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  1. Hi! I have two 12V 230Ah domestic batteries with two large big solar panels, a beta marine 43 that seems to charge the battery well (I’m pretty sure it’s not an alternator problem). The issue is that my batteries seem to drain SO quickly. Just charging phones the level sits around 12.9ish but I can put my lights on (LED) for literally 3 minutes and my voltage will go from 12.9 to 12.2. I don’t have an inverter, I use a plug in 12v inverter to charge my laptop and I cant use that at all without the engine on. I turned my 12v fridge off at the end of summer as the days got shorter but as the suns put more the battery health seems worse than ever! The batteries are 6 years old but maybe they’re just old but I’m not sure. Any comments would be incredibly appreciated! And any advice on maintaining battery health ❤️
  2. Can anyone recommend a small freezer (preferably 12v) for a narrowboat? I have a 12v fridge with a small freezer compartment, but I'd like a little bit more freezer space. The smaller the better. I've seen tabletop/mini ones that are about 2ft square. Something even smaller again would be perfect. I only have 240V/16A coming into the boat, so the less amps it uses the better. Very confusing when most are measured in kW/hour annually. Thanks!
  3. Hi, Our 26.5ft boat only has 12v and now we fixed the fridge (loose fuse which we only discovered after disconnecting it and completely taking it off the boat 🙄) we no longer need to buy one I was thinking about the kettle. We do have a solar panel and which feeds the leisure/starter batteries and then we cope fine with the 12v cigarette lighter to charge phone, use fridge etc. Would we be better swapping the kettle we use on the gas hob for one in a cigarette lighter? The one we have seen is a 1 litre 12V / 170W cigarette lighter plug attachment one? Thanks
  4. Hi, We have just taken a plug socket off the wall (electricity off) and found it in this interesting state. Does anyone know what causes this? Could this be a future problem? To us it looks like a fire hazard so it will be coming out. No idea how old this socket is as it would have been installed before our time - potentially over six years. Thanks! Gemma pics attached
  5. Hi everyone, ive had my narrowboat for about four months and have been happily living off the leisure batteries. However I now have the opportunity to access shorepower and would like to have access to a few luxuries from time to time (like tv, or the ability to charge my laptop onboard). I have no idea what to do though. My boat has no power sockets whatsoever. As far as I know the only things that run off 12v are the lights and water pumps (shower, oven, fridge etc works off gas). there is no external socket for shorepower. I assume that in order to access shorepower I need quite a bit of work done on the boat. Can anyone explain - slowly - what I need to do? Many thanks for reading.
  6. Hello, I need some advice please - I'm slowly getting my head around things but struggling with electrics, so please excuse the very basic questions! Spent ages searching for the info, but none the wiser... I don't have an inverter on my boat, I'm currently on shore power. I'm going to leave the marina and start cc'ing. What would be the best option for being able to charge a phone sometimes & maybe plug in a radio & a lamp? I don't have any other appliances to run. There are a couple of 12v plug sockets & the rest are 240v. Can you get something to plug into the 12v socket to allow you to plug in a 240v appliance? Would one of those USB car charger things be best for the phone charging? Do they convert 12v to 240v? Basically, I don't think I need a big inverter installing, I don't need to use most of the sockets, or use much power. But I don't know a simple solution to this. Sorry if these are silly questions, I appreciate any advice
  7. Hello sailors Please can someone offer advice? After two failed ebay purchases one new refurbished and one supposedly brand new heater I have decided to put my hand in my pocket and buy this heater from a reputable supplier. Has anyone recently purchased an eberspacher that worked in the UK? It's the D5WSC 12v heater I require I'd appreciate all advice available Thanks in advance Saima
  8. Following last week's post I've dug the pump out, and after a couple of other checks fastened it straight to a leisure battery. The battery is fairly old but fully charged and holding charge (evidence - I charged it in the office about six months ago and the AVO still says 12.64 volts). A spark as I connected the battery so clearly a circuit is being completed but nothing from the pump, zilch, nada. No whirring, no hum, no smoke, not a sausage. Photo of the pump below - replacement is £25 on the internet. Simple question, is it really up to the job, or should I invest in something with more oomph? 45 foot boat, two radiators.
  9. School boy question. I want to fit some solar panels to my boat but want to check that I'm going about it correctly as I'm pretty new to working with 12V electrics. Do I or can I connect the cables from the Solar Charge controller directly to the + and - terminals on my battery bank or to the isolator terminals? I know that the best way should be to have the batteries connected to bus bars but my system doesn't have these at present, the batteries are connected to the isolator with an Adverc battery management system and a constant feed to the fridge. See photos. Also is it ok to run the 12V cables from the panels across (at 90degrees to) other electric cables (12v and 240V) in my switch cupboard? Any pointers and advice gratefully recieved.
  10. Lidl are selling inverters for £22.99 this weekend. 2 questions:- As the Cello TV on my little boat appears to be dead as a dodo, should I buy one of these inverters and buy myself a cheap little 2nd hand TV from somewhere and run it off a battery? Will I be able to connect said inverter up or does it need amazing skills and know-how wot Olive does not currently possess? (New 12v TVs appear to cost loadsa money, hence my questions). Thanks y'all Olive
  11. Hi all, We currently have 3 x 125ah leisure batteries powering the fridge, lighting (mostly LED) and water/waste pumps. The bank is charged by a single solar panel through an EPSolar MPPT charge controller. This was fine during the summer but with winter fast approaching we are finding that come the morning there isn't enough juice to power the pumps for a shower. We are mostly marina based so would like to add in a mains charger to top up the batteries once night falls. Electricity is metered so would only want to charge from shore power when necessary. Currently we achieve this by attaching a car battery charger using crocodile clips - it works but isn't a viable long term solution. The charger only has trickle or fast charge and is manually selected. I was also a little wary that I might be sending current to the solar panel instead of away from it, but it hasn't blown up yet So, my questions are: Is there such a device available that I can connect both the solar and a 240V charger to and it automatically selects which input to charge the batteries with, prioritising the solar? Maybe even with automatic health programming to allow the batteries to discharge periodically to keep them healthy? Failing that, if I just get a decent 240V charger that automatically switches charge mode, will there be any problems permanently connecting that directly to the batteries in addition to the solar, and just turn it on when required? Or should I connect them via, say, a rocker switch to manually change from solar charging or 240V charging? What fuses would be required? Can someone recommend a decent multistage 240V charger? I'm sure I'll think of something else as soon as I've posted this, but it will do for starters :-) Thanks in advance.
  12. Just looking to get a little 12v tv finally. Think 28" is going to fit my requirements but can't find any 1080p. The Cello website shows only 720p in that size yet smaller tv's with 1080, so I'm confused. Maybe its just not worth having that high a resolution on a small screen (dpi count will be very high) but then how come smaller screens are available in 1080p? Couple of sellers on ebay showing Cello tvs with 1080i (28") but when you delve into the spec they say only 720. Anyone know of a 28" 1080p 12v set or am I asking the impossible? Maybe I should just go 720 or perhaps with a 240v tv? I'll be viewing across the width of the (narrow) boat so won't be far away.
  13. Hi everyone, I've read many posts relating to this but what I have seems slightly different...but only slightly. i have just bought a boat that with the exception of having a split charge diode arrangement seemed to have its charging regime all figured out. Battery Banks: 1 port battery 12v 2 tabs battery 12v 3 house system 12v 4 diesel heater 24v both the engines appear to be put through a split charge diode to charge the house system and their respective starting batteries which Is leading to a lower voltage than I'd like which assuming is volt drop across the diode at the house system. The 24v system is charged by a 12v - 24v battery charger by sterling. The house system has a sterling inverter charger fitted. My question is what is the best set up for this so that I can charge batteries from either engine? I was originally thinking a sterling 2 input 4 output. Zero volt drop splitter....but with the battery to battery charger is that actually the best. As I have now also seen alternator to battery chargers that split the charge and claim to fully load the alternator or similar to charge quicker. I'm sure everyone has a different view based on their own ideals or good experience but would very much value your input. thanks Dave
  14. Hi there new to the community so I hope it's alright to create a new thread. The narrowboat I'm currently looking to purchase is set up with an alternator, 3 new 12v batteries, no inverter, mains cabling throughout. There is also a generator on board. I'm sorry I can't provide specifics at this point, but even general advice much appreciated. If I continue with the purchase, I'm intending on putting on 4 Renogy 100 Watts 12v Monocrystalline Solar panels and doing my best to use the engine for power as minimally as possible (going into winter I realise that the solar is not going to give much power). The current owner will also be putting on a new 12v Fridge if I go ahead with the purchase. The appliances I intend on running would be a toaster, iron, TV, record player, iMac (I already own this and not looking to replace it), Laptop charger, Mobile charger. I'll be replacing all the current lighting with LED. There is currently a Washing Machine on board but the owner says its best to remove it as its on the mains (makes sense, although I would consider keeping it if anyone could provide a realistic solution). Stove and oven will be gas, have yet to decide on a water heating system. The current gas boiler is defunct. Currently considering a new gas boiler or a back boiler for the burner (no burner currently on board looking to purchase) to fuel hot water (taps, shower) and heating (there are radiators throughout but I'm not sure if they would be necessary once I purchase the burner - she's 63'. To be clear I will not be mooring up and 'plugging in', so everything needs to be off grid power. My knowledge is limited so being completely open, I apologise if my questions appear naive any support appreciated: Is it better to consider investing in a good inverter, or should I look at transformers on an appliance by appliance basis? If primary usage was 12v, would installing an inverter affect functionality or can you run both 230v and 12v with an inverter? I'm not particularly keen to keep the generator but would anyone advise that I do and why? Instead of an inverter or transformers would anyone's opinion be that I simply run the engine (with alternator) when using non-12v appliances, and why? I want to reduce emissions and costs from over using the engine unnecessarily wherever possible. Will the current 'all mains' wiring cause any problems with purchasing 12v appliances e.g. the fridge. If I wanted to consider keeping the washing machine what would you recommend having in place? Thank you for your advice.
  15. Hello all, Unfortunately despite my best intentions I am need of some advice regarding my battery bank... I have only just become aware that I need to equalised my batteries some how this information slipped my mind during all my research and planning for my batteries. I think I thought my controller or multiplus did it automatically as its soo bloody expensive I have also been relying on my battery monitor telling my my SOC, I now understand this may not be the case. And would appreciate any advice on what I can do now... My system is: 6 x T105 Trojan 6v 225ah batteries that are just over a year old. I rarely run them below 80% and regularly check and top up water. 930w of solar and Outback FastMax controller Victron Multiplus 12/3000/120 Inverter/ Charger Victron BMV700 Battery Monitor Honda eu20i for charging This issue which recently arose... my inverted has started flashing low battery when running my washing machine on a cold wash (which used to be fine) I thought it could be the washing machine malfunctioning as it is an old one but someone said its my batteries and has lead me to learn despite me thinking I am taking good care of them perhaps I am not :/ So, I have bought a hydrometer : https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pro-Hydrovolt-HYDRO-VOLT-Lead-Acid-Battery-Hydrometer-Electrolyte-Tester/322082591860?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649 But don't really know what to do with it and would appreciate any advice, I know this is lots written about batteries and I have been reading it but any advice specific to my situation would be greatly appreciated as I don't want to do any more damage to my expensive and rather lovely batteries. Which I am hoping I haven't done too much damage too. I am going to charge my batteries now using my genny and look at the amps going into the batteries to see when a tail current (1-2% of capacity, 6.75 - 13.5amp for my 675ah battery bank) is reached this should hopefully tell me when it they reached 100% more accurately than my battery monitor. I will then run an equalisation charge, I have looked at how to switch this on with my Victron Mulitplus, I will set equalisation to 8.10v (indicated on the trojan website) I am then planing on setting my float charge (on my multiplus settings) to the same as my absorption charge 7.05 - 7.35 as this will bring my batts to 100% state of charge quicker when I am charging as I only charge using a generator I will not leave it running on float for very long. If I have made any errors please let me know, thanks again for any advice. Martin
  16. Hi, hoping someone can advise. My 12v is wired in with 12mm cable. Recently turned it on for the first time since it was put it. When the engine is running or the sun is shining directly on the solar panel, it runs. Now the sun is going down the red light is flashing indicating a voltage drop. I've measure the voltage and it is 11.9 whereas the batteries read 12.9. The question is, instead of taking the cable out and replacing it with thicker cable, can I double up and run another 6mm piece of cable alongside? Thanks, Jo
  17. Hi I like cooking and I've got myself a nice new New World 55cm LPG cooker which is great. I've only been living aboard for getting on for 3 weeks and so far, I've been eating flippin' ready meals! Admittedly, we have a fantastic new chef at work and her food is irresistible so I'm actually eating well - too well! Thing is, when I was living on the boring old land, I used to cook up some seriously good meals. And, because in a former life I used to cook for between 5 and 10 people on a regular basis, I used to make meals in kind of 8-portion quantities (I know what the quantity of all ingredients is for 8 people). I did the same for the last 3 years when I was living on my own. I'd eat one, stick one in the fridge and 6 portions in the freezer. So, at any one time, I'd have maybe 12-15 meals in the freezer of 4 or 5 different cuisines - couple of spectacular chilli's, a belting curry or two, utterly delicious creamy chicken, bacon and garlic casseroles, humdinging beef in red wine and maybe a warming goulash, lasagne or hotpot. So, I want to do the same on my nb. Luckily, there was a 12v fridge on board when I bought my boat but it only has a weedy ice box. I want to go out and about on the cut quite often, so it would seem that a 12v freezer is the only option to keep my meals frozen whilst on the move. I don't really have the room (or budget!) for a standard under-counter or top-of-counter freezer, so I'm looking at maybe a Waeco portable chap like this... http://www.minicoolers.co.uk/products/waeco/cf26.htm Whilst this is still expensive, it's a couple of hundred sovs cheaper than, say, a Shoreline under-counter freezer and will probably just about have the capacity that I'm after. So, does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions either regarding this model or alternatives? Cheers Adam
  18. Does anyone have any experience with IBS inverters? At £1,764 inc VAT for a 1600W PSW it seems good value and it can handle starting loads up to 4.5kW. I particularly like the fact that it can power a Nespresso! http://www.tbruk.com/us16012v--us16024v-inverter-4753-p.asp It's made in Switzerland.
  19. Hi, Has anyone got any of these ceiling lights from Midland Chandlers? We have some 'bare' SMD strips at the moment which are great light output but very ugly, and are about to re-fit, so thinking of replacement options. Without trying them out it's hard to gauge how much light they throw and where (what sort of pattern). http://www.midlandchandlers.co.uk/Products/Lighting/CeilingBulkheadLights/LED.aspx Cheers, Patrick
  20. Can anybody help me? When we woke up yesterday the newish 12v fridge and shower pump wouldn't work and when the water pump ran all the lights dimmed. Our batteries are less than a year old and the engine was new in February (Beta 38). The batteries seem to charge up normally when the engine is running but as soon as the water pump runs the power drops right down and the lights flicker. To make things more confusing even when the gauges state that the battery power is really low, the Victron inverter still works. I thought the shower pump might have been the cause so I replaced the impellor but still no joy. I've disconned the fridge and replaced a 15A fuse in the engine bay but the wiring looks so confusing I don't know where to start. Please help an electrically challenged bumbler if you can.
  21. Hi there, I'm about to buy a boat which has been fitted out (electrics-wise) for shore power, with loads of 240v plug sockets everywhere, TVs, Kettles etc, but we don't anticipate or want to be hooked up at all. What I was wondering was if anyone has had experience in changing this sort of setup over to a 12v, battery-based setup, and what challenges they faced whilst doing so. Is it just a case of removing the external hookup point, connecting the internal wiring to the existing 12v loop (which runs the cabin lights etc) and replacing the 240v sockets with 12v ones? Maybe keep one or two and run through a separate, inverter-containing loop from the battery bank? I don't expect it to be that easy but hopefully it won't mean ripping the walls apart! Cheers, Alistair
  22. Hello, Looking for some advice on a 12 v fridge. It was working last summer. I disconnected it from the 12v power over the winter but it now doesn't seem to be working. I didn't buy it, it came with my boat and it seems to be made by 'The Fridge People'. When I connect it up to the power it makes a sound like it's starting up and the right light flashes on momentarily and then it dies. Every minute or so it tries again to power up but fails. It is quite old but it was working perfectly when I disconnected it last autumn. Do you think there's hope for it or should I get rid of it and look for a new fridge- big expense! Thanks Jo
  23. Hello folks - I'm 'noodling out 'what I need for a change from living as a ccer on my own to a ccer with a boat that will have up to 4 people (1 baby) and one 10 year old part time. - I'm getting my 45ft boat extended to 58ft. My 3 way fridge has come to the end of its life A washing machine would be good I'm not familiar with the maths I need to do to work out what my system can cope with and accordingly what else I need What I have 3 80 watt solar panels 3 105ah leisure batteries A small alternator (I cant remember its output, its for a 3 pot sole diesel, I just remember someone who saw the boat commenting that it didn't have a great output) A small inverter (too small) I have LED lights, a pump for the radiator, gas cooker, obvs water pump for shower, occasionally watch a film on an LED TV, and a laptop. My MPPT controller can have 1 more solar panel at 80watts I think I can make room for 1 more leisure battery. A generator and compressor fridge is too expensive. So what Id like to be possible - is a conventional in house sized fridge & washing machine, new energy efficient. A new Inverter (2kw big enough?) - If required a 4th leisure battery and solar panel. Is there an idiots guide to working this stuff out, so I can really sus what I need/what's possible? Thanks Martin
  24. Fridge compressors are available as 240V ac. or 12/24V dc. so ............... can a 240V ac. fridge compressor be readily adapted to run on 12V dc? I'm told many 240V ac. electrical contraptions such as TV's can be made to run on 12v dc. hence the reason for the question. I suspect the answer is no but I'm purely clockwork and the electrickery stuff I leave to others.
  25. Hi all, I have spent the weekend fitting lights in the living areas of my boat, ready to be wired up once they're all in position. However I have so far been unable to find a 12v switch that looks like a normal light switch. So my question to the good people of the forum: Can I use a standard mains (240v) light switch wired up to the lights? In my googling I have seen people say that you should down-rate the switch by 50% to be on the safe side, so a switch rated at 10 amps with 240v AC should be considered ok for 5 amps with 12v DC. I have also seen people mention the contacts becoming corroded in the switch is used with DC and others say this should be fine. Also will this cause an issue for BSS? I will trawl through the documentation but if someone says "no, you cannot do this" it'll save me a lot of time! If I shouldn't use a standard light switch, does anyone know where I can get 12v switches that look like normal ones you'd find in a house? Thanks in advance!
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