Gel-cell batteries

Has anyone tried them in an SR20? Are they even approved for the plane?

This has to be the dumbest design flaw on the Cirrus. Every month the damn battery is bone dry and it is a huge pain to get to. Position holders for a new SR20, should talk with CD about a solution for this. (Think hinged cowl for an easy fix)

On my second battery and this one has been on the charger twice because I let it run completely out of water.

Brig: Have you looked into replacing the battery with a gel cell model? There is a fairly extensive list of gel cell aircraft batteries at I am also not sure whether they are electrically identical to lead acid liquid batteries.
With the lead acid batteries, the POH says “every 30 days” for adding distilled water. Have you looked into replacing the battery with a gel cell? Is it possible to do?

I would get the charging system checked - you should not be having this kind of problem - if the battery is using excessive water it is probably that it is being overcharged.

I’m not aware of any other SR20s having this problem.

I think you have a bigger problem within your electrical system…batteries don’t run out of water under ‘normal’ circumstances

Brig, we have 200 hours on our SR20 and check the battery every 50 hours. Only the first time did it require additional water.

This is not the first time I have heard this to be a problem. You should exchange the battery for a sealed lead acid battery that is maintenance free. Doesn’t Cirrus know this? The battery costs about 20 percent more (about $20). I guess this is how they cut corners.


I’ll get it checked out, going in for the annual this month.

Since the POH calls for water every 30 days I assume that it is a problem in other SR20s as well. Would be interested in knowing whether anyone has put a gel-cell battery in an SR20 yet and what the FAA had to say about it.

As I recall, Consumer Reports had an article within the past two years discussing the conditions that produce excessive use of battery water. There is a cause and a solution which involve certain elements of the electrical system, but I don’t recall the specifics. And it’s not a problem unique to specific aircraft.

I’ll see if I can find the month and year of the article.


As noted, I checked out the past year or so of Aviation Consumer and found that their article had nothing to do with the exhaustion of water.

The battery article appeared in the November 2000 issue and presented a solution for the buildup of plate sulfation which they said accounts for 80% of all battery failures.

The solution is to use pulse de-sulfator devices to eliminate the sulfation, thereby greatly extending the useful life of the battery.