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Author Topic: Battery drain  (Read 3481 times)

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Offline Neil_B

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Battery drain
« on: April 14, 2003, 06:36:57 pm »
Still fighten this thing but now I need electrical help. Mill came and the battery was dead, went out and bought a new one, 720 cca. Now this one is dead.
I have the setworks and electrical solenoids for the hydraulic functions but the setworks has a main power off button. Would the CPU, if it has memory power, be draining the battery? Would the solenoids be drawing power even when shut down?
The mill has never really been running yet and it's been down with occasional starting the past 2 weeks now. I'm hoping maybe it's just from not running continuosly enough to charge back up, especially when starting off and on like I have. But even then I wouldn't think it would kill the battery.
Last time it was started was sometime last week, went to try it today and the murphy switches wouldn't even click.
Timberwolf / TimberPro sawmill, Woodmizer edger, both with Kubota diesels. '92 Massey Ferguson 50H backhoe, '92 Ford F450 with 14' dump/ flatbed and of course an '88 GMC 3500 pickup.

Offline Kevin

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2003, 07:09:10 pm »
I would be looking  for current flow with an amp meter when the battery is fully charged.

Offline Neil_B

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2003, 07:17:29 pm »
Kevin, unfortunatly all I have is a small digital voltmeter. The amp readings for it are too low unless I do some crazy resistor stuff which I'm never to sure of.
I remember hearing of a trick using a voltmeter but I don't remember how they did it. Maybe it was just grounding and testing the positive as you normally would. I suppose I'd just be looking for anything that still has power when off. But I was sure there was another trick. ??? I've got the battery on charge for the night so I may be able to test around tomorrow.
Timberwolf / TimberPro sawmill, Woodmizer edger, both with Kubota diesels. '92 Massey Ferguson 50H backhoe, '92 Ford F450 with 14' dump/ flatbed and of course an '88 GMC 3500 pickup.

Offline Jason_WI

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2003, 10:22:17 pm »
Remove the + battery cable and with slight pressure drag the + cable overe the + post on the battery. If you see sparks you have a "leak" somewhere.  

Don't do this while charging the battery though as there could be an explosion due to the release of Hydrogen gas while charging :o :o.

Jason
Norwood LM2000, 20HP Honda, 3 bed extentions. Norwood Edgemate edger. Gehl 4835SXT

Offline Mark M

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2003, 10:32:45 pm »
I would recommend doing Jason's test with the negative cable instead of the positive. I don't like to work with the hot wire while the ground is hooked up. When I was a kid I had a battery blowup in my face when I accidentally shorted my wrench to ground. It had been on the charger and had lots of hydrogen floating around. Luckily (or maybe it was the cause) I had just turned my head to see what my dad was doing so didn't get any acid in my eyes, just the side of my face.

Mark

Offline Jason_WI

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2003, 10:47:34 pm »
It would work either way. Horse a piece I guess.

An explosion can happen when any sparks are generated from either cable while charging or just after charging.

I mearly suggested this as a poor man's check for a electrical leak.

If you wanted to measure the current get a +15/0/-15 automotive ampmeter from any autoparts store. You will need some jumper wires to hook the + post of the battery to the input of the ampmeter and hook the load side of the ampmeter to the + cable on your mill. If there is a large enough leak you should see the gauge move.

Jason
Norwood LM2000, 20HP Honda, 3 bed extentions. Norwood Edgemate edger. Gehl 4835SXT

Online Jeff

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2003, 03:18:29 am »
Is the battery in the open? Or under cover? You can get discharge from moisture. Moisture from condensation can conduct electricity from a battery.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline Neil_B

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2003, 04:27:53 am »
Thanks I'll give it a try. Maybe I'll just go get an ampmeter as I suppose it could come in handy anyway. Just hate spending more money than I already have but save on getting hurt.
Jeff, yeah it's in the open (no cover). Will have to look at getting one maybe. The engine manufacturer, Kubota, recommends taking the battery off every night but not sure if that will affect the computer at all.
thanks for the input.
Timberwolf / TimberPro sawmill, Woodmizer edger, both with Kubota diesels. '92 Massey Ferguson 50H backhoe, '92 Ford F450 with 14' dump/ flatbed and of course an '88 GMC 3500 pickup.

Offline Mark M

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2003, 05:22:23 am »
Hi New_S

I don't know about the computer but you might consider installing a master switch that disconnects the negative battery cable. All the Cat equipment has one that is usually well hidden so people won't try operating it.

I have a couple of inductive ammeters that were pretty inexpensive. There is one for low amps (0-30 I think) and one for starter circuits. You just place it over the wire and it will tell if current is flowing. I don't know it the low current ammeter is sensitive enough to detect a small leak or not but it might.

Mark

Offline solidwoods

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2003, 05:41:57 am »
Start the engine.
Raise the idle about 1/4 of total RPM.
Use volt meter to read DC voltage on battery terminals.
12 volt or less, system is not charging (alternator, voltage regulator (usually in the alternator), wires).
If more than 12v (usually 13-14voltdc) check for voltage drain.

Do not let a battery set dead for a long time.
Do not jump start a frozen battery.
Watch out for making sparks around a battery that is discharging or being charged heavely, explosive vapors are produced
JIM
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If you mill, you'll be interested in some of my work in one way or another.
We ship from our showroom.
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Offline Neil_B

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2003, 05:21:35 pm »
Did the terminal test today and saw sparks. Also checked for voltage on all the leads. Many of them had very low voltage when the master was shut off, about 0.1 V. So definitly a drain. May have to go with Marks switch idea unless I can figure out why they have power.
Thanks for the help
Timberwolf / TimberPro sawmill, Woodmizer edger, both with Kubota diesels. '92 Massey Ferguson 50H backhoe, '92 Ford F450 with 14' dump/ flatbed and of course an '88 GMC 3500 pickup.

Offline Crofter

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2003, 08:33:45 pm »
Many charging systems rely on the alternator diodes to prevent discharging the battery and it is common to have up to 100 milliamps leakage back through them as normal. If you are using every day this doesn't matter much, but leaving for any length of time will pull the battery down. Princess Auto supply, and I would think their counterpart in the States, Northern hydraulic, have battery isolation switches that when turned off, ends any possible drain back.

Frank
Frank

Offline Neil_B

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2003, 08:48:05 pm »
I'll have to check Princess's website. They got everything there eh!
Timberwolf / TimberPro sawmill, Woodmizer edger, both with Kubota diesels. '92 Massey Ferguson 50H backhoe, '92 Ford F450 with 14' dump/ flatbed and of course an '88 GMC 3500 pickup.

Offline solidwoods

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2003, 04:48:36 am »
Have you done the voltage check that I mentioned?.
You need to eliminate the alternator/regulator as a cause.
Check it engine running at about 10% above idle (not lowest idle).
JIM
Ret. US Army
Kasco II B Band mill
Woodworking since 83
I mill & kiln dry lumber, build custom furniture, artworks, flooring, etc.
If you mill, you'll be interested in some of my work in one way or another.
We ship from our showroom.
N. Central TN.

Offline Neil_B

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2003, 05:56:24 am »
Jim, I had checked it a while back but just at idle and I think I was getting 12.5 v or close to it. I'll try it at just above idle and see what I get. I think Crofter is right as to what's happening as I haven't been able to run steady yet and it's not getting time to charge back up. Also with starting it frequently just for a few minutes at a time, I'm using a lot of juice for the glow plugs that I'm not putting back in. I think it will be just a matter of charging it off the mill for now until I get running.
Timberwolf / TimberPro sawmill, Woodmizer edger, both with Kubota diesels. '92 Massey Ferguson 50H backhoe, '92 Ford F450 with 14' dump/ flatbed and of course an '88 GMC 3500 pickup.

Offline solidwoods

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2003, 05:21:58 am »
Great on volt checking.  The alternator should be checked good/bad from the start.  12.5volt won't charge the battery. The voltage should be a little higher. Check it above idle rpm and let us know. Also try not to let a battery set around with anything but a full charge, it shortens it'slife.
And get back out there and start sawing. ;)
JIM
Ret. US Army
Kasco II B Band mill
Woodworking since 83
I mill & kiln dry lumber, build custom furniture, artworks, flooring, etc.
If you mill, you'll be interested in some of my work in one way or another.
We ship from our showroom.
N. Central TN.

Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: Battery drain
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2003, 06:27:07 am »
A fully charged 12 volt battery that has been allowed to "rest" for a couple hours will read 12.6 volts.  During charging, this should range from 13.6 when it begins to charge to 14.2 when it is fully charged.  When the charging is stopped (engine stopped), the voltage should slowly drop until it reaches 12.6.
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