What Is an Equalization Charge on a Forklift Battery?
An equalization charge is when you purposely overcharge your forklift battery for a brief period of time to remove the build-up of sulfate crystals on the battery plates. If not performed regularly, sulfation can reduce your lead-acid battery’s capacity or even make it unserviceable. But because batteries often aren’t prioritized with daily maintenance, equalization is overlooked, leading to corrosion, electrolyte spills, and low water levels.
When Should I Perform an Equalization Charge on a Forklift Battery?
Follow the battery manufacturer’s instructions to determine when you should perform an equalized charge. This is usually done every five to ten charging cycles.
How Do I Perform an Equalized Charge on a Forklift Battery?
- Check to make sure your charger has the ability to equalize the battery.
- Remove all of the battery’s loads.
- Connect your battery to the charger and set it to the equalization charge level as directed by the manufacturer.
- Make sure the electrolyte bubbles and gases as it starts to charge.
- Periodically check the specific gravity of the cells. This should increase as it charges.
- When this value no longer increases, equalization charging is complete. So, pay attention!
- Afterward, be sure you replace water that was lost during the charging process.