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Old 01-26-2017, 03:56 PM   #1
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House batteries not charging

Hi all-
Having some trouble with my house batteries that I'm hoping someone can give me some insight on.
I mostly boondock and over the last year, I need to add water to my house batteries about once every couple of months, which I didn't really think was excessive since I'm hardly ever plugged in.
I'm in California right now visiting relatives and ended up staying much longer than I had planned to because of weather. For So. Cal we had a lot.
My relatives have a 5th wheel and a 30 amp hook up for it, and I've been plugged into their shore power for a couple of weeks now.
Today, I unhooked to take my coach for service and about 10 minutes after unhooking, everything went dead and the relay for the house disconnect started clicking and the co2 detector started beeping to the clicks. .

Checked the water and it's fine.
Cranked up the generator for a bit, Drove across town to the shop and it was all good,
Came back after a few hours at the shop and when I turned off the engine the disconnect started clicking and beeping again.
Checked the battery monitor and the main battery reads 13.3v, but the aux battery doesn't register at all the screen is just blank.

Pretty sure the batteries are the originals, which makes them older than God considering my coach is a 2008, which is why I wasn't so concerned about having to add water all the time.

Seems odd that the batteries were not being charged or maintaining the charge when plugged in to shore power, but they were charging from the generator and from driving, at least enough to keep everything going for a few hours.

Can a battery just die to the point of not registering on the monitor at all, or is this s symptom of something worse?
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Old 01-26-2017, 04:00 PM   #2
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My experience is "yes", a battery (or batteries) can go from being fine to being toast overnight.
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Old 01-26-2017, 04:07 PM   #3
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Doesn't your generator start from your house batteries ?

Check you cable connections and breaker or fuse to the house power center.
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Old 01-26-2017, 04:30 PM   #4
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Thanks Robbie-
I would think that the monitor would read at least 2 or 3v or whatever it's got left? Totally blank screen was a bit of a surprise
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Old 01-26-2017, 04:32 PM   #5
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Yes it does. And it doesn't. I have the aux start switch so I can start it from the chassis battery, which is how I had to do it
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Old 01-26-2017, 05:14 PM   #6
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Update:

Plugged back into shore power now. Battery monitor reads 13.75v for both Main and aux batteries. Unplugged aux battery doesn't register.
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Old 01-26-2017, 05:43 PM   #7
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Your house batteries, after 8 years, are very tired and want to go where all good batteries go when they are tired. Recycling into newer, stronger, better batteries. Grant them their final wish.

Your observation pretty much are in line with aged out batteries. More than happy to consumer power from the charger but their capacity to hold a charge with a minimum or no load is now measured in minutes rather than months.

As far as your monitor if there isn't enough power to close the disconnect then then monitor is going to read 0 VDC. The solenoids usually open at around 10VDC which more or less is a deads battery.

The high water consumption is a sign of a possible cell short. The short will generate heat and a slow simmer boiling off the water You could pull the batteries and head on down to the local auto parts store and have them tested. More or less you'll be getting a second opinion that they have reached their limits. Also a single cell short will cause a discharge of all the batteries in a bank.
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Old 01-26-2017, 06:14 PM   #8
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In my 95 Rexhall the "coach" circuit breakers for AC and DC are located in the panel below the closet. In that unit you will also find the "coach" battery charger below the circuit breakers. I also just found my "coach" batteries to be toast. I'm using a pair of 6 voters from LES Schäuble they are GC2's, for golf carts. The charger in these older Rexhall's are not "smart chargers" and will cook your expensive batteries. I m installing a smart charger for Progressive Dynamics rated 100A, from Amazon, which will run all of my DC compensation and charge the batteries and keep them healthy.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:06 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone!

Thanks for all the input everyone. I changed out the house batteries with 2 new 6v golf cart batteries and everything is back to normal! Had the old batteries checked and sure enough, I had a fracture/dead cell. They said it likely happened with the freeze we had earlier this week. So glad it wasn't anything more serious. Any repair under $200 is a good repair!!
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Old 01-27-2017, 02:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
My experience is "yes", a battery (or batteries) can go from being fine to being toast overnight.
I will second that.. Have had it happen in fact.

True story much longer condensed
OEM battery died (under warranty)
Opted for a better battery (Lifetitime warranty $60.00)
1 week later: Got new LIfetime battery (Warranted $0.00)
Many years later.. Started car, drove to dry cleaners,,, Picked up Uniform.. Car would not start, had to call AAA for a Jump

It went from GOOD to TOAST in less than 1/2 mile!!!!!

New battery (5 year warranty but grandfathered) would have cost 150.00 had I had to pay for it.. but $0.00... Best 60 bucks I ever spent!!!!

That battery... Outlasted the car.
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