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Old 09-27-2013, 03:28 PM   #1
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Exclamation battery disconnect relay trouble

I have just replaced the battery disconnect relay for the house batteries. I have a voltage drop at this relay when it is closed, on both sides load & source. When it is open, voltage is fine on the source side.

Now it wont open and/or close properly. I am wondering if they might have sent me a bad one.

It could be the switch inside the coach or whatever mechanism tells the relay to open and close. I am not sure the best way to proceed.

Someone suggested to jump the cables and take the relay out of the picture. Connect the load side cable to the bat side cable directly - as a workaround. I dont need disconnect anyways, right.

What would be the best way to diagnose the problem? I would appreciate any suggestions.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:13 PM   #2
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When the relay is closed and supplying 12v power to the coach ; any downstream load and there are a few that will power up as soon as the relay closes; will cause a voltage drop.
How much drop ? Less than .5volt ?
You could by pass the relay so you can use the coach till you find things out about further testing.
You will need to find out if the control switch is , a power supply or ground supply for the relay. Before you can test it out.
If the relay is acting up you need to, test and confirm the problem, then return it as soon as possible for possible exchange or refund.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:37 PM   #3
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Thanks Skip426!

There shouldn't have been much of a downstream load, as i made sure everything was off. Of course i realize there may be a small hidden load but it should be extremely minimal. The drop was about .5 v (from 12.8 to 12.3), but it made me nervous because of last time. Last time, on the old relay, the drop was around 6 volts and wouldnt open and close either.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
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There was a post with pictures and specs of a clamp on amp meter that may be of some help , to confirm the size of the load. I'll track it down.
12.8 down to 12.3 is really only drawing down on the surface charge , not putting a huge load on the battery, if you by pass the relay , I think you'll find the same number at that connection.

EDIT; Post was in General Discussion. " What multimeter do you use" by maxwell18
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:54 PM   #5
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That small a drop could be a single light bulb in a compartment somewhere, or a closet. Sometimes we forget to check every possible place that a light is installed.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:41 PM   #6
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Cheapest DC Clamp-on meter I have ever seen is at Sears:
Craftsman Digital Clamp-On Ammeter - Tools - Electricians Tools - Multi-Meters & Meters

Battery disconnect solenoids are latching type solenoids. They do not require a constant voltage to be applied to switch. Only a short pulse is applied to them to turn them ON. Another pulse (reverse polarity) is applied to turn them OFF. Thats why a momentary rocker switch is used to operate them. The pulse is only applied as long as you have the rocker switch depressed. Many of these solenoids have 2 fuses mounted on them. Make sure both fuses are good.

Dave
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:29 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the great info!

Skip426:

I didnt realize that even a small load could drop it by .5 volts. I guess that might not be anything worth getting worked up about. I did have a Klein CL2000 clamp on, but it fluxuated so much it was no good to me. It measured high, HIGH amps and micro amps. But i couldnt get an accurate read on milli amps. I am now using a Klein mm1000 (not a clamp on).

I am seriously considering a bypass. I will let you know what it reads if/when I do.


ebksafari:

I didnt realize something so small could have an effect like that. True, i may have missed something. I was concerned and jaded by past experience.


Dave78Chief:

That is very true! Mine doesnt have the fuses on the sides; it is wired to a circuit board with the fuses on that. I would like to fake the signal to latch it closed. I was worried I might fry it (if it already isnt). Was thinking of hooking it up briefly to a 12v until it closes. Right now it is open and will not close. At this point I am wondering about the rocker switch. I suppose it might not be sending the right voltage to operate the relay properly.

The relay, rocker , or rocker circuitry definetly has a problem because the relay wont close or open properly.

When I plug into shore, the rocker lights up (as is mandatory) and the house has 12 volt power. On the load side (converter side) of the relay, I am getting 13.7 v. That voltage isnt flowing to the battery side of the relay because it is still in the open position. But the rocker switch is lit up, so.... hmmm.


Thank you all again for the great advice and ideas!!!
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnAndChris View Post
Thanks Skip426!

There shouldn't have been much of a downstream load, as i made sure everything was off. Of course i realize there may be a small hidden load but it should be extremely minimal. The drop was about .5 v (from 12.8 to 12.3), but it made me nervous because of last time. Last time, on the old relay, the drop was around 6 volts and wouldnt open and close either.
DawnAndChris
Are you aware that all relay/solenoid type "battery disconnects" draw 12VDC continually if/when they are supplying voltage to the house circuits?
It takes 12V power to hold them ON, (which could account for your slight voltage drop).
The power draw can be from either the chassis or house batteries, (depending upon how the RV is wired).

Mechanical battery disconnects draw no circuit, (whether ON or OFF).

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Old 09-27-2013, 11:04 PM   #9
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Thank you Mel!

As Dave78Chief described, the particular ones in my rig only take a brief charge to open or close. After that it is latched in the position without any current.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:51 AM   #10
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Thank you Mel!
As Dave78Chief described, the particular ones in my rig only take a brief charge to open or close. After that it is latched in the position without any current.
DawnAndChris
, That is true of a latching solenoid.
I know that the battery boost solenoids are usually NOT latching solenoids, but since I have a mechanical battery disconnect, I was not aware that battery connect/disconect solenoids where the latching type.

Using a latching solenoid/relay for the battery disconnect makes perfect sense.
I learn something new every day.
Thanks to you, (and to Dave78Chief), for the "schooling".
Mel
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:07 AM   #11
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Hi Mel.

I dont know if all of them are of this type, but I know my two are. I read this when ordering a replacement online. They have several paragraphs about their proprietary latching mechanism.

I appreciate your help; thank you!

Chris
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:36 PM   #12
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Aux Battery Boost solenoids (chassis to house battery cross connect) typically are continuous feed.

Battery disconnect solenoids are typically latching (pulsed) so that when boondocking, they are not using power to keep the solenoid energized.

Quote:
When I plug into shore, the rocker lights up (as is mandatory) and the house has 12 volt power. On the load side (converter side) of the relay, I am getting 13.7 v. That voltage isnt flowing to the battery side of the relay because it is still in the open position. But the rocker switch is lit up, so.... hmmm.
My take would be that the "rocker lights up" because there is voltage available from the converter (or inverter charger if applicable). Light simply indicates power is available on load side of disconnect solenoid. It does not know if that voltage is from battery or converter.

Dave
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:38 PM   #13
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Good to know about that light Dave.

So here is the latest development. After driving down the road a short distance... and bumping around and/or being on alternator power.... the relay closes and functions normally.

I hit the switch a few times, and it goes back to being stuck open. I hit the chassis disconnect a few times and then they both stop working!

I mess with the circuit board, jiggle a few fuses... and the switches start working again. But now... the coach relay shows a large volt drop (from 13 at bats to 6 at relay and beyond). After letting it sit there for 45 minutes, voltage at relay has gone up to 11+ volts.

I am trying to trouble shoot this board or some sub component of it. Intellitec! Any suggestions??? Please
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:22 PM   #14
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If it is a Intellitec BCC do you have the Intellitec P/N of it? Might be able to find some drawings.

Dave

PS: On and Offline as I am working on my Honda Civic also. Might be a delay in responding.
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