Huge Voltage Drain Problem - Ideas? - Page 3 - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree6Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #21  
Old 11-04-2013
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: See my blog SailingAquinnah.blogspot.com. Maine to the warm Islands down South
Posts: 40
Thanks: 2
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
JohnZion is on a distinguished road
Re: Huge Voltage Drain Problem - Ideas?

Erps - good thought, but it was actually -40 and -70 Amps that the Xantrex was registering. The Amp/hrs went from -275 to -335 Amp/hrs within two hours. I kept notes.

Dr Watson - thanks for the advice, I will get an ammeter. Fortunately for me there are forums like this to connect me to people with knowledge I don't yet possess.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #22  
Old 11-05-2013
mitiempo's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Victoria B.C. Canada
Posts: 7,110
Thanks: 0
Thanked 71 Times in 62 Posts
Rep Power: 8
mitiempo will become famous soon enough mitiempo will become famous soon enough
Re: Huge Voltage Drain Problem - Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
If you're going to play an electrical Sherlock Holmes then you need a proper magnifying glass.

You should have -- ALL boats should have -- an AC/DC clamp-on ammeter. Decent ones are cheap these days (around $60), and they'll save you hundreds of dollars of grief.

Wondering if you have a current leak? Just use the clamp-on ammeter to prove that you do (or don't), and to accurately measure the magnitude of the leak.

Did you really have a 40A current draw with all breakers off, or was the Xantrex lying to you?

No more will you have to say, "I think I have.....". With proper use of a clamp-on ammeter, you'll KNOW you have, or don't have....

You can also know very accurately:

- how much amperage you alternator is actually putting out
- how much amperage your battery charger is actually putting out
- how much amperage your solar panels are putting into the MPPT controller
- how much amperage your MPPT controller is putting into the batteries
- how much amperage your bilge pump draws
- how much amperage just about anything on your boat draws
- how much amperage is being drawn from your batteries
etc., etc.

You get the picture.

Sorry for the mini-rant. It just drives me crazy to watch the antics of folks trying to troubleshoot relatively simple electrical problems on their boats without having even the rudimentary tools required.

Bill
Bill beat me to this opinion and I agree. The list above could be completed to remove any doubt in under 30 minutes probably.
__________________
Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #23  
Old 11-05-2013
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 1,810
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 10
btrayfors will become famous soon enough btrayfors will become famous soon enough
Re: Huge Voltage Drain Problem - Ideas?

A very nice clamp-on ammeter for very little $$$ is the Mastech MS2108 (NOT the MS2108A).

The 2108 is AC/DC, 600A capacity, in-rush current, etc., etc. I have two of them and often find myself reaching for them instead of my $350 Fluke 337.

Find 'em on eBay from US dealers in CA or NY/NJ for about $67.

Bill
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #24  
Old 11-05-2013
Maine Sail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Posts: 5,348
Thanks: 11
Thanked 121 Times in 89 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice
Re: Huge Voltage Drain Problem - Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
A very nice clamp-on ammeter for very little $$$ is the Mastech MS2108 (NOT the MS2108A).

The 2108 is AC/DC, 600A capacity, in-rush current, etc., etc. I have two of them and often find myself reaching for them instead of my $350 Fluke 337.

Find 'em on eBay from US dealers in CA or NY/NJ for about $67.

Bill
Like you I also own the MS2108 but am not quite as happy over the long haul. I find the construction & long term durability pretty poor. My clamp lever is distorted and warped (from the factory), the case fit is very sloppy and my flashlight feature died in under a year. The meter hunts and floats pretty badly and does not zero out on either AC or DC. When I bought it a number of years ago it by far the best value on the market, today it has some competition..

Of course for the type of work the avergae DIY does, and this would be used for, it is still an EXCELLENT value in an AC / DC clamp meter. Be aware that the inrush feature does not work on DC but I would not expect a DIY to be using the inrush feature anyway...

When I first got mine I was pretty happy but the longer I have it the more the short comings begin to show up. Mastech does make some great stuff but the MS2108 could have been a tad better built in terms of durability IMHO..

A clamp meter I have been pretty impressed with for inexpensive boat DC work is this $50.00 Craftsman. My brother has one.. It is more robustly built and not as "floaty" as the MS2108. It also zeros out on clamp current where my Mastech won't any longer...

Craftsman 400A AC/DC Clamp Meter:
Sears.com

The UNI-T UT204A is also a decent little in-expensive AC/DC clamp meter. A friend has one and I was very skeptical but I honestly find the construction quality is better than my Mastech. I have not spent much time using it but it seems to performs admirably for the $40.00 +/- he paid...
__________________
______
-Maine Sail / CS-36T


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




© Images In Posts Property of Compass Marine Inc.


Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #25  
Old 11-05-2013
Bene505's Avatar
Glad I found Sailnet
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,588
Thanks: 5
Thanked 40 Times in 39 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Bene505 will become famous soon enough Bene505 will become famous soon enough
Re: Huge Voltage Drain Problem - Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnZion View Post
Today I noticed (according to the Xantrex battery monitor) that the batteries were being drained at a rate of -40A. The Xantrex also said the batteries were at 37% of charge...
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnZion View Post
I did check the batteries individually, they each read 6.22, they are 6 volt batteries. They are hooked together in a series. Would I check the individual cells with a hydrometer?
6.22 volts on a 6v battery is like 12.44 volts on my 12v battery. That seems high for a battery that is drained. Could it be that the Xantrex was not calibrated for zero current?

Suggestion you disconnect the house and starting ground wires from the shunt. (Keep the shunt connected to the negative terminal of your batteries, and keep the small power wire for the shunt connected to the positive terminal of the batteries.) Check the current reading and let us know what it was. Then calibrate the Xantrex to zero current.

Regards,
Brad
__________________
.
.
Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
.
The best minds discuss sailing, anchors, batteries, rode length, fridge-or-not, freezer-or-not, and guns-on-board. I don't know why. It's a mystery!
.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #26  
Old 11-06-2013
Omatako's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Posts: 2,411
Thanks: 0
Thanked 27 Times in 24 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Omatako will become famous soon enough
Re: Huge Voltage Drain Problem - Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnZion View Post
Erps - good thought, but it was actually -40 and -70 Amps that the Xantrex was registering. The Amp/hrs went from -275 to -335 Amp/hrs within two hours. I kept notes.

Dr Watson - thanks for the advice, I will get an ammeter. Fortunately for me there are forums like this to connect me to people with knowledge I don't yet possess.
That is the answer to the question. I wondered about the minus sign before the amp reading. Of course it is the outgoing consumption since the last charge diosplayed in negative amp hours.

Switch the Xantrex to Amps and it will give you a sensible reading of the actual consumption.

Well spotted ERPS
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

__________________

"Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."

Arthur C. Clarke
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #27  
Old 11-07-2013
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 825
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
chris_gee is on a distinguished road
Re: Huge Voltage Drain Problem - Ideas?

The Xantrex reads volts amps amp hours and time to discharge.
A discharge of 50 amps will show as -50. Over 2 hours it will subtract 100 amp hours from amp hours available rather more than the op recorded.
So you already have an ammeter in the unit. There is no need to install another particularly.
The question is was the apparent discharge real or not? The battery voltage suggests not.
The amps are measured via the voltage drop between the two sides of the shunt across a small fixed resistance. I believe they are the orange and brown wires from memory. The amps are then calculated by the device knowing the resistance i.e. 5 mv = 50 amps. The op may or may not have a voltmeter capable of that accuracy.
The unit would have reset when the new batteries were fitted. Capacity type and temp would be the only things needing to be entered. If the unit was wired incorrectly this would have been evident early on. When the batteries were disconnected if for more than 30 minutes the unit would have reset. That may have been what solved the problem.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #28  
Old 11-07-2013
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: See my blog SailingAquinnah.blogspot.com. Maine to the warm Islands down South
Posts: 40
Thanks: 2
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
JohnZion is on a distinguished road
Re: Huge Voltage Drain Problem - Ideas?

As for the questions / answers regarding battery voltage, the voltage I gave was after the batteries were recharged.
Thanks everyone for the suggestions,. The problem has not occurred so far, but I am still working to figure it out.
fryewe likes this.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply

Tags
battery , drain , voltage , xantrex


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Solent Stay Ideas-Possible hairbrained ideas Joel H. General Discussion (sailing related) 39 01-26-2013 07:09 PM
Alternator/Voltage gauge problem, 5411 diesel Marcobowow Diesel 14 12-19-2011 01:58 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:26 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.