Wet batteries, or a wet flooded battery as they are commonly known, are still the most widely used car batteries. They have been around for longer than other types of lead-acid types (such as a gel or AGM batteries) and is the type of cell configuration that the majority of motorists will probably be familiar.
The most common configuration used to manufacture these particular batteries, are Hybrid versions. The positive grid has an antimonial plate and the negative a calcium plate. The positive antimonial plate provides quick recovery from a state of deep discharge, longer life-cycle and high resistance to corrosion degradation caused by high temperatures. Moreover, the negative calcium plate offers high strength to over-charging, longer storage life and reduces the rate of water loss.
A wet flooded cell battery contains an electrolyte solution of water and liquid sulfuric acid. These batteries have traditionally needed to be filled with water to replace lost electrolytes. When you add water, you can also check the specific gravity of the electrolyte.
There are also sealed maintenance free wet cell automotive batteries available. They are designed in a way that a minimal amount of water evaporates, and operate throughout the life of the battery without having to be serviced. The majority of maintenance free batteries are configured with a positive and negative calcium plate.
However, always choose an accessible maintenance free unit for long-haulage heavy vehicles driven in warm to hot climates daily non-stop, where electrolyte evaporation is exponentially increased. This decreases a fully-sealed batteries serviceable life due to a condition they can succumb to, called “Dry-Out.” This is a very common problem especially with Trucks, and the very reason they are shifting towards accessible batteries, allowing electrolyte top-up.
The Advantage And Disadvantages Of A Wet Flooded Battery
One of the main benefits, is that is that they are the cheapest form of car battery on the market. They are widely manufactured, and the manufacturing process has been refined over decades, making them very efficient. It’s likely, that whatever shape or size vehicle battery you need; you will be able to find a wet cell that suits.
One of the disadvantages of a wet flooded battery, is that they can be corrosive, especially if not maintained properly. If the electrolyte leaks it could damage a number of things it comes in contact with, namely you, the battery and its surroundings.
Even sealed maintenance free batteries need to be kept upright as they can also leak through their venting plugs. Only an AGM or Gel battery, can be truly called non-spillage maintenance free.
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