Location: Battery Charging Safety

Battery Safety by Shawn

Personal Battery Charging Precautions, what to look for and so on. Batteries under charge may be boiling, cause sparks, splash acid, discharge hydrogen gas, and give off a sulphuric odor. These things aren't necessarily fatal, but personnel should take precautions so they can exist in this environment without harm. Always use skin and eye protection such as an apron, exam gloves, a face mask or eye shield, and heavy duty footwear while handling batteries. WHY? Here are some of the personal risks involved:

A. Cotton is eaten by the sulphuric acid in a battery very efficiently, so jeans and heavy shirts offer little to no protection from battery acid. Inevitably, clothing worn in a battery charging environment will have holes. For protection a protective apron works far better.

B. Charging Batteries can get hot, hot acid hurts more than cold acid. So thick, protective clothing is a better idea than the thin stuff. When hot acid is boiling, it splashes everywhere.

C. Flooded Batteries make a mess as they bubble and percolate under charge. This mixes up the acids sure, but it also makes a very good mess. Without protection for your hands, how are you going to clean it up without burns? This can be avoided by buying different batteries, see flooded vs AGM battery charging.

D. Batteries are heavy, and this adds another danger to the table. When a battery "jumps" off a table, it has enough weight to take off a toe. DO WEAR HEAVY FOOTWEAR WHEN WORKING WITH BATTERIES.

What is impervious to acid?
Nylon and Glass are two of the best materials that stand up to acid. When making purchasing decisions regarding protective materials, do keep this in mind.

Battery Charger Warnings:
Always read and follow the manufacturer's battery charging instructions prior to connecting your battery, or trying to charge a battery bank. Do not attempt to charge batteries in a confined environment. Explosive and hazardous gases are an inherent byproduct of battery charging, do think ahead. Batteries contain sulphuric acid, and lead, both of which are hazardous material if removed from the battery, or disposed of improperly, do take care to be environmentally responsible. Batteries are useful, just be safe.

Electrical How To Guides:
Electrical Breakers
DC Fuses and AC Fuses
Wire Sizes & AWG
Solar Charge Controller Guide
Battery Charger Information

AGM Battery Chargers

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