Batteries do pose a hazard due to the hydrogen gas that may be present during and after charging that can be ignited by a spark. For that reason when a battery is removed always disconnect the ground cable first-if the wrench hits ground there won't be a spark because the battery is already grounded. With the ground removed if the wrench hits metal while removing the positive cable there won't be a spark because there isn't a complete circuit with the ground removed.
Using Jumper Cables
If you mess with old trucks, sooner or later jumper cables are going to be involved. Again, there's a right and a wrong way to use them.
When connecting jumpers, first connect one of the leads to the positive posts on both batteries. Then connect the second lead to the negative on the good battery, then make the final connection away from the dead battery on a good metal ground. By doing this, any spark created will be away from the battery and any explosive hydrogen fumes.
Q. Does an Optima battery ever gas?
A. When used with a properly regulated constant voltage charging system (such as an alternator) the Optima will usually not emit hydrogen gas. However, gassing can occur when charging at higher voltage levels or in extreme high-temperature conditions. In automotive applications this typically will not happen if the alternator/regulator output stays below 15 volts.
Q. What are the differences between Optima deep-cycle and a starter battery?
A. The Optima deep-cycle battery utilizes a different chemistry for the active paste material on the plates, and a slightly stronger acid. This chemistry change allows for a much longer life in cycling applications, with only a slight reduction in power.
Q. When should I use deep-cycle Optima as a starting battery?
A. In any vehicle or equipment that will use the battery only for starting, lighting, and ignition (SLI) requirements and has a properly working alternator, the Optima Red Top Starting Battery is the appropriate choice.
However, if you store the vehicle for long periods of time with the alarm system engaged, you should use an Optima Yellow Top since the amperage drain over several weeks would damage a Red Top and reduce its life.
Q. Will it discharge the battery if left sitting on concrete?
A. No, today's batteries utilized polypropylene plastic for the case material. They will not be affected. When possible, always store a battery in a cool, dry location.
Q. What are storage recommendations for Optima batteries?
A. The most important consideration when storing any battery is to make sure the voltage never drops below 12.4 volts. We recommend using a type of "battery maintainer"-a device that will monitor your battery and keep it at full capacity during storage.