Letter Re: Buying Spare Deep Cycle Batteries

Mr Rawles,
In the past I have read articles on people wanting new batteries on hand such as car, tractor and deep cell as part of there preparedness plan. one of the problems was they were unable to purchase dry batteries without the sulfuric acid in them. I recently had to purchase  a few new sets of batteries for my tractors and learned that John Deere stocks their batteries dry and when you purchase them, they add the acid and give them to you. I’m sure you could buy them from them dry. Now where and how you would get the sulfuric acid later I don’t know, haven’t researched that. I asked if John Deere made deep cell batteries and they do. Expensive. maybe all deep cells are. They said makes their own batteries and likes to ship them dry for better shelf life. seems to be the only ones who do this. The local Case IH dealer gets theirs from Exide (or should I say Exide makes them for Case [to sell under their brand name])  and they come wet also.  Hope this helps. Thanks for all you do. – Mike E.

JWR Replies: Thanks for that great tip. It is noteworthy that simply spinning a battery dry (as most makers do when they sell “dry” batteries) will not stop the plates from gradually sulfating. If a battery has been tested at the factory, then ipso facto it has been filled with acid. For true long-term storage, a battery’s cells should be rinsed several times and the battery thoroughly dried before it goes into storage.

Carboys of battery acid are available from many industrial and marine battery dealers. WARNING: All the usual safety precautions for handling strong acid (around 6 molar) apply!