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Electric Scissor Lift Batteries | +9 Years Life Guide

Electric scissor lifts batteries are the first thing you should check if something
wrong happened to your scissor lift, because 75% of the problems of these machines are directly related to the batteries.

Replacing electric scissor lift batteries is inescapable fact, just like death. But fortunately, you can control and extend the batteries lifespan of the scissor lift, and today I will show you the proper way to save your batteries Life.

Lifespan depends on battery usage, most batteries last from 6 to 48 months, just 30% of each battery survived this average. A good and lightly used battery can last up to 15 years.

Having a clear understanding of the different battery technologies available on the whole business market include that the type of battery used to run your scissor lift will operate and gives you the best performance.

The price of a good battery is (at least) 100$. If you could understand the basics of your batteries and how to handle them, you will face fewer battery problems, get a high performance and long life batteries, and the most important, you will save your money.

You should know the proper procedures on how to service and charge the battery. You should be also familiar with charging operation instructions in order to replace the battery every four or five years (at a minimum) instead of replacing it every year.

First of all, you have to know that the battery used in any electric scissor lift is a Lead Acid Battery, and from here we will start.

Lead Acid Battery

Take some lead and sulfuric acid, put them in a container together and you end up with a chemical reaction that provides electricity. The water solution in the battery is called electrolyte, it is responsible for making chemical reaction that provides electrons.

There are two main types of lead-acid batteries; Starting and Deep Cycle. The natural use of the electric scissor lift requires a long cycle battery.

Deep cycle batteries have low instant energy and excellent long-term energy delivery. They have thick plates and can survive from a number of discharge cycles. Starting batteries must not be used for electric scissor lifts because it has thinner plates which can be damaged quickly when discharged.

Deep cycle batteries have two main versions of batteries, Serviceable as Wet Cell (flooded) battery, and Maintenance-free as Gel Cell, and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries.

Serviceable battery

A serviceable battery is that kind of batteries that need a regular inspection, maintenance, and water solution (electrolyte) checking. 

Wet Cell

The Wet cell is mostly a Serviceable battery that filled with electrolyte. If you have a scissor lift needs to be checked for the level of the solution, then the batteries are a serviceable wet cell.

Beside the traditional (serviceable) wet cell batteries and in response to market demand for batteries that no longer require being opened, GEL & AGM as maintenance-free batteries were the perfect answer.

Maintenance-free battery

A maintenance-free battery is one that is not designed to be opened or refilled. Any gas that forms is recombined in the cell as water. This way there is always sufficient electrolyte in the battery.

A maintenance-free battery uses a special system to absorb and hold the electrolyte, preventing it from escaping the battery by evaporating.
When a serviceable battery begins to lose its charge, adding distilled water may reactive the battery by recovering the plates with the solution. When a maintenance-free battery loses its ability to hold a charge, it must be replaced.


The electrolyte inside a Gel Cell has silica that makes it stiffen. Gel Batteries are the perfect one in very deep cycle applications and may remain a bit longer in hot weather. It is the common sensitive cell of over-voltage charging.


The Absorbed Glass Matt's construction enables the electrolyte to be suspended in the plates using separators consisting of a sponge-like glass fiber mat which is squeezed between the battery plates. This enhances the discharging and recharging efficiency. If you don't operate your scissor lift everyday, AGM batteries will keep their charge better than other models.

AGM is named "sealed regulated valve", "dry cell", "non-spillable", and "Valve regulated Lead Acid Batteries". The common versatile type is the AGM battery for applications such as electric scissor lift.

Gel Cell batteries still are being sold however AGM batteries are replacing them in most utilization. Also, AGM batteries give a greater life span than a wet cell battery. The Gel Cell and the AGM batteries cost more than the Wet Cell because they store energy very well and do not sulfate as easily as the wet cell.

To differentiate between Wet Cell and AGM batteries, look at the top of the battery. Serviceable lead acid (wet cell) batteries have caps or removable tops unless they say "sealed" on the label. Maintenance free lead acid batteries (AGM) have flat tops except for the positive and negative terminals.

Battery Maintenance

Battery Maintenance is a matter of life or death for serviceable batteries. Also, you should take care of maintenance free batteries, its condition, and its cleanliness if you have this type of batteries.

For both serviceable and maintenance free batteries you should push the emergency button to off position then check battery case for damage.

The batteries should be cleaned carefully using a baking soda and water solution (two tablespoons to a half liter of water). Clean battery terminals thoroughly with a terminal cleaning tool or wire brush.

Cable connections also need to be cleaned and tightened because most problems are often caused by dirty and loosely connections and make sure that the battery hold-down brackets are in place and secure.

Adding terminal protectors and a corrosion preventative sealant will help eliminate the corrosion on the battery terminals and cables, for both free maintenance and serviceable batteries.

For serviceable batteries, you need to check the fluid level in each battery. 

The plates of flooded batteries must always be fully submerged in the electrolyte. If plates are not covered by at least 1/2” (13 mm) of the solution.  Use only mineral free water, add distilled or demineralized water.

Distilled or Demineralized ?

Basically, distilled water is the water which heated to above boiling point and the steam from that water is collected and cooled to produce liquid water. 

Demineralised water is made by passing the water through special resins which designed to exchange ions in the water so that the final result makes pure water, also, it is cheaper than distilled water. 

Distilled is best as all impurities have been removed which may contaminate your cells.

While adding water, Don't overfill battery cells because the fluid may expansion in hot weather which pushes excess electrolytes from the battery. And NEVER add electrolyte.

WARNING: Battery acid (electrolyte) is extremely corrosive. Wear suitable eye and facial protection and suitable protective clothing. If contact happens, immediately flush with cold water and seek medical attention. Also, keep flames and sparks away. Do not smoke near batteries. This may lead to Explosion.

Always remember that proper battery condition is essential to good machine performance and operational safety. Incorrect fluid levels or broken cables and connections can result in component damage and hazardous situations. So, make sure to pay some time to daily and scheduled maintenance.

Scheduled Maintenance

Maintenance performed regularly, annually and every two years must be completed.Scissor lifts that have been out of service for longer than three months should get the quarterly inspection before they are put back into service. You should replace any battery that is damaged or incapable of holding a lasting charge.

Most electric scissor lifts are equipped with Wet Cell batteries. But now, the most scissor lift manufacturers went to use AGM batteries in the newest scissor lifts to make things easier for users and renting companies.

Selecting a Battery

When buying a new battery it's recommended that you look for a battery with the greatest amp-hour (AH) rating available.

An amp hour (AH) is a rating usually used to deep cycle batteries. In order to get an AH rating, the battery has to be drained down to 0% over a standard of a specified amount of time, which is 20 hours (for deep cycle batteries).

The amount of amperage that takes it down to 0% over 20 hours is the AH rating. So, if a battery has a rating of 200AH at 20 Hr rate, then that battery was discharged over 20 hours with a 10 amp load (10 Amp x 20 H = 200 AH). But, it's really necessary to know that the entire time of discharge and load applied is not a linear relationship.

Physical size, Cable hook up and Terminal type must be considered also. Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery is preferred rather than a Wet Cell in the scissor lift field if you have the budget.

Use original or equivalent to the original batteries for the scissor lift and do not use batteries that weigh less than the original equipment. Batteries are used as a counterweight and are critical to machine stability.

Never alter, remove, or substitute any items such as counterweights, tires, batteries, platforms or other items that may reduce or affect the overall weight or stability of the machine. Use original or manufacturer-approved parts and components for the scissor lift.

Battery performance

The battery doesn't take a charge? The battery doesn't hold a charge? The battery does't fully charge?

This happens when the sulfur in the electrolyte becomes deeply discharged, it begins to coat the lead plates of the battery. Battery dies before the plates become completely coated. Here are the common reasons which lead to sulfation:

- Leaving the batteries for a long time before charging. 
- Incomplete charged battery. If you charged the battery to only 90% of its capacity you are letting the 10% not reactivated covering the plates. 
- You must return the energy you consumed immediately. If you don't the battery sulfates and that affects performance. 
- Most cheap battery chargers can do infinite harm than good. 
- Low electrolyte level. Wet cell battery plates which exposed to air will immediately sulfate. 

Try to avoid these reasons as possible as you can, and remember, it's a matter of life or death for the batteries and for your wallet.

So, How to charge a scissor lift batteries properly?

Before charging batteries, you must choose a safe parking area, firm level surface, clear of obstruction and traffic. Lower the platform. Turn the key switch to the off position and remove the key to secure from unauthorized use then chock the wheels.

Provide adequate ventilation for the batteries and charger. The convection-cooled design needs passage to cooling air for proper operation. Do not let blankets or different materials to cover the charger. Although the charger protects itself against heating, the charger cooling fins must be cleaned if clogged with debris for the best performance. The charger is located at the base or inside the battery tray.

Open the battery tray and be sure the batteries are connected before charging the batteries (the tray is recommended to remain open for the entire charging cycle).

To charge Maintenance-free batteries, just connect the battery charger to a grounded AC input.

To charge Serviceable batteries, remove the battery vent caps and check the battery acid level. 

If necessary, add only enough distilled water to cover the plates. Do not overfill prior to the charge cycle. Replace the battery vent caps. join the battery charger to a grounded AC circuit.

The charger will begin automatically in four to six seconds. The charger will begin even with critically discharged batteries (down to 1V terminal voltage). Once charging starts, the LEDs should indicate the charging progress.

Charging time is affected by various factors including battery Amp-Hour capacity, depth of discharge, temperature of battery, and battery condition (new, old or broken). Batteries larger than 240 AH will take a longer time to charge. However, the average time for charging is 12–16 hours and up to 36–48 hours for large batteries.

The charger will indicate when the battery is completely charged. When charge cycle is finished, separate the charger plug from the battery tray.

Always REMEMBER that batteries like to be charged in a specific way and regularly, especially when they have been deeply discharged.

Cold weather is hard on the lead acid battery. The chemistry does not make the same amount of electricity as a warm battery. A deeply discharged battery can freeze sooner than one that is fully charged. Do not allow a lead acid to freeze. And NEVER charge a frozen battery.


You can extend your battery life as long as your battery is charged enough, regularly, and properly. It will live several years. The rule is so simple: You can not discharge your batteries deeply. The more energy consumption, the shorter average of battery life has become. And remember, poor battery condition can cost you an electronic failure.

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