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Problem with Waterworks system


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I bought a Waterworks system around a year or so ago (700l, 2 man delivery system and 2x HD reels), also with a RING (can't rem name) battery to battery charger thingy?  This is the first proper system I've had as I came from backpacks/barrels and trad before that.

Anyway, for quite a while the battery in the system lasted for ages and then gradually over time as I've got busier the battery for the system has needed taking out to put on charge occasionally like once a month. 

I figured this was normal and wouldn't be a problem but over time it got worse and worse and I bought another battery, but long story short I'm now getting around 2 days out of each battery before the battery message is flashing on the controller/s and I'm having to put the engine on at jobs to get through the day. (Power comes back fine if the engine is on). 

At one stage I did get the alternator looked at but it's charging fine and the main van battery seems to be fine also.

 I should point out I know nothing about cars and how this is set up, as it was installed at Waterworks.  Any help is appreciated, as not sure where to start?

 

Thanks

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Does your controller show battery voltage? If so it's advisable to not take the resting voltage (when not powering a pump or reeling in within last 10 mins) below 12v as that's about 50% of capacity. Taking a lead acid battery below 50% capacity will cause damage!

You really need to be able to test the voltage on leisure battery at start of day, after an hour or so, then when the engine is running.

My guess is a 100Ah battery for 2 pumps and 2 electric reels  is too small. You need more like double the capacity (2 batteries in parallel).  Without testing I would say your battery is at the end of it's life or your split charger (battery to battery) isn't working.

You need to either learn to use a multimeter (only about £10 for cheap one) - it's quite simple for what you nee - you tube. 

Alternatively you need to find someone who knows a bit about split charging and can take some measurements to see where the fault is. Maybe contact mobile mechanic who services motor homes as they have leisure battery that is charged via split type system.  

If the charger is working and no blown fuses I would say you need to replace the single leisure battery with 2 in parallel (parallel means 0v to 0v 12v to 12v. So you get same voltage but double the Amp hrs.

Hope that gives you some clues? If not ask.

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1 hour ago, ched999uk said:

Does your controller show battery voltage? If so it's advisable to not take the resting voltage (when not powering a pump or reeling in within last 10 mins) below 12v as that's about 50% of capacity. Taking a lead acid battery below 50% capacity will cause damage!

You really need to be able to test the voltage on leisure battery at start of day, after an hour or so, then when the engine is running.

My guess is a 100Ah battery for 2 pumps and 2 electric reels  is too small. You need more like double the capacity (2 batteries in parallel).  Without testing I would say your battery is at the end of it's life or your split charger (battery to battery) isn't working.

You need to either learn to use a multimeter (only about £10 for cheap one) - it's quite simple for what you nee - you tube. 

Alternatively you need to find someone who knows a bit about split charging and can take some measurements to see where the fault is. Maybe contact mobile mechanic who services motor homes as they have leisure battery that is charged via split type system.  

If the charger is working and no blown fuses I would say you need to replace the single leisure battery with 2 in parallel (parallel means 0v to 0v 12v to 12v. So you get same voltage but double the Amp hrs.

Hope that gives you some clues? If not ask.

Thanks for your response, really appreciate it.

I understood some of what you said, but will have to involve others I think!

Yes I do have voltage readouts on the controllers, they start at around 12.4 but are quickly below 12 after a short time, it's been this way a long time, so chances are I've damaged the batteries then.  One of them is only a few months old.

What puzzles me is the guy that runs Waterworks said I'd never need to change batteries?  Perhaps that was wishfull thinking!

The split charger normally just shows "E0" which as far as I understood means no errors.  However today it had 14.4 on it, when I had to put the engine on to finish a job, as one of the pumps just stopped - never noticed it before.  

 

Edit just checked both batteries are 115ah 

6 minutes ago, doug atkinson said:

Batteries don’t last so get them checked out if they are holding their charge.

Well ive got a decent ring charger, it has like repair options on it I think, would that be the thing I needed?

Edited by Cleanz
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6 minutes ago, Cleanz said:

I understood some of what you said, but will have to involve others I think!

Yes I do have voltage readouts on the controllers, they start at around 12.4 but are quickly below 12 after a short time, it's been this way a long time, so chances are I've damaged the batteries then.  One of them is only a few months old.

What puzzles me is the guy that runs Waterworks said I'd never need to change batteries?  Perhaps that was wishfull thinking!

The split charger normally just shows "E0" which as far as I understood means no errors.  However today it had 14.4 on it, when I had to put the engine on to finish a job, as one of the pumps just stopped - never noticed it before.  

OK so start at 12.4v is only about 80% charged so I would guess the batteries are on their way out but without testing it is a guess. When it was reading 14.4v that suggests that the leisure batteries are getting a voltage of 14.4 from your ring battery to battery/split charge system. So I guess charging is OK. I don't know the model so E0 could mean no errors but I don't know.

I wonder if Waterworks meant you wont need to take batteries out to charge not never change batteries? Without a split charge or battery to battery system you would need to take batteries out and put on bench charger each night!

Lead Acids have a finite life. Normally leisure batteries that are not taken below 50% should last 3 - 5 years but once they are taken below 50% they lose capacity quickly. 

One other thing, it's normally advised to change batteries as a pair, if running 2 leisure batteries. Why did you change one a few months ago? You might be OK that you could just buy another the same as the one you just replaced to replace the oldest one. So you have a brand new one and one that is a couple of months old as a pair. Without expensive test equipment it's difficult to test how good batteries are.

One thing you might be able to do is bench charge the newer battery and just put that one in. i.e. disconnect the oldest battery,  insulate the cables and see if the nearly new one gives you more like 12.7v at start of day and then check it after an hour to see how it's doing but dont let it go below 12.0v. If it holds out for a couple of hrs above 12.0v then it might well not be damaged. Only problem is you wont get a full day out of a single battery!!!

It sort of depends on how fast you can get 2 and fit new leisure batteries if needed? i.e. if your batteries wont give you a days work then how much are you losing vs the cost of 2 new batteries. 

Sorry I can't be of more help but hopefully I have given you some info to help.

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5 minutes ago, ched999uk said:

I wonder if Waterworks meant you wont need to take batteries out to charge not never change batteries? Without a split charge or battery to battery system you would need to take batteries out and put on bench charger each night!

One other thing, it's normally advised to change batteries as a pair, if running 2 leisure batteries. Why did you change one a few months ago? You might be OK that you could just buy another the same as the one you just replaced to replace the oldest one. So you have a brand new one and one that is a couple of months old as a pair. Without expensive test equipment it's difficult to test how good batteries are.

One thing you might be able to do is bench charge the newer battery and just put that one in. i.e. disconnect the oldest battery,  insulate the cables and see if the nearly new one gives you more like 12.7v at start of day and then check it after an hour to see how it's doing but dont let it go below 12.0v. If it holds out for a couple of hrs above 12.0v then it might well not be damaged. Only problem is you wont get a full day out of a single battery!!!

It sort of depends on how fast you can get 2 and fit new leisure batteries if needed? i.e. if your batteries wont give you a days work then how much are you losing vs the cost of 2 new batteries. 

Sorry I can't be of more help but hopefully I have given you some info to help.

No it's a real help because honestly I haven't got a clue lol.  

Just so were on the same page, I only run one battery at a time, I bought a second battery when I started having problems with the first and was charging and swapping them out every couple of weeks but now it's literally only lasting a couple of days (as you say may be damaged) I remember the guy said the battery will last ages, the system is literally designed around one battery with enough room in the design for it but yeah looking like 2 is possibly the answer.

I would have gone back to him, but he will ask for me to bring it in and he's 2.5 hour drive from me!

This is the battery to battery charger that is fitted btw :

https://www.ringautomotive.com/en/product/RSCDC30

 

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4 minutes ago, Cleanz said:

No it's a real help because honestly I haven't got a clue lol.  

Just so were on the same page, I only run one battery at a time, I bought a second battery when I started having problems with the first and was charging and swapping them out every couple of weeks but now it's literally only lasting a couple of days (as you say may be damaged) I remember the guy said the battery will last ages, the system is literally designed around one battery with enough room in the design for it but yeah looking like 2 is possibly the answer.

I would have gone back to him, but he will ask for me to bring it in and he's 2.5 hour drive from me!

This is the battery to battery charger that is fitted btw :

https://www.ringautomotive.com/en/product/RSCDC30

 

Electric hose reels hammer the batteries more so and with a full days wfp if ain't doing many miles week in week out then you will need bench charge the battery each night otherwise you will knacker your battery if you are 2 man team each day then your battery voltage will drop by 50% in a day, my limited battery knowledge says your battery is about knackered 

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Okay, so will test the batteries properly over the weekend if I can, I'll also have to look into getting 2 setup to run together and then charge them every night.

 

I obviously got the wrong end of the stick and thought the Ring battery to battery would prevent the system battery from draining but now I see it's just so the main van battery doesn't get drained lol.

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Just looking at manual and it says E0 = DC input voltage too low! Didn't you say that was on the display? So that suggests that there may be an issue with the connection from the van battery to the charger!

Manual here: https://www.ringautomotive.com/files/mydocs/RSCDC30 Instructions.pdf

So first thing to check is the connections to the charger. Look at page 2 and you need to get at the connections, I guess they are under the cover held by the single screw on front left? Once you can see the connections (remember it's a live system, 12v won't hurt you but can spark a bit if you short things out) make sure all the wires (probably only 4) are tight in their terminals. Check by gently pulling/wiggle one at a time to see they are tight. If they are put cover back on. Now ideally you need to follow the 2 wires from the left connections (to van battery) and make sure both the 0V is connected to battery 0V (Negative) or chassis of van. Then the other wire should go through a fuse close to the van battery and connect to 12v (Red positive terminal) of van battery. Check the fuse and the connections are tight.  If all connections and fuses are tight it could be that your van battery is on it's last legs and requiring all alternator output just to keep it's self charged.

The manual does seem to suggest that you can see how much charge and voltage are coming from van system to leisure system see page 6 section 4.3. With engine running I would expect van battery (DC input voltage) to be up at about 14.4 ish once van battery is charged (a few mins after starting van) and current should be showing a good few amps is leisure battery is low (upto 30 Amps). Again pg 6 section 4.3 using menu button you should be able to see output voltage and amps going to leisure battery. 

So maybe your leisure batteries are not getting correct charge as there is a connection issue between the van battery and charger or van battery is on it's last legs?

Might be worth getting a local auto electrician to test van battery maybe even go to Halfords and see if they can test van battery? They used to have battery 'dump' testers that would pull lots of current and see how well battery stood up to it. 

I think you need someone to look at a it as it's showing a E0 error which manual says is input voltage too low.

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Just a quick note.

A very basic guesstimate:

A shurflo  100psi pump can pull upto 8 amps. You have 2 people so 2 pumps? So say you work an 8hr day and pumps on half that time. So 2 x 8 amps x 4hrs = 64 amp hrs. OK so pumps on 50% of your day and pulling max amps might be a bit high but if you were using a 110Ah battery just using pumps probably uses close to 30% of your battery capacity!!! Add power reels pulling upto 25 amps each, so 50 amps for 1 min while you reel in say 20 times a day = about 20 Amps.

So worst guesstimates you could be pulling 84 Amps out of a battery a day! So without charging during the day I'm not surprised you battery is taking a hammering.

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I charge daily with a smart charger not a problem as I can run an extension lead out to my van.

think the ring B2B charger that waterworks supply with their systems you can add a solar panel to your roof of your van that will also help top the battery up especially the summer months. 

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2 hours ago, ched999uk said:

Just a quick note.

A very basic guesstimate:

A shurflo  100psi pump can pull upto 8 amps. You have 2 people so 2 pumps? So say you work an 8hr day and pumps on half that time. So 2 x 8 amps x 4hrs = 64 amp hrs. OK so pumps on 50% of your day and pulling max amps might be a bit high but if you were using a 110Ah battery just using pumps probably uses close to 30% of your battery capacity!!! Add power reels pulling upto 25 amps each, so 50 amps for 1 min while you reel in say 20 times a day = about 20 Amps.

So worst guesstimates you could be pulling 84 Amps out of a battery a day! So without charging during the day I'm not surprised you battery is taking a hammering.

Yep that makes sense, thanks!

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37 minutes ago, Den said:

I charge daily with a smart charger not a problem as I can run an extension lead out to my van.

think the ring B2B charger that waterworks supply with their systems you can add a solar panel to your roof of your van that will also help top the battery up especially the summer months. 

I can take the battery out to charge no problem, so even with this Ring thing I should charge every night?  Most days I do about 6 hours a day before I've had enough 🙂

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Just now, Cleanz said:

I can take the battery out to charge no problem, so even with this Ring thing I should charge every night?  Most days I do about 6 hours a day before I've had enough 🙂

It depends how many miles you drive per day, I have a Pure Freedom system that I've never bench charged a battery

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3 minutes ago, Part Timer said:

It depends how many miles you drive per day, I have a Pure Freedom system that I've never bench charged a battery

It varies, one week I might be close to home and not do much mileage and then the next I'll travel say 20 miles to an area.  Most is close to home within 5 miles

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6 minutes ago, Cleanz said:

It varies, one week I might be close to home and not do much mileage and then the next I'll travel say 20 miles to an area.  Most is close to home within 5 miles

This will be the problem. My system is on a split charger. My work is very compact. When my van was first kitted out I was told with the split charger I would not need to bench charge. But I do not do enough miles for it to work for me, so I charge the battery every other night manually with a charger. One thing I did find out when I took it to a guy is my earth wire wasn’t connected properly so he sorted that for me. It works better but my mileage is too low. Your problem sounds similar, although I use one pump, electric reel. 

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9 hours ago, Jango said:

This will be the problem. My system is on a split charger. My work is very compact. When my van was first kitted out I was told with the split charger I would not need to bench charge. But I do not do enough miles for it to work for me, so I charge the battery every other night manually with a charger. One thing I did find out when I took it to a guy is my earth wire wasn’t connected properly so he sorted that for me. It works better but my mileage is too low. Your problem sounds similar, although I use one pump, electric reel. 

Same problem for me, my work is very compact so didn’t bother was a split relay on this van, I run two pumps and two electric reels so charge every night on the drive. 

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9 hours ago, Cleanz said:

I can take the battery out to charge no problem, so even with this Ring thing I should charge every night?  Most days I do about 6 hours a day before I've had enough 🙂

If your not doing much mileage I would charge every night that’s the routine I use as we have a compact round plus two electric reels and two pumps. Little mileage will only put little energy back into your leisure battery.

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20 hours ago, ched999uk said:

Just looking at manual and it says E0 = DC input voltage too low! Didn't you say that was on the display? So that suggests that there may be an issue with the connection from the van battery to the charger!

Manual here: https://www.ringautomotive.com/files/mydocs/RSCDC30 Instructions.pdf

So first thing to check is the connections to the charger. Look at page 2 and you need to get at the connections, I guess they are under the cover held by the single screw on front left? Once you can see the connections (remember it's a live system, 12v won't hurt you but can spark a bit if you short things out) make sure all the wires (probably only 4) are tight in their terminals. Check by gently pulling/wiggle one at a time to see they are tight. If they are put cover back on. Now ideally you need to follow the 2 wires from the left connections (to van battery) and make sure both the 0V is connected to battery 0V (Negative) or chassis of van. Then the other wire should go through a fuse close to the van battery and connect to 12v (Red positive terminal) of van battery. Check the fuse and the connections are tight.  If all connections and fuses are tight it could be that your van battery is on it's last legs and requiring all alternator output just to keep it's self charged.

The manual does seem to suggest that you can see how much charge and voltage are coming from van system to leisure system see page 6 section 4.3. With engine running I would expect van battery (DC input voltage) to be up at about 14.4 ish once van battery is charged (a few mins after starting van) and current should be showing a good few amps is leisure battery is low (upto 30 Amps). Again pg 6 section 4.3 using menu button you should be able to see output voltage and amps going to leisure battery. 

So maybe your leisure batteries are not getting correct charge as there is a connection issue between the van battery and charger or van battery is on it's last legs?

Might be worth getting a local auto electrician to test van battery maybe even go to Halfords and see if they can test van battery? They used to have battery 'dump' testers that would pull lots of current and see how well battery stood up to it. 

I think you need someone to look at a it as it's showing a E0 error which manual says is input voltage too low.

I don't know how Ring works but Sterling require an extra ignition trigger wire for some vans with regenerative charging. On some vans the alternator barely puts out a charge voltage if the starter battery is above 80% full. This low voltage output isn't enough to trigger the battery 2 battery charger into life.

 

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7 hours ago, Den said:

If your not doing much mileage I would charge every night that’s the routine I use as we have a compact round plus two electric reels and two pumps. Little mileage will only put little energy back into your leisure battery.

Its the old problem. We can draw up to 30 amps a day from our leisure batteries. If we only drive short distances then that battery's charge will become more and more depleted.

My Sterling unit will push 8 to 10 amps back into my battery on the way home. If my journey is 10 minutes then in reality I have only replaced the current taken by an 1 amp and a bit. On the way back I will add another amp and a bit.

The flatter (lower charge) the leisure battery gets the higher the recharge rate it will accept. But as Numax told me, we should only recharge our batteries at around 10% of their capacity. (A 110amp leisure battery shouldn't be charged higher than 11 amps for battery longevity.) If we charge them at a higher rate then we run the risk of sending the battery to an early grave.

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