"Voltage" light stays on - SailNet Community
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By poopdeckpappy
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 08-10-2013 Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sugar Hill, GA
Posts: 165
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
 
"Voltage" light stays on

The boat is a 1983 Cal 27. The engine is a Yanmar 1GM. I think the alternator is a replacement. I can't find a model number but it does say "Hitachi" on the back.

On the instrument panel there is, among others, a Voltage light. That light is not going out when the engine is running. However, the brightness of the light goes up and down in direct relation to engine RPM.

My assumption was that being lit that light would tell me that the alternator is not charging. However, having the light get brighter as engine RPM comes up tells me that it is.

Does anyone have any idea what's wrong here?

Thanks,

Matt
mwrohde is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 08-10-2013
Senior Slacker
 
SlowButSteady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 4,223
Thanks: 0
Thanked 17 Times in 15 Posts
Rep Power: 6
 
Re: "Voltage" light stays on

Check the voltage across the battery terminals with the engine off and then with it running. With the engine off, and the batteries charged, it should be 12.6V or 12.7V; with the engine running (above idle) it should be between 13.7 and 14.2V (depending on the charge state of the batteries). If you don't get at least 13.7V at idle, and/or the voltage doesn't increase as the RPMs of the engine are increased, you probably have a problem with the alternator or the regulator.

Never forget them. Do something to prevent it from happening again.
Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel Davino, Olivia Josephine Gay, Ana M. Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Dawn Hochsprung, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli , Grace McDonnell, Anne Marie Murphy, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison N. Wyatt
SlowButSteady is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 9 Old 08-10-2013
Senior Member
 
poopdeckpappy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 6,145
Thanks: 35
Thanked 42 Times in 36 Posts
Rep Power: 12
     
Re: "Voltage" light stays on

Check belt for proper adjustment and wear.......... 1/4" deflection, no shinny spots and that it still has teeth

1955 Blanchard 51 Custom ( I got a woody )

Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can change and Rum to accept the things I can't
poopdeckpappy is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 9 Old 08-10-2013
Senior Member
 
fryewe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,622
Thanks: 31
Thanked 52 Times in 52 Posts
Rep Power: 11
 
Re: "Voltage" light stays on

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwrohde View Post
The boat is a 1983 Cal 27. The engine is a Yanmar 1GM. I think the alternator is a replacement. I can't find a model number but it does say "Hitachi" on the backMany Yanmars were equipped with Hitachi alternators.

On the instrument panel there is, among others, a Voltage light. That light is not going out when the engine is runningIf you have the standard Yanmar "B" panel that light is wired between the excitation lead to the alternator and the B+ coming from the battery through the ON/OFF switch. Any time excitation current is flowing that light should be on.. However, the brightness of the light goes up and down in direct relation to engine RPM That's because the exciter current goes up when the engine RPM go up.

My assumption was that being lit that light would tell me that the alternator is not charging. However, having the light get brighter as engine RPM comes up tells me that it is.

Does anyone have any idea what's wrong here?

Thanks,

Matt
I don't think anything is wrong. I think you are seeing normal operation of your panel. Check your battery voltage under charge and with engine off as suggested. If your voltage is as stated above your system is fine. If the voltages are not as indicated and the belt is fine then pull the alternator and take it to an alternator shop. The shop test only takes a couple of minutes and will reveal if the alternator is performing normally and also if a problem is in the regulator or the diodes.

The web makes everywhere the same place. - Fred Reed, from "Fred on Everything"
fryewe is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 9 Old 08-11-2013 Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sugar Hill, GA
Posts: 165
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
 
Re: "Voltage" light stays on

Excellent suggestions. Thank you.

I know the alternator is a replacement. Or, at least, a rebuild. I doubt that actually matters, though.

The alternator belt was probably tight enough, but I had more than 1/4" play. So, I tightened it up. It's not a toothy belt. It's the old style v belt. It's pretty new, so I don't think the belt itself is a problem.

Two batteries. Engine off, one of them shows 12.7 volts, the other 11.9. Engine on they both show "more", but I don't recall what it was. RPMs up they both show more still, and both are at 13.3.

Voltage light remained on through out. Where do I stand? Pull the alternator and have it tested?

Edit: Oh, I do have the "B" panel.
mwrohde is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 9 Old 08-11-2013
Senior Member
 
fryewe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,622
Thanks: 31
Thanked 52 Times in 52 Posts
Rep Power: 11
 
Re: "Voltage" light stays on

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwrohde View Post
Two batteries. Engine off, one of them shows 12.7 volts, the other 11.9. Engine on they both show "more", but I don't recall what it was. RPMs up they both show more still, and both are at 13.3.

Edit: Oh, I do have the "B" panel.
Are you starting and running your engine with your battery selector switch on "BOTH"? Not a recommended practice. This forum has a lot of info on battery selection and maintenance and use - including switching recommendations - and I recommend you search for them and read them.

11.9V is an uncharged battery...or a faulty battery if it has been under charge for adequate time with adequate current.

I would fully charge the battery that is 11.9V and then check cell specific gravity (and battery temperature). Each fully charged cell should be 1.265 at 80 degrees F (add .004 for each 10F above 80 and subtract .004 for each 10F below 80).

If you don't have a hydrometer but intend to keep flooded cell batteries the small investment to buy one will pay you back many times over.

The web makes everywhere the same place. - Fred Reed, from "Fred on Everything"

Last edited by fryewe; 08-11-2013 at 07:25 PM.
fryewe is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 9 Old 08-11-2013 Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sugar Hill, GA
Posts: 165
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
 
Re: "Voltage" light stays on

Quote:
Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
Are you starting and running your engine with your battery selector switch on "BOTH"?
I am. I'll search and read.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
11.9V is an uncharged battery...or a faulty battery if it has been under charge for adequate time with adequate current.
That battery is older than the one with a full charge. It might have a bad cell. I'll buy a hydrometer. I appreciate the info with the appropriate specs. Had I known them before I might already own a hydrometer.

What about the alternator?
mwrohde is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 9 Old 08-11-2013
Senior Member
 
poopdeckpappy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 6,145
Thanks: 35
Thanked 42 Times in 36 Posts
Rep Power: 12
     
Re: "Voltage" light stays on

can you get your hands on a load tester?, sounds like #one batt is a goner
chef2sail likes this.

1955 Blanchard 51 Custom ( I got a woody )

Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can change and Rum to accept the things I can't
poopdeckpappy is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #9 of 9 Old 08-11-2013
Senior Member
 
fryewe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,622
Thanks: 31
Thanked 52 Times in 52 Posts
Rep Power: 11
 
Re: "Voltage" light stays on

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwrohde View Post
What about the alternator?
I think what I would do at this point (knowing what I know now and absent a battery monitoring system) is start the engine on the good battery then shift the battery selector (through the BOTH position - not through OFF or you could damage your voltage regulator) to the lower voltage battery and bring the engine up to mid-range rpm. Wait a couple of minutes then begin checking voltage at the alternator output. The charging rate out of the alternator should be quite high to get that battery up to voltage so the alternator output should be at 14.4V (normal). If it is the alternator and the voltage regulator are working normally.

Also I would observe the charging lamp on the instrument panel after starting the engine on the good battery. If that battery is still at 12.7V (basically fully charged) it will draw very little charging current following a routine starting of your engine and the lamp should be very dim or out. If all goes as expected and the lamp is out you have resolved your questions and problem except perhaps replacing that bad battery if it can't be restored to normal charge condition. Also check the lamp when the alternator is charging only the low voltage battery. It should be a bright light.

The web makes everywhere the same place. - Fred Reed, from "Fred on Everything"
fryewe is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Seacock" vs. "ballcock" or "ball valve?" SEMIJim Gear & Maintenance 18 09-02-2013 05:31 PM
Getting to the bottom of it, or, "You're all wet" and hatching the light fantastic skipgundlach General Discussion (sailing related) 2 04-21-2011 08:51 PM
"Morning Light" movie, anyone... DrB General Discussion (sailing related) 56 10-29-2008 03:04 PM
New movie "Morning Light" MysticGringo General Discussion (sailing related) 6 07-15-2008 09:58 AM
C270 Main Sail "stack Pack", Quick Cover", "lazy Bag" Install randy22556 Catalina 1 02-28-2007 11:53 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may 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 On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome