How to Charge a 6V Battery

by Stephen Benham

Charging a 6-volt battery is no different than charging other voltage batteries, but you do need to ensure that you are using the correct charger. For example, a 6-volt lead-acid battery, such as the type sometimes used in marine vessels or RVs, needs to be charged using a suitable lead-acid charger. A nickel or lithium-based battery, such as those used to power cordless tools, must be charged using a charger designed for the correct chemical base.

Ascertain the chemical base of the 6-volt battery. It is clearly labeled on the battery and will say LA or SLA if it's a lead-acid battery, NiCd or NiMH if it's a nickel battery, or Li-Ion if it's a lithium battery. Make sure you have the correct charger for the type of battery you need to charge.

Attach the battery cable clamp on the end of the red wire from the charger onto the "+" terminal of the battery and the cable clamp on the end of the black wire from the charger onto the "-" terminal of the battery, if your 6-volt battery is lead-acid.

Insert your battery into the charger, if the 6-volt battery is nickel or lithium-based. Simply insert the battery into the charger compartment, ensuring you match the "+" and "-" terminal on the battery to the corresponding "+" and "-" terminals on the charger.

Set the charger to charge at 6 volts, if it has a variable charge feature. This applies to both a lead-acid charger and a nickel or lithium charger. Charging at a higher rate can damage your battery and may be dangerous. Charging at a lower rate doesn't cause any damage, but it will take considerably longer for your battery to charge.

Turn on your charger. Make sure the charge light indicator illuminates to confirm charging is in process.

Leave the battery to charge. The charge light turns off or changes color once your nickel or lithium-based battery is fully charged. However, lead-acid battery chargers continue to charge until you turn them off. You can expect to charge a 6-volt lead-acid battery in a couple of hours using the normal charge setting. If you use a boost charge, then an hour is usually fine; but if you use a trickle charge, leave your battery to charge for about 6 to 12 hours and then turn off the charger.

Remove the battery from the charger, if your battery is nickel or lithium-based. Remove the cable clamps attached to the two battery terminals, if your battery is lead-acid.

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About the Author

Stephen Benham has been writing since 1999. His current articles appear on various websites. Benham has worked as an insurance research writer for Axco Services, producing reports in many countries. He has been an underwriting member at Lloyd's of London and a director of three companies. Benham has a diploma in business studies from South Essex College, U.K.

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