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Battery drain

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  • Battery drain

    Second time I went to the boat and batteries were at 10 V. Where do I start to find the drain. No light or pump on that I can see.
    1988 26' cuddy
    1975 20' open
    31 Grand Slam
    16' Sandpiper
    14' Certified Fiberglass

  • #2
    Is it running down with the battery switch in off? If so, it's likely the bilge pump circuit since they're usually wired direct to the battery. Usually it's to only one battery though so both going down is unusual unless you're leaving the battery switch in both position. Can you charge them up with shore power to start troubleshooting? Assuming you're battery switch has been in the on/both position when it drains down, turn off devices and all breakers/fuses and main battery switch and get the batteries back up to a decent charge. Disconnect the positive battery leads and get an ammeter you can jump from one of the battery's positive terminal to it's main lead you disconnected. An amprobe is simpler but expensive. I've got an old 12v dash gauge that serves my purpose for stuff like this. Check to see if there's any current draw with everything off. If you see a draw, the bilge pumps are likely it (if you removed it's fuse, put it back to check it out then remove it again). Turn the battery switch on in house position and start turning things on one at a time to see if the ammeter shows any current. You can do the same with the battery switch in start position. 12v troubleshooting for a drain like this can be frustrating so good luck!

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    • #3
      Float switches for bilge pumps. Never had luck with them
      '78 20ft Cuddy
      Mercruiser 350 FWC preVortec w/Carb

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      • #4
        Battery switch on both. No pumps or lights on. I was just on the boat. I'll have to start searching tomorrow.
        1988 26' cuddy
        1975 20' open
        31 Grand Slam
        16' Sandpiper
        14' Certified Fiberglass

        Comment


        • #5
          Another thought. I put a marine Fm/Am/CD radio on the boat few years back. Wired directly to the breaker, not through the ignition switch. Anytime the breaker is on for that radio it will drain the battery in a day or so (can't remember exactly how long it takes). It's essentially like leaving the radio on, even though the radio's power switch says it is off. (Design flaw in my opinion, "off" should mean "off".)

          As a general rule my breakers are in the off position when boat is not in use and the battery switch is left to the backup bilge pump's battery to protect the primary. (Bilge pump float switches hard wired to batteries.)
          Last edited by crhodes; 09-11-2019, 10:15 PM.
          C Rhodes
          26' Mackinaw - 1990
          351 Indmar (1990-2006: Great Engine)
          351 PCM (2006 - Current)
          Southport, NC

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          • #6
            Also check each battery - A bad one will drawdown the others.
            Kingfisher
            1990 22' PREDATOR INDMAR 5.7 310 HP and ZF 45 C
            Fishineer
            1976 20' CENTER CONSOLE Ford 302 and B/W 1:1
            Wilmington, NC

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            • crhodes
              crhodes commented
              Editing a comment
              Good point. Very true.

          • #7
            Batteries are 4.5 years old. They charge up to 12.67 volts but drop .01 volts every 10 seconds. Nothing on and auto switches disconnected. Bad batteries? Easy fix.
            1988 26' cuddy
            1975 20' open
            31 Grand Slam
            16' Sandpiper
            14' Certified Fiberglass

            Comment


            • #8
              I have one of these.

              https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT.../dp/B000AMBOI0

              Disconnect the battery first. It will tell you if the battery is bad. Only way
              '78 20ft Cuddy
              Mercruiser 350 FWC preVortec w/Carb

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Pedlyr View Post
                I have one of these.

                https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT.../dp/B000AMBOI0

                Disconnect the battery first. It will tell you if the battery is bad. Only way
                I have one of those. Tomorrow. Probably just get 2 batteries.
                1988 26' cuddy
                1975 20' open
                31 Grand Slam
                16' Sandpiper
                14' Certified Fiberglass

                Comment


                • #10
                  Speaking of batteries - I presumed the 2015 Costco batteries that were in the 22’ Predator when we bought it from the Gilleys in 2017 would need to be changed out this past spring after I discovered they were so discharged (less than 3-volts) for a Battery Tender to charge them. I removed them, charged them with an 50 year old Sears and Roebuck 12-volt charger enough to charge it with a 5amp Battery Tender charger, let them sit a couple of days and then had them tested at Batteryplus. They were determined to be just fine, and I continue to use them. Before having them tested, I went over to Costco with a friend who has a membership and verified they still sell the same batteries. Attached is a photo of the battery.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by Fishineer; 09-12-2019, 10:02 PM.
                  Kingfisher
                  1990 22' PREDATOR INDMAR 5.7 310 HP and ZF 45 C
                  Fishineer
                  1976 20' CENTER CONSOLE Ford 302 and B/W 1:1
                  Wilmington, NC

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Both batteries check good.
                    1988 26' cuddy
                    1975 20' open
                    31 Grand Slam
                    16' Sandpiper
                    14' Certified Fiberglass

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      One thing I have seen a few times is when the battery box fills with water. Batteries won’t charge or get shorted.
                      '78 20ft Cuddy
                      Mercruiser 350 FWC preVortec w/Carb

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Both batteries were under water but everything checks good now.
                        1988 26' cuddy
                        1975 20' open
                        31 Grand Slam
                        16' Sandpiper
                        14' Certified Fiberglass

                        Comment

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