When handling batteries, it is imperative to wear or provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including protective clothing, safety glasses and gloves. It is also important to keep sparks, flames and cigarettes away from batteries, to avoid skin contact with the electrolyte, and to work in a well-ventilated, clean and dry area.

Gruber encourages customers to designate and train an individual or small group, to handle batteries. This limits confusion over when or if a battery has been serviced, and provides accountability for staff errors.

“The problem with cleaning equipment for these guys is it is not their machine so they don’t take care of it the same way as they would if it was theirs,” says Gruber. “We explain how important it is to maintain the machine. It’s all in the training.”

Once safety precautions are in place, the handler should check the battery for any damage such as bloating, cracks or leakage. If problems are found the battery should be immediately discarded. If no problems are found, the handler can move on to checking the condition of the terminals.

Located on the top of the battery, the terminals connect the battery to the wires that deliver the charge to the floor machine. This is the area where acid build-up is most prevalent. Acid corrosion can cause high resistance and lead to battery failure.

To clean this area, battery manufacturers recommend creating a solution made up of one cup of baking soda and one gallon of water, and applying it to the area surrounding the vent caps using a wire brush. After brushing, simply rinse away the debris and pat dry.

Some manufacturers also suggest coating the area in a thin layer of anti-corrosion spray or silicone gel to prevent future build-up.

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