The procedure and features of restoring a gel battery

The service life of a gel battery, according to manufacturers, is at least 10 years. In practice, the need to repair or replace it becomes obvious after 3-4 years, when a decrease in capacity is observed or the electrolyte solution dries out. The product belongs to the category of maintenance-free elements, but experienced vehicle owners know how to restore a gel battery at home.

Diagram: what parts does a gel battery consist of?

Fundamental differences between gel batteries

Such batteries differ from lead-acid analogues in a number of technical characteristics and electrolyte composition. The binding solution in it is distilled water with the addition of silica gel, which tightly seals the contents of the case.

This allows you to avoid chemical fumes, which affects the environmental friendliness of the device - it can be installed not only inside the car, but also in residential areas. In addition, due to the absence of gas emissions, their re-involvement in the work process is ensured and the service life of the product is increased.

Another advantage of the battery is the ability to place it in any position - on its side or upside down, while acid batteries need strictly vertical fixation.

Advantages of the gel battery design.

Batteries with gel electrolyte do not require deep recharging, charge quickly and maintain a service life in standby mode for 2 years.

Due to the increase in the number of charge-discharge cycles, more intensive use of such products is possible.

Among the negative features of such batteries are:

  1. Instability to low temperatures. At -50⁰C the electrolyte freezes and becomes brittle.
  2. Rapid failure when applying voltage above 15 V.
  3. High price.

Existing disadvantages

But despite the many advantages, gel batteries also have disadvantages. These include:

  1. Increased sensitivity to charge voltage.
  2. Gel models do not cope well with short circuits in the electrical circuit.
  3. Increased cost.

Although the devices can easily withstand severe frost and many mechanical impacts, they need to be properly charged. We are talking about the use of specially designed chargers. Otherwise, the battery may quickly fail and become unsuitable for further use. Before you decide to buy a gel battery, you need to consider these disadvantages.

How to check a gel battery

If there are no obvious flaws, the device is checked using a voltmeter and a load fork, simulating the operation of the starter for 3-4 seconds. The load is connected after setting the voltage values ​​at the terminals, and then an improvised motor is connected for a short period.

The rate of recovery of the electromotive force is assessed by observing the voltmeter needle, which should rise back.

A rapid drop in current indicates that the battery has almost used up its resource; a new device takes a long time to charge. If no changes occur, the voltage can be increased by gradually adding 5 V. During the operation, you should pay attention to ensure that the temperature of the device does not exceed 40-45⁰C.

Filling distillate

The water for the gel battery is not ordinary tap water, but distilled water. If you have questions about purchasing it, you can contact one of the pharmacies or a store that is popular among car enthusiasts. But it is best to buy distilled water at a pharmacy, since you can avoid counterfeiting.

Filling with water is done with a syringe, and there are several effective methods that are essentially the same:

  1. The method is as follows. Using a syringe, each jar is completely filled with water, after which you need to leave the battery for a while. 5-10 minutes is enough, after which all the water should be removed, using the same xs syringe. During this period, the electrolyte will absorb the required amount of water. In some cases, it is recommended to wait not 10 minutes, but half an hour. After the water has been drained, you can close the caps and charge the battery.
  2. The next way to restore a gel battery (12V, 7 Ah) is no less effective. You need to pour no more than 3 cubes of water into each of the cans, after which they are closed with caps, and the power source is put on charge.
  3. Fill the jars with water until the plates close, but at the same time you want the water to not reach the edges. Do not close the caps yet, as excess water and gas will escape. Now you can charge the battery, and at the end of the process you can close the jars with caps.

When installing the protective rubber bands in their place before charging (except for the last case), you need to fix them well.

Is the gel recoverable?

The basis for battery restoration is the drying of moisture in the electrolyte. To check the liquid level in the cans, open the battery cover with a knife or other sharp instrument. When returning the cover to its original position, you must ensure that there is no dirt on the valves.

Because of this, they may not close, and the gel will dry out faster. In addition, the integrity of the device case and its contents is taken into account. The amount of charge stored in the battery must be at least 30% of the required value.

So, should we restore it or not?

As you can see, in some situations the gel battery can be restored. However, this can only be done if the electrolyte gel layer simply dries. You can fill it with distilled water and bring the battery back to life.

But in case of serious damage to the plates, even in one of the cans, the battery can be thrown away. You should be prepared to buy a new battery if the contact of the plates with the terminals of the cans is broken. Once the process has started, the battery does not have much time left.

Basic rules for safe charging

The gel battery can be charged at home. The main thing is to ensure the supply of direct current. The procedure is carried out using a 12V charger, which is used only for gel devices.

You can make such chargers yourself. What distinguishes them from other products is the ability to control the incoming voltage. It is recommended to set this indicator at 0.1 of the battery power, the charging time will be about 12 hours. A device designed for acid-type devices cannot be used.

The battery is fully charged and is not used at a low energy level.

A long stay in a discharged state leads to a decrease in capacity. Regularly recharging the battery will prevent this situation.


Chemical sources of electric current, which include lead-acid, are in a state of constant improvement. Gel batteries are the next stage of this development. Gel batteries are ideal for use in transport on extreme or sports routes, for owners of powerful audio systems. They performed well at high current loads and have an impressive service life. If necessary, you can restore a tired gel battery by applying cyclic voltage.

How to restore a battery

The process of restoring a gel battery.

Gel batteries are more demanding to maintain, so refurbishing them requires great care. The following tools are used during the procedure:

  • syringe;
  • tweezers;
  • screwdriver;
  • Charger.

To restore electrolyte levels, you will need distilled water, which can be purchased at a pharmacy.

Filling distillate

The battery is disassembled by removing the top cover, after which the rubber valve caps are removed with tweezers. Then use a syringe to add 2 ml of distillate to each jar. The liquid must be added gradually as the water is absorbed into the gel. The restored level should completely cover the lead plates, and excess moisture is pumped out with the same syringe.

In some cases, instead of distilled water, electrolyte is poured into the battery. This will work if the battery is old and needs to be revived temporarily.

Recovery using long-term battery charging

After adding distilled liquid, the valves are returned to their place and closed with a lid, which is fixed with tape or glue, and a load is placed on top. This is necessary in order to prevent the valves from breaking due to the released gas.

When connecting the battery to the charger, set the voltmeter to 14-15 V and wait until the battery restores current consumption (within 14 hours). If this does not happen, the voltage is increased to 20 V.

It is important not to leave the battery unattended, since restoration of the electrolyte leads to a sharp drop in load and can cause smoke and burnout of the device. Therefore, as soon as current flows, the level of electromotive force is reduced to 14 V and the battery continues to be charged in the standard mode, i.e., with a charge equal to 0.1 of its nominal capacity.

Cyclic charging

The method is used for severe loss of capacity. It involves 3-4 repeating cycles of charging and discharging.

The first two are carried out under a high voltage of 25-30 V, which gradually decreases to 14 V as current consumption increases. For discharge, a 5-10 W light bulb is used, and care must be taken that the potential difference does not fall below 10, 5-11 V.

After recovery, the battery is charged in standard mode. If it is not possible to return full power to the battery, it is used with an incomplete charge or a new model is purchased.


See how to restore the capacity of a gel battery with your own hands.

Gel batteries are already quite widespread in household appliances today. Most often they can be found in uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), scooters, radios, and various portable devices. This type of battery lasts 3–4 years, and then problems begin with their operation due to severe loss of capacity. Gel batteries remain in charge-standby mode for a long time and for this reason their nominal capacity decreases. Another problem is boiling away of water from the electrolyte. Although they do not contain liquid electrolyte, the fiberglass on the lead plates must be kept moist. Gel batteries are mostly maintenance-free, but getting to the banks is realistic and not so difficult. Therefore, if problems begin with the battery, you can try to restore it.

How to extend the device's operating life

Application of GEL (Gelled Electrolite) and AGM (Absorptive Glass Mat) technologies for the need to maintain a gel battery.

The service life of a gel battery depends on the operating conditions and care of it. It is not recommended to allow the battery to completely discharge.

If this happens, use a limited charge replenishment scheme - not 10%, but 5% of the declared capacity - and double the process time. The loss of energy intensity during such actions is less than with the standard method.

To avoid such situations, you should purchase a multimeter. For preventive purposes, they regularly check the correct fastening of the terminals and perform a full battery charging cycle once a quarter.

Method for diluting electrolyte for an alkaline power source

The density and amount of electrolyte in such batteries is indicated in the operating instructions for the power source or on the manufacturer’s website.

Required solution density The amount of solid alkali is equal to the amount of electrolyte divided by
1.17–1.19 g/cm³ 5
1.19–1.21 g/cm³ 3
1.25–1.27 g/cm³ 2
  • Pour distilled water into the bowl.
  • Add lye.
  • Mix the solution, seal it tightly and let it brew for 6 hours.
  • After the time has passed, drain the resulting light solution - the electrolyte is ready.

When sediment appears, stir it. If it remains at the end of settling, drain the electrolyte so that the sediment does not get into the battery - this will lead to a decrease in its service life.

Attention! During work, the temperature of the alkaline solution should not exceed 25 degrees Celsius. If the liquid becomes excessively hot, cool it.

After bringing the solution to room temperature and pouring it into the battery, the power source must be fully charged with a current equal to 10% of the battery capacity (60Ah - 6A).

As you can see, preparing an electrolyte solution is not such a difficult matter. The main thing is to clearly determine the required amount of ingredients and remember about safety. Have you tried diluting electrolyte with your own hands? Share your experience with our readers in the comments.

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In what cases is battery restoration inappropriate?

Batteries are disposed of:

  1. When the cans swell, which is caused by the detachment of the gel from the plates. Such a defect is determined visually.
  2. When the contents of the case are destroyed as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperature. If during inspection of the battery there are extraneous sounds coming from it, the element cannot be “revitalized”. You can also enlighten the holes of the cans and make sure that the lead plates have lost their original appearance.

The right decision in this case would be to buy a new gel battery.

mission Impossible

Unfortunately, or maybe, on the contrary, fortunately, there are times when it is not possible to restore a gel battery. One of these irreversible faults is when the electrolyte begins to peel off from the plates.

Or they may begin to break down. If this happens, then this also negates all attempts to revive the product. It is not difficult to detect such a malfunction - just shake the battery, and you can hear a noise coming from inside. The presence of a crack is also an unpleasant sign. How to restore a gel battery (12V) if available? The answer is simple: no way.

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