Perko 4-way switch - 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? 
  #1  
Old 06-05-2011
Omatako's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Posts: 2,425
Thanks: 0
Thanked 28 Times in 25 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Omatako will become famous soon enough
Perko 4-way switch

I know we have discussed these things at some length but I'm not about to go searching for what I need so let's talk about it.

I have had for some time a lot of difficulty starting my engine off the emergency bank. I have now systematically replaced everything except this Perko OFF-1-ALL-2 switch. Still the engine won't start and the solenoid just goes click-click-click.

So I figure the switch must be dodgy. This morning I pulled it out and discovered that stripping it for inspection is pretty much a one-way street. So I checked the resistance across the poles, I connected it to a battery and checked voltage drop and saw nothing significant but then I re-installed it and started doing what I probably should have done in the beginning. Please read the following.

I have a Xantrex Link 20 that allows me to check two different banks.

When I had everything connected, I started the engine with the battery switch set to position 1. The Xantrex reported about 25 amps of charge going into battery bank 1 and nix into battery bank 2. This I would have expected.

Then I switched the switch to ALL and the Xantrex reported the same 26 amps into bank 1 and 36 amps into bank 2. This seemed about right.

Then I switched to Position 2 and the Xantrex reported nothing on bank 1 (expected) and nothing on bank 2.

This must mean that the switch is stopping current flowing to bank 2 unless the bridge between bank1 and bank 2 is made (ALL position), ergo the switched is knackered. So why am I getting readings going the other way?

I have so many things to spend money on I don't really want to waste it on an unnecessary switch but it looks like it will be a necessary switch.

Waddayathink?
__________________

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

Last edited by Omatako; 06-07-2011 at 03:00 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 06-05-2011
mitiempo's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Victoria B.C. Canada
Posts: 7,152
Thanks: 0
Thanked 71 Times in 62 Posts
Rep Power: 8
mitiempo will become famous soon enough mitiempo will become famous soon enough
It would depend what post the alternator output is connected to. Generally if the charge current from the alternator is going through the master switch it would be wired to the common and pass through to whichever battery was selected, 1,2, or both.

But if the alternator output was on post 1 it would charge as you have posted. In position 1 it would charge bank 1. In the both position, which parallels the banks, it would charge both banks. And in position 2 there would be no charge current getting through.

It could also be damaging to the alternator in position 2 wired this way.

In my opinion, and that of many others the charge current should never go through the switch. My favored system is with the alternator output, as well as AC charger, solar, and wind gen outputs going to the house bank directly, with the start (emergency) battery being taken care of with an ACR, Echo Charge, or Duo Charge automatically. Then the switch becomes for use only, charging of both banks not needing any user input.
__________________
Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour

Last edited by mitiempo; 06-05-2011 at 11:31 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 06-06-2011
Classic30's Avatar
Once known as Hartley18
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,563
Thanks: 33
Thanked 48 Times in 48 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Classic30 will become famous soon enough Classic30 will become famous soon enough
FWIW, although our alternator charges through a Perko switch, I do agree with Brian - but to address this issue for a moment:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
I know we have discussed these things at some length but I'm not about to go searching for what I need so let's talk about it.

I have had for some time a lot of difficulty starting my engine off the emergency bank. I have now systematically replaced everything except this Perko OFF-1-ALL-2 switch. Still the engine won't start and the solenoid just goes click-click-click.
Remembering that the difference between click-click-click and vroom can be as simple as moisture under a connection post - how's your earthing (negative)?

Many people say they've replaced everything and then forget about the return path back to the battery... Just putting it out there.. Mind you, corrosion of the switch points could cause the same problem.
__________________
-
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 06-06-2011
mitiempo's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Victoria B.C. Canada
Posts: 7,152
Thanks: 0
Thanked 71 Times in 62 Posts
Rep Power: 8
mitiempo will become famous soon enough mitiempo will become famous soon enough
Hartley

If there was a ground problem it wouldn't charge both banks when in the both position. Ground doesn't change as the switch only controls positive.

Could be the switch but I think that would be rare. These switches have pretty large contacts. But a new switch is not expensive.
__________________
Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 06-06-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 1,811
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 10
btrayfors will become famous soon enough btrayfors will become famous soon enough
I've seen a couple of bad battery switches on client's boats...bad enough so that you could actually measure voltage drop with a digital multimeter.

However, you could get a good meter reading and still have a bad switch. The switch could be passing enough amperage (tiny amount) for the meter readings, but not enough for any serious load...and a starter is a serious load.

Don't waste your time. Replace the switch.

IMHO,

Bill
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 06-06-2011
CapitainMike's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 112
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 4
CapitainMike is on a distinguished road
battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
I know we have discussed these things at some length but I'm not about to go searching for what I need so let's talk about it.

I have had for some time a lot of difficulty starting my engine off the emergency bank. I have now systematically replaced everything except this Perko OFF-1-ALL-2 switch. Still the engine won't start and the solenoid just goes click-click-click.

So I figure the switch must be dodgy. This morning I pulled it out and discovered that stripping it for inspection is pretty much a one-way street. So I checked the resistance across the poles, I connected it to a battery and checked voltage drop and saw nothing significant but then I re-installed it and started doing what I probably should have done in the beginning. Please read the following.

I have a Xantrex Link 20 that allows me to check two different banks.

When I had everything connected, I started the engine with the battery switch set to position 1. The Xantrex reported about 25 amps of charge going into battery bank 1 and nix into battery bank 2. This I would have expected.

Then I switched the switch to ALL and the Xantrex reported the same 26 amps into bank 1 and 36 amps into bank 2. This seemed about right.

Then I switched to Position 2 and the Xantrex reported nothing on bank 1 (expected) and nothing on bank 2.

WTF. This must mean that the switch is stopping current flowing to bank 2 unless the bridge between bank1 and bank 2 is made (ALL position), ergo the switched is knackered. So why am I getting readings going the other way?

I have so many things to spend money on I don't really want to waste it on an unnecessary switch but it looks like it will be a necessary switch.

Waddayathink?
if you got two batteries or banks 1 engine 1 domestic, remove the negatives from 1 battery/bank and try in switch position 1 then 2 then all. then off.
Replace the negative you removed then remove the second battery/bank negative and try again 1,2,all off.
This should help you single out the fault battery or switch.

If you got a solenoid that is going click click, sounds really it could be stuck in the flywheel starter ring. Solution big spanner on crankshaft in reverse to engine revolution make sure gearbox disengaged and ignition is off.
Alternatively check the battery cable connections clean, then WD40. do not uses Vaseline/petroleum jelly unless its going into storage.
__________________

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

Capitain Mike
Mediterranean Sea
Cobra 850
1978
8.68m
"Money won't buy you happiness but it will allow you to buy a yacht big enough to pull up along side it"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


"Please God be kind to me your sea is so wide and my boat is so small"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 06-06-2011
Classic30's Avatar
Once known as Hartley18
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,563
Thanks: 33
Thanked 48 Times in 48 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Classic30 will become famous soon enough Classic30 will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Hartley

If there was a ground problem it wouldn't charge both banks when in the both position. Ground doesn't change as the switch only controls positive.
Good point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Could be the switch but I think that would be rare. These switches have pretty large contacts. But a new switch is not expensive.
Agreed - but it doesn't take much corrosion to allow charging and not allow cranking... and ruling out the switch is pretty simple:
1. Temporarily disconnect the Bank #2 negative.
2. Move the "common" from the centre switch post to the "2" post.
3. Reconnect the negative and try to start the engine.
If it now cranks happily, you have a faulty switch.
__________________
-
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 06-06-2011
Stu Jackson's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 799
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Rep Power: 14
Stu Jackson is on a distinguished road
Lightbulb

Reply #19 here addresses your issue: Engine Starting issue

This is page 2 of a long discussion that seems to parallel your problem.

It's sure easy for us to spend your $$ , but if it's the switch, what else ya gonna do?

Good luck.

Just for grins & giggles: What I would have said in an introduction to your topic, instead of: "...but I'm not about to go searching for what I need so let's talk about it." would have been: "I've searched all over and can't find something specifically that addresses my issue and would appreciate your help." Well, maybe that's what you tried to say, and lots of us enjoy helping out, but I had a guy who once actually wrote: "It's easier for me to ask and have you guys do the work for me." I trust that wasn't your intention.

Anyway, while we're at it, I agree with Brian, take the AO off your switch. You don't even need to buy anything else, 'cuz if you plug in with a multiple output shorepower charger, your reserve bank will always be charged, and, if necessary, you can always use "B" when running the alternator! Simple change in wiring makes a great big difference: get on the boat, switch to house bank and leave it there.

Maine Sail, Brian and I have been promoting this for some time, but I digress, 'cuz it wasn't really your question.

Ah, thread drift is almost as much fun as doing someone else's research.

With all in good humor, and good luck with your troubleshooting...

...really...

Stu
__________________
Stu Jackson, C34, 1986, M25 engine, Rocna 10 (22#)
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 06-07-2011
Omatako's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Posts: 2,425
Thanks: 0
Thanked 28 Times in 25 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Omatako will become famous soon enough
Sorry don't want to answer individual posts but thanks to all those who a) read my post and b) answered with constructive advice.

I don't have echo chargers or duo chargers or any such device. I have it wired as Brian describes. Whenever the engine is running the switch goes to ALL to charge both banks. That's how I have done it for 30 years or more. However, with that bank not giving up any power (my problem in a nutshell) the charge level always looks good on the Xantrex even though it is also not being charged. It looks normal. But it doesn't work.

Given the above, if the switch is turned to bank No. 2 and the Xantrex doesn't register the charge then I guess it's time to replace the switch.

And just to ensure that folks don't think I'm ungrateful for advice:

- yes I have cleaned all the terminals
- yes I have replaced the earth cable to the ground bus
- yes I have replaced the positive cable to the switch
- yes I have replaced both the batteries
- yes I have replaced all the battery post connectors
- yes I have checked all the connections are tight.
- no, the starter doesn't go click click click when it runs off the house bank

But I never replaced them all at the same time.

Thanks again for the help
__________________

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
  #10  
Old 06-07-2011
Classic30's Avatar
Once known as Hartley18
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,563
Thanks: 33
Thanked 48 Times in 48 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Classic30 will become famous soon enough Classic30 will become famous soon enough
Glad you've got it sorted, Andre.

It's been an interesting discussion.. if you do find that replacing the switch fixes the problem, do let us know - since I have intermittent starting issues I'm currently dealing with (but am not as far down the track as you are) and it would be nice to know it wasn't the old Perko switch in the corner!
__________________
-
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


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
Perko alcohol stove -- help! grey99 Gear & Maintenance 7 10-06-2009 01:51 AM
I'm stumped (perko battery switch problems) accroy Electrical Systems 1 04-01-2009 04:52 PM
Perko Fresh Water Strainer # 493 puff6022 Gear & Maintenance 16 04-06-2007 06:37 PM
Perko vs. Blue Sea Systems scurvy General Discussion (sailing related) 7 11-26-2006 06:54 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:56 AM.

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.