Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-02-2010, 07:27 AM   #1
Silver Mist
 
LI Pets's Avatar
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Riverhead , New York
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,008
Images: 28
Question how to trace battery drain down

I had a problem with my last set of golf cart batteries, if not plugged in they would drain down in about 5-7 days.

Since they were 5 years old I replaced them a month ago.

Today after 2-2 1/2 weeks they are all the way down.

How can I find out what is drawing electric off the system or can it be a bare wire touching the metal?
__________________

__________________
Bob
'77 Sovereign Intl 31' CB
WBCCI R2 Rep VAC 11411 Metro NY VP

LI Pets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 07:37 AM   #2
Moderator
Commercial Member
 
eubank's Avatar
 
1967 30' Sovereign
Angel Fire , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,836
You know, when I was having problems of this kind, I wanted to use the ammeter to try to trace it. Basically, turn everything off (I mean EVERYTHING), then place the ammeter on each circuit lead to identify the circuit that it causing the drain. Then try to trace forward to the offending spot.

Never got to it. Mainly because, in all the other work I'd done, somehow the drain stopped. Amazing because it had been a problem for over a decade.


Lynn
__________________

__________________
WBCCI 21043
eubank is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 08:30 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar

 
2008 34' Classic S/O
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4,137
I would add to Lynn's procedure, (maybe a bit easier)after tuning EVERYTHING off, pull all the 12 volt fuses, put the ammeter inseries with the output of the battery output, then insert the fuses one at a time watching for current on the ammeter.

That will determine what circuit the drain is on, and then start checking everything on that circuit.
__________________
Regards,
Steve

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." George Orwell

'08 34' SO, '12 Ram 2500 4X4, Big 6 cylinder sludge burner.
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 08:34 AM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
Naper's Avatar
 
2011 27' FB Classic
Loretto , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH
I would add to Lynn's procedure, after tuning EVERYTHING off, pull all the 12 volt fuses, put the ammeter inseries with the output of the battery output, then insert the fuses one at a time watching for current on the ammeter.

That will determine what circuit the drain is on, and then start checking everything on that circuit.
Steve is right it's the only way. If a bare wire is touching something it would blow a fuse or start a fire.
__________________
Naper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 08:35 AM   #5
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 15,610
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by LI Pets View Post
I had a problem with my last set of golf cart batteries, if not plugged in they would drain down in about 5-7 days.

Since they were 5 years old I replaced them a month ago.

Today after 2-2 1/2 weeks they are all the way down.

How can I find out what is drawing electric off the system or can it be a bare wire touching the metal?
Bob.

As Eubanks mentioned, start off by using an ammeter to check each and every circuit.

When you find the one or more that has a current drain, then check those circuits out.

As a final test, you can use a "miliammeter" for fine tuning.

Current drains can also be caused by simple corrosion, that might even be in an area or connection that you cannot see.

Chasing down currect drains in DC circuits, has always been a "trail and error" method.

A current drain can also be caused by the charging system itself, if a single diode developed a reverse current low resistance.

Patience is always a must.

Andy

10.8
__________________
Andy Rogozinski
Inland RV Center
Corona, CA
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 08:49 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar

 
2008 34' Classic S/O
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4,137
Just thought of an easier way....after turning everything off, pull all the fuses from the DC panel, then use the ammeter accross each individual fuse holder, and that will tell you which circuit is drawing current. Saves you from having to insert the ammeter in the main battery wire, and may be much handier.

Yes, basically what Lynn said.
__________________
Regards,
Steve

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." George Orwell

'08 34' SO, '12 Ram 2500 4X4, Big 6 cylinder sludge burner.
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 09:18 AM   #7
Moderator
Commercial Member
 
eubank's Avatar
 
1967 30' Sovereign
Angel Fire , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,836
Oh, I guess I should add that the procedure I outlined was for ... the MG, not the Airstream. But I guess that would be so unexceptional that it wasn't worth saying.

Lucas Replacement Smoke Kit


Lynn
__________________
WBCCI 21043
eubank is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 09:41 AM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
The Flintstones's Avatar
 
1970 27' Overlander
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 272
Whats on the circuit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Just thought of an easier way....after turning everything off, pull all the fuses from the DC panel, then use the ammeter accross each individual fuse holder, and that will tell you which circuit is drawing current. Saves you from having to insert the ammeter in the main battery wire, and may be much handier.

Yes, basically what Lynn said.
I have the same problem but then how to you find out what all is on offending circuit?
thanks
James
__________________
____________
1970 Overlander
The Flintstones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 10:05 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar

 
2008 34' Classic S/O
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4,137
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flintstones View Post
I have the same problem but then how to you find out what all is on offending circuit?
thanks
James
I would plug in only that fuse, and see what works. Keep in mind, some things are always on, such as the electronic boards that control the refrigirator, and water heater, and propane detectors if your trailer is so equipped.
__________________
Regards,
Steve

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." George Orwell

'08 34' SO, '12 Ram 2500 4X4, Big 6 cylinder sludge burner.
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 04:53 PM   #10
Silver Mist
 
LI Pets's Avatar
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Riverhead , New York
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,008
Images: 28
ok, I'll give it a try over the weekend.

So I should see the same voltage on each circuit basically.
__________________
Bob
'77 Sovereign Intl 31' CB
WBCCI R2 Rep VAC 11411 Metro NY VP

LI Pets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 05:13 PM   #11
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 15,610
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by LI Pets View Post
ok, I'll give it a try over the weekend.

So I should see the same voltage on each circuit basically.
No.

You should see the same "current" on each circuit, namely "zero".

If you see any current flow in a given circuit, with everything "off", thern that's probably the culprit causing the batteries to run down.

The voltage in any circuit means nothing.

Andy
__________________
Andy Rogozinski
Inland RV Center
Corona, CA
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2010, 07:16 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar

 
2008 34' Classic S/O
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4,137
Quote:
Originally Posted by LI Pets View Post
ok, I'll give it a try over the weekend.

So I should see the same voltage on each circuit basically.
Andy is right, well mostly....you are looking for current and not voltage. Current flow in a circuit with everything turned off would indicate a problem, and possibly what is running your battery down. If everything is without trouble, you should read 0 (zero) amps in each circuit.

With the fuses in place, or testing on the converter/battery side of the fuse with a volt meter, you should read the same voltage, and that voltage will vary with the state of charge of your battery, and if the converter is on, or not. Converter on, the voltage should read approximately 13.6 VDC (volts DC). With the converter off, and a fully charged battery, the voltage should read 12.6 VDC, or higher if the converter was just turned off.

Additionally, and I consider this most important...don't over look the possibility that your battery(s) may simply be bad. If you don't find any current drain problem, I would suggest you take the battery(s) out and take them to an auto parts store, and have them tested. Most all auto parts stores now have battery testing equipment, and will test batteries for free in the hopes you will buy a new one from them.

I realise you just replaced your batteries, but like many things, just because you replaced them, does not absolutely gurantee they are not bad.
__________________

__________________
Regards,
Steve

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." George Orwell

'08 34' SO, '12 Ram 2500 4X4, Big 6 cylinder sludge burner.
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Battery drain s4misfaction Argosy Motorhomes 9 09-13-2010 05:23 PM
Battery Drain The Flintstones Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 9 01-11-2010 01:04 PM
Battery Drain? - Diagnose TankerIP Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 12 09-20-2007 07:01 PM
Battery drain only while towing CampbellMcCa Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 16 09-12-2007 08:24 PM
Mystery battery drain mikeandbecky Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 15 09-09-2007 10:38 AM




Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

Airstream News Delivered to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with Airstream news in your inbox!

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]