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Defects in secondary cells, Symptom, causes and cure
Nature of Symptoms Causes Cure
1.Backward or 1.Lowering of 1. Internal short cct.1.Remove short cct.
weak cells and voltage Between plates of 2. Curative charging with
2. Failure to gas opp. Polarity alternate charge and rest
along with other 2. Sulphation periods.
cells of the same 3. Bridging backward cell
battery. during a few discharges.
4. Use of milking booster
2.Buckling of 1. Can be readily 1. Uneven working 1. Fully charged plates to be
plates noticed with plates not being removed and straightened by
in parallel. a hand press or wooden
2.Abnormal mallet. This procedure is not
sulphation. to be attempted in case of
3. Over charging. brittle plates.
4. Impurities like
iron in electrolyte
3.Abnormal 1 Colour of the 1. Improper 1. Prolonged charge at low
sulphation of plates becomes operating procedure rate between half and quarter,
plates lighter in shade. such as over or normal rate, with alternate
2. Loss of capacity. discharging, under- rest, and charge periods.
3. Lower and charging, rapid rate 2. To remove very hard
voltage. of discharge, failure sulphation, empty the acid
4. Negatives become to top up. and fill up with water and
hard expanded and 2. Neglect of give prolonged charge at low
gritty. internal short cct. rate.
5. Positives felt hard 3. Impurities in
and electrodes.
4. Excessive
4.Abnormal 1. Noticed on 1. Overcharging at 1. Leveling the heaps of
sedimentation inspection low rate sediment with wooded rod.
2. Excessively High 2. Cleaning out.
rate of charge. 3. Flushing out.
3. Running down 4. Restoring charge after
cells too much on cleaning and flushing.

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Nature of Symptoms Causes Cure
5.Reversal of 1. Measurement of 1. Wrong 1. Pasted plates are likely to
cell or battery voltage during connections. lose all their active material
discharge will 2. Failure to detect a and hence very little
indicate this defect. weak cell and to take possibility of recovery.
action to bring it up. 2. Pasted plates if they do not
break up can be recovered by
a few cycles of charge and
discharge in the proper

6. Internal 1.Gassing on open 1. Impurities in the 1. Renewal of electrolyte

discharge or cct. and on plates or electrolyte. may help in some cases.
local action discharge.
2. increase in loss of
capacity in open cct.
By more than 1.2%
per day.
7. Positive 1. Detected by visual 1. Impurities such as 1. Renewal of electrolyte
plates inspection. iron and chlorine in may help.
disintegrating 2. Loss of capacity. electrolyte.
corroding or 2. Dress in material
breaking up of the plates.

8. Growth of 1. Detected by 1. Organic acids in 1. Action to be taken to

positive plates. inspection the electrolyte. prevent secondary actions
2. Normal growth such as buckling and internal
due to development short ccts.
of new material in
pasted plates.
9.Negative 1. Puffing out or 1. Excessive of 1. Prevent secondary action
plate blowing fudging of active expander in active such as short ccts
material beyond elements.
grid. 2. Charging at high
10. Shrinkage 1. Detected by visual 1. Expander driven 1. Can't be recovered under
of negative inspection. out due rate of service conditions.
plates 2. Loss of capacity charging.

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Nature of Symptom Cause Cure
11. "Treeing" 1. Soft tree like 1. Overcharging. 1. Removed by introducing a
on negative growths on the edges scaling stick.
plates of the negative
12. 1. Gassing sets in 1. Low capacity of 1. Prolonged charging at
Premature even before full negative plate. such low rate that the plate
gassing of charge is put in and 2. Sulphation of do not gas.
bty or cell before the negative plate.

13. Bad colour 1. Visual inspection, 1. Impurities in 1. Try to remove causes of

of plates healthy positive electrolyte & sulphation.
should have deep sulphation.
chocolate colour and
healthy negative
deep gray with
metallic luster.
14. Hydration 1. White creamy 1. Action of water on .The plates get sulphated.
of the plates substance spread plates. Action to be taken for
irregularly over 2. Discharging cells sulphated plates.
plates. to too low a Sp.Gr.

Discoloration 1. Electrolyte should
1. Overcharging 1. Electrolyte to be changed
of the be colorless. causes expander
electrolyte being forced out
causes black colour.
3. Presence of
manganese in parts
its colour to
16.Lowering of 1.Can be detected by 1.Loss of acid due to 1.Loss of acid may be made of measurement of spilling or spraying. good.
electrolyte Sp.gravity 2.Stratification. 2.Stirring electrolyte by
3.Ageing allowing cell to gas.
17.Separator 1.Internal short 1.Buckling of plates 1.Replace worn out separator
failure circuit. 2.Chemical action at
2.Can be detected by higher temperature
visual inspection 3.Presence of
also Manganese and
Cobalt in electrolyte

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