Boer maak n plan: testing of a lead acid battery

Years ago I was in a rough and ready garage and witnessed these ‘mechanics’ testing a good old wet battery. They shorted the terminals with a flat spanner. The sparks were a bit hectic so the spanner was held down firmly with a boot.
I recall inquiring about the diagnosis and they said this was indicated by plenty of bubbles in a particular cell. (They were teasing for a dead cell).
I presume if there were fewer bubbles across all cells and a red hot spanner then the battery was good!

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