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#489184 - 06/17/10 09:36 PM Adding 2nd battery....  
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F14bombcat Offline
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OK, so I've got the Blue Sea Add-A-Battery kit. I bought a deep cycle battery. My concern is having the boat in the slip, and the bilge pump being able to turn on. My understanding, is with the battery switch on off, it won't get power to turn the pump on? How do I work around/fix this?

Electrical is something it takes me awhile to grasp...

Thanks guys

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#489188 - 06/17/10 09:58 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: F14bombcat]  
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Al Offline
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Al  Offline
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Vagabond Wanderer from Mich.
All of the boats I have owned have the bilge pumps wired directly to the battery (via fuse or circuit breaker) so that even if you turn the battery switch off, you cannot disable the pump(s).

Look for bilge pump circuit breakers near your battery switch.

You can confirm this by turning the battery switch off, then lift the little float switch on the bilge pump(s) to see if it comes on. The dash switch probably won't work if the battery disconnect switch is off, as it is likely wired through the switch, but the float switches should still work if they are wired directly to the battery(s).


President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#489189 - 06/17/10 10:00 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: Al]  
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F14bombcat Offline
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I guess my question is how to wire it up so that it still comes on -- I'm just now adding the battery switch. I don't see any individual wires coming from the battery solely for the pump -- only the two 2ga cables...

#489192 - 06/17/10 10:04 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: F14bombcat]  
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Al Offline
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Al  Offline
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Are you also wiring a new battery switch and second battery? Was the battery switch installed aftermarket? The combiner should not have an effect as it will be off when the engine and charger are off.

The bilge pumps are probably wired directly to the back of the battery switch, which is why their circuit breakers will probably be located there.

If this is not the case, the easiest way to wire it up is to find the circuit that powers the pumps via the float switch, then move that wire so that it is connected directly to the battery (or via the battery side of the battery switch), through a fuse/circuit breaker.

But direct-wiring of the bilge pumps are so common that I am sure your boat is wired that way - and the simple test will confirm it.


President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#489194 - 06/17/10 10:06 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: Al]  
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F14bombcat Offline
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Yep, the boat has never had a second battery before.. I'll give the test a shot tomorrow. Thanks Al.

#489195 - 06/17/10 10:16 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: Al]  
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Al Offline
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Al  Offline
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OK, I read your original post again about an Add-A-Battery kit.


Some boats may not have an "Auto" position for the bilge switch, so that wire may go directly to the distribution panel. And some switches that have an ON and Auto position, may have either Momentary or stay on modes for the ON position.

If your boat looks like this, the Brown wire needs to be disconnected from the AUTO position of the switch, and moved to the battery.

Also, you may want to replace the switch so that it is only a SPST, to keep from any confusion that the switch has an unused position.

But I have also seen it where there is no AUTO position on the bilge pump switch. In that case, the float switch (if there is one) will go directly to a 12V source on the distribution panel.

At any rate, you will want to move the float switch wire directly to the battery - again, via a fuse or circuit breaker.

I like the circuit breaker better as if you use a pushbutton type, it will be readily apparent if it is tripped. A fuse is harder to see.

I went through my article on dual batteries on my webpage and I neglected to mention moving the bilge pump. Thanks for reminding me, as I should change the article to include that option.



President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#489198 - 06/17/10 10:27 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: Al]  
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F14bombcat Offline
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Is there any way to combine say the cable from the battery to the combiner and switch, so that its like a y-cable? Or am I stuck running two cables?

#489199 - 06/17/10 10:28 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: F14bombcat]  
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Al Offline
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Al  Offline
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Vagabond Wanderer from Mich.
Not sure I follow you.


President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#489200 - 06/17/10 10:29 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: Al]  
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F14bombcat Offline
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F14bombcat  Offline
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Buffalo, NY
It would have the one connection to the battery on one end, but on the other end it would have two connections -- one for the charging relay and another to the battery switch.

#489202 - 06/17/10 10:34 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: F14bombcat]  
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Al Offline
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Al  Offline
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Vagabond Wanderer from Mich.
Still not sure I follow you.

You want to connect the combiner to the + side of both batteries, on the battery side of the switch. You also want to connect the float switch for the bilge pump(s) via circuit breaker to the + side of the battery. If you have more than one bilge pump, you can consider connecting each pump to a different battery.


President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#489203 - 06/17/10 10:40 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: Al]  
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F14bombcat Offline
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Buffalo, NY
I can't think of any other way to describe this. I just would like to have only one connection at the battery, versus having one on the post terminal and one on the wing nut terminal.

#489205 - 06/17/10 10:56 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: F14bombcat]  
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Al Offline
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Al  Offline
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OK now I see.

Yes, you can hook up the charging relay as well as the bilge pump to the battery switch, or use a distribution block, anyway you would like to do it, as long as the junction will handle the current.


I like this approach from Blue Sea, which allows connection of several wires:



Another good alternative is this:

Safety Hub



The only issue is safety at the "y" connection, as in circuit protection. Blue Sea recommends a breaker or fuse in the combiner leads to the batteries, and if you use an appropriate breaker for the bilge pump, you will be covered there.

The Coast Guard does require circuit protection for essentially every circuit except for the main battery cable to the engine/starter.


President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#489207 - 06/17/10 11:16 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: Al]  
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F14bombcat Offline
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F14bombcat  Offline
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Buffalo, NY
I like the SafetyHub idea. So if I hook the bilge pump up correctly to the ATO/ATC on the safetyhub, and then run a cable to the battery switch via a midi stud, it sounds like the hub will still get power even with the switch off?

The way I'm reading it is if you put the battery switch between the battery and the hub's input, turning the switch off kills all power to the hub. However, a direct line from the battery to the hub, will allow for power to the hub even with the battery switch (which would be connected to the midi stud) in the off position.

#489208 - 06/17/10 11:43 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: F14bombcat]  
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Al Offline
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Al  Offline
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Vagabond Wanderer from Mich.
Actually, the more I think of it, one problem with the Safety hub is it might be overkill as you will probably only need one or two fuses, and you will potentially need one for each battery.

Here is how I would use the Power Post +


Power Post +



In this scenario, the combiner and bilge pumps (or anything connected to the Power Post would always be energized, regardless of the position of the battery switch.

For clarity, I did not show the ground wiring on the batteries, combiner, or bilge pump.


Note that the fat wiring is battery cable.

Fuses can be in-line, panel mount, or whatever.

Of course, you are gonna need a location to put this stuff so that it is out of the way, won't become shorted, etc.

Starboard mounted perhaps.

And the fuseholders should be ignition proof.

These are made by Ancor - not sure if they are ignition proof, but they are waterproof.



But you get the idea.

I know you don't want a bunch of wires to the battery, but you might consider these from Marinco:



In reality there are quite a few different schemes you can use.

Just remember:

1. everything ignition protected.
2. maintain heavy duty cable for the battery to switch path.
3. use a fuse or circuit breaker every time you connect any other circuit to the battery (or anywhere along the wire).
4. Blue Sea recommends fusing the combiner leads.
5. Make sure there are no exposed positive terminals that could be shorted out if you dropped a wrench or screwdriver on them.


President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#489220 - 06/18/10 02:12 AM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: Al]  
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trooplewis Offline
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Look at the Yandina.com website
They make a battery combiner that runs about $50 and is the size of a business card and about an inch and a half thick.

You can add a 2nd battery, wire the Yandina combiner, and all you really need is an on/off switch for the house stuff. That is how I set up my last boat (the Chap220).

You should wire the bilge switch directly to one of the batteries, not going through the on/off switch.

Use the most basic diagram on the Yandina site and you will have minimal cables/wiring.

Wiring the bilge pump does create a bit of a wiring mess because you have two separate items (pump and automatic switch) to wire to each other and to a battery. Plus it is nice if you can also wire them to a manual switch at the helm.

I just added a bilge pump, "float" switch, and manual control to my Bayliner. You are also going to have to mess with a thru-hull and some bilge hose. It seemed like it was a long project to me. but on my boat it is a really difficult area to work in; I have an 8" access hatch and that is all.

Here is a link to the fuse/battery connection you are going to need.

waterproof battery connection with fuse

In addition to that you should use heat-shrink butt connectors, and you will need the "eye" to connect to the battery terminal and the fused wire you see above.

#489230 - 06/18/10 06:28 AM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: trooplewis]  
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Al Offline
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Al  Offline
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An alternative is to simply wire the combiner and bilge pump right to the switch posts. You should never wire more than two or three terminals to a single post, so you would be pretty much maxed out here. And for safety, the fuses should be as close as practical to the switch posts.




President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#489242 - 06/18/10 09:21 AM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: Al]  
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Nauti Dog Offline
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Buffalo, NY
When I added a second battery, I ran into the issue of pump being switched off when I left the battery switch on off. My pump had 3 wires running to it: a ground, switched power, and auto float power. I endedd up cutting the auto float power wire, which I think was brown, and connecting that directly to the battery. That was if my battery switch is off the auto float switch still works even though that switch on the dash is not powered.

I'm not sure if this is what your asking but it is how I wired mine and it has served me well over the years.

#489728 - 06/22/10 09:23 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: Al]  
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Jim_R Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al
An alternative is to simply wire the combiner and bilge pump right to the switch posts. You should never wire more than two or three terminals to a single post, so you would be pretty much maxed out here. And for safety, the fuses should be as close as practical to the switch posts.




This is similar to the way I wired my Add-a-battery, although I am disheartened to learn that USCG requires fusing at the combiner - I had an opinion from Blue Sea Systems tech support that fusing would not be required with the shorter cable runs I am using.



Even worse, I elected to install the switch through the engine room wall, and mount the combiner in the engine room, so now I feel I need to find inline ignition rated fuses to correct.



2007 Four Winns Horizon 200 VP 4.3 GXi 225hp
2002 Bennington 2275 RL, Mercury 115 EFI 4S

#489737 - 06/22/10 10:55 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: Jim_R]  
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Al Offline
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Al  Offline
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Vagabond Wanderer from Mich.
I added the fuses to the diagram as that was the standard installation diagram by BlueSea. As you cannot determine what the particular characteristics of an individual installation is, its prudent to go with the mfg recommendation. If they told you they were optional due to the short length, then I would consider that recommendation.

The USCG does not require fuses to be installed on engine cranking circuits; so I suppose it depends on "interpretation" of what is going on with the combiner. If the combiner can potentially participate in the engine start - or augment it - I suppose it could be argued that a fuse is not required.

Some brands or models of combiners are not hefty enough to provide cranking current, so those might not be exempt from the non-fusing requirement.

Of course, it won't hurt if you decide to install a fuse. Blue Sea's ANL fuses themselves are ignition protected, so I think if you used those, you would be OK.

We'd have to recheck the USCG requirements, but I believe it requires a fuse within 7" of the power source, or 24" if the wiring is protected within conduit. But don't quote me on that.

The bilge pump in the drawing, however, requires a fuse.


President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#490078 - 06/25/10 01:53 PM Re: Adding 2nd battery.... [Re: Al]  
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D-Rod Offline
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Back Stateside
Silverbullet's stereo project has motivated me to install a cheap but improved stereo system in our boat.

In determining the wiresize needed, I ran across this from a well-trusted source in regards to auto installations.

The voltage functions should not change between a boat/auto. Perhaps some of the safety features / corrosion prevention are different, but it would seem to me that in terms of voltage drop and carrying capacity, they should be about on par.

http://www.crutchfield.com/Learn/learningcenter/car/cable_gauge_chart.html

Food for thought!

I'm right at the border between 8 ga. and 4 ga. I will be going 8 ga. because I the system will never be at 100% output.

I'll start a new thread with some questions.


-YOLO
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