Watering Forklift Batteries

What you need to know

You should add water to the forklift battery after it’s charged. Typically, batteries need watering 1x weekly.

“Our forklift battery needs water. Should I add the water before or after its charge?”


To illustrate, imagine that you have a full glass of water. You stick a sponge in the water to soak up the liquid and then add a small amount of water to the empty glass. If you were to then squeeze the water from the sponge back into the glass with the added water, you’d see the liquid overflow from the glass.

The same process happens when charging your forklift battery. If extra water is added beforehand, it may overflow and dilute the battery’s electrolytes.


There is one exception to this rule. If you check the forklift battery plates and notice they are not damp, adding water before the charge is a benefit. Dampening the top of the plates will ensure they won’t overheat and dry out during the charge, causing the forklift battery to lose capacity.

Questions about forklift battery charging? Call Thompson & Johnson today to speak to an equipment specialist or fill out a Customer Request Email Form above! Thompson & Johnson offers planned maintenance for forklift batteries and chargers as well as reconditioning through our new Motive Power Systems department.

Got Questions?

If you have a question on this or any topic related to safety with your forklift, give our resident expert, Dave Bennet, a call or fill out the request form.