Compared to a dry cell battery, a wet cell battery often is used for bigger tasks, such as starting a car or powering a generator. Selecting a wet cell battery that is the right size usually is important, especially if the area where the battery is being placed has a limited size. Power is needed to start and sustain devices, and a wet cell battery often comes with a power rating to show you how much energy it can generate at once. The wet cell’s longevity, or its number of recharge cycles, will determine how long the battery can be used before it no longer can generate power. Wet cells often give off noxious gases, so ventilation also usually is important.
Most devices or objects that need a wet cell battery have a holding area for the battery that is limited in size. This means that picking a battery that just fits in this area, or is a little smaller, is necessary to ensure that the battery can be used. Unlike dry cell batteries, for which the size must be exact, a wet cell can be smaller than the space and still function properly if it can produce enough power.
Starting a car, boat or generator requires power and, if the wet cell battery cannot produce enough power, then the object will not work. A check of the wet cell’s power rating, often called the crank rating, can offer an idea of how much power can be made. If you get a wet cell that has a higher rating than required, then it still should be usable and most objects should not get overloaded.
Wet cell batteries have to recharge or they run out of power and cannot be used. The number of recharge cycles for which a wet cell battery is rated is directly linked to the battery’s longevity. A higher number of recharge cycles equals a longer-lasting battery, but this often increases the wet cell’s price.
The components in a wet cell battery are liquid, meaning they can spill and create noxious fumes. If the fumes are not well ventilated, then this can cause the battery to corrode quickly, and it may become poisonous for anyone nearby when the fumes finally do escape. This means that getting a wet cell with good ventilation often is a necessity for functionality and safety. Venting also will make it easier to add water to the wet cell so it can continue to produce power by interacting with sulfuric acid.