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Switching off battery isolator when away from boat


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Hi all,

 

If I'm away from the boat for a few days (no shore power), and I wont be around to monitor that the batteries are staying topped up via solar, is it best practice to fully charge them, then turn them off at the isolator before I leave? Will they stay charged when switched off like this (no draw on power)? Or do they slowly discharge regardless? Is it better to leave them on, but have nothing drawing power (inverter off, all 12v electrics off etc)?

 

Thank you!

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Where are your solar panels connected?  Straight onto the batteries? In which case turn off the isolator.

 

If they connect on the output, boat,  side of the isolator, then you need to disconnect the panels from the solar controller first or it may do the controller damage.

 

Think if your bilge pump stays live on auto when you isolate the batteries.

 

Alarm still connected? 

Edited by Tracy D'arth
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I leave mine masters and solar on when I leave the boat, inverter and all 12v usb sockets lights etc off.

I have left it for months like that.

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4 minutes ago, Loddon said:

I leave mine masters and solar on when I leave the boat, inverter and all 12v usb sockets lights etc off.

I have left it for months like that.

Ah interesting. So if it's getting a bit of sun during the day, and nothing is drawing power, it should stay fairly topped up? Just don't understand if batteries discharge (slowly) by themselves with no power draw or not...

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12 minutes ago, Pie Eater said:

I always turn off my starter battery but leave the leisure ones on as my bilge pump connects to them.

I didn't fit my bulge pump but it is connected to be switched on manually via the isolator but the automatic circuit is direct to the batteries.  

Edited by Ianws
Autocorrect spelling.
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44 minutes ago, thingsweregood said:

Ah interesting. So if it's getting a bit of sun during the day, and nothing is drawing power, it should stay fairly topped up? Just don't understand if batteries discharge (slowly) by themselves with no power draw or not...

Batteries do self  discharge but at a very low rate, less than even the smallest panel puts out. I have a spare battery for the caravan in my garage that will still be at 12.7v after 6 months sitting there with nothing connected.

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I tend to leave my isolators switched on, mainly because it's a hassle to get under the deckboards every time when leaving the boat. Been leaving them switched on for many years. I think it's more important to make sure the domestic water pump is off and the gas is isolated.

Edited by blackrose
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I leave it on usually, but I live aboard and go away frequently. If I were away for a longer period, and especially in winter, I'd switch it off to avoid problems like water leaks resulting in 800L of water in the bilge. I really need to add a switch for the water pump...

 

My next project is to install a Cerbo GX to allow remote monitoring and control.

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Isolators off. I don't want there to be anything that's not critical able to drain my batteries whilst away from the boat. Fully charged batteries in decent condition will be happy enough for may weeks that way. With solar connected, mine stay floating even in winter.

 

I believe the bilge pump is one of the BSS exceptions that can bypass the isolator. 

  • Greenie 1
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Another reason for leaving mine on is that I can then fire up the heating remotely so its warm when we arrive and it txts me and tells me if battery has dropped below a 80%, also the shore power, temperature and charger status.

Must move the water pump switch from under the bed so I can reach it ;)

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7 minutes ago, Loddon said:

Another reason for leaving mine on is that I can then fire up the heating remotely so its warm when we arrive and it txts me and tells me if battery has dropped below a 80%, also the shore power, temperature and charger status.

Must move the water pump switch from under the bed so I can reach it ;)

What system do you have for heating? And what do you use to control it remotely?

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I have an Eberspacher and I use a "GSM switch" based on a mobile phone chip just send it a txt to turn it on and one to turn it off.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GSM-Alarm-Auto-Speech-Dialler-2G-3G-4G-UK-manufactured-/273017621323?

On the new one there are other commands such as status, signal strength, it also sends me repirts from 4 inputs.

I have the old one that only does on and off gathering dust in my workshop. ;)

 

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22 minutes ago, Loddon said:

I have an Eberspacher and I use a "GSM switch" based on a mobile phone chip just send it a txt to turn it on and one to turn it off.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GSM-Alarm-Auto-Speech-Dialler-2G-3G-4G-UK-manufactured-/273017621323?

On the new one there are other commands such as status, signal strength, it also sends me repirts from 4 inputs.

I have the old one that only does on and off gathering dust in my workshop. ;)

 

Woah this is cool as hell. My webasto might have kicked the bucket (waiting on someone to check it out to confirm) so if I end up replacing it, I should get one of these put in at the same time.

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