Do I have a battery charger problem?

SpyderwebSpyderweb Syracuse, NYMember Posts: 377 ✭✭✭
I have an Intelli-Power PD2130 charger on my 2008 330, likely original.  This is 2nd season with boat, never noticed a problem.  There are 3 outputs, wired to 2 starter batteries and house (2 deep cycle). I try and not run my house below 12.2 volts, as measured on the volt meter at the electrical panel.  Typically, that's what is measured at the end of a day on the water.  We go back to the dock for evening and it gets recharged overnight.  House batteries are on 2nd year, and typically read around 12.5 at beginning of day.  

Yesterday, towards the end of the day out on the water, I fired up the generator just to run it for its weekly 20 minutes as has been suggested on this forum.  Turned on breakers for water heater, fridge, ice maker, microwave, and battery charger to put on a load.  Checked volt meter and volts had only risen to 12.3 (from 12.2).  According to charger instructions boost power is 14.4, normal power is 13.9, and storage power is 13.3.  And those seem typical for what I've seen in the past.  Seems like with only 12.2 in the batteries, I should be getting 14.4 or 13.9.

Back at dock, hooked up to shore power, (only a 15 minute boat ride) I turned on charger and it went to 13.3.  So better than on the water, but again I would expect 14.4 or 13.9, not a storage voltage. 

Next morning, I went in to ER to check readout at charger, and it was giving me 13.3 volts (same as on gauge in cabin) for all 3 outlets and 0.6 amps.  After being on all night, that's what I might expect. While I was watching the meter on the charger, it suddenly jumped up to 14.4 volt.  I had my wife check, and the meter in cabin also had jumped up to 14.4.  but within 30 seconds, it went back to 13.3.  According to the manual, there is an "equalize mode" where every 21 hours, the voltage will jump to 14.4 and last for 15 minutes.  So this may have been the mode it jumped to (about 14 hours after the charger was turned on the night before), but it only lasted 30 seconds.  

Are these typical signs charger is starting to go, or is something else going on?



  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 1,572 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2019

    Just to be sure, your charger runs off of both the genset and shore power?  

    The charger shouldn't care if it's 110 shore power or genset.  Are you positive the charger was on while the genset was running?

    What size genset are you running?  Being that it works on shore power i want to know whats with the charger when the generator is running.  Maybe try turning off some other breakers?  Also did you run the genset the 15 min trip back to charge the house batteries?  Maybe they were just that worn down.  Have you charged both batteries then done individual load tests on them?

  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Member Posts: 2,796 ✭✭✭✭
    If you had a large load on like two fridges and some lights that could make it show 12.2v because the charger is intelligent and stops charging when full. So it stopped charging and then both fridges come on and with a load the panel says 12.2 
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

  • Dude_HimselfDude_Himself Charleston, SCMember Posts: 566 ✭✭✭
    Measure at the battery. If you're measuring a circuit, and that circuit is pulling a load, it's possible to get a lower reading.

    That said - I have the same charger and occasionally it must overheat or something because it doesn't always charge to full right out the gate. Sometimes it needs to sit a while before the batteries start bulk charging.
  • SpyderwebSpyderweb Syracuse, NYMember Posts: 377 ✭✭✭
    @PickleRick Yes, charger can run off genset or shore power.  I agree, charger shouldn't care where AC power is coming from.  I'm certain I turned on breaker for charger.  And the needle on gage raised from 12.2 to 12.3, so I figured charger was on, just not very effective. Genset is 5K.   I was purposely trying to put load on genset.  Water heater draws a lot.  Is it possible that with heater, and fridge and ice maker all on (also pretty strong draws) that there wasn't much juice left to let the battery charger put out many amps?  

    Charger was not on during trip to dock.  So house bank would still be pretty low and I would expect with charger on at shore, volts should be 14.4 or 13.9.  I have not load tested batteries.  But at just 2 years old, and being consistent all season (down to 12.2 at end of day on water), I don't suspect the problem lies with batteries. 
  • SpyderwebSpyderweb Syracuse, NYMember Posts: 377 ✭✭✭
    @Liberty44140.  "If you had a large load on like two fridges and some lights that could make it show 12.2v because the charger is intelligent and stops charging when full."

    I'm thinking towards end of day, house batteries are low, reading 12.2 (although may be a little better than that because fridge and stereo are on), but certainly not high enough that the charger would think it was full and thus stop.
  • SpyderwebSpyderweb Syracuse, NYMember Posts: 377 ✭✭✭
    @Dude_Himself, I don't think charger could have been hot since it had been off 6 or 7 hours. I have noticed that when charger is 1st turned on, volt meter doesn't jump right up to 13.9 volts.  It kinda slowly creep up there.  But I had it on 16 or 17 minutes with genny running and it never got higher than 12.3.  Then back at dock, it fairly quickly went up to 13.3, although again, with low batteries, I would have expected 13.9 or 14.3.  
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 1,572 ✭✭✭
    Give the batteries a load test.  Im having to cycle the deep cell house batteries on my sailboat out every 2nd season due to them not lasting long.  My sailboat has a 50 watt solar charger that keeps them topped off other than weekends aboard. I dont like swapping batteries on a mooring. Going from dingy to boat with a heavy 27 group battery is asking for a sunk battery.  I consider anything more than 2 years lucky.  
  • YYZRCYYZRC Georgian BayMember Posts: 537 ✭✭
    @Spyderweb, did you resolve this?  I also have the PD2130 and it was supposedly replaced by the PO in 2016. 

    In my case, it seems that the charger is successfully maintaining the starting batteries, but I don't think the house batteries are charging.  During the winter, all batteries were showing "red lights" in the AC Delco battery healthy indicator.  Now only the house batteries are red, the starting batteries are green.

    Boat has not been out on the water yet so I can't verify if the alternators are charging the house batteries or not.  I also haven't put a voltmeter on the batteries.

    Isolator perhaps?
  • SpyderwebSpyderweb Syracuse, NYMember Posts: 377 ✭✭✭
    @YYZRC I continued to use boat/charger through end of season.  Charger apparently was working because I was able to use the house bank (2 deep cycle) out on the water all day, spend night at dock with shore power and charger on, and batteries were ready to go next day.  Near end of year I did check volts at batteries and specific gravities, and all seemed normal.  

    My 1st thought on your case, do you know age of the house batteries?  When I got my boat, the 2 house batteries were bad and wouldn't take a charge.  It was a battery problem, not charger problem.
  • YYZRCYYZRC Georgian BayMember Posts: 537 ✭✭
    Thanks Spyder.  The batteries are all 2 years old - I have the repair order from the PO.  They are topped up, but of course there's a chance they have gone bad.

    I will put my deWalt charger on them and see if I can get a green light.  If not, I'll pull them and have them load tested I guess.
  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLMember Posts: 6,361 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As was mentioned in another thread I just read, cable can look clean but not getting a great connection- I would pull those battery cables and make them shine "like a new copper penny" as he described and then see if you still have the problem. We always go to the worst possible solution when it may be something pretty darn minor......just sayin...
  • SpyderwebSpyderweb Syracuse, NYMember Posts: 377 ✭✭✭
    @rasbury good idea to shine cables/post.

    @YYZRC I know load testing is the way to go, but I've had some bad experiences with load testing.  When buying boat, survey showed the 2 house batteries were bad.  Bought the boat.  Went to replace in spring, but broker (marina owner who stored/winterized boat) had removed the batteries over winter, then reinstalled in spring.  Problem was, all 3 batteries on that side were identical deep cell batteries, so I had no way of knowing which were the 2 bad ones.  He sent out his mechanic with a load tester and I watched him test all 3.  He showed only 1 was bad.  I replaced that one, and very shortly after, learned the other was bad too.  
Sign In or Register to comment.