Topics

#alternator #batteries #charging #alternator #charging #batteries


tjw
 
Edited

I was motoring yesterday and my wife smelled a sulfur odor in the cabin. I looked down at the engine gauges and my voltmeter in the cockpit was pegged around 17+ Volts.  I spoke to a knowledgeable friend who thought it may be the voltage regulator on the alternator?  Has anyone else had this happen and was it the Voltage Regulator?  

I let the batteries cool down overnight and then put a voltmeter on them the next day, tested fine. I then plugged in shore power with my battery charger on and batteries registering good.  So, it looks like the problem is only when the engine is running/alternator?  

And last question, can I disconnect the alternator from the batteries somehow and still run the engine?  So, the alternator would still be supplying the running engine with electricity, but not sending voltage to batteries, boiling them.  If there was a way to do this, would the batteries still have draw on them while the engine is running, or would the started/running engine just draw power from the alternator, leaving the batteries with whatever charge they had after starting the engine?

I am not experienced in Marine diesel electrical systems so I apologize if my questions are poorly worded etc.  I included pictures incase someone could point me to the wires/connections that I would remove to disconnect the alternator from just charging the batteries, but not disconnect the alternator from supplying power to the running engine?


 👍

--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (soon to be Sodus Bay)
Lake Ontario


Steve
 

The engine only needs fuel and air once it's running, the battery will supply the fuel pump, the glow plugs just upon starting.
You should just be able I assume to remove the lug from the charging side of the alternator, if it's cooking batteries it could cook anything else.
You just won't get any charging at all while motoring so use your battery switch to keep the starter isolated when the motor isn't running so you don't get stuck out.
Take the alternator to a shop and they can check it out.




Steve 
Razors Edge, Anacortes Washington
82 Catalina 30 Std rig #2522 M-25

On Tue, Oct 6, 2020 at 8:06 AM tjw <twillettejr@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]
[Reason: Clarification - hopefully]

I was motoring yesterday and my wife smelled a sulfur odor in the cabin. I looked down at the engine gauges and my voltmeter in the cockpit was pegged around 17+ Volts.  I spoke to a knowledgeable friend who thought it may be the voltage regulator on the alternator?  Has anyone else had this happen and was it the Voltage Regulator?  

I let the batteries cool down overnight and then put a voltmeter on them the next day, tested fine. I then plugged in shore power with my battery charger on and batteries registering good.  So, it looks like the problem is only when the engine is running/alternator?  

And last question, can I disconnect the alternator from the batteries somehow and still run the engine?  So, the alternator would still be supplying the running engine with electricity, but not sending voltage to batteries, boiling them.  If there was a way to do this, would the batteries still have draw on them while the engine is running, or would the started/running engine just draw power from the alternator, leaving the batteries with whatever charge they had after starting the engine?

I am not experienced in Marine diesel electrical systems so I apologize if my questions are poorly worded etc.  I included pictures incase someone could point me to the wires/connections that I would remove to disconnect the alternator from just charging the batteries, but not disconnect the alternator from supplying power to the running engine?


 👍

--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (soon to be Sodus Bay)
Lake Ontario

Attachments:



--
Steve Perea
eSells
720-352-5800

--
Steve 
Razors Edge, Cap Sante Marina, Anacortes Washington
81 Catalina 30 Std rig #2522 M-25


KWKloeber
 

tom

"good":  "fine"  means different things to different people.  Details? 
Were there V readings (and w/ or w/o a surface charge)?  Did you take hydrometer readings? Batteries individually or ganged when read?  What was the resistance thru each?

If you want to do some troubleshooting, check Alt charging V w/ each batt separately, hi and low RPM.
Otherwise, just take the alt to a reliable auto electric shop for a bench test.  Same for the batts - bench test. W/ their age, I'd think that they might be suspect.
I'd suspect the reg, but w/ very limited info can't say much definitive. 

Trying to decipher your pics a bit....
Where does the errant cable (taped to the exhaust manifold overflow hose) end up?
Does the Alt out (BAT terminal) cable go to the selector switch? It should be RED, not black.
The condition is suspect of several of your wire terminals/cable lugs.
Hard to tell, pics are a bit fuzzy when zoomed but the Alt field EXCite terminal appears to be missing its nut?
Your boat/XP could benefit from basic electrical upgrades, notably to eliminate the fire hazards and make charging more efficient.  Do it!
A ProSport charger is totally inappropriate one for our boats, especially that 12a charger.
Again, pic is low rez so hard to tell, is that a 72a alt?  Looks like it might be the optional 72a one. What's the model #? **should** be stamped into the side of the case. Does it have a SENSE terminal?


KWKloeber
 

You should just be able I assume to remove the lug from the charging side of the alternator, if it's cooking batteries it could cook anything else.<<
Uhhh in Toms setup wouldn’t that be equivalent to having the selector switch on Off?


KWKloeber
 

ohhhhh. Ok Steve  I see what you’re saying. 

still power everything but disconnect just the alt source.

I dunno this - any chance that would blow diodes?

-k


On Tue, Oct 6, 2020 at 12:28 PM, KWKloeber wrote:

You should just be able I assume to remove the lug from the charging side of the alternator, if it's cooking batteries it could cook anything else.<<
Uhhh in Toms setup wouldn’t that be equivalent to having the selector switch on Off?


Bill Sherman
 

Most auto parts stores will test an alt for you.

Sounds like a diode is blown ;-(

A good alt repair can rebuild it for you.

 

Bill Sherman

Cat 30 1979

 

From: Catalina30@groups.io <Catalina30@groups.io> On Behalf Of tjw
Sent: Monday, October 05, 2020 1:45 PM
To: Catalina30@groups.io
Subject: [catalina30] #alternator #batteries #charging

 

[Edited Message Follows]
[Reason: Clarification - hopefully]

I was motoring yesterday and my wife smelled a sulfur odor in the cabin. I looked down at the engine gauges and my voltmeter in the cockpit was pegged around 17+ Volts.  I spoke to a knowledgeable friend who thought it may be the voltage regulator on the alternator?  Has anyone else had this happen and was it the Voltage Regulator?  

I let the batteries cool down overnight and then put a voltmeter on them the next day, tested fine. I then plugged in shore power with my battery charger on and batteries registering good.  So, it looks like the problem is only when the engine is running/alternator?  

And last question, can I disconnect the alternator from the batteries somehow and still run the engine?  So, the alternator would still be supplying the running engine with electricity, but not sending voltage to batteries, boiling them.  If there was a way to do this, would the batteries still have draw on them while the engine is running, or would the started/running engine just draw power from the alternator, leaving the batteries with whatever charge they had after starting the engine?

I am not experienced in Marine diesel electrical systems so I apologize if my questions are poorly worded etc.  I included pictures incase someone could point me to the wires/connections that I would remove to disconnect the alternator from just charging the batteries, but not disconnect the alternator from supplying power to the running engine?


 👍

--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (soon to be Sodus Bay)
Lake Ontario

Attachments:


Steve
 

depends on how the electrical is all setup, my exciter was detached and it wasn't charging anything so maybe that is a better course until he can have it checked but sulphur smells I wound't be running it unless it was an emergency like getting back to my slip, you don't want burning wires, it could be the bad connectors smoking.


On Tue, Oct 6, 2020 at 9:57 AM KWKloeber via groups.io <KWKloeber=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

ohhhhh. Ok Steve  I see what you’re saying. 

still power everything but disconnect just the alt source.

I dunno this - any chance that would blow diodes?

-k


On Tue, Oct 6, 2020 at 12:28 PM, KWKloeber wrote:

You should just be able I assume to remove the lug from the charging side of the alternator, if it's cooking batteries it could cook anything else.<<
Uhhh in Toms setup wouldn’t that be equivalent to having the selector switch on Off?



--
Steve Perea
eSells
720-352-5800

--
Steve 
Razors Edge, Cap Sante Marina, Anacortes Washington
81 Catalina 30 Std rig #2522 M-25


KWKloeber
 


Bill
 
How would a blown diode cause the regulator to cause 17v at the output?  
I haven't experienced one, but I would think a blown diode = no output? 
 
Tom:
 
Dunno if this relates -- but I had a Wally EverStart grp 29 (or was it 31?) that was boiling on the shore charger (there was electrolyte all over the top and btty was hot as a pistol.)  Luckily I was aboard to notice it.  I tested it and one cell was dead (shorted maybe?)
 
(long post but) The moral is: Batteries can be bad and still test out ok, even using fancy, expensive Wally World testers.
 
It was within 100% replacement warranty, so took it to Wally
kk:   explained about the bad cell. 
ww asst auto mngr: "we have to test it"
ww: (10 min later)  "It's fine, doesn't need replacing."
kk: "Please use the big tester, not the hand tester."
ww aam (an hr later): "no problem w/ it -- tests out ok, so it doesn't need replacing."
kk: Really?  "Well put a specific gravity tester on this cell here."
ww aam: "We don't have any other tester."
kk: BRB (I reached over and bought a tester hanging up @ the auto counter.)
kk:  See this?  No balls.  Dead cell - please explain how it does not need replacing."
ww aam: "our tester says it's ok, so we can't replace it.  That's Wal-Mart's policy."
kk: "Ok, you see that it's bad, and you know that if I call the district manager he'll tell you to replace it, right?"
ww aam: no comment, but she called the asst store manager.
kk: "can I talk to the tech who tested it?"  (ww aam called the tech to the counter.)
kk: See this" That this cell is dead, right?  Is that OK?
wwt:  "Yes, it's dead.  No that isn't right, the batty is bad."
(meanwhile the asst manager arrived and witnessed the exchange)
kk: Ok, I just wanted to make sure you saw this so when I call the DM, I can tell him that you saw the dead cell."
kk: (to auto asst manager) "Now that we confirmed it's a bad battery, I just want to confirm that the store is not going to replace it?"
ww asm: "No we're not going to replace it.  And I 'think' its time you to left the store" (apparently there were too many auto/tire customers overhearing this.)
kk: Ok, no problem -- I'll be back tomorrow if not tonight to get a new battery after the DM calls you.
ww asm: "take your battery"
kk: "Nope, I'll just be bringing it back tomorrow for credit anyway."
ww asm: "I can't guarantee it will be here"
kk:  "That's ok, there's a bunch of folks here who witnessed that I left it here for credit." 
PS. The store replaced it.
 
A few years later I became acquainted w/ the store manager (after he left Wally) -- and mentioned the batty incident.  He mused that (not due to only that incident) both his auto manager and asst store manager had been "promoted to customer" (as Wally terms it) -- or as I say, "reallocated back into the community."
 
 

 

From: Catalina30@groups.io [mailto:Catalina30@groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Sherman
Sent: Tue Oct 6, 2020 1:56 PM
To: Catalina30@groups.io
Subject: Re: [catalina30] #alternator #batteries #charging

Most auto parts stores will test an alt for you.

Sounds like a diode is blown ;-(

A good alt repair can rebuild it for you.

 

Bill Sherman

Cat 30 1979

 

From: Catalina30@groups.io <Catalina30@groups.io> On Behalf Of tjw
Sent: Monday, October 05, 2020 1:45 PM
To: Catalina30@groups.io
Subject: [catalina30] #alternator #batteries #charging

 

[Edited Message Follows]
[Reason: Clarification - hopefully]

I was motoring yesterday and my wife smelled a sulfur odor in the cabin. I looked down at the engine gauges and my voltmeter in the cockpit was pegged around 17+ Volts.  I spoke to a knowledgeable friend who thought it may be the voltage regulator on the alternator?  Has anyone else had this happen and was it the Voltage Regulator?  

I let the batteries cool down overnight and then put a voltmeter on them the next day, tested fine. I then plugged in shore power with my battery charger on and batteries registering good.  So, it looks like the problem is only when the engine is running/alternator?  

And last question, can I disconnect the alternator from the batteries somehow and still run the engine?  So, the alternator would still be supplying the running engine with electricity, but not sending voltage to batteries, boiling them.  If there was a way to do this, would the batteries still have draw on them while the engine is running, or would the started/running engine just draw power from the alternator, leaving the batteries with whatever charge they had after starting the engine?

I am not experienced in Marine diesel electrical systems so I apologize if my questions are poorly worded etc.  I included pictures incase someone could point me to the wires/connections that I would remove to disconnect the alternator from just charging the batteries, but not disconnect the alternator from supplying power to the running engine?


 👍

--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (soon to be Sodus Bay)
Lake Ontario

Attachments:


Virus-free. www.avg.com


tjw
 

Thanks Steve - so if I were ever in this situation again, I should be able to shut the engine down, turn key off, and disconnect the back wire circled in green?  That way, as long as the batteries have enough charge to restart the engine, the engine will run but the alternator won’t send voltage/over charge the batteries?  If so, out of curiosity, I’ll try disconnecting the black wire and see if it starts/runs at the dock.

--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (RYC)
Lake Ontario


tjw
 

Hi Ken - I did hydrometer, and other tests on the batteries.  All readings indicate batteries are good (for now).  I’m most interested in trying to find out why the voltage output is suddenly so high...from replies, sounds like it could be a diode (or not) or a bad voltage regulator.  Either way I am trying to get someone over to look at it and do more tests.

  • better picture attached of the Motorola 8em2017ka alternator...I don’t know how to tell if it’s a 72a or if it has a SENSE terminal and what would that mean/tell me?
  • disconnected wire is to an AutoMac (pic).  PO said it didn’t work well so disconnected several years ago.
  • I’d have to open electrical panel next time I’m there to confirm but I believe black wire is to selector switch.
  • all terminals have nuts/none missing.
  • yes it could use upgrades in many areas
  • please elaborate on why the ProMariner, ProSport 12 dual bank marine battery charger is totally inappropriate for our boats?
--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (RYC)
Lake Ontario


tjw
 

Hi Bill - if there’s a test w a voltmeter, etc that is relatively simple to do and would determine if it’s a diode vs. voltage regulator...I’d love to know. Thx!
--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (RYC)
Lake Ontario


Steve
 

I am guessing that AutoMac caused a problem, I think the alternator has an adjustment for voltage, it was probably cranked up for the AutoMac to regulate, try adjusting it down.
Adjusting alternator voltage
4. Turn the screwdriver clockwise to raise the voltage, counterclockwise to lower the voltage. Set the voltage between 14.0 and 14.2 volts (28.0 to 28.4 volts for 24-volt units). CAUTION: DO NOT force the screwdriver past the set stops at either end of the adjustment range to avoid regulator damage.


On Tue, Oct 6, 2020 at 1:02 PM tjw <twillettejr@...> wrote:
Hi Ken - I did hydrometer, and other tests on the batteries.  All readings indicate batteries are good (for now).  I’m most interested in trying to find out why the voltage output is suddenly so high...from replies, sounds like it could be a diode (or not) or a bad voltage regulator.  Either way I am trying to get someone over to look at it and do more tests.

  • better picture attached of the Motorola 8em2017ka alternator...I don’t know how to tell if it’s a 72a or if it has a SENSE terminal and what would that mean/tell me?
  • disconnected wire is to an AutoMac (pic).  PO said it didn’t work well so disconnected several years ago.
  • I’d have to open electrical panel next time I’m there to confirm but I believe black wire is to selector switch.
  • all terminals have nuts/none missing.
  • yes it could use upgrades in many areas
  • please elaborate on why the ProMariner, ProSport 12 dual bank marine battery charger is totally inappropriate for our boats?
--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (RYC)
Lake Ontario

Attachments:



--
Steve Perea
eSells
720-352-5800

--
Steve 
Razors Edge, Cap Sante Marina, Anacortes Washington
81 Catalina 30 Std rig #2522 M-25


tjw
 

Hi Steve - can you tell me which terminal is the exciter terminal on my alternator?  I color coded them in the attached pic?  Would disconnecting the exciter terminal/wire be better than disconnecting the output (green arrow pointing to black wire)?
--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (RYC)
Lake Ontario


tjw
 

Hi Steve - The AutoMac has been disconnected for several years and I’ve never had this problem before (volt meter in cabin and cockpit both reading about 14 when engine running and reading about 12 when not).  Thank you for the link, I’ll take a look although probably over my head since I have a different alternator.
--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (RYC)
Lake Ontario


Steve
 

I guess I missed where the 17 volts is coming from if the meter says 14, you just have to be careful about wiring so you don't burn up wires and inline fuses.


On Tue, Oct 6, 2020 at 1:25 PM tjw <twillettejr@...> wrote:
Hi Steve - The AutoMac has been disconnected for several years and I’ve never had this problem before (volt meter in cabin and cockpit both reading about 14 when engine running and reading about 12 when not).  Thank you for the link, I’ll take a look although probably over my head since I have a different alternator.
--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (RYC)
Lake Ontario



--
Steve Perea
eSells
720-352-5800

--
Steve 
Razors Edge, Cap Sante Marina, Anacortes Washington
81 Catalina 30 Std rig #2522 M-25


tjw
 

For the past year my voltage meter has read normal but (Referring back to my original post) a couple of days ago while motoring, battery overheating/overcharging and saw that now, volt meter 17.

If I’m understanding, you suggested the autoMac was the issue however, the automac has been disconnected for several years, and again, the high-voltage reading just started a few days ago, no problems all this season etc. until now. 
--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (RYC)
Lake Ontario


KWKloeber
 

The field excited term is marked something like EXC or FIELD and **should be** the purple harness wire, energized by key switch.

It wakes up the alt at low rpm but charging can sometimes kick in at higher rpm, so removing that wire may or may not accomplish what you desire.


KWKloeber
 

 Tom

That alt has neither an adjustable regulator (the adjustment is epoxy potted) nor a remote V sense (the Reg senses the alt output V, not the V actually at the batteries.)
It’s a 51a. 
 
The prosport is a sealed case charger, -- waterproof and really designed for open use, like mounted on the inside hull of a bass boat.  The cooling is terribly lacking.   I know - WM sold me one as being THE charger for my boat.  B.S. -- it failed, and ProMariner wouldn't do squat except offer me the SAME inappropriate charger for a very slight discount.
 
MaineSail warns against using them in our type application.  
 
Additionally it's worse because they tend to be undersized.  The rule of thumb for a good charger is minimum 10% of the total amp-hour rating.  Being undersized results in the prosport working harder/longer so then the poor cooling potentially accelerates its demise.



Ken

Sent from my phone

On Oct 6, 2020, at 4:01 PM, tjw <twillettejr@...> wrote:

Hi Ken - I did hydrometer, and other tests on the batteries.  All readings indicate batteries are good (for now).  I’m most interested in trying to find out why the voltage output is suddenly so high...from replies, sounds like it could be a diode (or not) or a bad voltage regulator.  Either way I am trying to get someone over to look at it and do more tests.

  • better picture attached of the Motorola 8em2017ka alternator...I don’t know how to tell if it’s a 72a or if it has a SENSE terminal and what would that mean/tell me?
  • disconnected wire is to an AutoMac (pic).  PO said it didn’t work well so disconnected several years ago.
  • I’d have to open electrical panel next time I’m there to confirm but I believe black wire is to selector switch.
  • all terminals have nuts/none missing.
  • yes it could use upgrades in many areas
  • please elaborate on why the ProMariner, ProSport 12 dual bank marine battery charger is totally inappropriate for our boats?
--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (RYC)
Lake Ontario
<B71921C4-A62E-4153-A910-7E7389C0C689.jpeg>
<A2EFDBE7-2D3A-488A-A847-9C083AF685A3.png>

Virus-free. www.avg.com


tjw
 

Ok thanks for the info Ken.  So, based on all this (and back to the original post/question) - does anyone know why the alternator is suddenly now sending too much power to the batteries and how to fix it?
--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (RYC)
Lake Ontario


KWKloeber
 

Tom

I think you’ve heard the totality of what we suspect but not hands on to troubleshoot can’t be certain. There’s steps to troubleshoot it further but you said you were having someone look at it. 

If you’re convinced w/o further troubleshooting that it’s the alt, it’s not user serviceable.  As recommended, you need to take it to be tested.  Then decide whether to rebuild or replace. 

On Oct 7, 2020, at 7:43 AM, tjw <twillettejr@...> wrote:

Ok thanks for the info Ken.  So, based on all this (and back to the original post/question) - does anyone know why the alternator is suddenly now sending too much power to the batteries and how to fix it?
--
tjw
CTYN5663C989, M-25XP, Std Rig, Wing Keel
Rochester, NY (RYC)
Lake Ontario