Ok- I will try to be very succint and clear- but first I will admit that I am a novice
and very much in the learning
The boat is 3 months new to me and is vintage 1981
I have 2 12volt batteries and a master battey switch.
For the time I have owned the boat all the electrical
has worked fine. My mechanic
says the alternator
is producing power, checked wirth his meter a month ago. The battery charger
hooked to shore power
is keeping the system topped off.
Today I needed to move the boat from one marina to another. The weather
was not so good and ultimately we had to turn back and until I get this resolved I am now paying double moorage- so Please any help will be greatly appreciated.
At the start of the day all was fine and the 12 volt system worked- cabin
pump were used and worked fine (this was after shore power
Half way through this ill fated day I noticed that the VHF
was quite. Shortly after we were back in the slip and discovered the following.
I have no 12 volt system- Cabin
pump, bilge pump
, VHF CD stereo nothing-
Now the bilge pump
is wired in such a way the independant of the switch on the control panel
, should the water in the bilge
rise and trigger the float switch- the bilge
pump would engage and pump the bilge. I cannot manually make the bilge pump work either from the switch on the panel or by manually activiating the float switch.
Interestingly enough- the 12 volt outlets work when the switch on the control panel
for them is switched on. One at the helm
and one outlet at the nav station. These will go dead when the switch marked 12 volt outlets on the panel is turned off.
So at least one switch in the panel seems to be working.
I metered the batteries and each reads 12 volts.
I checked the main battery
switch and all connections seem fine.
The inital inspection
of the wiring
in the engine
compartment seems fine- I have seen no breaks or loose wires.
earlier installed a terminal block to correctly tidy up some wiring
from the previous owner who had connected things directly to the battery terminals- since this install all the system has been working fine as stated above and in checking all the contacts here - they all seem fine. Been fine for the last month.
While underway back to the slip and was below in the cabin I did notice that the volt meter in the face of the panel was cycling from zero to less than 10 volts and was giving off an audible beep. This to me says that its a low voltage alarm
and was acting correctly as the voltage reading was erradict.
So to me it would seem that if the batteries have power but the panel does not - then the problem must be somewhere in the wiring (?) from the batteries and the battery switch to the control panel.
Does this makes sense?
Why would it suddenly quit?
Granted the water was very rough and Yanmar
30 hp diesel
was not allowing us to make much headway with high winds and at the same time going against the tide- hence the decision to turn back.
We did get jostled around some- but I cannot think of or could find anything that got moved or disconnected by the motion of the boat in the waves.
What am I missing? I am not an electrician but my common reasoning is telling me that the problem has to be in the control panel or the wiring from there back to the batteries. I cannot imagine that the wiring runs through the boat to each light could have all gone bad downstream of the panel.
Could the actual volt meter indicator dial in the panel be a possible source of my problem?
Could it actually be getting full power from the alternator
but somehow going bad internally and registering low voltage hence the alarm
and voltage cycling?
And if it was failing and did fail- could it cause the rest of the panel to not function and therefore not send the powe flow from the batteries through the panel switches and onto a given fixture?
Could the rough wave action caused a wire to chafe and short out? But if so- why would one breaker switch in the panel function and control the 12 volt outlets?
I am stumped and gave up for the day and will go back tomorrow to the boat to start tracing wires to find a possible problem-
In the meantime I am now paying double moorage as I mentioned above and my other half is no too happy about any of this.
Please Help any suggestions (my mechanic is not back in town until the 7th)
Thanks very much Randy