Replacing the battery charger

November 16, 2014

After the electrical issue that caused a system overload I noticed there were a few ghosts in the system, one of which the house lights, which are LED and powered by the 12v system, would not always come on when switched on. Instead they would suddenly jump on after a few seconds. This happened for a while before I realized that other 12v systems were struggling as well. After some sleuthing around I determined the battery charger to be the culprit. The batteries were draining and not being depleted fast enough to power everything at once.

The charger was an old West Marine charger that was mounted to the wall under the desk and near the electrical panel. The bulk light, which indicates the batteries are charging, was not staying solid and slowly lost its light at all. There was a guy working at the West Marine on 15th ave who really knew his stuff when it came to battery chargers. He took a look at the charger and determined that the main capacitor was blown.


Something I can fix without too much difficulty myself but without power for 2 days and a desire for a shower I purchased a ProMariner battery charger to replace the West Marine charger on the recommendation of the West Marine guy. Josh helped me get it setup and when we first powered it up it indicated an issue with the batteries. Crap! Going through the manual we determined that the batteries were completely dead. The new charger will only charge a battery that has at least 2 volts in it. So off to Zippey we went to steal her charger to charge Penny’s batteries so Penny could charge herself. Worked like a charm and a short time later I was able to use my 12v system again. The 12v runs everything except the refrigerator (though there is a 12v option on it), the water heater, and whatever is plugged into a receptacle (usually heater and laptop).

The ProMariner charger is a great upgrade. It provides a lot more visual feedback on the battery conditions and it is completely sealed and water proof. The guy at West Marine said that in the 8 years he has worked there he has never seen one returned with a defect. Good enough for me!