If you own golf carts, you know what a financial strain it is when their batteries fail and have to be replaced.
What you may not know is that it is possible to recondition these batteries and return them to operational condition fairly cheaply.
Let's first talk about how best to maintain the batteries in your golf cart, so as to prevent issues with them in the first place.
You're probably going using lead acid batteries, as only these can put out the quantities of power that are necessary at a reasonable cost.
One thing you need to remember about lead-acid batteries is that you should maintain them at a full charge as much as possible. This doesn't mean that you can't use them, of course, it just means that you must recharge them to one-hundred percent as soon as possible after discharging.
This is because the discharge process tends to leave a deposit on the plates of the battery, and recharging them promptly will cause this deposit to dissolve.
But any delay in charging the battery means that the deposit can harden on the plates of the battery, completely ruining the battery. So just remember that - you must recharge to one hundred percent just as quickly as possible after the battery discharges.
The reconditioning process
If your battery is actually failing, that is to say, if the sulfate deposits have already hardened on the lead plates, it will be very noticeable as it will directly affect the golf cart's performance.
You'll find that the cart becomes quite sluggish.
Now, it's just a question of treating the cells of the battery, that is to say, of reconditioning them.
This is preferable to buying a new battery, and it will cost a fraction of what a new battery would cost you. The reconditioning process itself is not very difficult. All you have to do is open up the individual cells of the battery, and pour out the acid in the cells.
If complete sulfation has occurred, this acid should be weak, but it can still be extremely corrosive, so be careful not to spill it on any sensitive surface, and especially not on your skin or eyes.
Protective gloves are a must, as are protective goggles.
Now, take two liters of distilled water, bring it to boil, and add in about two hundred and fifty grams of magnesium sulfate, which is also known as Epsom salt. Close the cells of the battery and let it stand for a few hours so that the Epsom salt mixture can attack the lead sulfate and dissolve it.
After this, you need to charge the battery normally, as you always do, but let it remain charging for around twelve hours. A high amperage current during this process is recommended.
After around twelve hours or so, allow the battery to discharge completely and then charge it again, and at this point the battery should be reconditioned and ready to use again.
While the reconditioning process works on a great majority of batteries, there will always be the odd one out that the reconditioning process does not work upon.
If a battery is only restored partially, and you find that you cannot use it in a golf cart, just bear in mind that lead-acid batteries can also be used in solar power systems, as well as in power backup systems.
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