12v problems when hooked up

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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by Alf on Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:29 pm

You say you fitted the Fridge yourself have you wired the fridge to the Leisure battery ??

It is normal to wire to the Van battery and wire via a relay powered from the alternator D2 terminal

From your previous post there is a heavy load connected and discharging your leisure battery is this your Fridge ??

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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by stuart90 on Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:42 pm

Hi Alf the fridge is connected through the zig unit.
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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by meanchris on Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:44 pm

It shouldn't be, it should be connected either to the 230V mains for operation on EHU, or to the engine battery/alternator via a relay for operation on 12V only while the engine is running.

EDIT: It has two separate immersion heater style heating elements to achieve this, one is 230V and the other is 12V (as well as a gas heater of course).

EDIT2:

It should be similar to this:


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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by stuart90 on Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:03 pm

I have attached some pictures, there is no light on the  switch. It's difficult to get to what I presume is the charger. Okay the fridge as far as I know is connected as was the old fridge as I have not rewired anything, the camper is as it was when purchased, except I have dissconnected the 12v from the fridge. I have a multimeter.
.
I'm not sure which terminals I need to check the current across, do these pictures help.
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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by meanchris on Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:15 pm

Firstly, please be careful, that loose switch in your first picture potentially has 230V on its terminals, it will have when the EHU is connected.

As far as I know, the Zig's 12V output is parallelled on the two + terminals and the two - terminals, so there should be 12V DC on any + to any - terminal when it's switched on with EHU connected.
Your multimeter should be set to the nearest higher DC voltage on its setting scale/knob/dial, for example, one of my meters is 20V. The DC scale is marked with a solid line with three shorter lines underneath (the AC scale looks like a wave). Double check that you are on a V scale, NOT an A scale.

I've been (probably rightly) told off here before for suggesting that someone measure around the van's electrical system, so maybe you should await the input of Peter Brown to make the serious point that there's a disclaimer attached to any advice?

If anyone wishes to caveat anything I'm saying, please go ahead...

EDIT: I may have missed it, but have you checked both fuses in the Zig unit, the top one is for the 230V input and the bottom one for the 12V output.

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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by Alf on Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:22 pm

Stuart it could be that the fridge has been wired to the leisure battery by Auto- Sleepers in the past they have had some weird wiring methods.  Even if this was the case there would be a relay controlled by the alternator D2 terminal to ensure this only worked with the engine running.

In this case it could.be just a faulty relay shorted in the ON position or even a previous owner shorting it out.

Best look for relays or trace wiring 

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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by stuart90 on Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:43 pm

Not sure about zig unit fuses you mention, The 2 and 12amp fuses on the zig main switch are ok. I found several fuses on the zig unit itself which all appear to be ok.
 I am at that stage where I feel this is going beyond my capabilities, I thank you all for your help, advice and patience.
Kind regards
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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by meanchris on Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:02 pm

stuart90 wrote:Not sure about zig unit fuses you mention, The 2 and 12amp fuses on the zig main switch are ok. I found several fuses on the zig unit itself which all appear to be ok.
 I am at that stage where I feel this is going beyond my capabilities, I thank you all for your help, advice and patience.
Kind regards
Stuart

Those are the two that I meant. That Zig DCU-3 unit is the 12V power supply/charger.

The other zig unit that you're referring to is the 12V control panel, which presumably has quite a few glass fuses behind an access panel.

When the DCU-3 is switched on at that loose switch, with the EHU connected, there should be 12V on the terminals at the back shown in your second picture.
(Actually, it will be more than 12V, as it also charges the leisure battery, my old Zig X-3 is closer to 14V as shown below).

If there is 13V - 14V there, then the leisure battery shouldn't be going flat. If it is, then there's a wiring fault.

The fridge is a different issue, it shouldn't be connected to the leisure battery at all, only to 230V on EHU, or to the alternator with the engine running.

Don't despair, once this fault is found it will probably be straightforward with hindsight.


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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by stuart90 on Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:08 pm

Thank you
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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by Alf on Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:14 am

Stuart where is your leisure battery is it under the bonnet.

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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by stuart90 on Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:43 am

Hi Alf, Yes it is
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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by Alf on Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:49 am

Stuart look for the relayS adjacent to the batteries one will be for the charging and one for the fridge.

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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by stuart90 on Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:40 am

ok
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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by brodco on Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:01 am

Hi  wave

Sorry this is a bit long but it does see to me that we are going around in circles a bit and not proving much (easy to do I know).

As Chris said lets leave the mains alone for the moment and concentrate on getting the 12V system working properly. There is no danger of electric shock from 12V but there is the danger of wires burning you you still need to be careful not to connect positive and negative together.
Alf wrote:Best look for relays or trace wiring 
Personally I wouldn’t do that quite yet. I’m not saying it isn’t something like that but the symptoms aren’t particularly convincing. There’s the fact that the problem is still there when the fridge is operating on 240V (yes I know the 12 V element could be powered as well) but it occurs when 12V is switched on from the Zig and the fridge shouldn’t have anything to do with the habitation 12V even if the relay was shorted / welded.
meanchris wrote: I may have missed it, but have you checked both fuses in the Zig unit, the top one is for the 230V input and the bottom one for the 12V output.
Earlier in this thread we checked that the Zig powered the van without the leisure battery connected and it did so it was working OK at that point.

A fault on the Zig that drags the battery voltage down is extremely unlikely and an intermittent fault where it works one minute and drags the voltage the next (but only when switched on) is bordering on incredible.
stuart90 wrote: The leisure battery was showing 1353 on hookup and dropped to 1260 when I switched the 12v on the zig unit.
A thought occurs (ouch)!

Are we talking about the Zig power supply or the control panel. When you say "Zig Unit” most people think of the power supply itself and switching the Zig power supply on is very different from switching the 12V on the control panel.

If it’s the control panel it would be quite normal for the voltage to drop because you’re supplying current to the van. If it’s the power supply it wouldn’t be normal.
stuart90 wrote:. I left it on for a few hours with 4 lights on in the camper and the fridge on 230v. After 3 hours the battery read 1192. All that time I had the leisure battery on charge.
I think there is still too much connected to make a realistic diagnosis, There is the battery with a second charger connected as well as the Zig power supply and the fridge. I know the fridge was on 230V but from previous posts there is something funny going on with it so I would disconnect it altogether until we’ve sorted out the other 12V problems. From some of the previous measurements I’m still suspicious of the leisure battery.

My approach would be:

Check the leisure battery can power the van for a reasonable time eliminating the other variables (i.e. the Zig power supply and the fridge by disconnecting them), preferably checking for any unexpected power draw at the same time. If it can’t fix that first.

Disconnect the Zig power supply 12V cables (so that the Zig is completely isolated from the vans 12V).

Disconnect the fridge completely

Charge the leisure battery with the external power supply and when you’re happy it’s fully charged, then disconnect that charger. The battery should read close to 13.8V at the end of the charge (it may go higher than that during the charging process depending on the type of charger you have).

Switch on around 60Watts worth of lighting (say four 10W spot lamps and a couple of 8 watt tubes if you have them). That should take somewhere around four or five amps and a hundred Ah battery should last around 20 hours until completely flat. I don’t suggest you completely flatten it but if the lights are still bright after say 10 hours the main problem is else ware. If the battery is more or less than 100Ah adjust the timing to suit.

The next bit is optional but it would provide some very useful information if you could do it.

Ideally disconnect the battery negative wire and connect your meter (I assume you have access to meter because you are able to measure the battery voltage) on Amps between the disconnected lead and the battery negative terminal.

Just in case you’re not used to measuring Amps the move the red lead to the “Amps” socket (usually 10A on most cheapish meters) and switch the meter to 10A.

On no account put the meter leads across the battery terminals on Amps (sorry about the bold text but that’s critically important as it may well destroy the meter).

Once you have the basic 12V system working we can move on and check the rest.

Incidentally, we know from previous tests that the van charges the battery when the engine is running. The van should work quite happily without the Zig power supply in fact they were an option on early vans and only really needed if you are going to park up for a few days (on EHU of course). 

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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by stuart90 on Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:24 pm

Hi Alf there is one relay next to the leisure battery and I think one was behind the zig control panel.
Hi Brod I am charging the leisure battery and will dissconect the fridge tomorrow as I have to  almost remove it to do this. I will let you know the outcome.
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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by Alf on Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:57 pm

stuart90 wrote:Hi Alf there is one relay next to the leisure battery and I think one was behind the zig control panel.
Hi Brod I am charging the leisure battery and will dissconect the fridge tomorrow as I have to  almost remove it to do this. I will let you know the outcome.
 

Stuart try removing the relay adjacent to the leisure battery.
When you have charged the battery and fitted and reconnected with the relay removed

1. Measure the Leisure battery voltage with NO engine running.

2. Start the engine and carefully measure the voltage again.

3. iI the voltage is the same it is the charging relay you have removed.

4. If the voltage has increased to 13.7v or thereabouts it is the Fridge relay you have removed. This would drop when you stop the engine.


What you really need to do is remove the fridge relay then try everything 12v over a few days and check the Leisure battery is not loosing its charge.
is there not a 12V master switch for the fridge on the Dash. With a vehicle of your age Auto-Sleeper  generally fitted a switch on the dash to operate the fridge you must also have the one on the fridge as well. 
Both relays are the same and easy bought from car spares shops.
One of the previous owners could have shorted the relay out many do this to make the conversion 12v stay on whilst the engine is running they could have easily done this to the wrong relay.



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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by stuart90 on Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:07 pm

OK
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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by stuart90 on Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:44 pm

Hi Alf, the relay next to the leisure battery does appear to be the one for the charger.
Brod is there an easy way of disconnecting 12v from the zig unit, perhaps flip a trip fuse?
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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by meanchris on Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:47 pm

From the Zig charger, or control unit, I think you might to be a bit more specific in your questions and answers.

If from the charger, remove the bottom (12A?) fuse

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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by stuart90 on Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:39 pm

Hi Meanchris, thank for that and point taken I will try to be more specific although my previous question was refering to the advice from Brod

Brodco wrote:My approach would be:

Check the leisure battery can power the van for a reasonable time eliminating the other variables (i.e. the Zig power supply and the fridge by disconnecting them), preferably checking for any unexpected power draw at the same time. If it can’t fix that first.

Disconnect the Zig power supply 12V cables (so that the Zig is completely isolated from the vans 12V).
Perhaps cut and paste will help as you all use. At present I have approx 60 watts load on the leisure battery without hookup.
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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by Alf on Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:05 pm

Stuart  Did you remove the Fridge relay to isolate the Fridge from the 12v Supply.

There is little in the van to give you such a load
Fridge,  Tank Heater or a Drastic Electrical Short.

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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by Alf on Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:15 pm

Stuart I have just 're read  your first post you said you had disconnected the fridge from 12v how did you do that.

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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by stuart90 on Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:30 am

Hi Alf, I pulled the fridge out and pulled the connectors off the 12v switch and now I have disconnected th 230v exactly the same way. Was that ok or could that still cause problems. I ran the lights etc on the camper yesterday without hookup and the battery lasted 6 hours with an initial charge of 12.6. By the way there is no master switch visible for the fridge only the switch on the fridge itself. The relay behind the zig control unit turns off 12v to the lights etc when I disconect it, is this likely to be an additional relay? Alf I just saw your post about loads, the last time we were away and knowing we had a 12v problem the only 12v we used apart from having 12v switched on at the zig control was 3 shots of blue in the loo all night and we still lost 12v power by the next morning.
A question for Brod, measuring the amps at the bettery, should I do that with nothing switched on?
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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by Alf on Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:09 am

Stuart yes leave every thing turned off measure the amps. As a Double check have someone turn every 12v item on on its own and note the reading.
It is usually the charging relay that turns the lights off. This leaves power on when the engine is off but turns power off when the engine is running..

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Re: 12v problems when hooked up

Post by brodco on Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:19 am

Hi wave

Alf wrote:There is little in the van to give you such a load
Fridge,  Tank Heater or a Drastic Electrical Short

I agree but we don’t yet know that there is an excess load. It could simply be a knackered leisure battery. If there is an excess load I also suspect the fridge. A van of this age probably doesn’t have a tank heater and an electrical short would (probably) take the habitation fuse. If it is the fridge there is a wiring problem that needs sorting because the fridge supply should be taken from the vehicle battery.

stuart90 wrote:A question for Brod, measuring the amps at the bettery, should I do that with nothing switched on?

I'd do both but what you really what to know initially is that with the nominal 60 of Watts of lighting you have four or five amps(ish). If that takes the battery down in six hours the battery is only giving about 30Ah (i.e its knackered). If the current draw considerably more than five amps with the fridge and Zig power supply disconnected the fault lies elsewhere.

The advantage of being able to measure the current is that we can move on and diagnose any other fault before you change the leisure battery. Otherwise you can only judge the current by how long the leisure battery lasts and to do that you need a known good leisure battery to start with, and it could take hours (even days).

From your previous posts I suspect that the fridge is connected to the wrong 12V point but we need to prove that next.

If you get reasonable readings with just the lights switched on switch the lights off and connect the fridge (switch the lights off because fridge + lights will probably overload the meter). Check the current with the fridge switched to 12V with both the fridge switched on and off. You should see no current increase. If you get eight amps (ish) the fridge is on when it shouldn’t be and we can address that next.

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