Distilled water for batteries.
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Bad Bertie's Avatar
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    Default Distilled water for batteries.

    I just took yet another failed battery out of one of my cars (404 ute). The level of the acid was below were it should be and is because I failed to check it regularly and if I did topped it up once, I probably used plain water! So, my question is, what is distilled water and will it replace any acid lost? I would think not?

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bertie View Post
    So, my question is, what is distilled water and will it replace any acid lost? I would think not?
    The answer is self explanatory... Distilled water is water that has been through a distillery to remove the impurities like salts and minerals.

    The question that probably matters more is why your battery acid level is dropping so much.

    Jo

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    1000+ Posts Bad Bertie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    The answer is self explanatory... Distilled water is water that has been through a distillery to remove the impurities like salts and minerals.

    The question that probably matters more is why your battery acid level is dropping so much.

    Jo
    Well, dehydration of some sort I would say. The battery is 21 months old and I assume that the very fact that you can add to it ( like top it up) means batteries loose some of their acid over time.

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    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    If the charge voltage is too high it will bubble/boil too much. Make sure it's between 13.8-14.4V.

    '92 205 Mi16
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    1000+ Posts bluey504's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    The answer is self explanatory... Distilled water is water that has been through a distillery to remove the impurities like salts and minerals.

    The question that probably matters more is why your battery acid level is dropping so much.

    Jo
    The only water I like to have that's been through a distillery usually has flavoured alcohol with it...However distilled water or even 'Demineralised' water is best for car batteries. Less likely to create 'nasty' by-products that harm the solution or battery structure. Back when I was a boy Melbourne's water supply was so pure that it could be used straight...then they added fluoride!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bertie View Post
    Well, dehydration of some sort I would say. The battery is 21 months old and I assume that the very fact that you can add to it ( like top it up) means batteries loose some of their acid over time.
    They don't lose acid, they lose only water as it evaporates from the acid solution. That's why you add only water to bring the level back up.
    Stephen
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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bertie View Post
    Well, dehydration of some sort I would say. The battery is 21 months old and I assume that the very fact that you can add to it ( like top it up) means batteries loose some of their acid over time.
    Check your alternator charging rate/ voltage regulator.

    The most common reason for loss of electrolyte in a lead-acid battery is overcharging. If the voltage from the alternator is too high the battery "boils".

    The early Bosch mechanical regulators as fitted to the 504 were a POS anyway. The RE55 is a solid state equivalent these are far more reliable.

    The best solution is to fit a VN Holden alternator , with inbuilt regulator. These are a far better machine, have a higher output at low engine revs and generally help the 504 electrical quite a lot.

  8. #8
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    Default acid/water ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bertie View Post
    I just took yet another failed battery out of one of my cars (404 ute). The level of the acid was below were it should be and is because I failed to check it regularly and if I did topped it up once, I probably used plain water! So, my question is, what is distilled water and will it replace any acid lost? I would think not?
    Hi Bad Bertie,
    The answers have already been said.

    However to clarify the acid/water thing for you and others. The acid in a battery is not 'pure' but has been watered down to a weaker strength. I forget what strength perhaps 20% or so. At the factory they use pure water which has the impurities removed by some method such as distilling or demineralising or the like. This is mixed with the pure 100% acid to get the strength required.

    When the battery is used some of the water in the mix is evaporated or converted to hydrogen gas and escapes. The acid does not do this, and stays there, so the strenght of the mix goes up. That's why you only add water to top up. Of course this does not appy to leaks or spills which will loose acid and water together.
    cheers Jaahn

  9. #9
    bob
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    G'day,

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bertie View Post
    .....what is distilled water......
    well, in the "good" old days, whatever came out of the tap at the Melbourne factory where they filled the bottles, so the rumours went.... Ideally, the water is boiled and the resulting steam condensed to make the new product thus removing pretty well everything except the h2o. There are other ways of achieving the same result, however, they are not as simple and clear cut as distillation and rely on the manufacturer properly maintaining the filter systems - in fact, there was at one time, may still be, bottles branded "distilled water" with a small font notice on them that the contents were NOT distilled but deionised or something and don't drink it. So work that one out.

    Personally, I like to use proper distilled water in batteries. However, if you can get a lather with your soap and your taps don't dissolve you're probably OK using your local tap water, after all, batteries these days that actually have checking access are most likely the cheaper versions with limited life expectancy anyway.

    Don't really like the chemically and/or filtered cleansed water, anything which has been observed to do nasty things to boilers and/or their fittings is off my approved products list....

    cheers,
    Bob

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