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Old 31-03-2016, 09:22   #16
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Re: Always on devices - house or starter battery?

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Originally Posted by Swift Drift View Post
This! I had my engine panel wired to my house batteries which powers gauges/alarms and.....wait for it...Glow plugs!!!
I ended up learning the hard way that this was not a great configuration. Had house batteries that were failing and was unable to start my boat. Determined that weak house batteries weren't pumping enough juice to glow plugs. Would have never known and likely never had a problem had house batteries been healthy.
But.....in my mind, having glow plugs underpowered effectively produces the same result as a starter that's underpowered...no start! Luckily I was able to work through the problem with some annoyance rather than being thrust into a dangerous situation. Could have very well put me in a dangerous situation had circumstances been different though.
I think you have another issue going on there. Glow plugs are only needed when its cold out. you shouldn't need them under normal circumstances to start your diesel. I've actually never owned a boat with Diesel that had glow plugs. VW rabbit on the other hand needed them in the dead of winter to get going!
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Old 31-03-2016, 09:40   #17
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Re: Always on devices - house or starter battery?

My Universal 5432 / Westerbeke M40 recommends 30 seconds - 1 minute of glow plugs, depending on how cold it actually is, but their start procedure recommends always using glow plugs. I think it depends on your engine model.

-- Bass

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I think you have another issue going on there. Glow plugs are only needed when its cold out. you shouldn't need them under normal circumstances to start your diesel. I've actually never owned a boat with Diesel that had glow plugs. VW rabbit on the other hand needed them in the dead of winter to get going!
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Old 31-03-2016, 09:42   #18
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Re: Always on devices - house or starter battery?

My setup is similar to yours- 3 AGM gr31 house + gr31 start. I have everything wired to the house except the engine gauges are wired to the ignition circuit. In addition I have a volt meter in one of my 12V sockets so I will have lots of warning if the voltage starts dropping. If I had to leave the boat unattended for long periods I would switch both banks to 'on' for a little extra security but nothing can substitute for a friend periodically looking in. My concern would be more about protecting my battery life then working the bilge pump. Significant degradation will happen long before getting so low that the pump is disabled.
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Old 31-03-2016, 10:58   #19
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Re: Always on devices - house or starter battery?

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Originally Posted by pcmm View Post
I think you have another issue going on there. Glow plugs are only needed when its cold out. you shouldn't need them under normal circumstances to start your diesel. I've actually never owned a boat with Diesel that had glow plugs. VW rabbit on the other hand needed them in the dead of winter to get going!

Nope, that was the problem. Solved it and have been without issue ever since. For what it's worth, I'm in the Pacific Northwest and the engine is a universal m25xp. You actually do need glow plugs under "normal circumstances" with this engine. If they are wired to house bank and house bank is dead....no Bueno.

Either way, in reference to the original post/question; if you have glow plugs, ensure they are wired to start battery.
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Old 31-03-2016, 17:11   #20
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Re: Always on devices - house or starter battery?

I definitely would not hard wire anything to my start battery. If you can't start the engine you are in big poop.
I have series wired solar panels charging through a VSR (voltage sensing relay), so start battery charges first then house batteries.
On my second boat now & have never had a problem.
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Old 31-03-2016, 18:01   #21
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Re: Always on devices - house or starter battery?

I own a Volvo Pants TAMD40B that will NOT start without the glow plugs.

The pre-heat was on the house battery. One day the house was dead and I could not start the engine. I changed it.

There are diesel engines with pre-combustion chambers that need glow plugs to start.

Don't know the particulars of mid 90a Ford F350 diesels but if you didn't "Wait to Start" they didn't.
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:35   #22
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Re: Always on devices - house or starter battery?

Going back to engine wiring, if you power your engine panel (and therefore everything associated with your engine) by tapping off of your main starter terminal, then all is well. This is pretty much standard practice. New Westerbekes are pre-configured this way with a 20a fuse in the path. Power to the glow plug solenoid is tapped off before this fuse for obvious reasons.
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