110vac draining batteries... Confused - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 14 Old 3 Days Ago Thread Starter
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Re: 110vac draining batteries... Confused

Shore power is definitely getting to the boat. We've been running the air conditioner a lot lately - maybe it was able to cycle enough the previous days that the batteries didn't lose charge and yesterday was just too hot/constant that it drained them. Again, very perplexed that the air would be drawing on DC - for obvious reasons, I would prefer that to be independent. I'm going to fire up my multimeter when I get back to the boat (currently at the office) and take a volt reading directly off each battery. Not sure what I hope to glean from that, but maybe I'll see an obvious issue with one battery and not the other.

Is it possible that I'm not getting 30amps from the shore connection and the air conditioning/battery charger are fighting for resources? In that scenario, it would appear that the air is drawing off DC when really it's just cutting the available energy the charger has to use?

I've also called a local marine electrician and left a message. Hopefully, they'll get back to me soon and not charge me an arm and a leg to diagnose the issue. I just don't know enough about the boat yet (or marine dc systems in general) to easily identify the issue. Not knowing is 90% of the problem. After that, it's either throwing a wallet or a hammer at something.

If I solve the issue soon, I'll report back so as to not leave anybody hanging.
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post #12 of 14 Old 3 Days Ago Thread Starter
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Re: 110vac draining batteries... Confused

Turns out it was the battery charger. The 110/220 switch had some sort of bad contact. I called a local repair guy who took a look at it, on a whim, flipped it back and forth and immediately everything came back to life. Volt meter jumped up to 12v (don't have to buy new batteries) and the air conditioning stopped pulling on the batteries. Must have been some sort of short in there.

While I'm happy everything is back to normal, I am a bit spooked by the shorted charger (where there's smoke...). So, I'm going to keep an eye on it for a while and if it starts acting up again, I'll either send it to promariner or buy a new one.

Thanks again for all of your help, everyone. I do appreciate your time and insight!
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Re: 110vac draining batteries... Confused

"Any reasonable marine charger will not boot into discharged batteries to prefvent thermal runaway or explosions in-case one of the batteries has failed. it is a safety feature. "
That's the nanny state and companies averse to product liability claims.
"All" of the older chargers will have no problem with this. Most of the analog (big heavy transformer) chargers will have no problem with this.
Most of the new solid-state chargers, for cars and boats alike, will not charge if the battery voltage is 10.5 volt or below. Many modern automotive alternators are set up the same way. The problem is, if the voltage is that low because of a damaged battery, the charger could overheat it and cause an explosion. And the charger companies have found out that too many naive customers just buy 'em hook 'em up, and become part of the 100,000 people who go to emergency rooms in the US, every year, because of battery charging and jump starting accidents. That's also why so many jumper cable kits now come with safety glasses: liability fears.
And yes, that really sucks when all you need is to charge a low battery.
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Re: 110vac draining batteries... Confused

Packing the 12 v battery from your car and connecting to bank with jumpers can fool the smart charger and get things going. Doesn't address the potential for boom or fire though and probable because of dead cell and internal shorting of tired bank.
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