Battery Maintenance

Battery Inventory Management

Storage

  • How do I store batteries before they’re sold? Batteries should always be stored upright and be easy to access. Batteries should always be protected from shorts and never have tools or other materials stored on top of or near the battery terminals.
  • Do environmental factors matter for battery storage? For optimal performance, batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place. Batteries stored in especially cold or warm environments need to be examined and maintained more frequently.  Electrolyte levels, indicators of sulfation, and state of charge should all be monitored.
  • Storing batteries in an organized fashion with like types stored together is a best practice.
  • Batteries should NEVER be piled one on top of the other.

Stock Rotation

  • Why is stock rotation important? First in first out (FIFO) inventory management should be applied, as batteries have a shelf life. Quality batteries can be stored for longer periods of time with proper maintenance. Proper stock rotation allows you to keep your battery inventory as fresh as possible.
  • How do I implement stock rotation practices? Keep detailed records of shipments and adhere to the FIFO rule. These practices will also help you know when it’s time to order more batteries.

Battery Maintenance

  • Why do batteries need to be maintained on-shelf? All batteries self-discharge at a rate differing by battery chemistry. Periodic maintenance charging and cleaning will help offset self-discharge and provide the best customer experience for when the battery is installed in an application.

Battery Stock Maintenance

A responsible service person should be given the responsibility of the designated battery storage area and the maintenance of stored batteries. Maintenance duties and the appropriate safety procedures should be clearly explained. Proper tools and equipment are necessary. Training on these tools is imperative.

Equipment should include an appropriate battery charger, hydrometer, and a thermometer. A carrying strap, terminal cleaner, water filler, and a supply of baking soda for the neutralization of acid should also be available.

The battery room, or storage area, should be equipped with adequate ventilation. Safety equipment such as eye protection, rubber gloves, safety shoes, acid proof clothing, etc., are necessary as well. Eye wash devices should also be available in case of emergencies.  It is also recommended to assemble an acid spill kit in case of accidental battery damage and subsequent spillage of battery electrolyte.

Consult your local and state laws for any applicable regulations that must be met.

Continental Battery sells the majority of the items needed for proper maintenance. Contact your rep for additional information and pricing! 

Self-Discharge

All batteries will slowly lose charge when not in service. This occurrence is known as self-discharge.

The rate of self-discharge increases in higher ambient temperature environments; this is true for maintenance, maintenance free, and deep cycle batteries. Other battery chemistries such as AGM, GEL, and Lithium Iron Phosphate self-discharge at differing rates than flooded lead acid batteries, but are still affected by extreme temperatures and also require proper maintenance.

Allowing batteries to be stored for an extended period of time without recharging, will result in reduced performance and service life. To preserve optimum battery performance and life, recharge stored flooded lead acid battery types when the open circuit voltage drops to 12.4 volts. 

Consult the appropriate battery manufacturer's instruction manual for details regarding manufacturer specific best practices.  The chart below is an approximated state of charge graph for flooded lead acid batteries based on open circuit voltage.