Got a short somewhere in the boat - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 03-19-2012, 10:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Got a short somewhere in the boat

My starting battery keeps draining down.
Its brand new.

So I've started to disconnect the negative leads to the battery. That should keep it from draining, right? I know, its a dumb question.

My second question-how do I go about tracking down whats draining the battery? Just disconnect each lead one at a time until I find the bad one?

Any help much appreciated.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a short somewhere in the boat

I had the same problem and finally just opted to put in a cut-off switch.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a short somewhere in the boat

I'm almost to that point because if I take it to a mechanic it might cost alot just to track it down.

Where would I get a cutoff switch. Hard to install?
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a short somewhere in the boat

Yes, disconnecting all the leads going to one terminal will keep it from draining.

Most boats have a bunch of positive and a bunch of negative wires all going to the main battery posts. It's a pain to connect and disconnect them each time, plus you risk damaging your connectors. You can run all your positives to one plate (called a bus bar) and all your negatives to another. Marine supply stores sell these. Makes it a lot easier to figure out which circuit is the culprit. Even though you are not a mechanic this stuff is pretty basic and it is worth your time to try to track down which one is the problem. A short can be more than a battery draining annoyance, it can start a fire!
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a short somewhere in the boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbydog
I'm almost to that point because if I take it to a mechanic it might cost alot just to track it down.

Where would I get a cutoff switch. Hard to install?
Piece of cake. I can't remember for sure where I got mine, but I think I might have ordered it from Cabela's. Either that or I picked it up from Great Lakes Marine. I'll look around a little and see if I can find one like it. It's just a simple switch that installs on your + battery lead running to the ignition switch.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a short somewhere in the boat

It was one very similar to this, in fact I think it was the Master Switch version.

http://www.basspro.com/BEP-Marine-Ba...t/97350/144252
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a short somewhere in the boat

Perko makes a good on-off switch...pretty straight forward to install...
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a short somewhere in the boat

Having a mecahnic track down a wire can be costly. The best route would be investing into a volt meter and tracking it yourself. Now with that said, like a car, a battery can be drained by an aux unit. Now reading what you wrote, the draining quits if the negative terminal is taken off. If time is on your side more than money, try unplugging one unit per night and checking it each morning. Hopefully wires were not splices to run 2 low power units. If its a short then it may cuase a burnt wire, as odd as it sounds maybe smell around things to see if you notice a burnt smell. Albow sounds like he knows his stuff. Bus bars are great, but make sure you use fuseable links on the positivr side. if you need anymore help or would like a hand feel free to PM me.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a short somewhere in the boat

If you disconnect every wire from negative and touch them to the negative terminal, one at a time, you should see a tiny little spark and that will help you track down your short.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a short somewhere in the boat

Thanks for all the good info guys.

This gives me just one more reason to buy that new boat.

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