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Hydrometer, Plastic Barrel

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Hydrometer – 1100-1300 sg.

Item Number: 09HYCT

Plastic barrel hydrometer - 1100 to 1300 specific gravity. For standard gravity industrial batteries.

What Is a Hydrometer and How Does It Work?

Hydrometers measure the specific gravity of liquids, usually in industrial batteries. This tool features markings or graduations on its surface to determine the specific gravity reading. Instruments floating high in the fluid are lighter and have a higher specific gravity. Conversely, instruments that sink lower in the liquid have lower specific gravity readings.

The electrolyte used in car batteries is 65% water and 35% sulfuric acid. Electrolytes in a fully charged battery have a specific gravity of 1.265 at an operating temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

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What Type of Hydrometer Should I Use?

Look for a hydrometer with a built-in thermometer. A hydrometer scale is based on an 80 degree Fahrenheit temperature. The higher the electrolyte temperature, the lower the specific gravity and vice versa. This type of hydrometer usually comes with a conversion table to help you adjust your readings.

How to Do a Hydrometer Check

Before conducting any test, it's essential to read and understand what devices are needed for the test, how it works, and what its readings mean. Here are some suggestions of the steps you should take when doing a hydrometer test on your battery.

Wear acid-resistant gloves and goggles while conducting the following steps:

  1. Squeeze the rubber bulb on the hydrometer to break the seal with the battery cap removed. Submerge the tip of it into the electrolyte.
  2. The hydrometer will tell you whether your battery remains rechargeable or not. The colorless electrolyte should be transparent. If it has a grayish tint, either the components in the cells have degraded, or your battery doesn't have enough charge left for use. Check your electronic device to see if it is working normally.
  3. Allow the liquid to sit inside the glass tube for a few seconds, then release it back into the battery. You'll need to do this four or five times to get your thermometer's temperature up-to-speed with that of the electrolyte.
  4. Fill the hydrometer up with electrolyte once more, starting with the first cell on either side of the battery. Make sure to pull enough liquid to reach around the center of the container and move freely.
  5. Keep the hydrometer in a vertical position and close to your eye level.
  6. To read the specific gravity of an electrolyte, submerge the measuring float until it intersects with the solution's surface. Record your reading on a piece of paper. If you have a ball or needle-type hydrometer, follow the device's package's instructions to know how to take readings.
  7. Grab a thermometer and run the conversion table on your tool for adjustments. If it's more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit above or below 80 degrees, add/subtract four points (.004) for every 10 degrees registered above or below 80 degrees. Refer to your hydrometer's instruction manual to understand how to adjust the calibration of your readings.
  8. To ensure that all of the cells are functioning, read the other cells and take note of each reading.

What You Should Remember When Using Hydrometers on Industrial Batteries

It is essential to take care when using hydrometers on industrial batteries and follow instructions closely. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Rechargeable batteries should be periodically tested so they can be used for their entire lifespan.
  • Hydrometer readings should ideally be taken after the battery has cooled down and before charging/discharging.
  • Ensure that the battery surface is clean and dry before taking a reading, as this could affect the result.
Click here to learn more about our safety guidelines, regulations, resources and more.

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