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Old 12-24-2014, 07:21 PM   #1
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New Van batteries are using house battery to help start?

Hey Guys,


Is it normal for a relatively "new" batteries(4 months new) to need the house batteries to start the van? I keep the van on Shore power when not in use and drive the Van at least once a week. The reason why I think the Van batteries are needing help is when I read on my voltmeter on the van which read(when cranking) less than 11.0 volts and then at the same time I read the House battery volt meter and it read ~ 12.4-6 and then jumps back to 12.9~13.0 after the van starts. I just bought a brand new lifeline 4D battery and so I know the house battery is good.

I'm not sure why my van battery would need any assistance since I keep the van plugged into Shore power and it's constantly charged. Any advice would be appreciated.


thanks,

Alex
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:10 PM   #2
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Re: New Van batteries are using house battery to help start?

Definitely not normal. When your van is plugged on 110, are you sure that the van batteries are also charging. Do you have an automatic relay that connects house and van batteries? If yes, have you tried to force it closed?

If you're sure that the van batteries are charging when plugged, there is likely an issue with the van batteries, at least one of those. I would made them checked by a specialist...

Even if the van stays one week without drive, recent batteries should keep charge better than 11V...
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:09 AM   #3
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Re: New Van batteries are using house battery to help start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pschitt
Definitely not normal. When your van is plugged on 110, are you sure that the van batteries are also charging. Do you have an automatic relay that connects house and van batteries? If yes, have you tried to force it closed?

If you're sure that the van batteries are charging when plugged, there is likely an issue with the van batteries, at least one of those. I would made them checked by a specialist...

Even if the van stays one week without drive, recent batteries should keep charge better than 11V...

I have a 1315-200 separator and when I plug into Shore power I see that the Van Voltmeter jumps to 13.1 and then eventually climbs to ~14.1. This is also seen on the House batteries.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:50 AM   #4
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Re: New Van batteries are using house battery to help start?

Check the Surepower Power unit, remove the start wire going to the start Assist Tab, should be next to the ground connection.

-greg
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Old 12-25-2014, 02:22 PM   #5
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Re: New Van batteries are using house battery to help start?

Back in the day when SMB was using the Surepower separators, that was how they configured the system. Later on they added a switch so it didn't automatically connect but if you needed to make an assist start, you pushed the momentary switch while cranking the engine to get the house battery boost.
If the separator is buried out of reach, sometimes the ground connection at the main ground strip is easier to get to... but that disables it and you only would do that to test the starting batteries. The unit must work to be able to have the alternator charge. Cutting in a momentary push button switch at the dash on the circuit Greg is talking about is the best solution. SMB did that for a few years before going to the Blue Sea separators.
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Old 12-26-2014, 10:26 PM   #6
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Re: New Van batteries are using house battery to help start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalf77
Check the Surepower Power unit, remove the start wire going to the start Assist Tab, should be next to the ground connection.

-greg


Do you happen to have a pic that can show me which is wire is which? If you don't, don't worry...
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Old 12-26-2014, 10:52 PM   #7
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Re: New Van batteries are using house battery to help start?

He should have one in his photo album. Not sure but have thought this was the one:





One is the 14 and the other is the 15. I THINK they are the same wiring setup but not sure. Greg probably knows being he was using these and I pulled mine out in 07.
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SP-1314A-B-5.jpg   SP-1315-200-5.jpg  
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Old 12-27-2014, 07:50 AM   #8
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Re: New Van batteries are using house battery to help start?

The bottom picture would be the 1315-200 or 1314-200, top one would be the 1315/1314 -100.

Attached SurePower doc

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File Type: pdf BUS_CBT_INST_180126a.pdf (39.2 KB, 2 views)
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:16 AM   #9
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Re: New Van batteries are using house battery to help start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalf77
The bottom picture would be the 1315-200 or 1314-200, top one would be the 1315/1314 -100.

Attached SurePower doc


Thank you both! I'll try it...
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:35 AM   #10
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Re: New Van batteries are using house battery to help start?

Here's a quick update. I did what Greg had recommended and the good thing is that getting to the Separator was a easy on my Van. I just had to lift my rear passenger side cushion and it was right there with easy access.

So I disconnected the Start Assist wire on the Separator and started the Van. I noticed that the Separator was doing what it was supposed to do and did not connect the House battery to assist. I kept an eye on both Volt meters(Van and House)while starting and saw that the House battery remained at 12.8V unlike before where it would momentarily drop. The Van batteries started on their own. The Van battery was at 12.6V and dropped to 11.0V but the Van started!

Lastly, since access to my Separator is easy do you think installing a momentary switch is worth the effort? I can easily do the same thing by unplugging the start assist wire. Am i missing anything else aside from convenience?

THanks again, Greg and DaveB!!!

BTW, I'm still going to have my batteries checked.
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