Sealed Lead Acid Battery FAQ's
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Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) Battery Questions
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  1. Can I use a replacement manufactured by another company?
  2. Can a sealed lead acid battery be inserted on its' side?
  3. Do I need to drain my SLA battery to prevent memory effect?
  4. Do I need to add water to my battery?
  5. What might have caused my battery to fail?
  6. What determines the life of an SLA battery?
  7. Can my battery be shipped by air?
  8. I hear lots of talk about float and cycle applications. What's the difference?
  9. What is the difference between a gel cell, an AGM and an SLA battery?
  10. What is a marine or deep cycle battery?
  11. What is the shelf life of an SLA battery?
  12. I understand that batteries can be put together in series or parallel. What does this mean?


  1. My battery was manufactured by China Battery Company. You don't carry this brand. Can I use a replacement manufactured by another company?
    Yes, you may use a substitute as long as the voltage and dimensions are the same. The capacity rating (shown in "ah") may be slightly higher or lower than the original. This is fine and should not affect the unit. There are hundreds of battery manufacturers and many batteries are interchangeable. If you are in doubt, contact our staff.
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  2. My application calls for the battery to be inserted on its' side. Can this be done with sealed lead acid batteries?
    Yes. The batteries can be installed in any orientation.
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  3. Do I need to drain my SLA battery to prevent memory effect?
    No. Sealed lead acid batteries do not suffer from memory effect. Draining the battery may result in damage.
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  4. Do I need to add water to my battery?
    No. Sealed lead acid batteries do not require the use of water.
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  5. What might have caused my battery to fail?
    It may have been under-charged or over-charged. Check your charging device periodically to ensure it is working properly. Also, make certain you are using the right chemistry for your application.
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  6. What determines the life of an SLA battery?
    Sealed lead acid battery life is determined by many factors. These include temperature, depth and rate of discharge, and the number of charges and discharges(called cycles).
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  7. Can my battery be shipped by air?
    Yes. Most sealed lead acid batteries are declared non-hazardous for air shipping. Some exceptions apply.
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  8. I hear lots of talk about float and cycle applications. What is the difference?
    A float application requires the battery to be on constant charge with an occasional discharge. Cycle applications charge and discharge the battery on a regular basis.
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  9. What is the difference between a gel cell, an AGM and an SLA battery?
    A gel cell or gelled electrolyte is a sealed battery containing semi-solid electrolyte and may also be identified as a sealed lead acid, AGM(absorbed glass mat) or VRLA type battery. AGM batteries are sometimes referred to as starved electrolyte because the fiberglass mat contained within the cell is saturated only 95% with acid and there is no excess liquid. Nearly all AGM batteries are VRLA or valve regulated. VRLA batteries are designed with a valve that allows the battery to keep a slight positive pressure.
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  10. What is a marine or deep cycle battery?
    These are actually different types of batteries. The common marine battery is often rated to marine cranking amps. It is designed to offer a quick shot of amperes in a very short time span. These batteries can provide thousands of starts but can usually only withstand 50 or so cycles. A deep cycle battery is designed with the capability of being discharged and charged hundreds of times. Many of these batteries may be totally discharged or drained before they are ever recharged.
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  11. What is the shelf life of an SLA battery?
    All sealed lead acid batteries self-discharge. If the capacity loss due to self-discharge is not compensated for by recharging, the battery capacity may become unrecoverable. Temperature also plays a role in determining the shelf life of a battery. Batteries are best stored at 70 degrees F. When batteries are stored in areas where the ambient temperature varies, self-discharge can be greatly increased. Check the batteries every three months or so and charge if necessary.
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  12. I understand that batteries can be put together in series or parallel. What does this mean?
    Connecting your batteries in series will generate a higher voltage. The total voltage is the sum of all individual voltages. Connecting the batteries in parallel will increase the capacity or amp hours. When you connect your batteries in a "string" (either in parallel or series) and find a battery that is not charging properly, we suggest that the entire string be replaced.
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Battery Glossary
  • Battery: Two or more cells connected together.
  • Cell: An electrochemical system that converts chemical energy into electrical energy.
  • Primary cell: An electrochemical device that is discharged only once and then discarded. Alkaline batteries are an example.
  • Secondary cell: An electrochemical device that may be discharged and recharged a number of times. NiCad batteries are an example.
  • Battery Capacity: The ampere-hours available from battery.
  • Battery Float Voltage: A constant voltage applied to a battery to maintain the battery capacity.

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