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Lights and Water Pump Stopped Working

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    Lights and Water Pump Stopped Working

    My 12 volt system had a surge. I thought it was a bad battery. Replaced the starting battery and I believe something fried. Now I'm thinking I had a short and I just put more "fuel on the fire" and possibly burned some wires. I came back to the boat to find a burning smell throughout. Couldn't pin point it. The salon, both bedroom, closet lights don't work as well as the water pump for the sinks. I couldn't find any tripped breaker. Certain lights have a very slight flicker when switched which makes me think it's not a breaker. I have tried to look at all of the wires and harnesses on the starbird side of the boat and throughout the engine compartment and have no evidence of burned wires. I'm thinking it possibly happened inside a circuit box and that's why the boat didn't burn down. I have now replaced all the batteries and the the problem still exist. Of course I'm not leaving the battery charger and DC master on when I'm sleeping or not there. Has anything similar happened to anyone else. Possibly I just haven't looked in the right place. Thank you in advance.

    #2
    Model of boat?
    id be looking for a poor negative connection, likely at the 12 volt fuse/breaker panel.
    Dave
    Edmonds, WA
    "THE FIX"
    '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
    (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
    The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
    Misc. projects thread
    https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

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      #3
      Thank you for that. I will check it out. It's a 91Bayliner 3888

      Comment


        #4
        12v surges, to my knowledge, are extremely rare. I’m thinking the only source for that would be the battery charger. How do you have your battery switches set in the engine room? I put the starting battery switch in the on position and the house switch on. I do not use the center combiner/crossover switch, so it’s in the off position. The generator switch is not part of this issue so let’s ignore it. Next, the lights, pumps, refrigerator, all that stuff that runs in 12v, runs off the house batteries. Check the connections at the battery and the electrolyte (water) level. Next go after the negative cable and make sure it’s clean and tight.
        There isn’t a circuit box per say, so the next place is the lower helm. The panel with the ignition switches is your house distribution panel. You can get a pretty good look at it from the galley, the door to the right of the sink, but there’s a lot of stuff to confuse your eyes in between. So, I’d remove the four screws that hold the panel on, you can use a sharp knife to pop the screw caps off by slipping the blade, not the point, under the edge and rotating. Pull the top of the panel out about an inch then lift it just a bit whilerotating the top to around 45 degrees. Now you have about as good as it’s gonna get at seeing the back side of the circuit breakers. You’ll see a buss strip connecting all of the breakers on each of the columns then wires connected to the other individual breaker pole. Check to make sure everything is tight. If everything is good there, leave it as is and look forward to the sides of that galley door you tried to look aft through earlier. There are both positive and negative busses at the top and sides of the door opening. Make sure everything is tight there.
        By this time you should have found something amiss. My guess is it’s going to be at the battery unless you’ve been doing something to the lights or water pump. It may only show up on those two circuits because of the load powering them up.
        When you are putting the 12v distribution panel back, be careful not to knock any of the ignition switch or bottom row wires off. Mine tend to rest on the opening while I’m messing with other things on the panel and one or two of that lower row have been known to slip off.
        If your battery charger is original, it may be time to replace it. The new solid state ones are really awesome. If you don’t have an inverter and decide to replace your battery charger, there are some really good options out there. For our 3818 I have the house, starting and generator batteries on the charger, then a separate set of batteries dedicated to a 2500 watt charger/inverter.
        Let us know what you find. BTW, where are you? I know a really fine Marine Electrician in the Seattle area.

        Pete
        P/C Pete
        Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
        1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
        Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
        1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
        MMSI 367770440
        1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
        Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

        Comment


          #5
          Hi Pete, thanks so much For spending the time. I will check all the stuff out. I’m in Long Beach California area. I’ll let you know what I come up with

          Comment


            #6
            Pete, turns out it was a bad connection with a negative battery cable. Someone had actually put a positive clamp on the negative so I got it firm but it wasn't super tight (I couldn't move it). That combined with the fact that it was old and apparently had some oxidation or a very thin layer of crud on the inside (it looked pretty clean) was the problem. I discovered this when I cleaned it again and got much more light flickering. I bought new clamps for all the batteries and everything works. The pulsing even stopped ( I also reset the battery charger). Amazing!!! I'm now a huge fan of this site. Just contributed. Thanks again for your help.

            Comment


              #7
              Camplin, you are very welcome. I’m not surprised at the loose ground. I’ve learned a lot here myself. The completed projects forum is really good too. I’ve got a couple of my projects that I need to get on there, but aren’t quite done. I’m sending you a PM of some of the things I’ve done to our 3818 that have made things easier and the Admiral happy.
              P/C Pete
              Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
              1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
              Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
              1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
              MMSI 367770440
              1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
              Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

              Comment

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