Leisure Batteries

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by normanandsue, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Stick with me guys this will sound more complicated than perhaps it is.

    The Facts - Last week we were away in our mh and were not connected to ehu so ran our Webasto (Diesel) heater, the fridge and lights for a wee while in the evening.
    After 4 nights the leisure battery had run out of power. I was not surprised

    The Problem - I have 3 leisure batteries and when I test them with the meter on the control panel it shows them all to be full at 13.5 volts. Now it is clear from the above one of the batteries has run out of charge, but the meter shows the other battery is full.
    How do I change from battery 1 to battery 2 to battery 3? In my ignorance I would have thought they would have been connected to provide 3 times the length of a single battery life.
    OR
    They would automatically switch from one battery to another as the charge fades.

    There must be a way of changing them over so can anyone tell me what sort of switch or "gismo" I should be looking for to affect the change.

    PS the discharged battery is now back to full charge after 24 hours on the ehu and the heater and lights all work perfectly from the previously discharged battery.

    Norman
     
  2. motorhomelover

    motorhomelover

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    They should be wired +to+ and -to- so it stays 12 volts
    The test should show the volts across all the batteries not for each one
     
  3. canopus

    canopus Funster Life Member

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    Hi Norman - have you checked each battery individually? i.e. with the interconnections disconnected? Could be that one battery is goosed and not holding its charge - then dragging other two down. Change all three if thats the case as other two wont be far behind in life expectancy.


    Ken
     
  4. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    On my control panel there is a rocker switch that says on upper switch
    batterie 1 and on the bottom batterie 2. This suggests to me the meter is checking each individual battery - yes?

    Norman
     
  5. canopus

    canopus Funster Life Member

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    Battery 1 is usually the starter battery.

    Battery 2 is the leisure battery(ies) and can be any number of batteries connected in parallel giving 12 volts.

    If one cell of say four is not holding its charge it will drag the other three cells down
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  6. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    I don't see anything wrong here.

    Battery 1 will be your starter battery. You shouldn't be discharging that anyway. Battery 2 is your leisure battery bank. After 4 days of running a diesel heater it's not suprising they are flat!
    How flat is flat in your book? Discharging leisure batteries beyond 12 volts will permanently damage them. The only exception to this rule is using industrial traction batteries which can be discharged to 80% (11.6v) without problems.

    As previously mentioned the battery selector switch is just there to measure the battery discharge, not select which battery you are connecting your habitation electrics to.

    Forget about that 13.5 volt reading. A fully charged 12v battery is 12.7 volts. Anything above that is called 'surface charge' this is induced by recent charging and soon disappears when an electrical load is placed on the battery.

    -Jon
     
  7. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    Ignore the control panel - this is showing leisure battery (in you case the performance of all three) and the vehicle starter battery.

    So... It sounds like at least one battery has died the death. You can:

    1. Discontect all wiring (and interconnecting cables) on the three leisure batteries.

    2. Check the voltage of each battery with a multimeter and make a note of the three figures.

    3. Charge all three batteries and check the voltage with a multimeter and compare with earlier readings.

    4. Check the specific gravity of the electrolite with a hydrometer in each cell. This should give you an indication of which battery is failing.

    5. Then you can then take batteries to get them load tested at your garage to confirm the fault.

    Or

    Charge all the batteries via the control panel and EHU. Jump to stage 5 and leave it to a professional.:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  8. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    We're assuming all three batteries are connected together. Posting a photo would help...
     
  9. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    I will see what I can do this week.
     
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