How to water a forklift battery

How to water a forklift battery

20/05/2021 / 2365 / Forklift Care, Forklift Safety
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Why water a forklift battery?

The battery is one of the most expensive parts of a forklift truck and needs to be properly maintained to get full value from the truck. Forklift batteries can last from 5 – 10 years before they need replacing, but only when looked after.

What maintenance do forklift batteries require?

It varies between brands and models, but overnight charging, cooling periods, and regular use are the main factors. Watering the forklift battery is another task that preserves the lifespan of the battery and gets more use from the forklift.

Watering a forklift battery keeps the acid mix at the correct dilution and allows the battery to reach its rated power capacity and charge without overheating. Without watering, forklift batteries can burn out and run into problems.

Why water a forklift battery?


  • Increase the battery lifespan
  • Reduce the likelihood of premature failure
  • Reduce operational downtime
  • Prevent replacement battery costs
  • Increase the operating period of forklifts
  • Fewer energy and maintenance costs

When should you water a forklift battery?

You should water your forklift battery only when it has been completely charged and has had time to cool. When the battery has completed a charging cycle, the water levels are at their highest and you can top the water up without it over boiling.

How to water a forklift battery

There are manual and automated methods for watering. Whatever method you use to water your forklift battery, only water each cell until the top of the lead-acid plate is reached. These plates are usually visible a few cm below the cell cap.

Gravity feed system – With a large, suspended water tank, the operator fills the cells with a hose attachment, moving between cells until they are full. The operator manually gages the level of water in each cell and may need to use a torch to see.

Powered hose – The operator manually fills each cell to the proper level using a hose. As with the gravity feed system, you need sight of the level of water in each cell.


Battery watering system – These hook your batteries up to a hose device that fixes to each cell and properly fills them. It automatically shuts off the water when each cell is properly filled. These systems are easier to use and provide the most accuracy.

We hope this quick guide has provided you with the information you need. If you are struggling with forklift maintenance in Yorkshire, or think your forklifts could use a service, get in touch with our forklift experts on 0113 393 2881 or

Contact our friendly team for advice.

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