You might have noticed people filling water into their batteries. Whether it can be a car battery or an inverter battery, you might have noticed this or you might have done it yourself.
Actually, maintaining the fluid levels inside the batteries is an important part of any battery maintenance process. That is the reason, you need to add water to batteries.
People usually top up battery with distilled water. Many people prefer only distilled water for battery maintenance purpose.
Why is it so? What is this distilled water actually?
What is the usage purpose of distilled water in battery?
Is boiled water distilled? Is rainwater distilled water?
This article provides you with all the information regarding the usage of distilled water in a battery.
What is distilled water?
Distilled water is a form of purified water that is devoid of all naturally occurring minerals. This water is produced through the process called distillation which removes 99.9 per cent of minerals dissolved in it.
During this process, the water is usually boiled to vapour and condensed back to its liquid state into a separate container. Thus, distillation removes the impurities and minerals in the water, thus making the water pure.
Using distilled water for battery
Using distilled water for car battery or any other kind of battery is important to protect the lifespan of your battery.
Use of mineral and contaminant-free water is one of the important steps you need to follow for proper battery maintenance.
What happens if you use tap water or other water?
Tap water or other forms of purified water has naturally dissolved minerals present in them. If you take water from a well or a nearby lake, it even contains more impurities and salts too.
These minerals and impurities are harmful to the batteries even in small amounts. They might significantly decrease or deteriorate the life of your battery.
Actually, when you use any kind of water other than distilled water, the impurities, salts and minerals present in the water form a layer on the battery plates and interfere with the normal chemical reactions. This could destroy the life of your battery.
Hence you should always prefer to use distilled water while topping up your battery fluid.
Is rainwater ok for batteries?
Is rainwater distilled water? Can i use it for topping up the battery fluid levels? These are some common questions that i frequently hear from people.
Most of us would be getting this doubt because of the reason that we have learned that rainwater is one of the purest forms of water.
But, can this be used for topping up batteries?
Actually, rainwater can be considered very close to distilled water. But the way it has been travelled and collected will impact the purity of it.
Rain water falls through the sky and collects some dissolved gases such as SO2 and CO2 during the process. It also collects some impurities and hence cannot be considered as mineral-free.
So, rainwater cannot be considered as the best option for filling batteries.
Do you know that distilled water cannot conduct electricity, whereas rainwater conducts electricity? This example clearly indicates that distilled water is surely different from the rainwater.
What about boiled water?
Is boiled water distilled?
Boiled water is something that is heated up to a point called the boiling point. But distillation of water is a process where water is heated beyond the boiling point. That is what makes the difference.
Boiling the water removes all the microorganisms and germs in it and makes it fit for drinking. But it cannot be used for batteries as the boiling process only kills the contaminants in it. It does not have any effect on the minerals and salts present in the water.
Whereas in the process of distillation, the water is boiled, vapourised and condensed back to its liquid state into a separate container. Thus all the mineral deposits and salts are physically separated from the water, which makes it suitable for usage in batteries.
Importance of adding distilled water to battery
So, what is the need for filling battery with distilled water?
To be precise, you should add distilled water to car batteries or any other lead-acid batteries as it the most suitable liquid.
Distilled water is one of the purest forms of water that is devoid of minerals, salts and other contaminants. This makes it perfectly suitable for topping up batteries.
Presence of any kinds of minerals and salts could interfere with the battery reactions and reduce the life of the battery significantly.
How do you make distilled water for batteries?
So, Can distilled water be made at home? Yes, It can be made at home. But you need some equipment such as a big container to boil tap water, a small container to collected distilled water and ice cubes to create the condensation effect.
This process although not too difficult, might take some time to collect a bottle of distilled water. Hence you can buy distilled water in your nearby stores as it is cheaply available.
What can i use instead of distilled water?
Although distilled water is the best thing to use for topping up batteries, there are some alternatives to distilled water that can be used during emergency situations.
Yes, when distilled water is not available, and if you need to top up your battery, you can opt for these alternatives. But these alternatives should not be used as a regular routine for topping up batteries.
The first alternative is mineral water. This is one of the purest forms of water suitable for drinking purposes.
But in case of filling batteries, it can be used as a first alternative, if you don’t have distilled water. Even though the mineral water contains all the minerals that are not suitable for topping up batteries, it is way far better than tap water.
The second better alternative is deionised water. This process of producing deionised water removes all the ions present in water, which means all the minerals ions harmful for the batteries are removed.
But the water does not get rid of other contaminants such as bacteria, germs and some other impurities. Even deionised water can be used as an alternative sometimes when distilled water is not available.