power drain

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by pete c, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. pete c

    pete c Read Only Funster

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    Hi all, just got back back from 2 weeks in cornwall and the new leisure batteries are not performing well, when I look on the digi display it says - 5 amps even with everything switched off and all 12 volt fuses pulled, is this normal or is something running that shouldn't be ? I am continually having to recharge the new batteries which cant be doing them any good. The van is a 55 plate auto trail scout SE, any suggestions much appreciated please.

    cheers. peter
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    is that charge from solar, or discharge from something. 5 amp discharge is huge. If a new to you van take it back to the dealer. You don't have the fridge (with an ignition bypass) on 12v do you?
    Check the water pump is not continually running due to an airlock or faulty tap valve. Failing that you have a short someplace, mice damage to wiring maybe?
     
  3. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75 Read Only Funster

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    Some meters are notoriously inaccurate showing current when there is none at all. Can you be sure there is any discharge at all? See if it has a "zero" function to reset the zero point. Does the voltage actually drop?
     
  4. Gizmouk

    Gizmouk Funster

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    Ours reads 0.4A on the Sargant controller with everything (except tracker) switched off.
    If I take a reading (with clamp meter) directly off the battery leads, I get a reading of 0A
     
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  5. Inthezone

    Inthezone Read Only Funster

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    Contact sargent, they will talk you through the resetting procedure, the disply shows the result of a calculation that is done to give an estimate of the condition, are the new batteries the same as the original capacity?, I had the same problem when I had new ones fitted, phoned them and they talked me through the procedure everything now seems normal.
     
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  6. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    Peter in your OP you said the leisure batteries were not performing well, compared to what I wonder ore details of usage, battery sizes methods of charging etc. would help.
     
  7. pete c

    pete c Read Only Funster

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    Hi all and thanks for the replies I will try and clarify the situation. when I bought the van last September the leisure battery cells were dry, I topped them up and put them on my battery conditioner but they wouldn't recover so replaced both batteries with new 110A/hour leisure batteries,both fully charged when fitted to the van.
    I reckon the batteries are lasting less than 2 days without having to use the onboard charger to keep the voltage up,we only use the 12v for lights and water pump. I think the volts loss is real and not an indication problem, I find it odd that the current drain is still indicated when all the 12v circuit fuses are pulled. When I checked the batteries at the weekend I only got 4 to 5 volts reading so they are back on my conditioner for a few days to charge up. I'm thinking a short somewhere but dont know where to look now.

    thanks. Peter
     
  8. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75 Read Only Funster

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    4-5V is toast. Also, if a 220Ah bank is only lasting two days on lights and pumps, you certainly do have a problem. Are you sure your fridge isn't jammed on 12V?
     
  9. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    if the batteries are that low, I doubt they will recover to hold a full charge. so now we ask why and best guess is they are overcharging and boiling dry they then fail to hold a full charge. you need to get the alternator tested. Test with a new battery and fuses pulled does it still show a discharge. But do not leave it on there. You are asking the impossible to recondition a battery that has gone that low find the cause of the problem before fitting new batteries. Do you by any chance have solar fitted if so then maybe the diodes are short circuit allowing the power to feed back through the panel at night. I suspect it is a job for an auto electrician.
    Is it stored where mice could have chewed the wiring.
    Just a thought re the 12v supply to the fridge, if the battery was low as a result of long term storage then the altenator would be chucking out max amps to get it charged. That may have been too much for the fridge relay causing it to fail short circuit which would leave the fridge feed on continually without the engine running and 5 amp would be about the current drawn. Does the fridge remain cold when stopped and gas off?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  10. pete c

    pete c Read Only Funster

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    ok thanks,I will switch the fridge to 12v supply in the morning and look to see what the power reading is then. Cant say it feels cold though with the gas and 240v off. van was barn stored by the last owner so could be some rodent damage.batteries are still "wet" in all cells so may take a few days but hopefully will come back, I will test again with volt meter and get a battery drop test done just to be sure
     
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