Dangers of Battery Downtime (And How to Fix It!)


If your batteries have been idle or out of service for more than 3 weeks, you may find that they need some additional care and maintenance to ensure your batteries reach their maximum life.

Downtime Dangers to Flooded Lead Acid Batteries: Sulfation & Stratification

If proper care is not taken during a prolonged idle period, flooded lead acid batteries can experience sulfation and stratification.

What is Battery Sulfation?

Battery sulfation is the process of lead sulfate crystals building up on a battery cell. A sulfated battery will have reduced capacity and reduced cycle life.

What is Battery Stratification?

Over time, the battery electrolyte will stratify, meaning the heavier Sulfuric Acid will sink to the bottom of the cell, leaving only water on the upper portions of the cell. The highly concentrated acid will attack and destroy the lower portions of the plates within the cell.

Our battery division, Mountain Power, can solve or prevent battery sulfation & stratification. Here’s how:

How to Fix Battery Sulfation & Stratification


Equalize Charge

Equalize Charge the battery by pressing the manual Equalize button on the charger. The Equalize Charge will ensure that all cells are fully charged and the Electrolyte (sulfuric acid & water) is thoroughly mixed. The Electrolyte will be at its maximum level at the end of the Equalize Charge.


Clean the top of the battery with an acid neutralizing agent to prevent extra paths for current flow on the battery.


Remove any parasitic loads such as the fan, heat blanket, and any other battery monitoring devices, to prevent further battery discharge.


Leave the battery on an approved battery rack, pallet, or simply leave it in its designated truck. If possible, store the battery in a cool, dry location, ideally 77° F or 25° C.


If you need help returning your batteries to service, give the forklift battery experts at Mountain Power a call!


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