removed from a locomotive for gravity adjustment,
check the voltage regulator as described
repairs, and discharge test, should be very valuable in
estimating the capacity of remaining cells in the
locomotive. This is especially true when a four cell tray,
containing both high and low reading cells, has been
shopped and undergone a properly conducted capacity
When installing a new battery at an
test. If there are no more low reading cells in the
annual or emergency inspection
battery, the remaining cells should be in equally as good
period, if possible, replace voltage
condition, and capable of maintaining dependable
regulator by spare shop overhauled
performance under normal operating conditions, until
and adjusted unit.
the next annual inspection.
i. These records also indicate an advance warning
(6) Cleanliness. Thoroughly clean the battery
of impending failures, so that a sufficient number of
and battery compartment.
batteries may be kept in stock, or on order, to prevent
locomotive failures, if unusual delays are encountered in
obtaining desirable replacement batteries.
134. Shopping Complete Battery or only One Tray
a. When battery performance has not been
135. Unbalanced Battery Loads
satisfactory and the readings at the end of equalizing
a. The connection of any load across only a part of
charge indicate evidence of trouble, make proper
the battery is undesirable.
arrangements for a replacement battery.
b. If lower than the total battery voltage is needed
b. If the readings indicate evidence of trouble in
for any accessory equipment, use an adequate series
only a few cells, remove the trays containing these cells
resistor for reducing the total battery voltage to the
for shopping, as soon as proper spare trays are
c. On locomotives in which the battery circuit is so
c. Remove trays for shopping when any cell reads
arranged that part of the load is taken from each half of
0.20 of a volt lower than the average cell on charge at
the battery, an unbalance is likely to occur which will
proper finish rate, or when the specific gravity or
permit one-half of the battery to become more
hydrometer reading of any cell is 40 points or more
discharged than the other half.
lower than the highest reading cell, providing the
This could easily occur if higher wattage lamps
difference in gravity is not caused by a difference in
than those specified are used.
d. Load balancing switches are usually provided so
d. The battery will eventually wear out. This will
that loads may be alternated on the two sides of the
be indicated by a very low and irregular hydrometer
battery. Proper operation of the load balancing switches
reading, which higher regulator settings or additional
will prevent one side of the battery from continuously
charging will not improve.
This condition will be
accompanied by a decided increase in the volume of
unbalance exist. In normal service and with proper
operation of load balancing switches, the load
e. Pre-planning for each replacement will prevent
unbalance should not cause the specific gravity of the
unforseen difficulties and handicaps which result in
two halves of the battery to differ more than 15 or 20
confusion and often involve expensive delays.
points between known cell gravities. The same side of
f. Internal inspections and gravity adjustment
the battery should not remain continuously low if
should be made only in regular battery shops equipped
satisfactory battery life is to be obtained.
to repair cells, and make capacity test to determine
e. The prolonged use of extension cords (with 32-
condition of battery for future service.
volt lamps) on one-half of the battery or a grounded
g. The results of proper handling of batteries in a
circuit will result in unbalanced condition of the battery.
regular battery shop will undoubtedly reduce the number
of batteries removed from locomotives because of
trouble in the battery.
h. The records normally kept in the battery shop,
covering the condition of incomplete sets of batteries