Can You Use Reverse Osmosis Water in a Battery?

Can You Use Reverse Osmosis Water in a Battery?

Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a popular option when it comes to reducing the level of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and other contaminants in water across the globe. Since it has meager amounts of pollutants, you may wonder whether it can be used in your battery. If so, you have come to the right place.

You can use reverse osmosis water in a battery if it has a TDS level of 5 ppm (parts per million) or below. However, you should only choose this option in emergencies when distilled water is not available. Regular use of reverse osmosis treated water in a battery can damage it permanently and reduce the life of the attached electronics, such as your inverter.

RO systems remove 98%-99% of contaminants in water, including TDS and other harmful pollutants. It is pretty standard for people to mistake it for distilled water which is an even purer form of water, and that is why people may think they can use it in a battery too. Let’s explore how RO water can be an emergency option for batteries, but it shouldn’t be used long-term.

Read my comprehensive article about reverse osmosis.

Why RO Water Should Not Be Used in a Battery

Most of the batteries we use are lead-acid batteries with lead electrodes and an acid electrolyte. The electrolyte is a combination of water and sulfuric acid. This electrolyte travels through the metal electrodes and causes a chemical reaction for the battery to work.

In this case, the water used for the electrolytic solution must have a TDS level of less than 5 ppm and should be free of contaminants or salts. If the water in this solution has salts or impurities, they can start eroding and depositing on the metal electrodes. This can cause multiple reactions, such as:

  • The steady deterioration of the electrodes
  • Reduction in the lifespan of your battery
  • Battery discharging quickly
  • Short-circuiting
  • Explosion

RO water usually has a TDS level of 25 ppm and below. RO water has ions and salts which can deposit on the electrodes and damage them.

How to Use RO Water in a Battery in an Emergency Situation

As mentioned before, you should not use reverse osmosis water in a battery unless it is an absolute emergency. There are certain things you need to be aware of:

  1. The RO water should have a TDS level below 5 ppm
  2. You need to boil the RO water before you can use it in a battery

Boiling the reverse osmosis water can ensure further purification. However, it will still not remove the remaining impurities that can damage the overall performance of your battery.

Watch this great YouTube video on using RO treated water in a battery.

What Kind of Water Should Be Used in a Battery

Distilled water is the best choice for batteries. Distilled water is the purest form of water with a zero TDS level and a pH between 5-7. In addition to that, it also has an electrical conductivity of about 10-15 ohms which is ideal for use in a battery.

Distilled water is created by slowly evaporating pure water vapors from the tap or regular water. These vapors are then condensed to form water again, devoid of all minerals and impurities like sulfate, iron, arsenic, lead, etc. Since other pollutants have a very high boiling point, they remain deposited at the bottom of the vessel.

It is best to purchase distilled water from a regular trader or battery maintenance dealer instead of trying to make it at home. Since distilled water is free of all contaminants, it damages or erodes the lead electrodes. This ensures the battery works fine for the entire life and stays charged for the optimum duration.

Where Can You Use RO Water?

RO water is best used for drinking. It is free from most harmful impurities like metals and other contaminants. Other than just drinking, reverse osmosis water can be utilized in the following ways:

Washing silverware

Tap water has a high concentration of salts that can deposit on silverware and cause stains. Silverware is often expensive and should be taken care of. The next time you take out your silverware for the guests, wash it with RO water.

RO water has a minimal amount of elements that cause scaling and can keep your silverware as shiny as ever.

Washing vegetables and fruits

Fruits and vegetables are already laden with pesticides that keep them from dying in the fields. They must be washed properly before consumption. Unfiltered tap water contains bacteria and other microorganisms that are harmful to health.

RO water is free of these contaminants, so no such contamination can occur when vegetables and fruits are washed with reverse osmosis treated water.

Cooking and baking

We often use water while cooking, and the quality of water can affect the cooking time, health, and taste of food. Tap water contains minerals, salts, and other contaminants that can increase the cooking time and affect food taste.

RO water ensures a quicker cooking time along with a delicious taste. Start using RO water when cooking food, and you will notice the difference.

Baking is a science as much as it is an art. When creating doughs, the minerals and salts in hard water can prevent the proper fermentation and the dough from rising. RO water does not contain these minerals and salts and yields lighter, fluffier doughs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can you re-mineralize RO water

You can use mineral drops or a mineralization filter to add minerals back into reverse osmosis purified water. RO water does not contain the minerals necessary for human health and should be mineralized before drinking. Read my article on remineralizing reverse osmosis water.

2. Can you use RO water for gardening?

Reverse osmosis water is excellent for delicate and exotic plants as it allows you to control the mineral and nutrient content fed to these plants.

3. Can you use tap water in a battery?

Tap water contains very high levels of TDS and other contaminants, which are harmful for use in a battery as they can quickly damage a battery and leave it that way permanently.

Final Thoughts

RO water is a purified form of water with a TDS level below 25 ppm. However, it is still not safe for use in a battery for the long term. Yet, it can be used in emergencies. If used regularly, it can damage a battery. There are other uses of reverse osmosis water that we have listed in the article for you above, and we hope you find them helpful.

Chief Guru

Richard Boch is a chemical engineer responsible for designing water filtration systems for industrial and residential customers. He has more than 20 years of experience with ion exchange, activated carbon, and reverse osmosis. Richard's expertise has made him a go-to source for municipalities and businesses looking to improve their water quality. When he's not working, Richard enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. You can also follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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