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1989 Catalina 30 | Battery not Charging troubleshooting?

Discussion in 'Catalina 30' started by rickmds, Jul 9, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. rickmds

    rickmds

    Joined Apr 27, 2015
    8 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter 27
    US Saco
    Two day-sails ago I noticed that my panel tachometer stopped working and that the panel voltmeter stayed at 12 volts when the engine was running; in the past it generally showed about 13.5 volts. When I checked the battery voltage both batteries were under 12 volts indicating that the electrical system is not charging. Also if memory serves, the tachometer is connected to an electrical component under the galley sink which converts the alternator’s electrical impulses into RPMs. If my information is correct, it may explain why battery charging and the tachometer are not working.

    Question: Given the above can you provided trouble shooting steps and or technical resources to help trace where this problem is so that it can be corrected?
     


  2. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy

    Joined Feb 20, 2011
    6,699 posts, 1,025 likes
    Island Packet 35
    US Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
    Check the output of your alternator? Age/condition of batteries?
     


  3. Skipper

    Skipper

    Joined Oct 9, 2008
    1,615 posts, 282 likes
    Bristol 29.9
    US Dana Point
    The excite or other wire might be corroded/bad connection.
     


  4. Don S/V ILLusion

    Don S/V ILLusion

    Joined Sep 25, 2008
    5,168 posts, 356 likes
    Alden 50
    US Sarasota, Florida
    Why guess? It's simple to have the alternator tested if you can't do it yourself. It's even simpler to clean all the connections in the circuit if not done periodically.
     


  5. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    1,914 posts, 710 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    No other component needed endless your running a external regulator. I agree with statement above check the alternator excite wire for power with key on.

    Les
     


  6. rickmds

    rickmds

    Joined Apr 27, 2015
    8 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter 27
    US Saco
    Thanks everyone for this information. To summarize if alternator is generating12V+ with engine running, then alternator is OK and likely problem is wire connection corrosion or break paying particular attention to alternator exciter wire with key on. With stock Catalina 30 there is no voltage regulator.
     


  7. Don S/V ILLusion

    Don S/V ILLusion

    Joined Sep 25, 2008
    5,168 posts, 356 likes
    Alden 50
    US Sarasota, Florida
    There is an internal voltage regulator on your alternator.

    You can't charge your batteries at 12 volts output from the alternator. A higher voltage is needed to "push" the charge to the batteries, typically between 13 and 14.5 v depending upon how the regulator is set.
     


  8. MitchM

    MitchM

    Joined Jan 20, 2005
    694 posts, 94 likes
    Nauticat 321 pilothouse 32
    US Erie PA
    how long since you adjusted the alternator belt tension to the spec? a slipping alt belt won't allow full charge.
     


  9. rickmds

    rickmds

    Joined Apr 27, 2015
    8 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter 27
    US Saco
    Thanks everyone for your feedback and suggestions. Finally got out to the boat yesterday to investigate your suggestions and found that the excite wire from the alternation had brocken its connections. Onece fixed everything was back to woring order. You all are great, many thanks!
     


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