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Old 23-05-2009, 15:43   #1
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Battery Water

When i went to top off the water in the house batteries (plates were just barely showing) I didn't have any distilled water so I used Deer Park bottled water that I had on the boat as it is filtered and purified etc.
I later thought that maybe it was not really distilled, just filtered etc.
Anyone see a problem with this.
Thanks,
Alan
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Old 23-05-2009, 15:56   #2
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Not just using it once, the mineral content is what your trying to avoid. Can add to buildup on plates.
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Old 24-05-2009, 03:05   #3
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Nestle Deer Park Water Analysis (4 Types):
http://www.nestle-watersna.com/pdf/DP_BWQR.pdf

Mineral Content
http://www.nestle-watersna.com/pdf/DP_BWFA.pdf
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Old 26-05-2009, 22:14   #4
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Well, that Deer Park water looks pretty clean to me. I have used our RO water for the batteries. For this, I didn't feed the watermaker with salt water but with fresh from our tanks (which is a combination of rainwater and RO water). You waste a lot of fresh water in the process but some claim the result is good enough for batteries.

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Old 27-05-2009, 08:07   #5
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As previously noted, I recently tested some rainwater (it had been raining for a bit) and came up with a TDS of 11ppm. That is better than a home R/O unit makes - but not as good as an RO/DI unit. Bottled drinking water will have a TDS of at least several times that.

If cruising, I'd collect some pure rainwater and then store it in a bottle, just for that purpose. For small amounts, you can easily make distilled water with tea kettle and some clean hose.
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Old 27-05-2009, 11:57   #6
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Actually, from a mineral standpoint, it is tap water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Well, that Deer Park water looks pretty clean to me. I have used our RO water for the batteries. For this, I didn't feed the watermaker with salt water but with fresh from our tanks (which is a combination of rainwater and RO water). You waste a lot of fresh water in the process but some claim the result is good enough for batteries.

cheers
Nick.
Go down to the bottom and look at hardness, conductivity, and calcium. Tap water. As for the many things it does not contain... neither does tap water, and if it did, most of those don't matter to the battery. Really, only the minerals sheet is relevant.

Not quite as bad as using water from a water softner in a radiator....
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Old 27-05-2009, 19:33   #7
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So, stuff like chlorine in tap water is okay for the battery? I didn't know that. Why do they sell distilled water for batteries?

Also, if I remember correctly, the tap water in Miami is around 700 ppm so dirty. I would not want to use that?

cheers,
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Old 27-05-2009, 21:28   #8
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I am reticent to contribute to this discussion because other times what I have had to say on the matter has been poo-pooed by opinion based "experts" (as opposed to "fact based experts" who actually know something about what they are saying ). However, I now find that I have the Trojan Battery Company on my side so here goes -

Some time back a friend and I, in our 2 different cities, went to the largest battery distributor/maintainer and asked about the wisdom of using tap water for rewatering batteries. In both cases the response was that they always used tap water themselves; in their cities the water was fine for that and that batteries are tolerant of municipal water.

That was comforting as I had always used tap water (and getting 10 year lives out of Trojans, for example) but that has been using water collected in cities with good water.

Back to Trojan Battery Company - in their "Battery User Guide" they state "Tap water may be used if the levels of impurities are within acceptable limits. Refer to Table 3 for Water Impurity Limits", so one can compare ones water with Table 3. The guide can be downloaded off their web site and is obviously discussing their own batteries.

Regarding chlorine in water - there is NO chlorine in your tap water despite the commonly held belief that there is. There is what is referred to as "free chlorine" but that is in fact a mixture of hydrochloric acid and hypochlorite ion, not chlorine. The relative concentration of these two is dependant on the water's ph. Furthermore, even with heavy chlorination at source (4-5ppm) there will usually only be a maximum of 0.5ppm total of both these ions by the time it gets to your tap. If one smells "chlorine" (sic) it is usually the compounds resulting from the reaction of the "free chlorine" with with organic matter (which, of course, includes pathogens - even though I see that elsewhere we are being advised that chlorination is not a disinfectant ).

So while the Trojan table does not give maximum concentrations for hydrochloric acid or hypochlorite it can be seen that these are very unlikely to be of concern given the allowable limits for other non metallic or non metalloid (eg arsenic) ions. It is certainly not something I nor the battery maintainers I have mentioned have worried about but I would be interested in someone like Rick's experience on that.

Back to what I do. As I said I used to use tap water of known acceptable quality (and that ratified by local battery maintainers in that they used it too) however, some years back I did an assignment that exposed me to the equipment used by a local producer of bottled drinking water claimed to be distilled. From that I know the quality of their water which is widely available through supermarkets here and is very cheap. So I now use that.

Out of that my recommendation would be that if one has access to cheap distilled water to use that. Otherwise if it is known that ones municipal water is within, say, Trojan's guidelines that is fine and it would seem to me that rain water is always fine too but if collecting on a boat or by the sea keep in mind that Trojan's recommended maximum for chloride content is 5ppm and seawater is a real source of contamination in that it is typically up towards 20,000 ppm chloride.
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Old 28-05-2009, 04:25   #9
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Since operating a flooded battery with exposed plates will lead to rapid failure, I would be willing to use any FRESH water in an emergency.

However, since:
- “pure” (or purer) water is universally (MLO notwithstanding) recommended
- I seldom have a reliable water analysis available to me

I endorse Trojan’s advice to normally use distilled or deionized water, and would not use tap or bottled drinking water for routine maintenance.

Quoting from Trojan Battery at:

Maintenance ➥ Trojan Battery Company

“ 3. Do not use water with a high mineral content. Use distilled or deionized water only.”

FAQs ➥ Trojan Battery - FAQ's

"Do you ever add acid to a battery?
Under normal operating conditions, you never need to add acid. Only distilled, deionized or approved water should be added to achieve the recommended levels mentioned above.”

User’s Guide (pages 10 & 11) http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/UsersGuide_English.pdf

“Tap water may be used if the levels of impurities are within acceptable limits. Refer to Table 3 for Water Impurity Limits”

Table 3 specifies a maximum of 100 PPM Total Solids*.

* Total solids is a measure of the suspended and dissolved solids in water. Suspended solids are those that can be retained on a water filter and are capable of settling out of the water column onto the stream bottom when stream velocities are low. They include silt, clay, plankton, organic wastes, and inorganic precipitates such as those from acid mine drainage.
Dissolved solids (TDS) are those that pass through a water filter. They include some organic materials, as well as salts, inorganic nutrients, and toxins.
For aesthetic reasons, a limit of 500 PPM (mg/l) TDS has been established as part of the Secondary Drinking Water Standards.

Deer Park water ranges from 28 to 160 PPM TDS
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Old 28-05-2009, 05:50   #10
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The chlorine in tap water is actually very low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
So, stuff like chlorine in tap water is okay for the battery? I didn't know that. Why do they sell distilled water for batteries?

Also, if I remember correctly, the tap water in Miami is around 700 ppm so dirty. I would not want to use that?

cheers,
Nick.
Typically only 1-3 ppm. No worries there until ~ 10-20 ppm. For comparison, I recall sea water is ~ 28,000 ppm. That will destroy a battery, if the chlorine gas doesn't get you first.

The 700 ppm hardness - yes, you are correct, THAT is extremely high. But considering that Florida is made of old coral, not surprising. I suspect it is well water, not surface water, which is generally not as hard (rain water + seepage).


opps - should have read midlandones post first.
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Old 28-05-2009, 06:05   #11
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Hey Thinwater, I really like your chain hook. You said on your site you'd give some more feed back on it's use. How do you like it so far? All the ones I've seen are open at the back so the chain could possible fall out. Your idea with the locking plate seems like a great idea. Any ideas why others would prefer to leave it open?
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Old 28-05-2009, 12:04   #12
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Gord,

Get a cheap TDS meter. They are $20. They will tell you a LOT about the water you put in your tanks and/or capture (rainwater). 10% seawater (90% fresh) is about 300ppm. Pure rainwater off of our roof that I've tested comes in at about 10ppm (after it has rained for a few minutes) Our local, very hard water, at about 350ppm.
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Old 28-05-2009, 13:31   #13
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I agree that a TDS (conductivity) meter will tell you a lot about your water.
Your 10ppm rainwater should be ok for your flooded batteries.

I believe the origination question was about bottled water - specifically Deer Park (tho’ didn’t spec which of 4 products). Many, if not most, brands of bottled water have (at least occasionally) more than 100 PPM of TDS (5.8 grains per gallon).

The Water Quality Association, and the US Dept. Of the Interior, consider Moderately Hard water to have a TDS of 60 - 120.
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Old 28-05-2009, 15:40   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
...Quoting from Trojan Battery at:

Maintenance ➥ Trojan Battery Company

“ 3. Do not use water with a high mineral content. Use distilled or deionized water only.”... etc

...User’s Guide (pages 10 & 11) http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/UsersGuide_English.pdf

“Tap water may be used if the levels of impurities are within acceptable limits. Refer to Table 3 for Water Impurity Limits”...
The Trojan advice should be interpreted along the lines - "Those who don't know what they are doing use demineralised or distilled water. Those that do know what they are doing so can interpret the analysis of the water available to them then use Table 3 as a guide as to acceptability".

That is I see no contradiction in what they say - it is up to users to decide whether they fall into the camp that can or cannot make informed decisions.

Many municipal supplies will comply but I would expect that rain water collected on a boat or on exposed land close to the sea (our house is on an exposed foreshore and we have to use ss fastenings and fittings ) while fine for drinking should be regarded as failing for battery use unless tested due to the risk of chloride contamination.
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Old 28-05-2009, 21:58   #15
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So, reading all this, my mix of 3 - 10 ppm rainwater + RO water should be good enough, especially when I put that through my watermaker again. I also think that just the seagull filter we use is good enough.

I think by the time I figure this out I'll have AGM's too ;-)

cheers,
Nick.
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