Water for the battery

lucky_12March 8, 2008

The battery in my Pontiac was way low on water so I filled it up with tap water. Now I find out I was supposed to use distilled water. Is tap water going to hurt it?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It all depends on what was in the tap water. If it was full of lime, minerals, and treatment chemicals, notably chlorine compounds, then yes, these comtaminants will react with the acid in the battery and produce precipitants that are not good for the battery plus using up some of the acid. In other cases, tap water can be relatively free of other material and won't do much harm. It all depends.

If your battery is still working ok, consider yourself lucky and don't do it again. One dose of tap water may not kill the battery immediately, but continue the practice and it may. The contaminants build up with additional refills. If you find yourself away from home and your neutral water supply, drop in at a grocery store and buy water for steam irons.

Some folks collect the condensate from their cental air conditioner to use for neutral water, but this is not the best. This water will contain bacteria, mold spores, and common house dust like the stuff that makes dust bunnies under the bed.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 6:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Batteries usually go 3-5 years before normal cycling kills them no matter what you do. Tap water might shorten it's life. If it does, I'd bet not by much if any. Being way low on water can be an indication that it's on it's way out anyway. It can also indicate the battery is being over charged so watch out for that. Even if your battery quits tomorrow, I wouldn't conclude it was because you used tap water today.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 9:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd go with Gary on all of that - been using tapwater since 1953. My current battery is 9 years old.

My wife's steam iron uses tapwater. Instructions say, "Neveh use 100% distilled watah." Hmmm. :-)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 11:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can't remember the last time I saw a battery that had the facility, even the requirement for topping up with water. I had forgotten that there was ever this need. How old is the battery concerned? Must be a miracle it is still working.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 11:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's actually possible to add water to almost any battery even still today. (The AGM Absorbant Glass Mat, or GEL batteries are a significant exception to that) Maintanence Free, does not mean never needs service, or cannot possibly benefit from service. The battery caps come right off with minimal effort. Use ONLY distilled water if adding.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 11:15AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Tire Question
I have a 2007 Honda Ridgeline with 13,000 miles (yes,...
Car suddenly accelerats
This morning my wife was driving our 2013 Chrysler...
Lexus vs Toyota Avalon
OK guys, here is another one for you. (I apologize...
Cost to replace a 99 Buick head Gasket
My grandson 99 Buick blew a head gasket after the thermostat...
dump my buick rendezvous?
Do you know the Buick Rendezvous? Mine has been outstanding...
Sponsored Products
Jade Sedona Red Professional Yoga Mat - 368R
$62.95 | Hayneedle
Cozy Design Yellow Rectangular: 2 Ft. x 3 Ft. Rug
$39.00 | Bellacor
Green Sink Mat
$6.99 | zulily
World Imports Wall Mounted Dark Sky Revere Collection 5 in. 2-Light Outdoor
Home Depot
T3 Source Shower In-line Replacement Filter
$25.00 | FRONTGATE
Highpoint Collection 3321 Stainless Steel 2-bowl Apron
Good Directions 18-cup Tulip Rain Chain
KRAUS Kitchen All-in-One Apron Front Stainless Steel 29.75x20x18.5 in. 0-Hole
Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™