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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 26-05-2020, 18:34 Thread Starter
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Leisure Battery Not Charging Although Receiving Voltage

Hi all, I'm pretty new to all this so please forgive me if this has been mentioned before. However I couldn't find anything relating to this exact problem. So here goes, I recently did a micro camper conversion and the leisure battery is not charging. I can't work out why. I have installed a voltage sensing split charge relay which comes on when I start the engine and supplies voltage to the leisure battery. I have also installed a battery indicator which displays both the voltage and the battery percentage. I can start the engine and leaving it running for a while or take the van on a long drive but the battery doesn't seem to charge, in fact it might lose 1% or 2%. I've instead been charging the battery with a battery charger that plugs into the mains, and that seems to work fine. When I look at the battery indicator it suggests that the battery is charging fine from the mains.
So I'm rather confused. If the battery is receiving voltage from the van battery through the voltage sensing relay then why should it not be charging?

I would really appreciate any help anyone can offer. And if I've left out any details that may be relevant to solving this mystery please let me know.
Many thanks
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 26-05-2020, 19:00
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Any chance of checking the amps flowing into the battery when you think it is charging. It may be receiving a voltage but is there current flowing?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 26-05-2020, 19:12
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Posting the actual voltages under the different situations would help someone to advise you.

Ted.
I try and state simple facts in a nice way.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 26-05-2020, 19:32
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Often an earth poor contact. But just guessing with the limited info.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 26-05-2020, 21:55
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When charging the voltage at the leisure battery should be 14.4v approximately. Is this what you are finding ? If not it suggests a break somewhere or a circuit preventing the charging by eg a poor connection or a component failure.

More details are needed of voltage at battery terminals when engine is running.

Also voltage at various places in the charging circuit, with the engine OFF for more than 30 minutes, check the battery voltage again (should be around 12.6 - 13 volts )

Check the split charge relay is wired correctly - again, a voltage checkis needed.

Check the current using an in line ammeter for an accurate result. If the voltage is correct the current should be OK, unless there is a thin wire in the circuit refusing the current (and creating a fire risk as it heats up).

Do come back with some more details as I am sure many people will be keen to help. My knowledge has come from many years of working on motor vehicles, retiring a caravan and now playing around with the wiring on our motorhome when we want to modify things, coupled with a science background....

.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 28-05-2020, 21:45 Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your advice so far. So I ran the engine today for 15 minutes checking the voltage running to the leisure battery at regular intervals, it remained at 14.2v throughout. Leisure battery voltage after the engine had been off for 30 minutes was the same as before I started the engine - 12.7v. All the wires are relatively thick and short, 16mm and no more than 3 meters from the main battery to the leisure battery. And I'm pretty sure the earth connection is ok.
Rayc do you know how I might check the amps flowing into the battery rather than just the voltage?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 28-05-2020, 22:06
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If you have 12.7v 30 minutes after running, IMO your battery is fully charged


https://mashley1975.files.wordpress....2dec051817.gif

To check the current flowing you EITHER need a heavy duty ammeter in series in the circuit to charge or you can use a meter that surrounds the chargibgvwire (usually red for positive) and measures the electrical field it produces, the higher the current, the higher the field strength.

I believe these "wrap around" meters give a reasonable result at high currents, but are not so accurate at low Ines eg less than 5a.

Thinking of ALL the front line staff working to try to help others;Doctors, nurses, paramedics, cleaners, NA's, catering staff, support services and all others. Their work is appreciated more than you can ever realise-keep strong and safe.

Any typo that I make means the errorists win.

Remember Jo Cox and what she stood for.

Any comments above are only MY OPINION and should be read as that.

http://www.leslezards.co.uk

Last edited by Penquin; 28-05-2020 at 22:09.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 08:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micro Camper View Post
Thanks for all your advice so far. So I ran the engine today for 15 minutes checking the voltage running to the leisure battery at regular intervals, it remained at 14.2v throughout. Leisure battery voltage after the engine had been off for 30 minutes was the same as before I started the engine - 12.7v. All the wires are relatively thick and short, 16mm and no more than 3 meters from the main battery to the leisure battery. And I'm pretty sure the earth connection is ok.
Rayc do you know how I might check the amps flowing into the battery rather than just the voltage?
Then the battery is charged. On the face of it your system is working . Why not discharge the battery by leaving the lights on for some hours. Check the voltage and when it gets to 12.3v or so rerun your test and see how long it takes to get back to 12.7v after receiving the alternator charge? It is not worth checking for current flow as with 14.2v applied to a fully charged battery it will be negligible.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Today, 16:02
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Errrrrrr......these "wraparound" meters, otherwise known as clamp meters will only measure AC currents, not DC currents, unless you have a special, very very expensive one not worth buying.

To measure AC, you need to split a two core or three core mains lead to clamp the live or neutral wire only otherwise the live and neutral magnetic fields will cancel each other out and produce no reading whatever.
Bill
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Today, 16:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bc109 View Post
Errrrrrr......these "wraparound" meters, otherwise known as clamp meters will only measure AC currents, not DC currents, unless you have a special, very very expensive one not worth buying.

To measure AC, you need to split a two core or three core mains lead to clamp the live or neutral wire only otherwise the live and neutral magnetic fields will cancel each other out and produce no reading whatever.
Bill
Thank you for that, it sounds exactly correct, they are NOT something I have ever used, although one was suggested to me, now I know it's not worth worrying about. I have only ever used an in line meter but have never really been concerned with charging value other than from our solar panels where the feed current is displayed by the gizmo.

Thinking of ALL the front line staff working to try to help others;Doctors, nurses, paramedics, cleaners, NA's, catering staff, support services and all others. Their work is appreciated more than you can ever realise-keep strong and safe.

Any typo that I make means the errorists win.

Remember Jo Cox and what she stood for.

Any comments above are only MY OPINION and should be read as that.

http://www.leslezards.co.uk
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