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Old 04-09-2010, 06:48   #1
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Battery Switch Malfuntion

So, I finally got around to adding a 2nd battery to my sailboat. The wiring was all there (Another story altogether) I put the battery in and hooked it up. I have a battery switch 1,2,all, off. It does not matter what position the switch is in, I always have power going to the circuits on the boat.

Is this a bad switch or a wire problem. I did some basic tracing yesterday and as I see it this is the setup. Start battery neg to motor and a 2nd cable going from battery neg to 2nd battery neg. on the switch itself there is three terminal. One common and 2 for battery input. One input to battery 1 pos terminal and one to battery 2 pos terminal. The common Terminal goes to the starter and also to feed the boat electrical system.

On the start battery there is a couple circuits wired directly. Such as the bilge auto and the radio memory wire. Also each battery has a connection to the positive terminal going to a dual battery charger.

Why is there always power. I am going to go out today and test the switch, but I do not think that is the problem. I can here the connections being made as I turn the selector switch. Meaning the noise the mechanical switch makes as it makes and breaks contact.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:10   #2
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It could be that the plastic knob's broken and the switch is set to anything but OFF. Does the switch take some effort and "kerchunk" when it switches?

The other thing is that the PO may have wired the power to the center of the switch or possibly bypassed the switch completely.

I'd suggest checking the switch with a voltmeter/ammeter.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:22   #3
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Yes, as I stated, I can here and feel when the switch changes position. I only had one battery most of the season and \i turned it off by putting it in the off position. I am going to go out now and check the switch itself. I just wanted to know if it could be something else in the setup before I went.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:22   #4
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I do not think the problem is in the selector switch. Sounds like you have a "rogue wire" off the new battery circuit. To confirm just unhook all the Extra wires( wire to battery charger and any others you might find), leave the one that goes to the selector switch. If all works fine , then add the unhooked wires back in untill the problem re-appears. Good luck
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:34   #5
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Any solar tied directly to the batteries?
Charger turned off?
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:42   #6
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dont forget the board itself needs electricity to function. mine in my ericson uses .2 amps/hr 24/7.
i use , in my ericson, a system of toggle switches instead of the perko gonna break switch. good luck figuring out your system--bilge pumps and the panel require electricity to maintain their function. i hope you dont find any glitches--those can be aggravating. how much electricity is being used ?? the auto bilge pumps usually use 1.9 amps while sensing and 3 + amps to pump. the panel probably uses .2 amps per hour for maintaining itself.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:00   #7
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My battery switch did the same thing, all the wires off it I had continuity between the output terminal and battery 2 in post. Switch felt fine.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:13   #8
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Mystery solved. Turned out the lugs from battery two were touching the lug from the common. I added heat shrink tubing and rerouted all of the cables and all works as it should.
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