ITS CARE AND REPAIR
0. A. WITTE
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RADIO BATTERIES, FARM LIGHTING BATTERIES
A practical book for the repairman. Gives in nontechnical language, the theory, construction, operation, manufacture, maintenance, and repair of the lead-acid battery used on the automobile. Describes at length all subjects which help the repairman build up a successful battery repair business. Also contains sections on radio and farm lighting batteries.
0. A. WITTE
Chief Engineer, American Bureau of Engineering, Inc.
Third Edition Completely Revised and Enlarged Fourth Impression
Published 1922 by
THE AMERICAN BUREAU OF ENGINEERING, INC. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, U. S. A.
Copyright, 1918, 1919, 1920, and 1922, by American Bureau of Engineering, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Entered at Stationers' Hall, London, England. First Impression April, 1918. Second Impression December, 1919. Third Impression October, 1920. Fourth Impression September, 1922.
This electronic version was scanned in by the owner of a printed version, Richard Allain, from which it was converted to html by me, Mark Posey <email@example.com> aka Perry Noid using OmniPagePro 8.01, Adobe Photoshop 7 and Claris Home Page 3.0 for Macintosh. It was completed September 2003. According to US copyright law any work copyrighted before January 1, 1923 has fallen into the public domain forever (This is specifically explained in Circular 22 of the US Copyright Office). Since this printing was in 1922, the entirety of this book is in the public domain and NOT COPYRIGHTED. Nor does US copyright cover a format, so the electronic version of this book is also NOT COPYRIGHTED, with the possible exception of what little I've changed or added of which I have not attempted to officially copyright and give permission to copy freely. Except for the lead safety section , all notes and comments I have added are in this and this color text (and of course links).
Differences from the original were graphics trimmed and juggled around to cut down on white space and bandwidth. Some graphics were blown up or reduced depending on usefulness of detail of a picture, nearly all where whitened up and touched up. The chapter on business methods was omitted completely. A few charts were omitted because they were completely outdated, of little value and labor intensive to include. Advertisements and the Buyers Index at the end of this book were omitted because they were completely outdated and of little use compared to the bandwidth. I probably should have cut out a bunch more. Omissions are noted in this color text.
I make no guarantee as to the accuracy or completeness of this manual. As with optical character recognition, ERRORS certainly occur and some may not necessarily show up in a spell checker, especially numbers. Typical errors might be "B" switched with "l3", an "h" with "li", "8" with an "S", "on" with "oil", etc. Also the degree symbol gets switched with 0, for instance "10° F" might get switched with "100 F". I corrected as many as I found. I did pay more attention to fractions and especially chemical formulas, but this is a big book, things get missed, so rely on your own judgment.
Furthermore, this book was written at a time when people were far less safety conscious and knowledgeable than they are today. Lead poisoning is a real danger. Before attempting the work in this book, you are urged to not only learn the safety habits in this book and read the lead safety section I've added from information gleaned from the web, but also seek additional expert safety information on working with lead. We've all heard about the dangers of lead poisoning especially in babies and children which can cause lifelong brain damage; The lead worker can easily bring contamination home on his work clothing to contaminate his family. I am not an expert and only reproducing information, so be warned and be careful.
My main motivation behind converting this book was to help those going "off grid" a way to substantially reduce the high cost of replacing a big battery bank every few years; And also a way to make energy independence obtainable to many more people. Rebuilding only a few batteries for reasons other than research would not be practical or worth the health risk, but for those intending to maintain dozens or hundreds of batteries this information could be very useful. Richard Allain, who supplied the original scans of this book for this project, admitted he has been off grid for 15 years, said his motivation was in event that we "come into real bad times there may be a way to rework old dead batteries to function again." Thank you, Richard Allain!
Many books have been written on Storage Batteries used in stationary work, as in electric power stations. The storage battery, as used on the modern gasoline car, however, is subjected to service which is radically different from that of the battery in stationary work. It is true that the chemical actions are the same in all lead-acid storage batteries, but the design, construction, and operation of the starting and lighting battery, the radio battery, and the farm lighting battery are unique, and require a special description.
This book therefore refers only to the lead-acid type of starting and lighting battery used on the modern gasoline Automobile, the batteries used with Radio sets, and the batteries used with Farm Lighting Plants. It is divided into two sections. The first section covers the theory, design, operating conditions, and care of the battery.
The second section will be especially valuable to the battery repairman. All the instructions given have been in actual use for years, and represent the accumulated experiences of the most up-to-date battery repair shops in the United States.
The first edition of this book met with a most pleasing reception from both repairmen and battery manufacturers. It was written to fill the need for a complete treatise on the Automobile Storage Battery for the use of battery repairmen. The rapid sale of the book, and the letters of appreciation from those who read it, proved that such a need existed.
The automobile battery business is a growing one, and one in which new designs and processes are continually developed, and in preparing the second and third editions, this has been kept in mind. Some of the chapters have been entirely rewritten, and new chapters have been added to bring the text up-to-date. Old methods have been discarded, and new ones described. A section on Farm lighting Batteries has been added, as the automobile battery man should familiarize himself with such batteries, and be able to repair them. A section on Radio batteries has also been added.
Special thanks are due those who offered their cooperation in the preparation and revision of the book. Mr. George M. Howard of the Electric Storage Battery Co., and Mr. C. L. Merrill of the U. S. Light & Heat Corporation very kindly gave many helpful suggestions. They also prepared special articles which have been incorporated in the book. Mr. Henry E. Peers consulted with the author and gave much valuable assistance. Mr. Lawrence Pearson of the Philadelphia Battery Co., Mr. F. S. Armstrong of the Vesta Accumulator Co., Messrs. P. L. Rittenhouse, E. C. Hicks and W. C. Brooks of the Prest-O-Lite Co., Mr. D. M. Simpson of the General Lead Batteries Co., Mr. R. D. Mowray and Mr. C. R. Story of the Universal Battery Co., Mr. H. A. Harvey of the U. S. Light and Heat Corporation, Mr. E. B. Welsh of the Westinghouse Union Battery Co., Mr. S. E. Baldwin of the Willard Storage Battery Co., Mr. H. H. Ketcham of the United Y. M. C. A. Schools, and Messrs. Guttenberger and Steger of the American Eveready Works also rendered much valuable assistance.
The Chapter on Business Methods was prepared by Mr. G. W. Hafner.
0. A. WITTE
Chief Engineer, American Bureau of Engineering, Inc.
(Table of) Contents
Section I - Working Principles, Manufacture,
Maintenance, Diseases and Remedies
Section II - Shop Equipment Shop Methods
11. SHOP EQUIPMENT
13. BUSINESS METHODS (Omitted)
17. FARM LIGHTING BATTERIES
BUYERS INDEX (Omitted)
LEAD POISONING AND SAFETY (Added)
(Detailed Table of) Contents
Section I - Working Principles, Manufacture,
Maintenance, Diseases and Remedies
1. INTRODUCTORY (3 pages)Gasoline and electricity have made possible the modern automobile. Steps in development of electrical system of automobile. Sources of electricity on the automobile.
2. BATTERIES IN GENERAL (5 pages)The Simple Battery, or Voltaic Cell. Chemical Actions which Cause a Cell to Produce Electricity. Difference between Primary and Secondary, or Storage Cells. A Storage Battery Does Not "Store" Electricity. Parts Required to Make a Storage Battery.
3. MANUFACTURE OF STORAGE BATTERIES (18 pages)Principal Parts of a "Starting and Lighting" Battery. Types of Plates Used. Molding the Plate Grids. Trimming the Grids. Mixing Pastes. Applying Pastes to the Plate Grids. Hardening the Paste. Forming the Plates. Types of Separators. Manufacture of Separators. Manufacture of Electrolyte. Composition and Manufacture of Jars. Types of Cell Covers. Single and Double Covers. Covers Using Sealing Compound Around the Cell Posts. Covers Using Lead Bushings Around the Cell Posts. The Prest-O-Lite Peened Post Seal. Batteries Using Sealing Nuts Around Cell Posts. Construction of Vent Tubes. Exide and U. S. L. Vent Tube Design. Vent Plugs, or Caps. Manufacture of the Battery Case. Assembling and Sealing,the Battery. Terminal Connections. Preparing the Completed -Battery for "Wet" Shipment. Preparing the Completed Battery for "Dry" Shipment. "Home-Made" Batteries.
4. CHEMICAL CHANGES IN THE BATTERY (5 pages)Chemical Changes in the Battery. Plante's Work on the Storage Battery. Faure, or Pasted Plates. How Battery Produces Electricity. Chemical Actions of Charge and Discharge. Relations Between Chemical Actions and Electricity.
5. WHAT TAKES PLACE DURING DISCHARGE (6 pages)What a "Discharge" Consists of. Voltage Changes During Discharge. Why the Discharge Is Stopped When the Cell Voltage Has Dropped to 1.7 on Continuous Discharge. Why a Battery May Safely be Discharged to a Lower Voltage Than 1.7 Volts per Cell at High Rates of Discharge. Why Battery Voltage, Measured on "Open Circuit" is of Little Value. Changes in the Density of the Electrolyte. Why Specific Gravity Readings of the Electrolyte Show the State of Charge of a Cell. Conditions Which Make Specific Gravity Readings Unreliable. Why the Specific Gravity of the Electrolyte Falls During Discharge. Why the Discharge of a Battery Is Stopped When the Specific Gravity Has Dropped to 1.150. Chemical Changes at the Negative Plates During Discharge. Chemical Changes at the Positive Plates During Discharge.
6. WHAT TAKES PLACE DURING CHARGE (3 pages)Voltage Changes During Charge. Voltage of a Fully Charged Cell. Changes in the Density of the Electrolyte During Charge. Changes at the Negative Plates During Charge. Changes at the Positive Plates During Charge.
7. CAPACITY OF STORAGE BATTERIES (7 pages)Definition of Capacity. Factors Upon Which the Capacity of a Battery Depend. How the Area of the Plate Surfaces Affects the Capacity. How the Quantity, Arrangement, and Porosity of the Active Materials Affect the Capacity. How the Quantity and Strength of the Electrolyte Affect the Capacity. Why Too Much Electrolyte Injures a Battery. Why the Proportions of Acid and Water in the Electrolyte Must Be Correct if Specific Gravity Readings Are to Be Reliable.
8. INTERNAL RESISTANCE (3 pages)Effect of Internal Resistance. Resistance of Grids. Resistance of Electrolyte. Resistance of Active Materials.
9. CARE OF BATTERY ON THE CAR (18 pages)Care of Battery Box. How to Clean the Battery. How to Prevent Corrosion. Correct Battery Cable Length. Inspection of Battery to Determine Level of Electrolyte. How to Add Water to Replace Evaporation. When Water Should Be Added. How Electrolyte Is Lost. Danger from Adding Acid Instead of Water. Effect of Adding Too Much Water. When Specific Gravity Readings Should Be Taken. What the Various Specific Gravity Readings Indicate. Construction of a Syringe Hydrometer. How to Take Specific Gravity Readings. Why Specific Gravity Readings Should Not Be Taken Soon After Adding Water to Replace Evaporation. Troubles Indicated by Specific Gravity Readings. How to Make Sure That Sections of a Multiple-Section Battery Receive the Same Charging Current. How Temperature Affects Specific Gravity Readings. How to Make Temperature Corrections in Specific Gravity Readings. Battery Operating Temperatures. Effect of Low and High Temperatures. Troubles Indicated by High Temperatures. Damage Caused by Allowing Electrolyte to Fall Below Tops of Plates. I-low to Prevent Freezing. Care of Battery When Not in Use. "Dope" or "Patent" Electrolyte, or Battery Solutions.
10. STORAGE BATTERY TROUBLES (26 pages)Normal and Injurious Sulphation.-How Injurious Sulphate Forms. Why An Idle Battery Becomes Sulphated. Why Sulphated Plates Must Be Charged at a Low Rate. How Over discharge Causes Sulphation. How Starvation Causes Sulphation. How Sulphate Results from Electrolyte Being Below Tops of Plates. How Impurities Cause Sulphation. How Sulphation Results from Adding Acid Instead of Water to Replace Evaporation. Why Adding Acid Causes Specific Gravity Readings to Be Unreliable. How Overheating Causes Sulphation. Buckling.-How Overdischarge Causes
Buckling. How Continued Operation with Battery in a Discharged Condition Causes Buckling. I-low Charging at High Rates Causes Buckling, How Non-Uniform Distribution of Current Over the Plates Causes Buckling. How Defective Grid Alloy Causes Buckling.
Shedding, or Loss of Active Material.-Normal Shedding. How Excessive Charging Rate, or Overcharging Causes Shedding. How Charging Sulphated Plates at Too High a Rate Causes Shedding. How Charging Only a Portion of the Plate Causes Shedding. How Freezing Causes Shedding. How Overdischarge Causes Loose Active Material. How Buckling Causes Loose Active Material.
Impurities.-Impurities Which Cause Only Self -Discharge. Impurities Which Attack the Plates. How to Remove Impurities. Corroded Grids.-How Impurities Cause Corroded Grids. How Sulphation Causes Corroded Grids. How High Temperatures Cause Corroded Grids. How High Specific Gravity Causes Corroded Grids. How Age Causes Corroded Grids.
Negatives.-How Age and Heat Cause Granulated Negatives. Heating of Charged Negatives When Exposed to the Air. Negatives with Very Hard Active Material. Bulged Negatives. Negatives with Soft, Mushy, Active Material. Negatives with Rough Surfaces. Blistered Negatives.
Positives.-Frozen Positives. Rotten, Disintegrated Positives. Buckled Positives. Positives Which Have Lost Considerable Active Material. Positives with Soft Active Material. Positives with Hard, Shiny Active Material. Plates Which Have Been Charged in the Wrong Direction.
Separator Troubles.-Separators Not Properly Expanded Before Installation. Improperly Treated Separators. Rotten and Carbonized Separators. Separators with Clogged Pores. Separators with Edges Chiseled Off.
Jar Troubles.-Jars Damaged by Rough Handling. Jars Damaged by Battery Being Loose. Jars Damaged by Weights Placed on Top of Battery. Jars Damaged by Freezing of Electrolyte. Jars Damaged by Improperly Trimmed Plate Groups. Improperly Made Jars. Jars Damaged by Explosions in Cell.
Battery Case Troubles.-Ends of Case Bulged Out. Rotted Case.
Troubles with Connectors and Terminals.-Corroded and Loose Connectors and Terminals.
Electrolyte Troubles.-Low Gravity. High Gravity. Low Level. High Level. Specific Gravity Does Not Rise During Charge. "Milky" Electrolyte. Foaming of Electrolyte.
General Battery Troubles.-Open Circuits. Battery Discharged. Dead Cells. Battery Will Not Charge. Loss of Capacity. Loss of Charge in an Idle Battery.
Section II - Shop Equipment Shop Methods
11. SHOP EQUIPMENT (103 pages)List of Tools and Equipment Required by Repair Shop. Equipment Needed for Opening Batteries. Equipment for Lead Burning. Equipment for General Work on Cell Connectors and Terminals. Equipment for Work on Cases. Tools and Equipment for General Work. Stock. Special Tools. Charging Equipment. Wiring Diagrams for Charging Resistances and Charging Circuits. Motor-Generator Sets. Suggestions on Care of Motor-Generator Sets. Operating the Charging Circuits. Constant Current Charging. Constant Potential Charging. The Tungar Rectifier. Principle of Operation of Tungar Rectifier. The Two Ampere Tungar. The One Battery Tungar. The Two. Battery Tungar. The Four Battery Tungar. The Ten Battery Tangar. The Twenty Battery Tungar. Table of Tungar Rectifiers. Installation and Operation of Tungar Rectifier. The Mercury Are Rectifier. Mechanical Rectifiers. The Stahl Rectifier. Other Charging Equipment. The Charging Bench. Illustrations and Working Drawings of Charging Benches. Illustrations and Working Drawings of Work Benches. Illustrations and Working Drawings of Sink and Wash Tanks. Lead Burning Outfits. Equipment for Handling Sealing Compound. Shelving and Racks. Working Drawings of Receiving Racks, Racks for Repaired Batteries, Racks for New Batteries, Racks for Rental Batteries, Racks for Batteries in Dry Storage, Racks for Batteries in "Wet" Storage. Working Drawings of Stock Bins. Working Drawings for Battery Steamer Bench. Description of Battery Steamer. Plate Burning Rack. Battery Terminal Tongs. Lead Burning Collars. Post Builders. Moulds for Casting Lead Parts. Link Combination Mould. Cell Connector Mould. Production Type Strap Mould. Screw Mould. Battery Turntable. Separator Cutter. Plate Press. Battery Carrier. Battery Truck. Cadmium Test Set and How to Make the Test. Paraffine Dip Pot. Wooden Boxes for Battery Parts. Acid Car boys. Drawing Acid from Carboys. Shop Layouts. Floor Grating. Seven Architects' Drawings of Shop Layouts. The Shop Floor. Shop Light.
12. GENERAL SHOP INSTRUCTIONS (101 pages)Complete instructions for giving a bench charge. Instructions for Burning Cell Connectors and Terminals. Burning Plates to- Strap and Posts. Post Building. Extending Plate Lugs. Moulding Lead Parts. Handling and Mixing Acid. Putting New Batteries Into Service (Exide, Vesta, Philadelphia, Willard, Westinghouse, Prest-O-Lite). Installing Battery on Car. Wet and Dry Storage of Batteries. Age Codes (Exide, Philadelphia, Prest-O-Lite, Titan, U.S.L., Vesta, Westinghouse, Willard). Rental Batteries. Terminals for Rental Batteries. Marking Chapter Page Rental Batteries. Keeping a Record of Rental Batteries. General Rental Policy. Radio Batteries. Principles of Audion Bulb for Radio. Vesta Radio Batteries. Westinghouse Radio Batteries. Willard Radio Batteries. Universal Radio Batteries. Exide Radio Batteries. Philadelphia Radio Batteries. U.S.L. Radio Batteries. Prest-O-Lite Radio Batteries. "Dry" Storage Batteries. Discharge Tests. 15 Seconds High Rate Discharge Test. 20 Minutes Starting Ability Discharge Test. "Cycling" Discharge Tests. Discharge Apparatus. Packing Batteries for Shipping. Safety Precautions for the Repairman. Testing the Electrical System of a Car. Complete Rules and Instructions for Quickly Testing, Starting and Lighting System to Protect Battery. Adjusting Generator Outputs. How and When to Adjust Charging Rate. Re-insulating the Battery. Testing and Filling Service. Service Records. Illustrations of Repair Service Record Card. Rental Battery Stock Card.
13. BUSINESS METHODS (Omitted 14 pages)Purchasing Methods. Stock Records. The Use and Abuse of Credit. Proper Bookkeeping Records. Daily Exhibit Record. Statistical and Comparative Record.
14. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE BATTERY? (15 pages)"Service." Calling and Delivering Repaired Batteries. How to Diagnose Batteries That Come In. Tests on Incoming Batteries. General Inspection of Incoming Batteries. Operation Tests for Incoming Batteries. Battery Trouble Charts. Causes of Low Gravity or Low Voltage. Causes of Unequal Gravity Readings. Causes of High Gravity. Causes of Low Electrolyte. How to Determine When Battery May Be Left on Car. How to Determine When Battery Must Be Removed from Car. How to Determine When It Is Unnecessary to Open a Battery. How to Determine When Battery Must Be Opened.
15. REBUILDING THE BATTERY (47 pages)How to Open a Battery.-Cleaning Outside of Battery Before Opening. Drilling and Removing Connectors and Terminals. Removing the Sealing Compound by Steam, Hot Water, Hot Putty Knife, Lead Burning Flame, and Gasoline Torch. Lifting Plates Out of Jars. Draining Plates. Removing Covers. Scraping Sealing Compound from the Covers. Scraping Sealing Compound from Inside of Jars.
What Must Be Done with the Opened Battery?-Making a Preliminary Examination of Plates. When to Put in New Plates. When Old Plates May Be Used Again. What to Do with the Separators. Find the Cause of Every Trouble. Eliminating "Shorts." Preliminary Charge After Eliminating Shorts. Washing and Pressing Negatives. Washing Positives. Burning on New Plates. Testing Jars for Cracks and Holes. Removing Defective Jars. Repairing the Case.
Reassembling the Elements.-Putting in Now Separators. Putting Elements Into Jars. Filling Jars with Electrolyte. Putting Chapter Page on the Covers. Sealing the Covers. Burning on the Connectors and Terminals. Marking the Repaired Battery. Cleaning and Painting the Case. Charging the Rebuilt Battery. Testing.
16. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS (60 pages)Exide Batteries.-Types. Type Numbers. Methods of Holding Jars in Case. Opening Exide Batteries. Work on Plates, Separators, Jars, and Case. Putting Plates in Jars. Filling Jars with EIectrolyte. Sealing Covers. Putting Cells in Case. Burning on the Cell Connectors. Charging After Repairing. Tables of Exide Batteries.
U.S.L. Batteries.-Old and New. U.S.L. Covers. Special Repair Instructions. Tables of U.S.L. Batteries.
Prest-O-Lite Batteries.-Old and New Prest-O-Lite Cover Constructions. The "Peened" Post Seal. Special Tools for Work on Prest-O-Lite Batteries. The Peening Press. Removing Covers. Rebuilding Posts. Locking, or "Peening" the Posts. Precautions in Post Locking Operations. Tables of Prest-0-Lite Batteries.
Philadelphia Diamond Grid Batteries.-Old and New Types. The Philadelphia "Rubber-Lockt" Cover Seal. Philadelphia Rubber Case Batteries. The Philadelphia Separator. Special Repair Instructions.
Eveready Batteries.-Why the Eveready Batteries Are Called "Non-Sulphating" Batteries. Description of Parts of Eveready Battery. Special Repair Instructions.
Vesta Batteries.-Old and New Vesta Isolators. The Vesta Type I'D" Battery. The Vesta Type "DJ" Battery. Vesta Separators. The Vesta Post Seal. Special Repair Instructions for Old and New Isolators and Post Seal.
Westinghouse Batteries.-The Westinghouse Post Seal. Westinghouse Plates. Types of Westinghouse Batteries. Type "A" Batteries. Type "B" Batteries. Type "C" Batteries. Type "E" Batteries. Type "H" Batteries. Type "J" Batteries. Type "0" Batteries. Type 'F" Batteries.
Willard Batteries.-Double and Single Cover Batteries. Batteries with Sealing Compound Post Seal. Batteries with Lead Inserts in Cover Post Holes. Batteries with Rubber Casket Post Seal. Special Repair Instructions for Work on the Different Types of Post Seal Constructions. Willard Threaded Rubber Separators.
Universal Batteries.-Types. Construction Features. Putting New Universal Batteries Into Service.
Titan Batteries.-The Titan Grid. The Titan Post Seal.
17. FARM LIGHTING BATTERIES (75 pages)Comparison of Operating Conditions of Farm Lighting Batteries with Automobile Batteries. Jars for Farm Lighting Batteries. Separators. Electrolyte. Charging Equipment. Relation of the Automobile Battery Man to the Farm Lighting Plant. Rules Governing the Selection of a Farm Lighting Plant. Location and Wiring of Farm Lighting Plant. Installation. Care of Plant in Service. Care of Battery. Charging Farm Lighting Batteries. Rules Governing Discharging of Farm Lighting Batteries. Troubles Found in Farm Lighting Batteries. Inspection and Tests on Farm Lighting Batteries. Description of Prest-O-Lite Farm Lighting Battery. Rebuilding Prest-O-Lite Farm Lighting Batteries. Description of Exide Farm Lighting Batteries. The Delco-Light Battery. Rebuilding and Repairing Exide Farm Lighting Batteries. Westinghouse Farm Lighting Batteries. Willard Farm Lighting Batteries.Condensed Dictionary of Words and Terms Used in Battery Work.Photographs showing factory processes.
BUYERS' INDEX. (Omitted. Obviously outdated after 80 years)For the Convenience of Our Readers We Have Prepared a List of Companies from Whom Battery Shop Equipment May Be Obtained.
ADVERTISEMENTS (Omitted. Outdated and high bandwidth)
LEAD POISONING AND SAFETY (Added)