Battery drained

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats
green
Engineer
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:47 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Carolina Beach / Durham, NC (Jordan Lake)

Battery drained

Post by green »

I got back to the boat today after a few weeks away in a new slip with shore power to find both batteries drained. Jumped to start.

I’ll be taking the boat on a trip tomorrow and will have shore power at a different slip. Should I expect shore power to recharge my batteries?

I realize this is a dumb question, but I was surprised to find the batteries drained while plugged in. Maybe shore power does not work like I think it works. Or maybe there is an issue with my setup.
User avatar
NiceAft
Admiral
Posts: 6292
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

Re: Battery drained

Post by NiceAft »

Are you sure that when you connected to shore power, there was power?

There may be a breaker switch on the panel where the socket is? If there is, make certain that the switch is in the position for power to flow.

How I know the juice is flowing.
Image
Ray ~~_/)~~
User avatar
dlandersson
Admiral
Posts: 4592
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:00 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Michigan City

Re: Battery drained

Post by dlandersson »

Nice point. The shore power connections here have an on/off switch on the panel. :wink:
NiceAft wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 3:15 pm Are you sure that when you connected to shore power, there was power?

There may be a breaker switch on the panel where the socket is? If there is, make certain that the switch is in the position for power to flow.
green
Engineer
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:47 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Carolina Beach / Durham, NC (Jordan Lake)

Re: Battery drained

Post by green »

Thanks. All I have is

Image

And I see now that there is no power flowing

Image

Flipped these to on as well



I’m missing something
Image
User avatar
NiceAft
Admiral
Posts: 6292
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

Re: Battery drained

Post by NiceAft »

Don’t expect that just because there is a power source at the slip, i.e. a post with a socket; that there is power ready to use. Look for something that looks like a light switch, it will be on the same surface as the electrical socket. It may need to be flicked to release the power.

Try flipping those switches off and on a couple of times. Sometimes a breaker will look like it’s in the on position, but it isn’t. Flip it a couple of times.
Ray ~~_/)~~
green
Engineer
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:47 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Carolina Beach / Durham, NC (Jordan Lake)

Re: Battery drained

Post by green »

Got it!

I think this means my battery should be charging??

I have the dial to off. Does this need to be on to charge?


Image


I watched

It was helpful but did not quite get to this question. Someone asked in the comments and I’m not sure which applies to me because I don’t know how it’s wired.

Image
User avatar
Stickinthemud57
Captain
Posts: 690
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:50 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Contact:

Re: Battery drained

Post by Stickinthemud57 »

When I went to a two-battery system I bought a NOCO Genius 5X2. A little pricey for a battery charger, but it is very smart, purports to be able to "fix" batteries, and I have no doubt as to whether it is receiving power from my shore power outlet since it lights up and shows a power status.
The key to inner peace is to admit you have a problem and leave it at that.
User avatar
dlandersson
Admiral
Posts: 4592
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:00 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Michigan City

Re: Battery drained

Post by dlandersson »

Not on the boat - on the dock where the shore cable plugs in to the power source. 8)
green
Engineer
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:47 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Carolina Beach / Durham, NC (Jordan Lake)

Re: Battery drained

Post by green »

Well I left the shore power connected overnight and the main/panel switches on (with power to the charger) and kept the switch off and the batteries are still dead. The tester still reads 0% healthy on both, but now a 2% charge on one.

I have two batteries (from the previous owner) that look identical.

Image

Image

What would folks recommend in this situation? Take the batteries to west marine or an auto parts store and have them tested? Just assume they are done and get replacements? (I don’t know the age but at least 3 years).
User avatar
NiceAft
Admiral
Posts: 6292
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

Re: Battery drained

Post by NiceAft »

green wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 5:22 pm Got it!

I think this means my battery should be charging??

I have the dial to off. Does this need to be on to charge?


Image


I watched

It was helpful but did not quite get to this question. Someone asked in the comments and I’m not sure which applies to me because I don’t know how it’s wired.

Image
It should be in the “All” position.
Ray ~~_/)~~
green
Engineer
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:47 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Carolina Beach / Durham, NC (Jordan Lake)

Re: Battery drained

Post by green »

Interesting. I landed on turning it off based on comments online that said it should charge the batteries in any position. Maybe I misunderstood that.

If so, maybe there’s a chance that my batteries are ok and just need a proper charging in the all position?
User avatar
dustoff
Chief Steward
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:25 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Stevensville, MD

Re: Battery drained

Post by dustoff »

Couple of things to consider.
- If your batteries were run totally dead I would highly recommend getting them load tested because they may have been damaged beyond their ability to hold a charge.
- you can do a simple volt test with a multimeter on each battery to get an idea of how bad it is. If their static DC volts are below 10.5 you definitely need to get them load tested. (Make sure when you do the multimeter test, take all the connections off the battery terminals to make sure there isn't a sneak circuit drawing power)
- I would check the wiring paths from your battery charger to the batteries. You can also do a simple confirmation if it is working properly by watching the multimeter connected to your batteries when you power up the charger. Look for an increase in DC volts. (Some multimeters also have an ammeter function to measure DC amps that you can use to see exactly how much current is going into your batteries from the charger)
- Your battery charger may or may not be routed through your battery switch. You really have to have to confirm the circuit paths and current flow and I would recommend sketching it out to keep track of thing.
- Battery switches can fail. Its unusual, but not unheard of.
- Corrosion is the enemy. Look for corrosion on any of the connections. A visually minor amount of corrosion may indicate a large decrease in a circuit's performance.
- Go step by step to check each link in the chain and keep track of what you've checked. There's really no short cuts (no pun intended) to diagnosing electrical problems.

dustoff
:macm:
User avatar
Stickinthemud57
Captain
Posts: 690
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:50 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Contact:

Re: Battery drained

Post by Stickinthemud57 »

dlandersson wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 3:48 am Not on the boat - on the dock where the shore cable plugs in to the power source. 8)
Oh, I got that. I would imagine almost any battery charger will have a pilot light, gauge, or somesuch that will show that it is receiving and outputting power. I always make it a point to check the charge indicators to be sure that indeed they are getting charged, and the NOCO has a nice, big, backlit LED readout that makes this easy.
The key to inner peace is to admit you have a problem and leave it at that.
User avatar
NiceAft
Admiral
Posts: 6292
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

Re: Battery drained

Post by NiceAft »

Off on a tangent, I don’t have the same switch as you.
Image

I no longer use the battery charger built into the boat. I too have two batteries. I use two of these
Image

I have a socket I plug them into.
Image

To check on the the charge in each battery, I installed this.
Image

None of the above applies to your problem, but when solved, may entice you. I believe the two “Battery Tender" units do a better job of charging and maintaining a charger.
Ray ~~_/)~~
User avatar
Russ
Admiral
Posts: 7677
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:01 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Bozeman, Montana "Luna Azul" 2008 M 70hp Suzi

Re: Battery drained

Post by Russ »

Firstly, your photo is hard to see, but this looks like a standard HOUSEHOLD breaker. The markings look like a Siemens QP 1 pole breaker.
Where is this mounted?
These are NOT marine rated. What it should be is a marine panel like the one above with the reverse polarity indicator

Image

The good news is your battery charger/converter DOES seem to be a high quality marine grade unit.

You posted "And I see now that there is no power flowing"
The meter on the charger should show some power flowing. You didn't mention how dead the batteries were and how you tested them. However, even a totally flat battery should, I imagine, be taking some power from that unit.

You have some investigating to do.
Based on the info you have posted, I would say the charger is not getting shore power. You found some breakers and that's good. As mentioned above, you want to first make sure the breaker on the dockside is on and you are, in fact, getting power into the boat somewhere. Are the outlets getting power?

So once you establish the boat is getting shore power, you will need to learn how this charger is connected to shore power. The previous owner may have hard wired it proper or simply added a power cord that needs to be in an outlet.

My first order of business would be to get that charger powered up because your description seems like it is not.

Looking at your photos of the battery terminals, there are several wires directly connected to them.
These (with the exception of the motor wire or the main cable to the A/B/ALL switch) MUST be fused close to the terminal. So that's a place to check also.
My boat does not have an A/B/All switch and my battery charger is directly (fused) connected to both batteries directly. It's likely your charger is wired this way too based on that photo.

Looking at your battery photo of the top battery, there are several wires connected to each battery. I would trace these and learn what they go to.
The heavy one with no plastic cover is probably going to your A/B/All switch. Then you have 2 red covered wires that look fairly heavy. One is probably the battery charger, the other...?? Then there is a thinner (blue) wire. What is that going to? Perhaps a low power device. Same on the negative terminal.

Once you are sure the charger is actually getting shore power, then you can troubleshoot further.

Image

You can find the install and troubleshooting manual here
https://www.progressivedyn.com/marine-charger/
--Russ
Post Reply