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  Perko battery switch only works on # 2 battery

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Author Topic:   Perko battery switch only works on # 2 battery
Mark D posted 09-19-2007 05:28 PM ET (US)   Profile for Mark D  
I recently recommisioned my boat after one year in storage I installed two new batteries and the engine will only start on when the Perko battery switch is on the #2 battery. Nothing "#1" or "both" Is the switch bad or can it be serviced?
rtk posted 09-19-2007 07:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
I don't think they can be serviced, but you can test them with a meter or test light.

First, I'd check the wiring of the positive leads of the batteries to the switch. Then check that the grounds of the two batteries are connected to each other. If the ground from the engine is only connected to battery 2, and the ground of battery 1 is not connected to battery 2, there is no ground to the engine when battery 1 is selected.

Switch to battery one, hook the meter or test light ground to battery 1 ground, positive lead on meter or test light to the battery one "in" on the switch and make sure you have power to the switch. No power, bad battery lead or poor connection between the battery and switch. If you get a 12 volt reading, then put the positive lead of the meter to the common "out" on the switch. If no reading on the meter or the test light doesn't light it is likely the switch is bad.

You can test the battery switch with all 3 12 volt positive leads disconnected from the switch with a meter that can test for continuity. Put a lead of the meter on battery one "in" and a lead on the "out" of the battery switch. Switch to battery one. No continuity, switch is bad.

Do the same continuity check when 2 and all is selected to make sure the meter is detecting continuity. If you read continuity when 2 is selected, and don't read continuity when 1 and all is selected, I 'd say the switch is toast.


Mark D posted 09-19-2007 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mark D    
Thanks for putting that down is plain english. I am going to print that out and take it down to the boat. I let you know how I make out.

Thanks again

Mark D posted 09-28-2007 10:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mark D    
Wireing was correct. Battery switch was bad. 25 years in open air. I guess it was time.
rtk posted 09-28-2007 12:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
That's an easy fix, good to hear. 25 years on an electrical switch isn't bad!


Mark D posted 09-30-2007 05:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mark D    
There were some warning signs on the switch. It became very hard to move selector switch last cuple of years

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