Battery water

damondamon Registered Users Posts: 11
I was at the only hardware store in Bocas del Toro Panama this morning inquiring about distilled water for use in batteries. I know that battery acid should never be used (they had a huge selection of the stuff). The only distilled water available stated the following;

"Indicated solution for the better functioning of your battery Lectrolite is manufactured under strict techniques since it uses distilled water unionized and demineralized, in addition of Sulphuric Acid of Reactive grade."

So while the store owner insists that this is the only distilled water in Panama and this has no acid I'm guessing the label says otherwise. This same company sells Battery Acid which is not diluted so I'm thinking the above is probably a diluted solution.

In the absence of finding distilled water my only other choices would be water from my reverse osmosis water maker which has about 350 ppm, rain water which is less than 5 ppm or tap water from a spring, or even bottled drinking water. I am thinking that rain water through a filter might be the best alternative option (is it ionized though) but I am sure open to other suggestions. Thanks in advance

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,768 admin
    Re: Battery water

    From what little I understand--Filtered Rain water would be the best choice (perhaps, making sure the roof/collector is rinsed off of bird droppings, dust, etc. first).

    Trojan is nice enough to list the acceptable maximum mineral content of "distilled water" in their User's Guides:
    I think that the translation may be indicating that this is distilled water to be mixed with Sulfuric acid for use in a battery (dilute as needed to proper specific gravity).

    You can get fairly inexpensive TDS meters, if you want to test the "distilled water" short of tasting it or throwing in some distilled water.

    I always look for my test equipment to be equipped with:
    Fun, translucent blue housing that's very strong and durable.

    -Bill :D
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,969 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water

    damon,

    You might also try looking at a "drug store" or pharmisist.

    Filtered rainwater should be OK, but ROed rainwater should be better. Some make their own Solar Stills to distill water, but everyting needs to be CLEAN.

    The TDS meter should be a good tool ... I need t get one. Have no well, and collect rainwater from the roof, but treat it with Chlorine, so buy distilled water at the supermarket, but that is here, and you are there. Good Luck, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water

    i have need of distilled water too and in considering making my own i ran across this,
    http://www.h2olabs.com/store/p-55-stainless-steel-glass-carafe-model-300ss.aspx

    now it needs to be plugged into ac at 580w and can make about 4 gallons per day. if you get something like this please report back to us how well it works.
  • damondamon Registered Users Posts: 11
    Re: Battery water

    I have a TDS meter and might open the jug to see if maybe I'm reading the label wrong. The label is in Spanish and has the English translation I put in the original post. Maybe it is just saying it is to be mixed with sulfuric acid. But $8 for a gallon jug is a lot to waste just in case it does have something other than distilled water in it. If I get the courage up I'll let everyone know.

    There is a warning on the label with a skull and crossbones that says Cuidado (Care), if it was just plain distilled water I would guess that it wouldn't need such a label.

    Never thought to check with a pharmacist, there is only one in town but I will ask the next time I'm there.

    Rain water seems to be the best choice and we can filter it with maybe three or four layers of coffee filters (is that okay). But for five or six months it doesn't rain. I guess I could fill a five gallon jug with rain water and keep it for the dry season, so long as it stays sealed and doesn't grow anything. Not sure if rain water would in a clean container.

    I like the idea of the counter top distillers. Never would have thought of that idea. Will have to think how practical that is for a boat though, but not a bad idea.

    Thanks guys, I appreciate all the feedback.

    Damon
  • damondamon Registered Users Posts: 11
    Re: Battery water

    I should probably clarify that the reverse osmosis system on my boat is for making potable water from salt (sea) water. I see that RO refers to a few different things. The water coming out of my water maker reads about 350 ppm on my tds meter. Rain water however reads 5. I am aware that rain water can have dirt, dust and other particles in it. Any suggestion for filtering? I was thinking a stack of four or five coffee filters just to collect any large matter, or would something like the Baritta pitcher with the filters be better?

    Damon
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,768 admin
    Re: Battery water

    Any sort of good water filter should be fine... I got one of these for emergency water use (does not remove salt / deionize--intended for camping and filtering protozoa and bacteria--some models--very easy to clean/back wash vs other filters).

    And you can get small deionizers too.

    Here is one larger unit:

    http://www.portablewaterdi.com/deionizers.php#otg2sdi

    And I have seen smaller units too. This is a bit smaller:

    http://mtcworldwide.thomasnet-navigator.com/item/safety-and-service-equipment/water-de-ionizer/item-1267

    If you look around, you may find some smaller units too... I would only use on RO or rain water, I would not try that with salt water.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water

    I was wondering if water from dehumidifier is ok for battery water. I get some dehumidified water from my geo spring water heater. :Dsolarvic:D
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water
    solarvic wrote: »
    I was wondering if water from dehumidifier is ok for battery water. I get some dehumidified water from my geo spring water heater. :Dsolarvic:D

    theoretically yes that would work, but it would depend too on how clean the inside of the dehumidifier is. i would guess that it should go through several cycles just to be sure to get any initial impurities to pass. somebody try it with a tds meter and report their findings.
  • bluewickedburnerbluewickedburner Solar Expert Posts: 78 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water
    damon wrote: »
    I should probably clarify that the reverse osmosis system on my boat is for making potable water from salt (sea) water. I see that RO refers to a few different things. The water coming out of my water maker reads about 350 ppm on my tds meter. Rain water however reads 5. I am aware that rain water can have dirt, dust and other particles in it. Any suggestion for filtering? I was thinking a stack of four or five coffee filters just to collect any large matter, or would something like the Baritta pitcher with the filters be better?

    Damon

    A roll of toilet paper. The water will come out as clean as you will find anywhere and cleaner than most. It takes a while without pressure but it works.

    Yes, I know...
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water
    niel wrote: »
    i have need of distilled water too and in considering making my own i ran across this,
    http://www.h2olabs.com/store/p-55-stainless-steel-glass-carafe-model-300ss.aspx

    now it needs to be plugged into ac at 580w and can make about 4 gallons per day. if you get something like this please report back to us how well it works.

    niel, what do you use for your dw (distilled water, not dear wife). That h2olabs still looks like a good way to use some of my excess PV capacity on a sunny afternoon. They make some less expensive models.

    I am surprised that there is no mention in this thread of solar stills. A google search on "solar still" turns up quite a few interesting links, including this:
    http://homepower.com/article/?file=HP130_pg28_ATE_3

    Has anyone here actually used or built a solar still?

    --vtMaps

    Edit: There is another thread with the same name as this thread that has some links for solar stills:
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?3888
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water
    A roll of toilet paper. The water will come out as clean as you will find anywhere and cleaner than most. It takes a while without pressure but it works.

    Yes, I know...

    Does it have to be new paper - - or can I recycle?
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water

    Re-Post from Yesterday.

    I would think that there would be away to get as good as water as you can. The first choice is distilled water.... void of dissolved solids and impurities. The second would be RO/DI filtered water ( Reverse Osmosis / Deionized ). a Third could be from Air Conditioner condensate that is properly filtered to remove the air borne impurities. I know people that use straight Tap water and have no issues if the TDS is low enough.

    A test would be to take a cup of the water and boil it dry in a pot and see what residue is left after it boils dry. If the pot is clean and there is no lime or other junk , it's probably not do as much damage as letting them run dry.

    A Zero water pitcher might give water that would be good enough. you have to test it.

    My RO water is about 9 ppm out of it's tap. I use it it and have for years with no issues.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water

    vtmaps,
    i did not go with the distiller as i found my zero water picture to be quite sufficient. initially i was buying distilled water from a local grocery chain and found it to have 2ppm. it must've been contaminated from somewhere as it should be 0ppm. my zero water is going to give me roughly 25 to 30 gallons at 0ppm before the readings start inching up to 2ppm and that's about where they recommend another filter be installed on it. i can keep going if i want to as it is for a cpap and those low readings (10 or less ppm as a good guess) are great for my application. i won't let the water boil down to the bottom and if it gets too concentrated with particles then i dump it out and replace it with all new low ppm water. can't do that with an fla battery though. it would depend on how much water you add and how often to determine what may be acceptable as the particles do accumulate and raises the overall ppm with each time water is added.
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water

    Wayne from canada. would you test that out and let us know how well it works?
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water
    john p wrote: »
    Wayne from canada. would you test that out and let us know how well it works?

    Hahahahahahahaha :D:D:D
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 370 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water

    Damon,

    You might be looking in the wrong store. My local hardware stores in the USA don't sell distilled water either, but my grocery store has it with the other bottled water.

    distilled.jpg

    Bad cell phone pic, but all the gallon jugs with the red caps, and dark blue labels, are distilled water. Might have better luck at a grocery store...
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,768 admin
    Re: Battery water

    Also note that they may not have have "distilled" water, but "de-ionized" or "de-mineralized" water--In theory, very similar produce via the end result by different processes.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Battery water
    A roll of toilet paper. The water will come out as clean as you will find anywhere and cleaner than most. It takes a while without pressure but it works.

    Yes, I know...

    Since we are getting basic here, how about boiling your own water, and collecting the condensation which forms on the underside of the lid? It is after all, steam being cooled back into a liquid form. That's fairly distilled.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water
    bmet wrote: »
    Since we are getting basic here, how about boiling your own water, and collecting the condensation which forms on the underside of the lid? It is after all, steam being cooled back into a liquid form. That's fairly distilled.

    you are essentially correct that it will be distilled water off of the lid's condensation, but how much will you be able to collect that way noting that the lid and the container you intend to put it into must be free of any contaminants?
  • Jim45DJim45D Solar Expert Posts: 102 ✭✭
    Re: Battery water
    damon wrote: »
    Any suggestion for filtering? I was thinking a stack of four or five coffee filters just to collect any large matter, or would something like the Baritta pitcher with the filters be better?

    Damon

    Several years ago while living in various parts of Mexico, and needing distilled water for batteries, drinking, vehicle radiators, etc. We boiled the water, and strained it thru coffee filters. Immediate distlilled water, and we still practice it.
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Battery water
    niel wrote: »
    you are essentially correct that it will be distilled water, but how much will you be able to collect that way noting that the lid and the container you intend to put it into must be free of any contaminants?

    cant be any more contanimated than acid-rain water.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water

    don't be so sure.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,191 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery water
    Jim45D wrote: »
    Several years ago while living in various parts of Mexico, and needing distilled water for batteries, drinking, vehicle radiators, etc. We boiled the water, and strained it thru coffee filters. Immediate distlilled water, and we still practice it.

    Boiled and strained is NOT distilled. It's tap water, with INCREASED minerals ('cause you drove some water off as steam)
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