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Author Topic:   Battery down?
rsgwynn1 posted 05-24-2002 01:19 AM ET (US)   Profile for rsgwynn1   Send Email to rsgwynn1  
I ran about fifteen miles in the Revenge 22 Cuddy today. With nothing but the automatic bilge pump and depth finder running off the main battery, I still did not have enough charge to crank the engine after about half of the trip. Voltmeter said 14-16 the whole time it was running--went down to zero when I tried to restart the engine. I had to switch to the second battery to crank the engine. Both batteries are brand new, and I charged both before the trip. If I have rectifier problems, wouldn't that show up on the voltmeter?
EddieS posted 05-24-2002 01:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for EddieS  Send Email to EddieS     
RSG,

I would check your battery first. Depth finders draw a very minimal amount of juice, you would have to run it for a very long time to drain your battery. Even though it is new it may have a bad cell, be low on electolite etc.

Ed

jimh posted 05-24-2002 10:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Check the connections. With low-voltage like this just a few molecules of insulation will stop current flow. Connections that look fine mechanically can be bad electrically.

Also check the cables. There may be corrosion in the existing cables.

If both batteries are new, swap them around. See if the suspected "bad" battery works better in the other position with different wiring. That could help isolate the problem.

Also, if your engine alternator has a blown diode it could actually be discharging the battery. If you started with a fresh, fully charged battery, it might have taken an hour or so to weaken it. Depending on your engine, it could have significant current drain on a battery when running. If there is no charging, eventually it will run the battery down. Some of the modern fuel injected engines draw 20-Amps to run the injection system, a current that is normally furnished by the alternator. If the alternator is dead that current comes from the battery and will quickly drain a charged battery.

It could be you got a bad battery when you bought a new one or one that had only a slight charge.

For charging, I like to use low current, like 2-amps, and let the battery charge for at least 24 hours. Then disconnect the charge, let the battery settle for a hour or so, and accurately measure the voltage. This will tell you the charge condition. See my article at:
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/chargeBattery.html

RMBW posted 05-24-2002 10:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for RMBW  Send Email to RMBW     
A new battery is like anything else that is new, it may be a defective. Had my problem last year with a pair of battery with posts and studs for hookup. The posts I had jumper cables to were good, but one of the bolts for the wire hook was defective and not carring power.After all my checking I happened to put a test on the bolt and found no power while the stud had it. When taking the new battery back, they said that was the 3rd battery back in six months.
hauptjm posted 05-24-2002 11:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Is it a Delco? If so, it probably is defective. I've gone through 3 in my '99 Blazer. Fortunately, my dealer is honest and told me about the defect. He said most have been removed from the market, but unfortunately there still a lot of them around.

A note to Chevy/GMC Suburban, Pickups, Tahoe and Blazer owners '99 to current: the dealer HAS to replace your factory battery if it goes bad within 5 years. They (dealers) were notified of this extremely large batch of batteries manufactured by Delco that were defective. A lot of the dealers did nothing. Basically waiting to see which ones went bad, then replace just those. Don't let the dealer off the hook. He gets reimbursed by GM. Some dealers were caught charging the customers for new batteries then sending in the numbers on the bad batteries and getting paid by GM. What a racket.

I'm going to run this as a separate thread since there are probably a lot of GM owners on this site.

rsgwynn1 posted 05-24-2002 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
The batteries are in the well at the rear, under the ice chest. The switch on the bilge pump failed, and the well filled with water, enough to short out #1 battery but not # 2. Now the bilge pump is wired directly to #1 (automatic pump). I think this will solve the problem.
jimh posted 05-25-2002 12:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Is your boat a full-transom model?

Usually the batteries are mounted in the motor well on a standard transom boat.

rsgwynn1 posted 05-25-2002 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
What's a full-transom model? Motor well? As in an inboard? Previous owner moved the batteries to what must have been a fish well, right in front of the outboard.
jimh posted 05-25-2002 09:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I was confused about the location of your batteries. On a standard transom boat they are normally mounted in battery boxes in the stern in the corners of the motor well. They can't get too flooded there. Water would be coming into the cockpit before the batteries went under.

On a full transom boat that space becomes enclosed, and it could be possible for it to accumulate water if the drains and scuppers were blocked.

Putting the batteries in the bottom the rear cockpit deck well does put them at risk to being flooded, as you have discovered.

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