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110vac draining batteries... Confused

I'm not even really sure where to start... I purchased this boat about a month and a half ago. We've been on her almost constantly since, whether motoring or sailing about, or in the marina. When in the marina, she's always on shore power and the charger is always on (promariner protech 4). The volt meter always reads around 13v (not sure, specifically - but it's always in the good zone) regardless of draw. We also have a 110vac switch for the ac that I thought was independent from the batteries.

I turned the ac on this morning and worked on some things - had virtually everything on, but we're on shore power.. And charged up. I left to run some errands and got back a handful of hours later to find my voltmeter reading 9 and rapidly dropping. I turned off almost all the DC stuff - no effect. I turned off the ac and the drop ceased. I left the battery charger to do is thing and it's been sitting at just under 10 ever since (with a couple led lights on). It won't go any higher, but as soon as I turn the ac on, it starts dropping fast. Both banks (1 the best battery Co 8DHC on each) read exactly the same.

I'm very new to all of this and am not even sure where to start. Why is the ac on 110vac affecting my batteries? Or is it? Is my charger going out and unable to keep a charge happening with other things fighting for shore juice? Are both of my batteries just dead?

Desperately confused. Thanks for the help.
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Re: 110vac draining batteries... Confused

Are you saying that your 110 volt ac air conditioning is drawing down your 12 volt dc batteries?
Your air conditioning should have either a 110 volt ac or a 12 volt dc salt water circulation pump. If the latter, it could be drawing down your apparently dying battery bank.

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Correct, the air conditioner seems to be killing my batteries. But I didn't think that was possible. The charge definitely seems to drop more when the compressor (and pump) kicks on.

Am I over complicating this and it's simply a matter of too much draw for too long killing my batteries? Is it common for the air conditioner to have DC components? I would have that the thing was wholy ac (since it won't turn on at all without shore power).
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Re: 110vac draining batteries... Confused

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Originally Posted by Damien Kemens View Post
Correct, the air conditioner seems to be killing my batteries. But I didn't think that was possible. The charge definitely seems to drop more when the compressor (and pump) kicks on.

Am I over complicating this and it's simply a matter of too much draw for too long killing my batteries? Is it common for the air conditioner to have DC components? I would have that the thing was wholy ac (since it won't turn on at all without shore power).
You probably have an improperly wired inverter in the system.... The only way to create AC on-boa, water heater or other mammoth AC loads when on. It should also have a transfer switch so it can't simultaneously feed the vessels AC panel at the same time as shore power. There are a LOT of incorrectly wired inverters out there. Check for a shore /inverter transfer switch on-board...

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Re: 110vac draining batteries... Confused

There is an inverter - no independent switch for it, but it's off (using the on/off switch on the inverter)... If that means anything.

Small update - after around 8 hours of charge with very little draw, my voltmeter is still reading 9.9 volts. Do I have a dead battery? Should I maybe test each with a multimeter to see if one reads 12 and the other 10?not sure if it will work out the way I'm thinking.

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Re: 110vac draining batteries... Confused

Do you have two battery banks? To which is the charger connected to normally? How do you charge the other - 1-2-Both-Off switch, ACR, etc. Could be the charger is going to one bank and the load is connected to the other.

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Re: 110vac draining batteries... Confused

Yes, I have a 1-2-both-off switch. It's left on both except when we're under sail. The charger, I would imagine is hitting both batteries in this manner.

Again, this all changed very suddenly yesterday which leads me to believe a failure of some sort rather than a configuration issue. But, like I said, I'm completely new to this world.

Thanks again for the help, all.
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Re: 110vac draining batteries... Confused

If you've shut off the air conditioning and you charger won't bring the batteries back up, it seems coincidental that you found this, by using the A/C.

How old is your house bank? You could have a single battery with a failed cell. Worth sorting out quickly, as faulty batteries are very dangerous. Corrosion in the wiring connections is always suspect for everything electrical on a boat too.


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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. You need a dumb old-school auto charger or a jump pack to get your batteries back above about 11.5V before your charger can take over. The lowest you should be discharging your batteries is about 12.2V... 10.5V = 0% SOC under any load.. Anything below 10.5V, especially a resting voltage, is murdering the batteries...

You need to figure out your system by tracing wires and making a diagram or hire a professional......

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Re: 110vac draining batteries... Confused

Have you checked for a tripped breaker that should be supplying your dockside shore power?
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