using more than approximately one-half inch of water
Operating Check of Voltage Regulator
per month, is receiving too much charge.
When locomotive is equipped with an ammeter, a
e. If it uses less than approximately one-fourth
rough check can be made on the performance of the
inch per month, it is not receiving sufficient charge for a
voltage regulator by the following method:
locomotive in daily service.
a. Make certain that the battery is approximately
f. All cells should require the same amount of
fully charged and that the generator and voltage
water. If one cell takes more water than the others,
regulator are at operating temperature.
examine it for leakage.
b. Observe the charging rate indicated by the
g. Always take hydrometer readings before adding
ammeter with the engine running at medium speed.
c. Stop the engine and shut off the fuel pump.
h. The time of adding water is important ill cold
d. Roll the engine over two or three times, by use
weather. When it is cold, add water just before the
of the battery starter.
locomotive goes into service, so that the charging
current will mix the water with the electrolyte. If water is
e. Open the fuel pump and start engine.
added, and the battery left standing in freezing
f. Observe charging rate with the engine running
temperatures, it will freeze, just the same as it would
at medium speed.
outside of the battery, resulting in possible damages by
g. The charging rate should be higher than before,
breaking the hard rubber jars or containers.
because of the battery being partially discharged
i. Approved water is that which has been analyzed
because of rolling over and starting the engine.
periodically and found to be safe for storage battery use.
h. After a few minutes of running, the battery
If approved water is drawn from a tap, allow it to run a
should again be fully charged and the charging rate
few moments before using. Water should not be
should have decreased to about the same rate observed
transported or stored in any metallic vessel, except one
at the beginning of the test.
i. If the charging rate does not taper off to
that have not been used for any other purpose, are
approximately the same value, the voltage regulator
may have too much frictional lag at the pivots of other
points and it should be adjusted mechanically and the
a. Keep the battery, its connections and
119. Adding Water
surrounding external parts clean and dry.
a. Add only approved or distilled water to the cells
b. If dirt or acid soaked mud accumulates on top of
at sufficiently frequent intervals to keep the electrolyte
the battery it is an unpleasant job to handle and will
level above the tops of the splash covers. When adding
eventually cause trouble.
water, fill to one-eighth of an inch below the bottom of
c. Electrolyte spilled on the battery cell covers,
cover filling tubes, and no higher.
trays, or battery compartment, never dries or
b. Careless addition of water above the high level
evaporates. It rots the wood trays, causes grounds, and
point results in subsequent overflow of electrolyte
corrodes any metal parts that are subject to attack from
through the vent openings provided in the vent plugs,
for normal gas escape.
d. If, during a monthly inspection the top of a
c. An overflow of electrolyte lowers the gravity,
battery is found to be damp with electrolyte, neutralize it
reduces battery capacity, rots wood trays and damages
by applying a solution of commercial bicarbonate of
the battery compartment. It also causes corrosion and
soda, consisting of one pound of soda to a gallon of
troublesome grounds in the electrical circuits.
water. For best results apply soda solution freely,
Eventually it will necessitate removal of the battery for
preferably hot, with a paint brush. The brushing action
gravity adjustment and repairs to damaged parts.
tends to remove the oil film usually found on tops of
d. The amount of water used is a good indication
batteries in diesel locomotives.
whether the battery is receiving the correct amount of
charge. As a general rule, a battery ill good condition,