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Battery Switch Setup with ACR - Problem?

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Battery Switch Setup with ACR - Problem?

Old 06-20-2013, 11:07 AM
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Default Battery Switch Setup with ACR - Problem?

Hello Again

First off, please excuse my MS paint diagram of my wiring setup, hopefully it is understandable to everyone here.

I "think" I am having an issue with my setup and have come to the gods of THT for help once again . It is possible I am not understanding my setup so the problems I'm having may not be problems at all, if that makes sense.

My boat is a 20ft Sea Craft with a mercury outboard. I have two identical EXIDE deep cycle batteries, both freshly charged and tested, they are less than 1 year old. The electrical was re-done by the previous owner, but the boat was not used much, and in hindsight i probably should have asked more questions about the setup when buying. In an effort to better understand my boat and setup, I am posting here to get some help.

The Ground from the outboard goes directly to what we will call the "starting battery" and the positive from the outboard goes directly to the "common post" on the blue seas battery selector switch (Off, 1, 2, Both). The distribution panel is hooked directly to the common post on the battery switch as well. Both batteries are hooked to an a Blue Seas 7610 ACR. The house battery has the bilge pump hooked up directly (float switch) and has the radio wired directly as well.



Here are the problems I am experiencing.

In the current setup I can crank the motor on switch position 1, or both, but cannot crank in position 2. Should I be able to crank in position 2 with this wiring setup or because I have an ACR should I only be able to crank in 1 and batteries ? In #1 position & Both, radio works, motor trim, gps, vhf, lights pumps everything works fine....

So how is my radio working when its hooked directly to the "house" battery but I am in switch position 1?

Next, in this setup when anchored if I switch to position 2 "House", nothing works except for my VHF. No lights, pumps, accessories, ... .the radio will come on then turn right off like its not getting enough power, however the vhf will work. If I take and reverse my positive cables everything works on position 2, and i experience the issue described when switched to position 1. Once again, everything works on "both". That being said, this leads me to the belief that I may have a bad positive cable and the problem is not in my switch? Or is this working as designed/wired...

Knowing how an ACR works, when the engine is off both batteries are isolated and then combine once underway for 2 minutes as long as they are above the voltage threshold. So when under way in position 1 the batteries are combined and essentially acting as one big battery because they are in parallel.

My fear is, when anchored and having the stereo and electronics running is that I am draining my starting battery. However if I do drain this battery, I would theoretically be switching to "both" in an emergency situation to start the boat. Hypothetically If the boat didn't start in both not such a big deal because I can swap the batteries and get the boat started because one will be fresh......

Please advise.

Thank you.

Old 06-20-2013, 11:38 AM
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I would change the switch. I installed this kit and now there is no need for switching. Just switch to on when you begin your day and switch to off when finished for the day.
http://www.bluesea.com/products/7650
Old 06-20-2013, 11:38 AM
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I would suspect a bad house battery.
Old 06-20-2013, 12:37 PM
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The thing is, i've had both tested and check out ok. I can crank from either battery when I switch them and when switching cables...
Old 06-20-2013, 02:31 PM
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If you can switch the leads at the battery switch and the problem follows the battery, it's the battery. I've had batteries tested at 3 different places - they all said it was good. When I replaced that 'good' battery, my problems went away.
Old 06-20-2013, 05:39 PM
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Switched 1 lead to house battery and vice versa. All this does is change the switch position that provides power leading me to believe the cable positive cable on switch post 1 is bad... Thoughts? Tommorow ill Swap batteries to confirm this
Old 06-20-2013, 06:44 PM
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regardless of your problem, battery or wire, the switch grey beard mentions or the one below could potentially provide a nice inexpensive upgrade to your system. my vote is the battery too!

http://www.bluesea.com/products/5511...Battery_Switch
Old 06-20-2013, 07:36 PM
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sounds like a bad pos cable to me. I would have guessed switch. but since you swaped cables and position 2 works. the switch is probably fine.

unless its a bad battery. depends if you're always getting from the same battery or not. have you swaped batteries around? IE only switch 1 works. swap batteries. and still only switch 1 works?

you should definatly be able to start engine off either. or run electronics off either.

could be a bad ground as well.


and sounds like your vhf is wired direct to one of the batteries.

Last edited by smac999; 06-20-2013 at 07:47 PM.
Old 06-21-2013, 01:22 AM
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I would suggest using the suggested OFF-ON-Parallel switch as mentioned by Grey_Beard.

The BlueSea OFF-1-2-Both switch you are currently using is very confusing. It has 3 Studs at the Back namely: 1, 2, Common. #1 is connected to Starting Battery, #2 is connected to House Battery and Common is connected to Engine, Distribution Panel. Seems OK by me.
However, If you turn switch to "1", the switch actually connects the Common to "2" (House Battery)
And if you turn the switch to "2", the common is connected to "1" (Starting Battery).

I am suspecting the Starting Battery is DEAD.
Tell you what, hook up the Radio directly to the Starting Battery and see if it will work. If not, Starting Battery is indeed DEAD.

It is possible also that the switch's #1 post is dead inside..
Old 06-21-2013, 05:47 AM
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If reversing the switch and the batteries doesn't fix it, it suggests a problem with the wire gauge and length to the house battery. It should be at least as heavy as your starter cables and 2 or 4 gage sizes larger if there is a long run to the house battery.
Don't forget this applies to the negative cables on the house battery too.
Old 06-21-2013, 07:32 AM
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My batteries are less than a foot away from the switch... the cables are only 24 inches 4 gauge.
Old 06-21-2013, 12:40 PM
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Ok so here is the diagram of my trouble shooting.... so it basically looks like the cables are ok and nothing is working off the "Starting Battery", would you all agree based on my diagrams?

In diagram 1... everything works motor cranks etc when positive cable is ran from switch pos 1 to house battery. NOTHING works when switch is moved to pos 2

In diagram 2... everything works motor cranks etc. when positive cable is ran from switch pos 2 to house battery ..NOTHING works when switch is moved to pos 1

I don't think its a grounding issue because they are definitely all tight, everything is grounded up under my console. Short wire runs...

So it looks like the engine is starting off the house/accessory battery

This also may explain why when i tried to charge starting battery the charger locks up at 85% but will take the house battery to 100%...

I will swap batteries i guess for the final test.






Old 06-21-2013, 07:59 PM
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in the above diagrams all you have confirmed is the switch is ok. it could still be a bad pos cable on the starter battery, a bad ground cable on starting battery, or a bad starter battery.

looking at your top pic again. it won't be a ground cable problem if the motor daisy chains off the starter battery. as the house is starting it through that same cable to engine battery to bus.

so you are still left with pos cable or battery for faults.

more thinking. are you swapping pos cables at switch or at batteries? can't tell from diagram. if you are swaping at batteries then the cable would be ok. I had assumed you were swapping at switch. which would not test the pos cables.
Old 06-21-2013, 08:44 PM
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Are both battery grounds tied together?
Old 06-21-2013, 08:48 PM
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Looking at your last diagram you need to attach the house ground to the starting battery - terminal. I would also assume that it also wont charge since it isn't grounded to the engine.
Old 06-21-2013, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by djhnsn View Post
Looking at your last diagram you need to attach the house ground to the starting battery - terminal. I would also assume that it also wont charge since it isn't grounded to the engine.
the first pic has more and shows the ground bus. if they won't connected he wouldn't be able to start the engine in either diagram. since they are both starting off the house battery
Old 06-23-2013, 08:23 AM
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More issues today the radio only works when on both setting..... Yet have no issues with anything else while in position 2
Old 06-23-2013, 09:06 PM
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you probably have stereo power off one battery (or common) and memory off the other. (the one not working) and since one battery isn't working. the stereo will only come on with both. as both lines need power to work.

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