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AGM Lead-Acid Battery Activation and Conventional Lead-Acid Battery Activation

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The factory-activated (FA) type of lead-acid batteries can be used for conventional (wet/flooded) and AGM batteries, but some manufacturers offer Bottle Supplied (BS) batteries – dry batteries with their electrolyte stored in special plastic battery containers that can be added to the cells just before use.

Battery Supplied (BS) batteries have a longer shelf life and sometimes a longer operating life than Factory Activated batteries.

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How to Activate a Lead-Acid Battery?

AGM and conventional lead-acid batteries are activated using very similar procedures, depending on the battery brand and even model.

These are the general activation procedures for these battery types – before proceeding, make sure you read the instructions that came with your battery and wear safety gear (at least gloves and goggles):

How to Activate AGM Battery: Place the battery on a flat surface and remove the electrolyte containers’ caps without piercing them!

Place the electrolyte containers into the battery cell filler ports and press them to break the foil seals, which will release the electrolyte into the battery cells.

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The electrolyte containers must be emptied completely – each container contains the exact amount of battery acid, so you can speed up the process by gently tapping them periodically.

Remove the electrolyte bottles carefully and permanently close the AGM battery once they are empty.

Let the battery sit for 30-120 minutes – this will activate the batteries, which will be charged to 75-85% of their normal capacity.

If lead-acid batteries are charged to 75-85%, they can be used as cranking/starting batteries, but it is highly recommended that they be fully recharged to 100% SoC using an advanced AGM battery charger.

The dry AGM battery is now fully charged, filled with electrolyte, and ready to be used.

Few notes:

– Because AGM batteries and wet/flooded batteries use slightly different battery acids, always use the electrolyte that came with the battery.

– Whenever working with sulfuric acid, wear protective gear in a well-ventilated area.

– If you are unsure about how to perform a certain procedure, read the instructions carefully.

How to Activate a Conventional Battery: Place the conventional battery on a flat surface, and remove the sealing cap from the side – the sealing cap allows the excess gasses to escape.

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Note: some wet/flooded dry batteries are delivered with an electrolyte stored in six small containers that are used just like electrolyte containers for dry AGM batteries.

However, some wet/flooded dry batteries are delivered with just one larger electrolyte container.

When the electrolyte is delivered in a single container, open the bottle and mount a cap with a short filling tube – fill each cell to the “upper level” filling line.

Let the battery sit on a flat surface for 30-60 minutes. Gently tap the battery to help gasses vent out.

Now, refill each cell again to the “upper level” filling line with the provided electrolyte and close the cells – the battery is 75-80% charged and almost ready for use.

Before the very first use, the battery must be charged to 100% using a smart battery charger that features wet/flooded lead-acid battery charging mode.

Note: in the future, the battery should be only refilled using distilled water and NOT with the battery acid!

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Conclusion

In spite of the fact that factory activated batteries may have a shorter operating life than batteries activated before the very first use, lead-acid batteries are nasty and dangerous liquids that can cause serious injuries and damage.

If you’re looking for a good and reliable motorcycle/powersports battery, choose a Factory Activated (FA) Battery Sealed (BS) battery from a reputable battery manufacturer with several positive reviews.

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