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Help! Battery problem

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Help! Battery problem Empty Help! Battery problem

Post by Paddington on Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:06 pm

Can anyone help? I'm in France with my Nuevo van and all the batteries are flat and I don't understand why. I'm at a campsite so I am hooked up to 10amps. I've got a solar panel and lpg as well. brand new van battery fitted in November. But the leisure battery is displaying 9.8v and vehicle battery now up to 11.1v but didn't start when I tried to start it 30 mins ago. Display panel says mains off, but I'm hooked up! Tried to cook my dinner and  gas and did light. Hungry, cold, tired and clueless 🤔
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Post by willy eckerslike on Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:16 pm

Have you checked the mains circuit breaker. Don’t know your van but you might find it in the wardrobe. Alternatively if you can access a different hookup try that.

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Post by marconi on Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:22 pm

Paddington wrote:Can anyone help? I'm in France with my Nuevo van and all the batteries are flat and I don't understand why. I'm at a campsite so I am hooked up to 10amps. I've got a solar panel and lpg as well. brand new van battery fitted in November. But the leisure battery is displaying 9.8v and vehicle battery now up to 11.1v but didn't start when I tried to start it 30 mins ago. Display panel says mains off, but I'm hooked up! Tried to cook my dinner and  gas and did light. Hungry, cold, tired and clueless 🤔
Are you sure the mains supply hasn't  tripped. If you thought you were on mains but it had failed then you could flatten your battery(s) at this time of year. As a starter can the campsite owner confirm you have power. Then check you haven't  accidentally actuated the shut down switch on the PSU, easily done on my Nuevo when under the settee.
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Post by Paddington on Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:50 pm

Thanks all. Circuit breaker in cupboard was off. Now have lights and cooking with gas as they say 😀
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Post by Tigerbadge on Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:37 pm

Paddington wrote:Thanks all. Circuit breaker in cupboard was off. Now have lights and cooking with gas as they say 😀
smile!
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Post by Gromit on Fri Dec 27, 2019 2:13 pm

marconi wrote:As a starter can the campsite owner confirm you have power. 
Easiest way I've found to quickly check the power supply is to switch on the microwave.

Incidentally, on our van (and probably others) it also gives an indication when you have so called reversed polarity. (How do you reverse an alternating current?? scratch head)

Not that this bothers me in the least, but for those who do worry about it, if the polarity is "reversed" the indicator light on the wall switch for the microwave is illuminated whether it is switched on or not. The illumination is much less bright when switched off, but still quite visible.

And before anyone asks, I haven't a clue. I'm a bear of little brain when it comes to electrical theory!  shrugg
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Post by modelman on Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:14 pm

Maybe not reverse polarity, but reverse pos & neg, I have one of those check-plugs with 3 leds on the front, all 3 illuminate when all is correct, & also inform if neutral, earth or pos is wrong.

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Post by rogerblack on Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:36 pm

As modelman says, it's a reversal of the live and neutral; on continental Europe it doesn't matter because they use double pole switches - i.e. both sides of the circuit are isolated when switched off.  In the UK, we only use single pole switches, which on our installations isolates just the live side. 

When you plug in a UK wired motorhome to a European EHU supply there's in theory a 50% chance you may end up with the 'neutral' side of your van's wiring actually seeing the 'live' even when switched off.  Not usually a problem unless you start disassembling appliances or working on the van wiring when live - never a good idea anyway. However there could also be potentially more harmful issues if there is a fault where the live can get to the earth side.  So like modelman I also carry a plug in checker and our first job when connecting up to a European connection is to check that and if required add our reverse wired connector lead into the circuit.

Many on here may argue this is unnecessary as the chances of problems is low, however I prefer to minimise any potential causes of harm when it's such a simple issue to correct. 

I'd rather be accused of 'overkill' than the alternative.

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Post by inspiredron on Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:33 pm

On the continent you may easily find that because of totally different national standards you will get a reverse polarity indication whichever way round the put is connected to the mains supply. In very simplistic terms in the UK our live is about 230v different from earth and neutral is anything between zero and 10v from earth. On the continent the two pins can both be 115v from earth but in opposite directions so that the overall voltage is still 230v. A reverse polarity indicator will react to any voltage of the UK 'neutral' pin relative to earth which is greater than around 50v.

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Post by bikeralw on Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:37 pm

Would this 10 volts between neutral and earth explain why, since I fitted LED bulbs, a few of my home light fittings have a very weak glow when switched off? The switch is definitely switching off the positive side. It was never apparent when the fittings had tungsten or halogen lamps fitted.
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Post by inspiredron on Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:11 am

I think the afterglow is more likely to be capacitors in the led control circuitry. I have noticed this and it usually subsides after a short period.
In the UK Neutral is connected to Earth at the local sub-station. The 10v that I quoted is highly variable and as well as depending on distance from you to substation it also varies with the amount of current taken by the customer.

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Post by bikeralw on Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:56 am

I thought capacitors Ron, but a few of my LED fittings are still glowing hours after switching off.
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Post by Peter Brown on Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:08 am

If the switch is in the live connection (as it should be) then off is off. If the switch is in the neutral than the live could be finding an alternate circuit (of higher resistance) via earth allowing the bulbs to glow. In any case you have faulty wiring.
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Post by Spospe on Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:31 pm

For the glowing LED when switched off problem, have a read of:

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Post by bikeralw on Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:42 pm

Very interesting reading Spospe, thanks.
I think my problem may be the parallel cable routing because the only LED's that are affected are the ones on our two flights of stairs, controlled by several switches on the landings.
I'll investigate further when I come back to the UK.
Sorry for going off track.
Al.
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Post by inspiredron on Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:29 pm

Al,
That link is probably correct. Nearly 30 years ago I was wiring up a timer switch for our downstairs lighting circuit. I switched off the downstairs lights breaker and removed the lcorresponding live cable from the consumer unit and took it to the switched live of the time switch. I then removed the neutral of the same cable from the neutral busbar. While connecting that to the time switch neutral terminal  and running a new live and neutral feed from the consumer unit to the timer input I touched a bare wire and got a full 230V kick - from the black neutral.wire!
That took quite a bit of figuring out! The problem was that the house had been rewired and the conduits between hall and landing were not big enough to take 2 three core plus earth cables for 2 way switching for hall and landing. A clever (?) electrician had solved the conundrum by wiring the hall light to get its live feed from the upstairs circuit and the neutral return through the downstairs circuit. The landing lights are wired the other way round - downstairs live and upstairs neutral. It sounds absurd but I do recall working out why it works. Because we have never hacked out the plaster to replace the conduits it's still like it!
Spospe's link refers to this as a cause for LED afterglow.

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