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Author Topic:   Battery and Distribution Wiring Problems
4Winns posted 04-20-2006 04:36 PM ET (US)   Profile for 4Winns   Send Email to 4Winns  
I have a Perko battery switch. I am having trouble with Battery #2. Both batteries are relatively new and fully charged. Whenever I try to run off of the #2 Battery, I can sometimes start the boat, but I can never run any accesories, such as the radio. The meter on the boat will show a charge of 25 to 50-percent for this battery, even though it is fully charged.

The #1 Battery never seems to have any trouble. It shows a full charge and performs as expected.

I have rotated the batteries without a difference in outcome so I have eliminated the possibility that the batteries are [the source of the problem]. I am left to think that the [problem] lies in the wiring or the battery selector.

Any ideas or suggestions?

prm1177 posted 04-20-2006 04:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
Sure sounds like corrosion on the battery terminals or at the switch.
4Winns posted 04-20-2006 04:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for 4Winns  Send Email to 4Winns     
Thanks for the input. Any advice on how to inspect the switch for corrosion? Can I remove the cover or is it more involved?
rtk posted 04-20-2006 06:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
You can take the switch out of the loop- just hook the primary positive and negative leads from the engine to the suspect battery and see how it does.

A shop that works on starters and alternators can load test the battery to see if it is ok.

Switch the suspect battery to connect to the #1 position to see if the problem follows the battery or is isolated to the #2 switch position with the "good" battery. If the problems happens in the #1 position, it's the battery, in the #2 position than it may be the switch or positive battery cable from the switch to the battery.

Relatively new batteries can go bad in a short period of time.


jimh posted 04-20-2006 07:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am interested to learn more about the meter you have which provides an indication of the state of charge. Please describe it in more detail.

If you have a good voltmeter, you can use it to measure for any voltage drop across a connection or jumper in the circuit. Checking this way will reveal where the voltage drop is occurring. If it is in the PERKO switch, you probably will have to replace it, as generally these are not serviceable.

Chuck Tribolet posted 04-21-2006 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
You can also jumper across the switch with one side of a pair
of jumper cables.

If you go chasing the bug with a voltmeter, be sure to do
it with a load on. You won't see the voltage drop unless there's
a current flow.


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