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9 Care and Use Tips for Your Power Sonic Battery

December 16, 2015

Batteries are present in so many of today's gadgets, both high- and low-tech, that we often take them for granted. When used properly, they are a safe and efficient method of storing electrical energy for long periods of time, as well as for delivering the correct amounts of power to our devices when we need them.

Without proper maintenance and care, however, a battery's lifespan can be significantly shortened and, when used improperly, rechargeable batteries can present several safety hazards, including a risk of fire, burns or health problems.

Here are a few tips that can help you to get the most out of your Power Sonic battery, and do so in a way that is safe and prolongs its useful life:

 

1. Choose the Correct Battery for Your Application

There are many types of batteries available today, with vastly different chemical compositions, including sealed lead acid, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride and lithium ion. Each has specific charging and maintenance requirements, and selecting the wrong battery for your device could lead to premature failure of the battery or even premature failure of the device itself. To make sure that you are getting the correct Power Sonic battery for your device, read the owner's manual carefully and select proper formulation, model and size recommended for your device. Some batteries, like nickel metal hydride and nickel cadmium may be interchangeable in certain devices, but, in general, you should select the same type of battery as the one currently installed.

2. Install the Battery Correctly

Installing a Power Sonic battery incorrectly could potentially damage the battery or your device. Before installing the battery, be sure that you have correctly identified the positive and negative poles on the battery. The positive pole will typically be denoted by a “+” character, a “Pos” label or the color red. The negative pole will feature a “-” character, a “Neg” label or the color black. Likewise, identify the negative or positive leads in the device, or the negative and positive contacts, which should be similarly labeled. Connect the positive pole of the battery to the positive lead or contact, and the negative pole to the negative lead or contact. Reversing the battery could potentially cause a short circuit, leading to battery damage, device damage or a risk of fire.

3. Connect the Leads in the Proper Order

In some applications, like with lawn mowers or motorcycles that have chassis grounds, it is very important to install and remove the power cables in the correct order. Otherwise, it is possible to get shocked, cause sparks or damage sensitive electronic systems. In negative ground systems, which are common in the United States, the negative cable should always be disconnected first when removing the battery, and connected last when installing it. If the positive cable is removed first, and it contacts a grounded metal surface, it will arc and create sparks. In positive ground systems, the positive cable should be disconnected first.

4. Do Not Short The Battery Posts

When working around a battery, be careful with metal objects, such as wrenches. It they fall and accidentally contact both the positive and negative posts of the battery at the same time, they could cause the battery to short circuit or spark. This could damage the battery and also create a fire risk. If metal tools must be used to connect or disconnect the battery cables, cover the opposite post with non-conductive material, such as plastic post covers, a piece of rubber or electrical tape.

5. Don't Overcharge the Battery

Overcharging a battery can shorten its lifespan significantly, and could cause the batteries to leak, catch fire or explode in extreme scenarios. If you are charging a battery manually, such as a sealed lead acid battery, use a charger with an automatic charge controller so that it does not overcharge the battery like a manual version can if left unmonitored. For devices with integrated charging circuits or separate chargers, have the devices repaired or replaced if they seems to be overcharging or appear damaged.

6. Avoid Charge Memory

Some batteries, such as nickel cadmium or nickel metal hydride formulations, can develop a condition known informally as charge memory, which reduces the battery's usable capacity. When batteries susceptible to this condition are recharged too early or not fully discharged, they may fail to reach their full capacity in subsequent recharging cycles. To avoid this, fully discharge the batteries before recharging them, and when recharging, wait until the charging cycle is complete before using them.

7. Keep the Contacts Clean

The contacts of some batteries, especially sealed lead acid varieties, may develop a layer of corrosion over time. This can reduce the performance of the battery, leading to improper charging, reduced capacity and connection issues. Clean the contacts according to the recommendations from the manufacturer. Typically, this involves using an abrasive, such as sandpaper, steel wool or a steel brush, to remove the layer of corrosion, sometimes in conjunction with a cleaning solution like baking soda.

8. Discard Damaged Batteries

You should always toss out any batteries that:

  • Leak fluids
  • Have cracks
  • Have swelled or expanded
  • Show any other visible signs of damage

All can pose a fire risk, leak corrosive fluids or cause damage to the device in which they are installed. Use proper gloves and eye protection when handling and disposing of damaged batteries.

9. Dispose of Batteries Properly

Batteries contain dangerous chemicals and materials that could harm your health or the environment if they are disposed of improperly. Instead of putting the batteries in the regular garbage, where they will likely end up in a landfill and cause pollution, take them to your local recycling center or wait for an electronics recycling event in your area. Materials such lithium and lead are easily recycled, and the process is often more environmentally-friendly than finding new sources for the material.

By following these tips you can extend the life of your Power Sonic battery, use it more safely, save money and get more enjoyment from the device in which it is installed.

 Sources:

www.batteryplex.com/

http://www.batteryplex.com/faq.cfm

http://www.power-sonic.com

 

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