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Here's a tip on lawn mower battery maintenance that will save you from buying a lot of them. Don't let them run down by setting around! For $15 or $20 you can buy a good quality "trickle charger" at Walmart or wherever. The point, however, is that "trickle charge" means nothing. It is the fact that, correctly designed, these devices will float the battery charge at exactly 13.7 volts, no more, no less. This is a critical design element of any lead-acid battery. Floated like this, they will last for years and always maintain full charge. Stay tuned.
 

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Battery tip 2. Buy a good digital voltmeter that reads tenths of volts accurately. I mentioned float voltage last time, 13.7 volts. There is another voltage referred to as "settling voltage" which is a good indicator of battery condition. First fully charge the battery, then set it aside without charging or using it for 24 hours. Then read the voltage with your meter. A new battery will usually "settle out" at 12.7 to 12.9 volts. The older and poorer condition it is in the lower the settling voltage. Any reading below 12.3 volts indicates questionable condition. If you see a number like 11.5 volts, take a slow walk to the graveyard with it. Or you could use it to run your digital wrist watch.
 
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