denatured vs. distilled water for battery - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 12-31-2018, 09:47 PM   #1
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denatured vs. distilled water for battery

We were told to check and refill the water in our 12 V deep cycle batteries often. Two questions:

(1) The RV dealer told us to use "denatured" water (yes, that is what they wrote down). I was thinking they perhaps mean "distilled" water? I know there is "deionized" water too. Can anyone please confirm that distilled water is suitable for RV batteries?

(2) How often should I check the water? Many materials say monthly, but others just say once or twice a year. I carefully opened the two caps on top of my batteries, which exposed three round ports each. I can see the water level about an inch down. Is this low? High? How do I know when to fill more water and how high do I fill it?

Thanks in advance! This is such an awesome site for newbies like us.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:15 PM   #2
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Distilled or Deionized

Denatured usually refers to putting a poisonous chemical in with ethyl alcohol so people won't drink it. There is no alcohol tax on denatured alcohol.

Water level should match the well defined ring you can see in the cell. The ring is usually more visible when the water is low.

The battery consumes water when it is charging. Faster charging or over charging uses more water so time is just a rule of thumb.
If use of the battery is consistent over time, you can decrease frequency of checking the water when no water has been consumed. High temperatures also increases water consumption.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:23 PM   #3
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Thanks Paul. Was just confused as to why the RV dealer would refer me to purchase "denatured water".

Also, I attached a photo of my battery water ports. I do not see any clear "ring".
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Old 01-01-2019, 11:44 AM   #4
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If you look down the hole closely with a flashlight, you should be able to see a tiny lip around the inner edge of the hole. Fill to that line. If you can't see it, it's either filled to that level or slightly overfilled. If you're not sure, find an old battery and look at it or go to an auto parts store.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:04 AM   #5
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They also make a handy dandy battery filler bottle with auto shut-off. I have a couple of these that I use.

And you want distilled water. Never heard of denatured water.

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Old 01-02-2019, 01:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
They also make a handy dandy battery filler bottle with auto shut-off. I have a couple of these that I use.

And you want distilled water. Never heard of denatured water.

Aaron
This is a great product especially if you can’t see the “rings” and want to make life easier. And it is distilled not denatured.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:28 PM   #7
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I just clicked on this thread and don't know whether to laugh out loud or cry. The agent who wrote this down for you surely never had a chemistry class, and hopefully did not intend to mean denatured alcohol (which as stated above, is poisonous if consumed). I'm curious what would happen to a battery if in fact it was replenished with alcohol rather than distilled water.
So the answer is, distilled water please. Or next time, use sealed AGM batteries, then you need not worry about it.
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:03 AM   #8
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Get one of these makes it easy. At AMAZON



Plews 75-030 Auto Shut Off 2 Quart Capacity Plastic Battery Filler
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:30 AM   #9
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The original post clearly states denatured water, not alcohol.
I'm sure the salesman meant distilled water.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:00 PM   #10
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Denatured water sounds delicious.
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