How to Check an Inverter Battery with a Multimeter

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Selecting an inverter battery that fits your requirements can be quite a task. After all, the product itself is complicated, and since it can be quite costly as well, selecting the wrong type can be an expensive mistake.

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The first thing you need to do is to get an idea of what you like to use the inverter battery for. If you like to run some basic electronic tests while driving your car, then you can maybe get a cheap one that plugs easily into your cigarette lighter. For obvious reasons, there’s no need for a true sine wave inverter if you’re simply running basic electronic tests.

Nonetheless, the process gets more challenging if you like to run electronics straight from your car’s battery. You need to pick a product that can endure the current that your battery can offer you. Apart from that, you like to use the lowest wattage inverter battery that you can so that you don’t drain the battery any faster than you have to. 

What is an inverter battery? 

A battery plays an essential role in the life of an inverter. In case of a power interruption, you need some stored electricity you can use to run your appliances. A battery is where you can keep that added electricity. That stored electricity is in the form of DC power, and an inverter helps you to utilize that stored power by converting it into AC power. 

You can connect two types of batteries with inverters: tubular type batteries and lead-acid type batteries. You can also find rechargeable wet batteries. Batteries require some maintenance and can produce problems if not properly taken care of. 

Common mistakes people make that leads to a bad inverter battery

Understanding the reasons why your inverter battery is not working will help you understand the correct troubleshooting methods. Below are the common mistakes people make that lead to a bad inverter battery.

  • Discharging the battery totally before charging it once more

Doing this is not suggested. Let’s say you have a 12-volt tubular wet battery, and its cut-off voltage is 10.5 volts. Using up all the charge until the battery voltage touches 10.5 volts will make it tough for you to get it fully charged. On top of that, it will consume more electricity to get pulled up. 

Your battery will then lose its capability to hold a charge, minimizing your battery life and wasting excess electricity to get charged. Fortunately, modern inverter companies have offered a dip switch at the back panel of their inverters. It enables you to set the lower cut-off voltage of the battery. Hence, your battery won’t discharge completely, not to mention you can pick the lower cut-off voltage and receive that extra reverse if you need some additional backup in an emergency. 

  • Watering them like plants

Take note that batteries don’t need to be watered! Batteries are considered to be high maintenance and cumbersome, as it’s massively felt that wet batteries—the typically used inverter batteries—require frequent water topping.

Water topping is needed, but you will be shocked it’s not as much as you assume it is. One 12V, 150AH tubular battery would require water topping once every two months at the maximum, considering it’s used often. 

  • Exposing the inverter battery to the outside temperature

Not all are aware of this, but too much temperature—be it cold or hot—can make the battery perform slower and lessen its life sustainability. Remember that your battery will provide less backup even after you keep on charging it. Just visualize how much that would increase your electricity bills. 

That being said, altitude, temperature, and humidity could have negative impacts on your battery. That occurs as the internal parts of the battery expand because of extreme weather conditions, which causes the battery to perform differently than its normal working condition. 

After learning all of these, we just hope that you would never follow these common mistakes about inverter batteries anymore. 

How do you check an inverter battery?

Would you like to test the health of your inverter battery but don’t know how to do it? Don’t worry because a digital multimeter got you covered. Follow the steps below to check your device.

  1. Connect the wire of your multimeter to the battery’s terminal. But before you do that, ensure the terminals of the battery are clean. You can do that by using a baking soda or a wet cloth, or other forms of wiping materials.
  1. For the second step, touch the red wire on the battery’s positive terminal with a + positive sign on it. Likewise, for the black wire, place its ends on the negative terminal of your battery with a – sign. 
  1. Are you testing a 12-volt battery? An inverter battery in good condition should have readings more than 12.6 volts or at least more than 12. For example, let’s say you got a 12.4V reading on your meter. It only suggests your inverter is still usable and in good working condition. 

But if the rating you receive is below 12 volts, it only indicates your inverter battery is either completely discharged or should need immediate replacement. 

Final thoughts

An inverter battery is no doubt an excellent device to have as it will support you to run devices with direct current even if they run with alternating current. Also, it will remain on if you do not have any connection to the power grid while after a power cut or while camping.

Nonetheless, if everything goes out of order, you can easily fix it on your own. Feel free to follow the guide we mentioned above so you can check your inverter battery’s health. Just make sure you don’t keep it connected with the AC adapter when you are working inside the inverter.

Make sure you also remove it before you begin working with it, or there could be a concern as it works with electricity. We hope you find this article informative, and that it helps you find the answer to your concerns. We wish you the best of luck.

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