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Old 05-20-2014, 12:53 AM   #1
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Battery draw on HWH cable

2003 FD Alpine. While inspecting house batteries, I disconnected cable and noticed it sparked on the positive terminal. After following cable, it is the feed to the HWH main fuse block. All switches were off. I'm not sure where to go from here but was wondering about the solinoids by the hydralic pump. Any thoughts?

I also found a small flat wire (could be a double wire in one small cable) not connected to the batteries. It has a red rubber cover and a large terminal connector. I'm sure it is suppose to be connected to positive post but any ideas where it goes?
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:41 AM   #2
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If you have a battery monitor that may be the wire, use the VOM set on amps to see if you actually getting a current draw.
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Old 05-20-2014, 07:16 AM   #3
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There is at least one thread about HWH solenoids going bad and in the process, creating a draw. Sounds like you isolated the cables to detect the spark but also understand that the inverter is hot-wired to the house bats and draws 24-7, depending on operational mode.
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:57 AM   #4
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In addition to the inverter as a power source, you may have a solar panel as well. You might have to cover it to stop producing power.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:20 AM   #5
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I recently had the HWH solenoid/relay associated with the generator slide cause the "Slide SW" fuse to blow in the "Switched Accessory" block in front of the passenger seat. I had also noticed that the house batteries were not keeping a good charge while traveling. I replaced that solenoid/relay (strapped to the pump motor) and all is well.

You other wire with a red rubber cover sounds like the temperature sensor associated with the Inverter/Charger. It utilizes a large ring connector even though it's NOT an actual "electrical connection" because attaching it to a battery terminal is the recommended installation method. It can alternatively be "stuck" to the side of a battery but probably not very reliably.

Hope this helps ...
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:43 AM   #6
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Thanks to all. I will do more testing. It will be weekend before I can look and will post results after that.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:55 PM   #7
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I've never heard of an HWH main fuse block. Can you post a pic?
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:35 AM   #8
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After reading this thread, my curiousity got the best of me so I ran a voltage check on all the bat cables [03 MDTS] with the master switches in both off and on positions. I got the .5 amp draw on the inverter--expected; but also got a .5-1 amp draw on the HWH with the house master on--unexpected. More interesting--the HWH fuse block [next to the heater grid fuses[equipment bay panel]] was wired hot to the bats [assume house bats] but was switched by the main house bat switch when measured at the pump relay????? Now I am totally confused. I store my coach off the electrical grid with both the chassis and house bat switches off--both bat banks hold their charge pretty well. Conversely, if I leave the main switches on--the chassis bats will discharge in a day or two, and the house bats shortly after that.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:59 AM   #9
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Yes Engineer Mike, I will post picture when I can catch up with MH. I left it in SE Oregon with wife so she can visit her Mom and Sister. I will be there this weekend and will take pics. My biggest problem is the batts are not holding overnite. With inverter on for fridge, batteries would be very low by morning. I have to run generator twice a day to keep up. I also thought the solar panels should keep it charged with just the fridge on. That is what started me to investigate.

The fuse block I referred to is the block under the back door with the fuel filter, air valve and other components.
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Old 05-21-2014, 03:53 PM   #10
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As a side bar--you talked about the amp draw issue but didnt mention the relative age or condition of your house bats. One or more bad bats, or bad cable connections will result in "full" bats with few amp/hours--could they be contributing to the low bat output? On a related issue, assume your 03 has the Amana refer--not the newest of appliances. We dont dry camp much but I discovered that the old Amanas have a daily coil defrost cycle that draws much more than the 2-3 amps pulled by the compressor. I cant tell you if its a 12 or 24 hr cycle but I have been experimenting with manually adjusting the defrost cycle [small, red, mechnical knob next to the evap pan on bottom right side, underneath refer], so that the defrost cycle[s] occurs during my twice-daily genset run. At least your bats wont have to be supporting the defrost cycle during the night.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:23 AM   #11
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FWIW - the last time we dry camped in our '03 with an Amana fridge we got a solid 8+ hours off the 6 - house batteries after a full charge at 10 PM. This also includes using the small bedroom flat panel TV with the timer set for 60 - minutes to go to sleep and then turning the TV back on around 5 AM. I start the generator manually at 6 AM or whenever "Quiet Time" is over. I always turn on the Auto Gen Start but have yet to actually have it start automatically because the batteries are just barely at 11.5V according to the old monitor panel. My batteries were about 3 - years old at the time.

We really don't like dry camping because it makes me nervous to think that the batteries could be going dead or close to dead even though I know we could get everything back to normal one way or another. It's just a mental trust factor for me and causes too much anxiety for me to be comfortable.

If you have the same configuration using 6 - house batteries rated at 660AH or better you should be getting the same results. Otherwise, something could be drawing too much current than normally expected.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:13 AM   #12
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I have 4 batt for house. Maybe I should add 2 more.

First thing I did was to take batteries and have them checked. They all checked good and equal. MH is new to us this year and lot I purchased it from told me they were new batteries. I have been told a lot of things from salesmen and I couldn't find any dates. However I did not feel they were holding up as long as others I camp with. I noticed one batt having a slight bulge and suspected it. After checking that out, it was fine.

I may just be expecting too much. I will still check out solenoids for drawdown.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 21Jim View Post
2003 FD Alpine. While inspecting house batteries, I disconnected cable and noticed it sparked on the positive terminal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 21Jim View Post
Thanks to all. I will do more testing. It will be weekend before I can look and will post results after that.
21Jim
This may or may not apply to your situation.

When my house battery positive cable is disconnected and then "touched" to the POS terminal of my house batteries I get a small "spark".
That spark is caused by the charge coming from my 75 watt solar panel, (not because something is drawing current).

It took me a long time to figure that out!
I finally did figure it out when I touched the cable to the battery terminal at night, (when the solar panel was not producing).

Good luck diagnosing your house battery "spark problem".
Mel
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:44 PM   #14
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21Jim,

If you don't have a residential fridge then the 4 - batteries should be adequate based upon what others have told me who have that configuration (DC/AC/LPG fridge).

If you have a residential fridge then someone may have changed the fridge because WRV installed 6 - house batteries & 50 - Watt solar panels as part of the residential option. The batteries make the biggest impact in that configuration. And, the house batteries should be rated for atleast 220AH or your "new" batteries are not sufficient.

It's all relative to your desire for using the coach. If dry camping is a big part of your recreational plans then the coach needs to be equipped accordingly. I'm sure others will chime in here with comments, opinions, or suggestions.
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