The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Long sleeve crankiness

How to add acid to ATV battery

We've been having starting problems with the ATV.

It was cool enough for long sleeves this morning and the old battery groaned without cranking. What is it about a marginal battery and the first cold spell of the season?

Filling a new battery with fresh sulphuric acid was easy and only took a few minutes. We'll use a trickle charger to power it up and hopefully have it ready to go for tomorrow morning straw hauling.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Were there any safety precautions recommended on the acid's packaging? I think normal battery acid is around 37% sulfuric acid--enough to seriously wreck your day if you get any on you. Some folks might want to consider gloves, goggles, and long sleeves for an operation like this.
Comment by Jake Thu Aug 15 23:33:11 2013
Trickle chargers are great. Those little motorcycle size batteries only have a good life for about 3 yrs, but if you leave the charger on during all down time, it extends the life for many yrs. Using only one of those cheap ($5) HarborFreight units, my bike's battery is 7 yrs old and still load tests fine without any further maintenance.
Comment by doc Fri Aug 16 07:18:53 2013

Let me second Jake's comment.

At the very least use goggles and gloves. Battery acid in your eyes will certainly ruin your day.

Acid burns on the skin or eyes should be rinsed immediately with clean water for at least 15 minutes. The longer you wait with rinsing, the more time the acid has to do damage.

Preferably you should use sterile but not demineralized water; Damaged skin and ayes are more vulnerable to secondary infections from unclean water. But rinsing off the acid takes precedence over worrying about infections.

Comment by Roland_Smith Fri Aug 16 11:55:56 2013
I went to the Harbor Freight site looking for one of those trickle chargers you wrote about and find about 12+ models---Please advise what model you were refering to and the model you use? Thank You
Comment by Don Sat Aug 17 16:48:28 2013

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