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Old 11-20-2014, 10:36 AM   #1
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Fight: Water Pump vs. Battery

Backstory: My van sits outside with fridge and water pump off, and with solar charger on, so generally pretty well charged up. I turned on the fridge Friday night to cool it down, packed food and beer into cold fridge Saturday morning, drove to campsite. I did not look at gauges.

Get to campsite, pop top, crack cold beer, go to sink for a glass of water. Turn on water pump, turn on faucet, water comes out, turn off faucet, rinse out cup, empty, and turn back on faucet for water. Nothing. Take a quick gander, realize battery looks very low. Charge it with generator, gauges are bouncing all over the place (6v, 20v, 12v, 8v, etc). Fridge is on but weak.

Give up. It's cool, don't need fridge, have water in bottles.

Drive home, battery is charging off engine and solar, showing 14.2 while engine on. Shut off engine, battery at 12.9, Zantrex says 100%. Sits for a few days in front of my house. Battery still at 12.9, 100%. Turn on water pump, gauges go off, lights go off, no power. Turn off water pump, everything comes back on, but voltage at ~8, then shortly jumps to ~10.

So, here's my theory: Water pump fried somehow and killed battery? The battery will show 12.9 but doesn't appear to have amps.. as soon as a large draw (fridge or blown water pump) tries to pull, it kills it a little more (I can use LED lights with no problem).

But I'm an idiot, so no clue if this makes any sense.. And hoping there's some simpler explanation, because I don't really want to buy a new 4D and a new water pump, especially because I will never get them installed before Thanksgiving weekend camping.

Anyone?
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:38 AM   #2
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Re: Fight: Water Pump vs. Battery

Maybe an issue with your separator/isolator? What do you have?


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Old 11-20-2014, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: Fight: Water Pump vs. Battery

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Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Maybe an issue with your separator/isolator? What do you have?


Herb
I presume the SurePower one that they put on many of these vans, but I've never actually seen it.

That said, I don't think that's it because when van is running I'm getting the alternator charge to the house battery..
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:52 PM   #4
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Re: Fight: Water Pump vs. Battery

Hard to believe the water pump has the ability to pull the battery down or even the fridge for that matter (as in a short). I'd be looking over the battery and separator connections. Have you tried to put a heavy load on the batteries? How well is the inverter working (if you have one Robb). A poor connection can allow a charge the when applied, then the voltage drops out under a load. Might be a ground issue.
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:32 PM   #5
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Re: Fight: Water Pump vs. Battery

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Originally Posted by daveb
Hard to believe the water pump has the ability to pull the battery down or even the fridge for that matter (as in a short). I'd be looking over the battery and separator connections. Have you tried to put a heavy load on the batteries? How well is the inverter working (if you have one Robb). A poor connection can allow a charge the when applied, then the voltage drops out under a load. Might be a ground issue.
That makes sense.. I haven't looked into it much, but should get some time Sunday to dig a little deeper.. I like the ground idea, I have had that problem on numerous vehicles, yet always seem to forget to look.. and it causes all sorts of odd problems.
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:44 PM   #6
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Re: Fight: Water Pump vs. Battery

I have test equipment for work that puts a huge load on a system. Sometimes a light load throws the circuit into a poor voltage condition but adding a large load forces the bad connection to "connect" and the system seems to work correctly... for a while. So adding a load at times can make things right for a time but eventually the connection will break down again. Best to disconnect and reconnect. Have fun with the troubleshooting
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:58 PM   #7
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Re: Fight: Water Pump vs. Battery

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Have fun with the troubleshooting
Electrical troubleshooting is my favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon. Way better than relaxing with a cold beer!
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:18 PM   #8
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Re: Fight: Water Pump vs. Battery

I wish you more luck than the Raiders
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:26 PM   #9
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Re: Fight: Water Pump vs. Battery

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I wish you more luck than the Raiders
They're losing.....i mean, um, playing....tonight.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:05 PM   #10
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Re: Fight: Water Pump vs. Battery

I tend to think it's the 12.9 that is is the mystery. In other words, it's not accurate. And in fact your battery is shot.

What happens if you go out, measure 12.9 v, and stick another load on it through say a cig lighter adapter? Does it drop right away as well?

As another example, will the fridge run on DC for any length of time?
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