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How to make a gel battery to retain its capacity again?

Pavi98

Member
Hello all,
I have a gel type battery that has been used in a motorbike. The battery has not enough capacity to turn on the starter motor but it has 12V between the battery terminals. The battery is 12V 5Ah and it is stated as a maintenance free battery. Is there any way to fix the battery to be used in the motorbike? Is it ok to use distilled water and try to recharge the battery?

Thank you
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Gel batteries left unused or in "standby" applications like security alarms of UPSs can sometimes be revived to some extent, using a pulse "desulfator" as the plates can develop a sulphate coating when they are not being cycled to some extent. That can be broken down by electrolysis, if the battery is otherwise OK.

But, a gel or wet lead-acid battery in regular high-current uses tends to degrade by the plates cracking and loosing material, so there is no way they can be revived, it's an irreversible process.
 

gary350

Well-Known Member
My riding lawn mower had a gel battery that did not last very long. Replacement gel battery was $187. A small lead acid battery several times larger than the gel battery was $25 at Walmart. Lead acid battery is larger than the gel battery but I made it fit in the space available and stay in place with 2 straps. So far lead acid battery has lasted 3 years, I keep a tiny 1 amp trickle charger on the lead acid battery all winter.
 

crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
If the battery is more than a few years old, it likely can't be revived.
 

Externet

Well-Known Member
First, if it ever worked starting that motor, make very sure all contacts/terminals are very clean and tight. The best friend of a battery is a wire brush.
Any lead acid battery that is left discharged over 24 hours will never recover its original capability. Buy a wet lead-acid that fits the housing and never leave it discharged.
 

schmitt trigger

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I join the chorus of what other people have said: lead acid batteries, whether gel or flooded, can sustain significant abuse. However, left in an uncharged state for a more than a day or so, and the plates will degrade. Mostly irreversible.
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I had some sealed lead acid batteries from the UK that were completely discharged and then left in a container for 3 months and then still packed for another year. Totally useless. I used them to power an electric fence module (charged every day) for a little while. At first they lasted around 1 day but as used more they ended up lasting about 1 month. I believe that desulphators work.

Mike.
 

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