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Old 28-06-2016, 05:22   #1
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New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

Like I said, new boat, to me at least but still in the "due diligence" pre purchase phase. Contract accepted subject to......

It has a hefty house battery bank on board consisting of 6 x 200ah "Absorbed Power" brand 12v agm batts.
Unfortunately or fortunately depending how you look at it she has been unloved for a few years and left on shore power.
The bank is approx 10 years old so I am not expecting them to be that great but appearance wise, I though they were actually new batts so was a bit disappointed to hear they were not.

Tomorrow I plan on going back over to further investigate.
What steps should I take to see if she works without the plug attached?

Currently it has a large 2 door fridge freezer with icemaker a smaller bar fridge and some internal LED lights running on 240v and the owner assures me that the battery bank copes or at least used to cope fine overnight on a 3500watt inverter before firing up the genset in the morning.

I figure that should be enough load to get an indication if it works if I pull the plug for an hour or two.

The tools I will have on hand are hands, eyes, ears and a multi-meter.

I will list the components and hopefully someone can put things in the right order for me as to how to go about it.

1) Outside cockpit BH has the shore power socket with on off switch - turn off and pull plug

2) Inside has the following panel. What switch should I flick it to?
I wont be starting the genset, so I guess leave it on inverter?
Does the 0 reading imply the batts are dead?

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Old 28-06-2016, 05:27   #2
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

3) Below that are these switches

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Old 28-06-2016, 05:32   #3
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

4) in the wheelhouse is this panel
Unfortunately I did not get a clearer image, I have drawn the needle lines in, the panel on the left says DV volts or maybe amps

Not much help I know, but I am hoping someone can give me a heads up.
The owner is 1000 miles away and seems uninterested and the broker is well...... a broker

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Old 28-06-2016, 05:34   #4
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

batteries 10 years old?
Hmm.. new batteries required...
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Old 28-06-2016, 05:37   #5
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

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batteries 10 years old?
Hmm.. new batteries required...
Yeah, I was thinking so.
Guess that means I get to try and shave a bit off the price some more.
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Old 28-06-2016, 09:19   #6
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

Assuming a functioning smart charger, the batteries should not be negatively impacted by prolonged sitting. The charger should have maintained them at full charge. Turn off the shore power at the switch, no need to unplug. You can check the house bank voltage at any 12v outlet or by placing your meter on the first and last batteries in the series. Do the same on the stater battery(s). Wait at least a few hours and recheck. you should see minimal change. Do not replace them because of age. Get a pro to load test them first.
You should consider investing $5 or so in a voltmeter the plugs into a 12v socket. you can see at a glance if anything changes.
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Old 28-06-2016, 09:39   #7
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

It's doubtful that the smart charger has been plugged in and functioning for ten years, so pray that the batteries are still good, but budget on replacing them all. Watching voltage drop during a load test should be definitive, but not always so. Don't go offshore and do anything that would put your life, health or marriage at risk by depending on the existing batteries.

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Old 28-06-2016, 09:51   #8
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

Batteries 10 YO and working fine would be rare.
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Old 28-06-2016, 10:02   #9
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

Load testing while not charging will give you an indication of their remaining life.

Our Trojan T105s (lead acid) are now 8 years old and still fine. They use more water now but might get to 10 years. They have been kept charged and clean and have been in relatively constant use their whole life. We don't run them down which helps their longevity.

Your switching flow should have a breaker for shore power and a reverse polarity indicator. Then you should have a shore, off, inverter switch, then your individual AC breakers.

I would recommend you confirm by a visual inspection. Create a rudimentary wiring diagram. I wouldn't rely on the electrical prowess of the PO or a broker.

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Old 28-06-2016, 10:55   #10
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

I have agm batteries over ten years old. Kept on float charge, never run low. They run starter at good speed. For not going offshore I am pleased to have them
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Old 28-06-2016, 12:18   #11
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

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Originally Posted by foufou View Post
I have agm batteries over ten years old. Kept on float charge, never run low. They run starter at good speed. For not going offshore I am pleased to have them
Engine is on a separate bank
The engine spins up, starts and runs fine.
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Old 28-06-2016, 12:21   #12
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
Your switching flow should have a breaker for shore power and a reverse polarity indicator. Then you should have a shore, off, inverter switch, then your individual AC breakers.
What you see above in the pictures is what is has.
It says Generator - Off - shorepower/inverter
Then individual breakers
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Old 28-06-2016, 12:22   #13
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

Make new offer reducing by price of batteries plus removal and installation. Been there before.
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Old 28-06-2016, 12:26   #14
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
4) in the wheelhouse is this panel
Unfortunately I did not get a clearer image, I have drawn the needle lines in, the panel on the RIGHT says DC volts or maybe amps

Not much help I know, but I am hoping someone can give me a heads up.
The owner is 1000 miles away and seems uninterested and the broker is well...... a broker

This is an off the Internet picture of the panels it has.
They should shed more light on things?
Line in the green claims batteries are charged?
If they are duds, disconnecting shore power while fridges are running should see a rapid drop on that line right?

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Old 28-06-2016, 13:40   #15
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Re: New Boat - off to check the house battery bank.

I do not understand possibly risking the lives of everyone on board, because you wanted to save money and not replace your batteries in a timely fashion? I cannot help but feel you are being "penny wise and pound follish"! My life and those of my loved ones and friends are surely worth more tha a few batteries!
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