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Old 05-31-2013, 03:53 PM   #1
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House Batteries not charging 2002 Camano Troll

I just picked up my new boat today, 2002 Camano. And did not notice, but after about 4 hours underway realized my house batteries are not charging. I have one starter battery and two house batteries.

When engine is running the Starter battery reads like 14 volts, so I am pretty sure the engine alternator is producing enough voltage. I finally got it home, no nav, no depth finder, no radio. I am connected to Shore Power and I am charging them with the AC charger. So I am guessing battery terminals are tight (I checked) and flow of electricity is correct.

Any idea on where I should start troubleshooting, or is there a switch or something I missed.

Thanks
Kurt
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:58 PM   #2
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Battery switch (off-1-2-all) switched to "all"?
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:01 PM   #3
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Do you know if you have a "combiner"? If so, check the fuses etc.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:09 PM   #4
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Update

I just got out of the bilge, I have a SURE 1315 battery separator. There is a red indicator light which is on when charging from shore power and not on when boat is running.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
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The Camano only has off and on for battery switch, it is on. I checked the connections tight on the battery separator, but I don't see any fuses on the separator.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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Kurt - while I can't help on the specifics as to charging, except to say that the combiner may not be working, I'm curious about the boat. Was this the camano in Deltaville? If so, we looked at the boat last fall when we were shopping for a Camano (actually looked at about a half dozen on the East Coast between New England and FL). We had an offer on one that didn't go through and wound up stumbling on a great deal on our NT. Based on all our research, the Camano is an excellent boat for its size! Congrats.
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:19 PM   #7
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Kurt

Simple things first. Using a VOM check to see if the house battery is healthy and is getting charged from both shore only and engine only. If not, work your back from the batteries removing and cleaning each connection while checking with the VOM.

It would seem that the instruments would work off the engine battery system, so their not working is a tell maybe for a bad switch somewhere.
IF no simple luck, maybe a marine electrician is in order
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:56 PM   #8
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The boat has been on the hard all winter and the house batteries were quite low on charge to start with when I launched.

I am wondering if the isolator sensed that the house was low voltage (11 v) and isolated them. Hence they never received any charge from the alternator. I do not know how the isolator works. Only what it is supposed to prevent.

They seem to charge fine with shore power, I left the boat a while ago and will go back tomorrow and see if the house batteries have a good charge. Then I can test my theory.

Thanks everyone,
Kurt
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:15 AM   #9
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Most combiners are imbeciles and only allow juice to pass when the voltage is higher at the source than the receiver.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:04 AM   #10
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Kurt. Google your battery separator. I didn't want to post a bunch of links here but there is a ton of helpful info on that type of separator, including a recall. Turns out that the Sure 1315 has some serious issues.

I suspect the separator is not sensing the "charge" voltage and allowing flow to both banks. A quick test is to simply put your hand on the separator and have someone start and stop the engine. You should feel it "click"
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:52 AM   #11
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Sorry I can't help you with your electrical problem. But congrats on the 2002 Camano I owned a 2002 from 2004 through 2008 they are fine boats.
If you haven't already you might call the previous owner, it may be something simple he has experienced and has the solution for.
Good luck
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:24 PM   #12
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Hopefully you got it fixed by now. if not I had a similar problem and it ended up being a bad relay for the charger. Apparently the relay was too weak to handle the AGM batteries on our vessel.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:03 PM   #13
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Hopefully you got it fixed by now. if not I had a similar problem and it ended up being a bad relay for the charger. Apparently the relay was too weak to handle the AGM batteries on our vessel.
Capt Mike
Capt. Mike,

What make and size charger?
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:17 PM   #14
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Kurt, have you checked the electrolyte?
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:40 PM   #15
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Capt. Mike,

What make and size charger?
I don't remember, but I'll let you know when I get back in town next week.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:43 PM   #16
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Wow, there has been a lot of extraneous advice in this thread, but no step by step diagnostic sequence to follow has been offered. So, follow this diagnostic procedure to find your problem:

The boat has been hooked up to shorepower and I suspect that there are separate feeds from the charger to each battery. Disconnect shore power and turn on a light or two to put a little drain on the battery. Check the voltage on the starting battery and the house battery. Both should be in the mid 12s. The starting battery might be a little higher because it has no load on it and was recently charging.

With all shorepower disconnected start the engine and rev it to about 1,000 rpm. Check the voltage at the starting battery terminals. It should be 14 or so volts as you previously reported. Then check the voltage at the house battery terminals. It will probably be in the mid 12 V region or less which means it isn't getting any charge from the alternator. If it reads 14 V then your charging system is fine and you have another problem that probably can't be diagnosed on this forum and you need an electrician to work it out.

But if you only get a voltage in the 12s or less, then go back to your Sure device which is a type of automatic charge relay and measure the voltage on each big terminal to ground. One terminal will probably read 14 volts the same as the starting battery. The other will probably read in the 12s or less, the same as the house battery. That means that the Sure is bad. You can replace it with a combiner or ACR.

If on the other hand both terminals on the Sure read 14 V, then the Sure is working and you have a bad wiring connection or an open switch or fuse between the Sure and the house battery. Follow the wire and resolve the problem which has to be between the Sure and the house battery.

David
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:53 PM   #17
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Thanks for the step by step djmarchand,

I replaced both house batteries today with top of the line west marine batteries. After getting them out of the boat and inspecting them, the old batteries had issues, were not big enough and one was leaking. I took the time to clean all the terminals, and replaced all the wing nuts with nuts.

I am still seeing difference in the batteries volts when the engine is running. If I take the battery volts the house reads 12.3 volts, if I take volts on start batteries it shows 14 volts. So I am pretty sure the isolator is not connecting the alternator output to the house bank.

I have great house batteries now and can charge from shore power. Took a 4 hours cruise today and had no issues with power when I docked, even had my bow thruster.

I have a new separator on order and will replace that next weekend.

Regards,
Kurt
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:35 PM   #18
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Well, from what you describe it isn't really certain that the Sure ACR (I don't think it is a diode isolator) isn't working. There could be a blown fuse in the charging circuit to the house bank. Or a bad connection or less likely an open switch.

You are replacing parts to solve the problem, not diagnosing. Check the voltage at both terminals of the Sure device while the engine is running and shore power is disconnected. If one is 14 and the other is 12.3 then yes it is bad. If both are 14 then it is working ok.

David
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:37 AM   #19
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Kurt

As I previously suggested, get a VOM meter (or person with one) to work your way back from the house batteries to find the trouble spot. Dave M is saying the same with voltages to use as go/no go - and as Dave says be careful changing parts out until problem isolated.

Another suggestion, nothing the matter saying you do or don't understand how to trouble shoot electrics, that is why marine electricians are out there. More than half the time my boat problem issues fall into the hands of pros due to my lack of time, skill, knowledge or training. I don't believe I'm alone.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:32 AM   #20
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and replaced all the wing nuts with nuts.

I assume these are both copper washers and copper nuts?

SS has two low ampacity to be in a battery circuit.

Copper ( not brass , not bronze) is available at large electric supply houses.
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