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Old 03-05-2015, 08:04 PM   #1
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Unhappy Not sure about House bats now.

I thought the two old 12 volts I have for house batteries wwre just getting old and not holding or running down quickly. I took them out and charged them overnight. Up to 12.58 and seem to be holding. Sortv of hate the idea of hauling them back to the unit in storage and putting them back in to see if they stay.

My coincern is there may be a drain somewhere in the system which makes them lose power. A nyone have a suggestion on how to find it if it is there or at least how to determine if there is one?

I'll let them sit for a couple of days and keep checking them with the volt meter

Thanks
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:15 PM   #2
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Take them to an auto parts store, they will test them.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:24 PM   #3
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All trailers / motorhomes have components in them on the 12 volt system that WILL drain your battery unless you have disabled them. Biggest drain is the LP gas/Carbon monoxide detector. In almost all trailers it is hot wired directly into the battery and even using your 12 volt kill switch leaves this drain active. Then any built in 12 volt radios, DVD players, TVs, etc are also a drain. Look at every piece of electronics in your trailer and if it has a light you can see, like a standby light on a radio, it is draining. The best thing you can do is to disconnect a battery wire or install battery kill switch.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:28 PM   #4
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If you put the batteries back in . . . when you make the final connection do you see a spark? Little spark or big spark.

Or.

Hook a multimeter set up for amperage readings in series for that final collection and see just how much current is flowing. Mind you decimal point. Warning. The special fuse for the Fluke multimeter is expensive.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:44 PM   #5
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everything is off with no lights. i didn't know that about the carbon monoxide sniffer. well we will see what they read tomorrow just sitting here with nothing draining. if they don't go down then i will complete the charge and put them in and test. I will look at a battery kill switch. it spends most of its life sitting so that might be a good thing. I had one on my boat.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:09 AM   #6
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If that 12.85 volts is without the charger connected and after a "rest" (several hours off the charger), then is pretty good, If not, then the batteries are weak. They should read around 13.3-13.6 when charging is finished.

A load test will find if there is a weak cell and most auto stores will do one for free.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:23 AM   #7
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FYI - My dometic rv refrigerator control board will drain the house batteries in 2 weeks unless I turn the breaker off that is located inside the refrig door frame - even when refrig is off. Also, my refrig 12V comes off prior to the disconnect/salesman switch (to avoid food spoiling if the 12V disconnect is activated).
If you maintain the 12.5V on your batteries for a couple days, I'd clean the grounds/terminals well and look for parasite loads. Don't forget to clean the ground/+ at the generator too.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsperfect View Post
I thought the two old 12 volts I have for house batteries wwre just getting old and not holding or running down quickly. I took them out and charged them overnight. Up to 12.58 and seem to be holding. Sortv of hate the idea of hauling them back to the unit in storage and putting them back in to see if they stay.

My coincern is there may be a drain somewhere in the system which makes them lose power. A nyone have a suggestion on how to find it if it is there or at least how to determine if there is one?

I'll let them sit for a couple of days and keep checking them with the volt meter

Thanks
Bring them to a full charge and test with a hydrometer. They may only need an equalizing /desulfating charge to restore them to service.
There will always be parasitic draw from somewhere unless the battery bank is disconnected completely.
Even disconnected wet cells will discharge from 15-30% each month when not being maintained.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:53 AM   #9
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Hi edsperfect,
I guarantee there are parasite drains on the coach batteries. You're on the right track by getting them out of the coach and giving them a good charge. While a voltage measurement will tell you some of the story, having the batteries load tested will provide a more complete picture. Like posted earlier, most auto parts stores will do this at no charge. For me, a load tester is part of my tool kit. We own too many batteries to not have this tool. The testers are not expensive. If you make the purchase a tester rated at 100 AMPS or more is recommended. My tester is rated at 130 AMPS.
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Old 03-07-2015, 07:48 AM   #10
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Well it sat in fla for 2 months with an occasional running of the engine and generator to recharge. It may be that I did not charge it long enough. i thought that a 1300 mile drive would charge it up pretty good since I wasn't running refridge only the furnace, a light occassional and the sniffer. I may have been wrong in my conclusion. I had no idea the refridge would draw current even when not running.

SO far overnight has dropped to 12.71 in both bats. Of course they are just sitting with no connections.
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:00 AM   #11
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Hi edsperfect,
12.71 is very good, draw or no draw (12.6 is fully charged). The batteries are just settling in. The higher voltage reading may have just been a surface charge. It is normal for the surface charge to go away, even if the batteries are just sitting on a shelf.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:18 PM   #12
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That surface charge is the result of a chemical reaction and you really need to wait at least 3 hours before measuring your voltage if you really want to know the state of charge. The batteries continue to settle down for 24 hours after you stop charging but who's gonna live that long?
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:41 PM   #13
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I may have missed a post but from the first post I think the op states 12.58 which is when I would want to charge the batteries back up. I think the answer to your question of how to see if there is an abnormal drain happening you could take off one of the battery cables connect amp meter between loose cable and batt post. If it reads much more then 1 amp its and abnormal parasitic drain. Remove fuses one at a time and when the drain drops you have isolated it.
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