What is a Sealed Maintenance-Free battery?

As the name suggests, the SMF batteries do not require any maintenance. These batteries do not need you to fill distilled water at regular intervals.

Besides, these batteries are safe because they do not emit any poisonous gases while recharging and discharging.

Sealed Maintenance Free battery
A 12V VRLA battery, typically used in small uninterruptible power supplies and emergency lamps (Source: Wikipedia)

Though these batteries are ideal for all Indian homes, older adults and busy people prefer to have them because they do not undergo regular maintenance.

These batteries are also known as VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) batteries. Compared to the tubular batteries, these SMF batteries are less expensive, but they do not last more than three to four years. In comparison, the tubular batteries last for up to five years comfortably.

Are Sealed maintenance-free batteries really maintenance-free?

Pros of SMF batteries

  • SMF batteries do not need any maintenance or water topping.
  • Compared to the tall tubular batteries, the SMF batteries are less expensive.
  • SMF batteries are the safest of all batteries to use because they do not emit any toxic gases.

Cons of SMF Batteries

  • SMF batteries are not compatible with all inverters.

The following table sums up the different types of batteries discussed above in brief.

Flat Plate vs Tubular vs Sealed Maintenance Free Battery

FeatureFlat Plate BatteryTubular BatterySealed Maintenance-Free Battery
Battery LifespanLow, around three yearsGood, about five yearsMedium, approximately three to four years
MaintenanceHighMediumNo maintenance
Water refillingHighMediumNot necessary
Releases toxic gasesYesYesNo
Requires ventilationYesYesNo
WeightComparatively lowHeavyDepends on the model
SafetyLowLowHigh
PricingLeastMost expensiveMedium
Top brandsLuminous, Amaron, Exide, Su-KamAmaron, Su-Kam, Exide, LuminousAmaron, Luminous

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