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Old 04-04-2015, 08:55   #1
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Distiller water, or filtered?

Been using distiller water on my Golf Cart batteries over the years.
A few months ago I had to leave town for several weeks, cells were low, no distilled water at home. Used reverse osmosis filtered water from my house.
Wonder if that did any damage, or not...?
4 year old Trojans, seem to be working good, but don't have a battery monitor.

(Previous boat had Dekas and a battery monitor, The Dekas lasted 6 years. Before the Dekas I had Rolls, 9 years)
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:05   #2
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

Probably no damage from the small amount of water you used, and even if there is there is nothing you can do about it. It really would all depend on what then TDS of your RO is. In industrial RO systems the water is almost as good as DI water.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:19   #3
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

Looks like the TDS is 011.
Not too concerned about these batteries as they are getting up there in age, but
also curious if I can use RO water in the future without any damage or problems?
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:01   #4
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

The fewer minerals in the water, the better. But you have to make do with what you can. There are "ionic" water purifiers, a plastic pipe full of resin beads that absorb minerals from tap water, sold for laundry irons in supermarkets. That's probably one way to clean up some more mineral content. And another "pitcher" being sold called "ZeroWater" that comes with a dissolved solids tester, supposed to use similar technology to remove "all" dissolved solids.


Either one of those should work well for your RO water, putting it damn close (well, it already is that) to distilled water. You can also find "deionized water" in the supermarkets, again close to distilled. And the distilled is still only $1/gallon at WalMart, stash ten of them as emergency drinking water, use one for the batteries while you rotate stock?
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:31   #5
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

Interesting that no one looked up the manufacturer guidance:

http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/WP_...ities_0612.pdf

I also have manufacturing specs, which are about 10 ppm TDS plus many other things.

Then there is the nature of water of the water options. I tested a bunch, bearing in mind that conductivity (TDS is commonly calculated from this) varies quickly with CO2 absorption in the lower ranges.

Laboratory distilled water 0.5-1.5 ppm
Distilled water (4 sources) 1-6 ppm
Rain Water (reported 3-125 ppm) 6-12 ppm
RO water (from home tap, not seawater) 10 ppm


Dehumidifier water (2 home and 2 boats) 20-30 ppm
Air Conditioning Condensate (boat and house) 60-80 ppm
Dear Park Bottled Water 110 ppm
Tap water at my home 140 ppm
Tap water at the marina (Deale) 250 ppm
RO water from on-boat desalinization) 250-500 ppm
Seawater (varies) 34,000 ppm


Thus RO waste is well within not just the maintenance spec but also the manufacturing spec. Bear in mind, you can always tear a membrane, so you need to monitor, but TDS around 10 ppm should be quite safe.
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Old 04-04-2015, 16:20   #6
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

Just a little clarification to avoid a problem...

RO water from a fresh water source is usually around 10ppm, BUT....
RO water made from sea water made with your boats water maker will be at least 10 times that level. Just saying "RO Water" is "battery safe" can cause confusion and lead to problems if the water source for the RO Water is not specified. Then it turns into the Cruise Rumor game of "I heard a guy once say RO Water was good for the battery" without remembering the technical details.
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Old 04-04-2015, 17:25   #7
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

The RO water was from my house, not from a Salt Water machine.
011 parts per million, should be squeaky clean, but not sure what the limit is for
Lead acid batteries?
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:34   #8
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

I used RO water made from salt water on our boat for 14 years with no problems.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:04   #9
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andina Marie View Post
I used RO water made from salt water on our boat for 14 years with no problems.
I crossed the street without looking and didn't get hit by a truck...but I would't make that recommendation. RO Water made from sea water is out of sight over the battery water TDS standards for all battery manufacturers I know of, so why take the risk?

This is also how cruising/chat room myths get started...I peed in my battery once and it was OK, thus it is OK to pee in your battery...
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:06   #10
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Just a little clarification to avoid a problem...

RO water from a fresh water source is usually around 10ppm, BUT....
RO water made from sea water made with your boats water maker will be at least 10 times that level. Just saying "RO Water" is "battery safe" can cause confusion and lead to problems if the water source for the RO Water is not specified. Then it turns into the Cruise Rumor game of "I heard a guy once say RO Water was good for the battery" without remembering the technical details.
^^ YES!

More like amplification (since I did list on-board de-sal), but important clarification also.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:14   #11
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
The RO water was from my house, not from a Salt Water machine.
011 parts per million, should be squeaky clean, but not sure what the limit is for
Lead acid batteries?
You didn't follow the Trojan link? Or search Excide (page 7)? Come on.
http://www.exide.com/Media/files/Dow...aintenance.pdf

Basically all manufactures say 100 ppm for top-off, but 10 ppm is their internal manufacturing spec. My gut is that 100 ppm TDS (low mineral tap water) is acceptable we are more careful than we need to be, and that any source below 30 ppm is certainly safe. But since staying below 10 ppm is easy, well why not.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:29   #12
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

Quote:
Interesting that no one looked up the manufacturer guidance:
.
Nah, I was pretty sure it would say distilled water recommended or required.
My question was if any harm would be done if I used filtered water.

Thanks for all the replies, looks like my filtered water is within specs.
Having a total of 12 Golf Cart batteries to maintain, that is a lot of distilled water to schlep and store as neither boat is Air Conditioned and with 110 degrees inside the battery compartments durimg the summer, they need filling frequently.

Checked my filtered water again this morning and now it shows 9 ppm.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:36   #13
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

My guess would be that what the elements in non distilled water are is important. What elements are detrimental to lead or acid? anything alkaline I imagine...?
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Old 18-04-2015, 07:25   #14
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

Put in brand new batteries the other day.
Figured I better use distilled water on the new batteries.
Measured the distilled water: 004 PPM.
I bit better than my RO filtered water which is 009 PPM.

Have also heard of folks using regular tap water in batteries for years with no ill effects.

Some guys get away with smoking cigarettes for 50 years. Some don't..
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Old 18-04-2015, 17:39   #15
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Re: Distiller water, or filtered?

A lot of water sold for batteries is RO water, but not all membranes are the same.


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