Battery not charging

FightinIrish

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Hi all, I have about 35 hours on my new 2021 SSRCX with VMAX 150 with a 2 battery system. I alternate using battery 1 and 2 on even/odd days and pretty religious about it, turning master power off at end of day, etc.

I've noticed the voltage on battery 2 slowly decreasing and now it's down into the 9's with a draw from power steering, even with engine running. Radio showing low voltage alarm. Battery 1 is totally normal, voltage in the 14's.

Basically 1 of my 2 batteries doesn't seem to be getting any charge from the engine. Does this seem like a bad battery or more of a wiring problem? Don't think it's a bad alternator, because battery 1 is fine. Would these issues be covered by warranty?

Thanks!
 

Joeb14

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As a means of isolating the problem, can you swap the batteries, ie make 2 number 1, and vice versa? If you do that, and the current 2 in the 1 place now gets charged, and the current 1 put into the 2 place loses it’s charge, then that would seem to indicate that the problem is the wiring, not the battery.
 

AuthorizedUser

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As a means of isolating the problem, can you swap the batteries, ie make 2 number 1, and vice versa? If you do that, and the current 2 in the 1 place now gets charged, and the current 1 put into the 2 place loses it’s charge, then that would seem to indicate that the problem is the wiring, not the battery.
What Joeb14 said.
 

FightinIrish

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I'm not currently at my boat (5 hours away) to switch the batteries, but my Dad just sent me these pictures. It seems to be that one battery has a "battery 1" labeled negative cable and a "battery 2" labeled positive cable. I'm no electrician but seems that the cables were routed incorrectly? Would this matter? Also there are 3 cables attached to one battery, only 2 cables to the other.

I'll be bringing it to my dealer in a couple weeks for end of season, but just wanted any of your input to help guide them. Thanks! IMG_20210907_121652.jpgIMG_20210907_121707.jpgIMG_20210907_121700.jpg
 

Potomacbassin’

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Looks like your dealer might be electrically challenged. Of course anything is possible but the positive lead from your engine (heavy black cable with positive written on it) should be wired to your battery switch, not direct to the 1 battery. Hence why only 1 battery is getting charged.

Look up the 4-position switch from Blue Sea and rewire the correct way.

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FightinIrish

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Wow I see what you are describing. Thanks! Makes total sense. I'll investigate, I'm heading up to the boat this weekend.
 

FightinIrish

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Do you, Potomacbassin', or anyone else have a picture of their switch/distribution panel/battery 1 wiring setup?

Thanks again for all of the help
 

Potomacbassin’

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I installed an automatic charging relay and different switch earlier this year so my picture won't help.

But here's another diagram that might help - here the negatives are routed a different way than using the bus bar as a common, so maybe this is the better way to do it.

I still believe your install doesn't make sense - with the engine positive wired direct to the start battery the switch is inconsequential - regardless of what switch position its in, the engine gets voltage from Battery 1. So when in position 2, you are led to believe you're starting from the house, but in reality you're still starting off of battery 1.

It's a very simple circuit so there can only be so many different configurations. If you have a multimeter you can trace things out a lot quicker.





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BigKahuna

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Not sure of this helps....Screenshot_20210914-200551.png
 

Bill N

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I installed an automatic charging relay and different switch earlier this year so my picture won't help.

But here's another diagram that might help - here the negatives are routed a different way than using the bus bar as a common, so maybe this is the better way to do it.

I still believe your install doesn't make sense - with the engine positive wired direct to the start battery the switch is inconsequential - regardless of what switch position its in, the engine gets voltage from Battery 1. So when in position 2, you are led to believe you're starting from the house, but in reality you're still starting off of battery 1.

It's a very simple circuit so there can only be so many different configurations. If you have a multimeter you can trace things out a lot quicker.





View attachment 31153
Excellent explanation.
Now here's something that's out there... There are techs that believe that the engine is to be connected directly to a battery, not the switch. I disagree with that mentality, but I have heard it from more than one, so it is out there.
 

Potomacbassin’

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Excellent explanation.
Now here's something that's out there... There are techs that believe that the engine is to be connected directly to a battery, not the switch. I disagree with that mentality, but I have heard it from more than one, so it is out there.
That to me is one of those "eternal debates" whether to switch the positive or negative lead. Theoretically breaking either gets the job done, but someone much smarter makes the recommendations that goes into the ABYC and switch install instructions. Maybe if you leave the positive batt direct connected to the motor then in some rare instances (somehow bypasses the starter solenoid) it can complete the loop through the engine block and back to the battery through the hull leading to corrosion.

I'd love to take classes on this as I don't think it's out of reach for us weekend DIY types. If you have a basic understanding of electrical theory then a 40-hour course can probably do some good. Certainly could save a few bucks down the road when the inevitable issues arise.
 

Potomacbassin’

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Just following up on the negative vs positive switch question above.

Picked up a copy of Nigel Calder's Mechanical and Electrical book that appears to be a "bible" for many boaters:

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There is a section on DC wiring that suggests if there is a grounding issue with a metal-hulled boat or fiberglass with thru-hull fittings, current could shortcut it's way back to the battery through the water and cause corrosion in the hull or these fittings.

If you switch the positive lead to the engine, this possibility is eliminated as there are no other paths back to the positive terminal. When the negative is switched however, the circuit can still be completed in older motors that use the engine block as common ground giving multiple paths. At least that is how I understand it.

I believe with modern motors the negative leads are all isolated back to the battery instead of the block so you could safely switch either lead.

My guess is ABYC adopted the positive switch standard to take into account older boats and just cover all bases.


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