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Barrette's Small Engines Inc. - SmallEngines.ca FAQ's
How do I know if my battery is 'type A' (non-serviceable) or 'type B' (serviceable)?
CAUTION! Before performing maintenance on any gasoline powered unit, always disconnect and ground the spark plug wire. Battery acid must be handled with great care as contact with it can burn and blister skin. Wear protective clothing (goggles, rubber gloves and apron)when working with it. (see: instructions provided with battery acid for further precautionary warnings and handling instructions).
WARNING! Before performing maintenance on any unit, always disconnect and ground the spark plug wire.
WARNING! Batteries give off an explosive gas while charging. Charge the battery in a well ventilated area and keep away from an open flame or pilot light as on a water heater, space heater, furnace, clothes dryer or other gas appliances.
Some batteries are non-serviceable (type A) and some are serviceable (type B). Check whether or not the battery has removable caps on the battery cells. These caps provide service access where battery acid (also known as electrolyte) levels may be tested or adjusted. If there are access caps, then it is a type B battery.
The main difference between the two types of batteries is that a type B (serviceable) batteries are generally shipped* without electrolyte and need to be serviced with electrolyte before charging. Type B batteries also require periodic checking and refilling during the life of the battery. Proper electrolyte level in type B batteries should be maintained so that electrolyte covers the lead plates inside the battery cell(s) completely and still leaves a small air space between the electrolyte level and the removable service access cap. This small air gap is necessary to permit fluid expansion and fluid-gas transfer that normally occurs during the galvanic reaction inside the battery.
If a battery is non-serviceable, this does not mean that you can ignore any and all maintenance. Both types of batteries need to be charged before being put into service as well as after any down or storage time lasting longer than one month. Both types of batteries also require periodic cleaning of the terminals and connectors to ensure proper electrical current transfer.