above the battery plates. If this is not the case, then a refill is required.
  • Refill with distilled water.
  • Replace the caps ensuring they are well tightened.

Difference Between STD Battery, AGM Battery, and Gel Battery

STD battery- they make use of a liquid form of electrolyte, that is, sulfuric acid. It is not sealed and requires refilling from time to time. Careful handling is also important to prevent the acid from spilling. They are the more traditional type of battery and are most common in older vehicles. 

AGM battery- this is an advanced version of the traditional lead-acid battery. AGM means Absorbed Glass Mat; that is, the electrolyte is held in place and separated by a fiberglass mat called the AGM separator. They are sealed and made to be compact to resist damage caused by vibration. AGM batteries do not require refilling or much maintenance because there is no risk of an acid spill. They are more expensive than the standard wet cell and last longer.

Gel battery- also known as Gel cell, these batteries make use of electrolytes in gel form. It is lighter than most batteries and uses less quantity of electrolyte. They are also low maintenance and not prone to spilling. 


What are the applications of STD batteries?

They are commonly used for automobiles- cars, trucks, and their electrical accessories.

When do I need to water my car battery? 

Constant checking of the water levels is important. If the water level is below the plates, then it is time for a refill.

Can I refill my car battery with tap water?

It is not safe to use tap water in your car battery as the minerals contained in it can damage your battery. Distilled or deionized water is suitable and safe for refilling. 

How can I tell that my car battery is faulty?

The following are signs of a faulty car battery:

  • Dimming headlights.
  • Slow-cranking of the engine.
  • Clicking sounds when trying to start the engine.
  • Slow starting.

You can also tell when your battery is faulty by inspecting it; these are signs to look out for on your STD battery:

  • Swollen battery case.
  • Broken or melting terminals.
  • Excessive acid leakage.
  • Discoloration or browning of the battery cells.
  • Broken or ruptured battery case.

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