Battery storage | Living the Country Life

Battery storage

Some places are better than others for battery storage

Many of you take the batteries out of lawn tractors, boats, and other equipment to store for the winter.  Somebody told me once that you can't store a deep-cycle lead-acid battery on concrete or it will lose the charge after a few weeks.

Shane Louwerens is a John Deere Ag Tech Instructor at Northwest Mississippi Community College. He says concrete will not discharge your batteries. Years ago, battery cases were made of inferior material that would develop cracks. If left on damp concrete, they would start to discharge. Cases today are tough plastic and can be stored on nearly any surface. However, Louwerens recommends keeping the battery up off the floor for safety reasons.

"If it's up on something, you can see it. If it's on the floor, you're going to lean a shovel up against the wall, you're going to set down a bag of groceries with a can of green beans – who knows what could possibly fall over the top of it," says Louwerens. "And if you cross the posts out, well of course you're going to have power flow, and then it's going to heat up, and you could have a bad situation."

The battery should be fully charged, and store it in a warm, dry location. Avoid extreme heat, because batteries tend to discharge faster as the temperature goes up.
Make sure it can be hooked up to a charger, or the next time you need the battery it may be dead. This happens because even though the battery is idle, the negative and positive plates are playing "chemical ping-pong".

"Every time it transfers it, it leaves a little bit of trash behind on those plates inside the battery," says Louwerens. "If you never charge it or don't use it for six-months, as that stuff's transferring it's building up. If you run that battery, it doesn't allow so much to build up against the snow fence because once that plate is covered, then it's pretty much a dead cell."

Find more storage recommendations for various battery types

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