Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 19-05-2019, 15:24   #1
Registered User
 
brookiesailor's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Connecticut, USA
Boat: Passport 40
Posts: 354
New to batteries and charging

Ok new to me boat. 3 agm batteries (housebank) totally dead, one gel starter battery, also dead. Solar (one solid panel mounted on hard dodger) one wind generator. Inverter/charger

First thing; put trickle charger on battery that is first in line of house batteries... alternator kicks on and bilge pump ejects into the parking lot... pulled the fuse on the alternator

So the inverter comes on saying inverter. Then I find the switch for the wind generator and solar panel and it starts flashing charging. Great! But the meter never gets into the charging zone. And the monitor is screaming low battery. That goes on all day. I get up this am (although I was sleeping on the boat someone helped me out and unplugged me). The house batteries were once again dead. I decided to cut my losses and charge the stater battery which went well,

As I was waiting on a friend I decided that I would try the house batteries again. I hooked up to the LAST in line. It sparked and all the alarms went off and all the meters were happy. My question. Is it possessed. Did I screw it up? Should I be worried about it sparking?
__________________

brookiesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2019, 20:43   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 2,483
Re: New to batteries and charging

how does an alternator turn on from getting power?... the engine spins it...

if the batteries are dead. it will take a long time to get to a "charging" voltage. they will slowly climb as they charge. if you only have a really small charger it could take days untill full. if you are trying to charge the batteries. the inverter should be off. you could be draining more then you are charging if stuff is plugged into it.
__________________

smac999 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2019, 05:27   #3
Registered User
 
Spot's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Minnesota, USA
Boat: 21' trailer sailor & 8' sailing dinghy
Posts: 178
Re: New to batteries and charging

Brookie, it sounds like you will have plenty of charging options once it is sorted.
When you said alternator came on with hooking up the house bank, was that an indicator light on the engine panel?
You probably have a switch that allows house and start batteries to be linked. I would find that and get the house isolated from start for troubleshooting.

Sparks at hook-up mean that something in the system is 'on' and drawing power.
Once you know that each battery is working, then it will be a process to determine how each branch of the electrical is working by itself and together as a system.
I need to do a deeper dive on my own stuff, thinking about getting the latest Nigel Calder book on electrical.
__________________
Big dreams, small boats...
Spot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2019, 16:43   #4
Registered User
 
brookiesailor's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Connecticut, USA
Boat: Passport 40
Posts: 354
Re: New to batteries and charging

Ok when I hooked up the power the first time I heard a pump clattering. Like tapping. It went off when I flipped the tab on the switch in the electrical area marked alternator. Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1558395735.401098.jpg
Views:	60
Size:	169.8 KB
ID:	192423

On the bottom left there is a lever I pulled down and it turned off
brookiesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2019, 16:47   #5
Registered User
 
brookiesailor's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Connecticut, USA
Boat: Passport 40
Posts: 354
Re: New to batteries and charging

As for the engine control. It is at stop. The panel on deck, is missing its face so I am assuming that without the key all is off. My only other thought was that the bulge pump was on auto maybe the float switch is broken?
brookiesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2019, 17:12   #6
Moderator
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 14,546
Re: New to batteries and charging

the clattering noise may well have been a fresh water pump building up system pressure. Many FW systems have an accumulator tank that takes a few seconds to build up to working pressure and then the pump shuts itself off. Or, if the clattering didn't stop within say 10-15 seconds, the supply tank could be shut off or empty, or there could be an open tap or a leak. Bilge pumps are mostly centrifugal designs and they make a whirring noise rather than a clatter.

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II now lying Towlers Cove, in Broken Bay NSW for a while
Jim Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2019, 17:18   #7
Registered User
 
brookiesailor's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Connecticut, USA
Boat: Passport 40
Posts: 354
Re: New to batteries and charging

Ah Jim maybe so. Why would the alternator switch kill it? Asking as an honest question. On the main breaker at the chart table the main power was turned off. Being the boat is from 1982 I am sure things have been rearranged once or twice
brookiesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2019, 17:32   #8
Marine Service Provider
 
boatpoker's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario or Bahamas
Boat: Benford 38 Fantail Cruiser
Posts: 3,704
Re: New to batteries and charging

I was very hesitant about writing this because it sounds so negative but believe me I write wih the best intentions.

I would not give you any advice as I don't think you know enough to understand it. You clearly have no idea about the electrical systems on your boat. The alternator cannot be turned on without the engine running, You simply cannot just keep connecting chargers to different batteries to see what happens. You say you have an inverter onboard which implies that you may also have shore power but are still using a "trickle charger" (I hope that is not an automotive unit). There are serious considerations made even more complex when shore power and an inverter are added to the mix.

With the greatest respect you need to hire a certified marine electrican to check your system out and give you some direction to self education otherwise you may hurt yourself or do significant damage.
__________________
That hysterical laughter you hear as you sail a way in your "new" boat ..... is the seller.
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2019, 17:40   #9
Registered User
 
brookiesailor's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Connecticut, USA
Boat: Passport 40
Posts: 354
Re: New to batteries and charging

Actually BP. I thank you. I was in contact with hubby (marine engineer in Singapore) it was the former owner that advised the trickle charger. . Before I left the boat I shut it all down until hubby gets home. As you say it wasnít as simple as the former owner made it out to be and then I was concerned I had ruined the batteries
brookiesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2019, 18:32   #10
Registered User
 
brookiesailor's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Connecticut, USA
Boat: Passport 40
Posts: 354
Re: New to batteries and charging

Let me clarify some things though BP. Boat not hooked to shore power. Trickle charger was meant to charge over the weekend and thus I stayed on board. I had let the yard know my intentions and was charging the house bank only. I woke up Sunday morning to find I had been unplugged during the night and thus changed directions to charge the starter battery the best I could during the day. I am familiar with trickle chargers, how they do and do not work from working on cars.

Inverter. Totally new to me. Turned on as soon as batteries had a minimal charge. The only shore power was running directly into the trickle charger in a 110 cord. I figured out how to turn it off later.

A lot of the rest was just trying to figure out what was there and worked
brookiesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2019, 21:18   #11
Marine Service Provider
 
boatpoker's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario or Bahamas
Boat: Benford 38 Fantail Cruiser
Posts: 3,704
Re: New to batteries and charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by brookiesailor View Post
Let me clarify some things though BP. Boat not hooked to shore power. Trickle charger was meant to charge over the weekend and thus I stayed on board. I had let the yard know my intentions and was charging the house bank only. I woke up Sunday morning to find I had been unplugged during the night and thus changed directions to charge the starter battery the best I could during the day. I am familiar with trickle chargers, how they do and do not work from working on cars.

Inverter. Totally new to me. Turned on as soon as batteries had a minimal charge. The only shore power was running directly into the trickle charger in a 110 cord. I figured out how to turn it off later.

A lot of the rest was just trying to figure out what was there and worked
Be very careful with automotive trickle chargers. They do not meet marine standards as the AC and DC sides are not typically isolated. You vessel AC negative is (or should be) bonded to your DC ground. Using an automotive trickle charger runs the risk of leaking AC into your DC system. There are also stringent requirements for the proper installation of inverters and these too should be UL marine certified units.
__________________
That hysterical laughter you hear as you sail a way in your "new" boat ..... is the seller.
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2019, 22:58   #12
Moderator
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 14,546
Re: New to batteries and charging

Well, Brookie, in this case BP is likely correct: you need some basic electrical knowldege before you delve much further into the maze of PO wiring and mods. Hopefully your husband can do the education... he likely works cheaper than a "certified sparkie".

But here's a bit more to chew upon: the item in your photo is a Blue Seas mod 7104 circuit breaker, rated at 150 amps. That being the case, it may well be the main battery shutoff/breaker and be between the house battery(s) and the distribution panel. Thus when you flipped the switch on it, it may have simply disconnected the battery from everything. That would tie in with your observations, but not the labeling (alternator). It could be in the line between the output of the alternator and the battery, that would explain the label but not your observations.

You, or someone else really needs to sit down and trace all those wires and make a diagram of what you find. It will be a tedious job, but until it is done, everything is guesswork... and gawd knows what evils lurk in the maze.

Good luck... and your luck might well improve if you read a basic DC electrics book very carefully. Calder's is a good one.

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II now lying Towlers Cove, in Broken Bay NSW for a while
Jim Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2019, 17:23   #13
Registered User
 
brookiesailor's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Connecticut, USA
Boat: Passport 40
Posts: 354
Re: New to batteries and charging

I downloaded the book and am traveling the weekend so hopefully some good reading time on the farm
__________________

brookiesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
batteries, charging

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Converting house and starter batteries and charging them from engine. fursoc Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 16 14-06-2018 23:14
Charging Bow Thruster Batteries from House Batteries Streetcar Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 2 15-07-2017 00:47
New Technology Is Coming for Batteries and Charging careka Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 12 20-11-2011 02:40
Balmar ARS-4 Smart Regulator Under-Charging New Batteries adamwible Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 4 16-12-2010 07:44



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:13.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.