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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 03-24-2010
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Battery Charger doesn't

Plugged the boat in to shore power (120v). Turned 120v panel on, turned on battery charger.

Charger lights up, makes sounds but batteries don't charge. Checked the connections, they are tight.

One every few minutes there is a "ping" noise coming from the charger area.

Sorry to sound so ignorant but, I guess I am in this regard.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

regards,
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Old 03-24-2010
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What is the battery voltage and what voltage is there at the output of the charger? What charger is it? How old? Have you removed and cleaned all connections?
Kind of difficult to deduce anything without that info.
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Old 03-24-2010
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I"d point out that some chargers won't charge severely depleted batteries. Take the charger off and see what voltage the batteries are at. If they're below 10 vdc, it is likely that they're dead. While you're at it, check the voltage between the leads on the battery charger... should be about 14.4 vdc or so.
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Old 03-24-2010
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Some chargers also have internal fuses while some are external. Check your charger manual. If internal it could be blown.
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The "Ping" that you are hearing is likely the circuit breaker in the charger opening with too much current. Either your batteries are bad or there is a problem with the charger/wiring/circuit breaker, allowing too much current to "open" the breaker. " Most chargers use a thermo breaker that automaticly resets when it cools down, current flow heats it normally. Too much current, and it gets too hot, and opens. The breakers can wear out, but are pretty realible.
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Charger doesn't

Thanks, the batteries are low (reading about 12.0 or lower). I'm going to bring my car charger and give them a boost before I try again.

Thank you all for your help.
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Old 03-24-2010
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Chargers that are working should have no problems with batteries at 12 volts or thereabouts. It's a totally dead battery that stalls some chargers.
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Old 05-10-2010
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I basically have the EXACT same problem right now, except I don't have the clicking sound coming from the charger. My shorepower charger is an older Guest 15/20 amp simple non-multi-step, 2-bank ferro-resonant charger.
On mine, I have checked the voltage at the charging wires themselves with no battery hooked up, and it reads a low 12.55 volts instead of its listed 13.8 volts. But when I put the terminals on a moderately discharged it'll read 11.40 volts and stay there in definitely, without bringing the battery up to charge in the least.

Because of this, I am thinking bad diodes or maybe internal windings in the charger haver gone bad. Anyone know if these chargers can be re-wound or replace the diodes...probably cheaper doing that than buying a new $300 charger, which I rather not do. Any ideas?

When I put an automobile charger on the batteries, they came up to life very quickly, so the problem is not the batteries.
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Old 05-10-2010
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ereiss – assuming that your charging setup used to work then all you need to do is find out what has changed. I know that sounds a bit supercilious but I actually find it quite a useful diagnostic principle. On a boat the most common cause of change is corrosion or water getting in (it is on my boats anyhow). So I’d check all the wires visually and probably prod them a bit. If that is all good then I’d focus on the charger. The open circuit voltage should be around 13.8v and it should be close to this when charging. Breakers and fuses may have been doing their job but if one has gone you should always ask why (see water and corrosion above).
soulvoyage – your charger is broken. Same question – what has changed? Open it up and have a careful look. Scorch marks are a good clue. Without some specialised knowledge and a bit of kit you may find it difficult to diagnose at the component level. Might be able to find someone or even send it back to the manufacturer.
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Old 05-10-2010
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SoulVoyage
Your Ferro-resonant charger probably should be replaced with a modern 3 stage. Your batteries will appreciate it.
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