Why did this drain my battery (1 Viewer)

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Why did this drain my battery EDIT: Problem Isolated need new help!

I bought a West Marine 6 switch DC fused distro panel.

I plan on setting it in to me center console set up when it's all said and done so I bought some 8 guage jumper cables and cut off and put terminals on the ends. Ran the cable from the battery to the terminal panel. Didn't hook up any loads to the panel, but all the lights on the switches did work...They light up when the switch was on and turned off when the switch was off.

When I finished up for the night I made sure all the switches were in the off position. This morning the battery was dead..Down to 9.5 volts. The battery is a brand new sears platinum 880cr deep cycle marine that will eventually be the main battery in my dual battery set up.

Here's a link to the part I bought. Thanks.

West Marine: Illuminated 12V Switch Panels Product Display
 
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The WM panel shouldn't draw any current when off, and certainly not enough to kill your battery overnight even if the lights were on. Must be something else in the wiring. Got any pics of the panel and battery end of the wiring? And how did you notice the issue? Trouble starting in the morning?
 
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I'll get some pics up as soon as I get home. I noticed because the truck didn't start in the morning. I must have a short some where, I just can't figure it out because it's one run of brand new cable. I had the negative run terminated on the battery and not a body ground, that should be correct though...right?
 
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Negative on the battery is good. Check your battery connections and chassis ground. Sometimes when you disturb the connections that aren't really clean, you don't get a good connection at the battery (or chassis ground) when you connect your new cables. The resistance will cause a voltage drop when you start up. You may have already checked that, but that would be my first check. Otherwise post pics when you can. And maybe disconnect the neg cable for your new panel at the battery overnight. See if it happens again in the morning. You probably would've noticed a decent spark when you connected the cables from your new (switched-off) panel to the battery if you have a wiring (short/drain) issue?
 

NLXTACY

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Have you used a volt meter to see if you have any current draw to/from the panel with the switches off? Something else is in play here.
 

MrMoMo

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Perhaps when you fed it through the firewall it got a nick in the insulation of the + wire? Maybe check that when you assembled the distribution panel, or mounted it that something didn't get pinched or pushed out of place. Maybe there is a "hot" portion of the panel that is in contact with something, but only happened when you fastened the panel into place? (hard to say without seeing pictures!)
 
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I checked the connections at the battery and they look good. I doubt I knicked a cable because I've lived that gremlin before so I'm extra carefull now. I did notice that stereo amp the PO installed had a short at the ground due to some crappy wiring. I did movethat last night and then set it back so that might be the problem but I'm not so sure. I cleaned up that wiring and then put the battery charger on to get thejuice back to 100%. The charger has a built in alternator tester and that gives a generic fault. The battery does test at 12.6 when running but when off it didn't charge past 10.5 on the charger on high for two hours. Plus a belt has been really startingto squeel this week so maybe it is the alternator belt. I didn't get pics before dark and cold (32f) so I'll do that tomorrow. I'm just plain confused.
 
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Sounds like something fishy may be going on with your alt/battery system? May or may not be related to the other issue. Although "new" batteries aren't always perfect. Hopefully the battery you just paid for is good, but a crappy battery or malfunctioning alternator could cause symptoms similar to those you're finding. If you run by an Autozone or parts store that offers a free alternator and battery check, I'd do that before you make yourself too crazy checking over your wiring a billion times. Your problem could be tricky to isolate, but is most likely something pretty simple. Knowing for sure that your battery and alternator aren't the problem will be a big step in the right direction.
And even if your battery is pretty new, if it did drain down all the way overnight or a weekend in sunny Watertown ( :) ), your battery could have frozen. Though it's less likely in a car that gets used, I see it all the time on boats in the winter when the batteries aren't maintained and freeze when they bottom out from someone leaving a switch on. It can cause a plate to crack and short internally which would cause it to drop off overnight. A fully charged battery (in good condition) won't freeze anywhere on earth in nature (unless you find somewhere below -100F), but a discharged battery can freeze below +20F. Anyway, just a thought.
So- start easy then get in deeper. You've checked the connections. But you noted a questionable charging system. Get a free check and then start going over your wiring in depth. It will keep you from going crazy and maybe from being outside in the cold for too long! If not: if you put a voltmeter between the positive battery terminal and the disconnected positive cable from your new panel (with all the switches off) you should read Ovdc if all is well. :cheers:
 
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Here's an update. I really thought the issue was that short at the amp. I cleaned up that wiring and left the truck for the night last night with everything including the new panel hooked up.

When I went out to check this morning the battery was beyond dead...4.5 volts. So I pulled the amp fuse and disconnected the new panel and but it on the charge at the 10amp setting for the last three hours. Got the bettery up to about 12.4 volts so I switched the charger to 2.5 amp setting to slowly bring it to 100%. when I went out 45 minutes later the battery was down to 11.74 volts. No I'm just really lost and confused.

Only other symptom my friend just reminded me of is that my crappy head unit has been turning it self off about once or twice a day while I'm driving. Maybe when i had the head unit out to find the path for the new wiring I created a short in there somewhere. But there were no sparks at all and the radio works fine right now.

Here are some pictures. One is of the battery with the charger on it. you can see the new negative cable resting towards the front and the new positive sitting right on top. I checked the panel with those wires hooked up and didn't see a current draw.
IMG_0660.jpg

Picture two is the back of the panel.
IMG_0663.jpg
Picture three is the front of the panel.
IMG_0661.jpg


Help! I'm going crazy... I will run to Autozone to have the battery and ALT tested later today. the battery is only 5 days old and is hasn't gotten below 20F since I got it. Could I have shorted one of the fusable links some how when I put the new battery in and caused this?
IMG_0660.jpg
IMG_0663.jpg
IMG_0661.jpg
 
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ok...now I'm completely confused. I pulled the charger off to see what the battery would do and in the time it took me to put up the last post my battery dropped from 11.74 to 11.64 volts. the only thing hooked up is the original stuff from before I started looking at the panel. could the battery be self discharging or do i have a short somewhere?
 
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So I pulled the battery from the truck and put it on the charger all by itself. Ran the charger for an hour and a half and got the battery right up to 12.7 amps. Then I disconnected the charger and let the battery sit. It immediately dropped to 12.5..like within 10 seconds. Then I let it sit for another 45 minutes and it dropped to 12.2.

Sounds like i have a bad battery...What do you think? Temp was steady at 40 all day. It's 37 now.
 
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OK...now I'm even more lost. I pulled everything not factory out of the truck...no more CB, no more stereo, no amp, no new panel..nothing. With the positive side of the battery hooked up like normal with just the line from the alt and the fusable links and the negative terminal disconnected...I tested for amps between the negative battery clamp and the battery terminal and I"m pulling 2.48 amps. clearly enough to piss off my battery. With the fusable links disconnected there is no scavanged current. And now every 30 seconds or so when I touch the truck I get shocked.

So..it would seem I have a short and possibly a bad battery too, because the battery has now dropped to 12.08. I'm done for the night so I just disconnected everything and will hope for warm weather tomorrow.

:bang::bang::bang::bang:
 
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I also pulled every fuse in the fuse panel one at a time and tested for a drop in the scavanged current and couldn't find a thing
 
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I was never able to leave the driveway to have autozone test it..with everything dosconnected overnight tonight I should be able to go have it tested tomorrow and get hoome before it dies.

I just took a reading with my meter and it's at 12.05..we'll see how mouch it self discharges overnight
 

Elbert

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if no other changes other than installing this switch panel.... you need to look at the battery. I would charge it over night and just carry the battery to the store for a load test.... don't drive it because apparently you may get stranded. If you have a direct short on something you did with the switch you would be blowing fuses.

Do you have any fuse protection on those two large wires running in to the cab, at least on the hot side?

Get a friend to run you down to the shop or whatever, in lieu of driving with the electrical issues.
 
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if no other changes other than installing this switch panel.... you need to look at the battery. I would charge it over night and just carry the battery to the store for a load test.... don't drive it because apparently you may get stranded. If you have a direct short on something you did with the switch you would be blowing fuses.

Do you have any fuse protection on those two large wires running in to the cab, at least on the hot side?

quote]

I don't have a fuse on the new hot, but it goes directly into a 15amp fuse at the panel so that should blow..But the tester shows no amp at the panel when it was off so I doubt that was it... I'm just confused out of my mind right now. The battery continued to discharge a little over the last several hours but then appears to have settled about 12v. I'll see what it is in the morning.

Keep the idea coming...I've gotta have this fixed tomorrow.
 

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