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Reducing Parasitic Amp Draw


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I am trying to get my 2002 Signature coach to be as 12 volt energy efficient as possible.  Since I recently installed a Samsung RF18 residential fridge I need more 12 volt power.  So I did a major electrical system upgrade replacing the original 3000 watt Trace inverter inverter and lead acid batteries with 600 AH of LifeP04 batteries, Victron 3000 watt inverter, a  Victron BMV Smart battery monitor, and a Victron 30 amp DC To Dc charger.  I also have 800 watts of solar power.  The system is working great but if the sun doesn't shine I have to run the generator more than I like when we are not staying in a campground with power.

The coach has always been drawing around 30 amps per day from the house batteries when the House mains switch is turned off.  That seems like a lot of power loss to me and I'm not sure where it is going.   Is this is norm? What could be causing this?  Could this be the smoke detector and a propane detector at work?  The chassis batteries seem to have about a half amp draw as well. The security system, basement door solenoid locking system and the Trip Tech system have never worked since I purchased the coach.  No basement lights on!

The house amp draw increases to over four amps an hour when I turn on the salesman switch, and that's before anything that it controls is turned on.  So when using the coach there is approximately a 42 amp draw per day before any of the other systems start drawing from the batteries.  The Inverter is off.

I realize there are two solenoids that the salesman switch activates in the rear high current bay.   I measured about a two amp draw from them alone.  I have tried bypassing these two solenoids and still have a couple of amps drain.   Is there another type of relay that I could use to eliminate the continuous amp draw of the solenoids? I like the convenience of the salesman switch. 

I'm looking for suggestions on what others have done to decrease their parasitic amp draw.

Thanks,

JJ

John J

2002 Monaco Signature 40

 

 

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Blue Sea Systems makes a magnetic latching relay with remote control that could replace your salesman switch and solenoids.  I have not put them in myself but have looked at using them to reduce energy loss.

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JJ, When everything is off (not salesmen switch) I have about 4.5 amp draw. I only have 400ah of lithium and the Victron MultiPlus II, 700 W of solar. I full time and it works fine also running my JC converted Norcold 1200 with a 120 volt compressor.

 

Stephen do you get 35 Psi of boost with your Banks Power Pack?

Tim

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I believe I see boost in the 30's while climbing hills but pay closer attention to the rpm and EGT gauge.  I have only had the coach for about 18 months and am still getting used to driving the "Beast". So far power has not been a problem, but with fuel prices the way they are I will be backing off the throttle a little more.

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Yes  I have been following your story as we have similar engine setups.  I still have the 4" exhaust system and just replaced the muffler recently.  We will be heading out in a couple days and I will watch the boost a little closer.  How would you adjust the boost on the banks system?

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Posted (edited)

Our 2000 Sig is discharging 0.7 Amp with main battery switch On, both salesmen bypassed and turned Off. Nothing else turned ON. Even an open door adds an amp until the light goes Off.

Well, nothing On except permanently wired couple of digital fan thermostats,  Bluetooth battery monitor, wired shunt monitor, Bluetooth solar Controller, MicroAir, Amp-L maintainer and battery pulse box, bedroom clock and then the usual Lpg/Co2 monitors....so it adds up. This is observed in absolute darkness so solar is not involved but still alive.

Edited by Ivan K
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33 minutes ago, StephenW said:

Yes  I have been following your story as we have similar engine setups.  I still have the 4" exhaust system and just replaced the muffler recently.  We will be heading out in a couple days and I will watch the boost a little closer.  How would you adjust the boost on the banks system?

Stephen, This is the answer I got from Banks when I asked. "If you lengthen the rod on the actuator two full turns, the wastegate will open sooner reducing boost about 5 PSI." Where are you heading out from and are going north?

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Tim-AZ, Thanks for the info on the Banks turbo.  Heading from home in Astoria Oregon to meet grandkids and friends to camp in the central Willamette valley.

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7 hours ago, Ivan K said:

Our 2000 Sig is discharging 0.7 Amp with main battery switch On, both salesmen bypassed and turned Off. Nothing else turned ON. Even an open door adds an amp until the light goes Off.

Well, nothing On except permanently wired couple of digital fan thermostats,  Bluetooth battery monitor, wired shunt monitor, Bluetooth solar Controller, MicroAir, Amp-L maintainer and battery pulse box, bedroom clock and then the usual Lpg/Co2 monitors....so it adds up. This is observed in absolute darkness so solar is not involved but still alive.

Ivan K.-thanks for you information-It is interesting to hear about your .7amp draw when the main battery is on and the salesman switch off.  That's about the same as my 2002 Signature. It is .7 amps sometimes and the goes to one amp other times.  I think that's probably a normal situation with my coach. 

In my testing, I found a strange situation with one of the salesman solenoids' output connection.  The  2ga red wire that is connected to its output side has a constant connection to the house battery, regardless if the solenoid is on or off.  I originally thought this was a feed to the front run bay.  I temporally disconnected this 2ga red wire from that solenoid output side and found that has had no effect on any circuits. I can not figure out what it is for.   I traced it's power source,  but not its connection to a 2ga red wire in the battery compartment that comes of the main house battery through an automatic circuit breaker that is connected before the main house battery cut-off switch.  ( I've enclosed a photo for the source in the battery bay)  This must be  the source for the circuits that are not effected by the main house battery cut-off switch.  To complete my testing I removed the red 2ga wire from the automatic circuit breaker and this disconnected the suspect 2ga wire from the salesman switch and also disabled the operation of the bedroom slide.

Do you have any insight to whats going on there?

JJ

John J

2002 Signature 40IMG-3913.thumb.JPG.8dbcabf93d61fe67465480d62fb83617.JPGIMG-3913.thumb.JPG.8dbcabf93d61fe67465480d62fb83617.JPG

 

 

I have had my Signature for about 6 month and it's turned out to be more of a fixer upper than I was expecting...   That said, it has resulted in putting in a lot of time getting an understand of how all  the systems work.  I enjoy the challenge and still have a ton of questions

 

Thanks you guys for your replies. 

I have removed all the fuses one at a time in the front run bay and house fuse panel in my search finding no difference. 

I am considering using the Blue Seas ACR switch once I finish figure whats going on with the second salesman switch solenoid output wire that currently has no apparent function.

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Posted (edited)

For the Salesman switches…

I had two solenoids as well, first I just bypassed them by putting a wire from one side to another.  On my rig, one switch goes to my house fuse panel, the other goes to my front run bay - it runs the dash 12v fans- plus other stuff.

Now I have replaced them with Victron smart BP-65 (battery protect 65 amps).  I believe this is the best item to replace them with. 

First they have a very low draw.

Second, if the battery is getting low they shut down. I have them set to shutdown at 11.8v and 11.6v. (They will automatically restart about 12.3v).  This should help extend the residential fridge run time (inverter stays on longer) if for some reason the batteries are going flat. I think the inverter will cut-off about 11.4v and the lithium bms cuts off at 11.0v.

Third, one other nice thing is I can still switch them on/off - just use the Victron connect app. 
 

I have 1220w of solar and a 540ah diy battery & have never ran it that far down. (Except when doing the initial  capacity test - need to do another to see how batteries are doing after a year).

Good Luck. 

Edited by Rocketman3
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John J, I looked at my charts to be sure and there is nothing to feed the output of salesman solenoids with them turned Off on mine. I do not have rear slides and the front one runs of chassis (hydraulic pump) and it's valves from house but not through salesman. The only thing that is bypassing the main switch is the solar charger (gas detectors are not shown there). And yes, one solenoid is for the front run bay, domestic power side, the other for interior fuse box. I don't know if you might have latching solenoids that would include a pair of 87a relays which could pass voltage and some minimum current from one live solenoid to the other through their coil, I do not. I don't understand how disconnecting the left hand solenoid's output would have no effect in the FRB, house/domestic side of it without some hacking.

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The only thing I can add to what is already said is:  I have a 02 Dip w/6 AGM batteries and lots of solar.  Several years ago I ran a Directv dish plus a Hughnet dish.  I wanted to shut off my parasite draw so I installed a remote on/off switch (like one would use for Xmas lights). I plugged the remote switch into the normal 120v outlet in the front overhead compartment. I then plugged a 6 outlet power strip for the right side and then plugged another 6 outlet power strip into the first one for the left side.  Now all have to do is turn the remote switch off and kill ALL electric (TV, satellite, VCR, etc) so no parasites' loss.  Ken Parsons

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Thanks you guys for your replies. 

I have removed all the fuses one at a time in the front run bay and house fuse panel in my search finding no difference. 

I am considering using the Blue Seas ACR switch once I finish figure whats going on with the second salesman switch solenoid output wire that currently has no apparent function.

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Ivan K-I think I might have cracked the situation with the second solenoid's output 2 ga. wire being energized.  I was looking in my FR Bay and noticed there is a jumper wire between the two input feed posts for the House fuse blocks.  It seems to me that they are not supposed to be jumped together like that, and that is why I have current on the output wire of the salesman solenoid.  Can any of you verify my thoughts about the jumper.  I have enclosed a photo of the inputs to the FR Bay.  I'm guessing  the previous owner probably jumped these together to get more starting wire capacity for starting the generator as it used to be started by the house batteries.  One of the first things I did after getting the coach was to add an addition battery to the chassis bank and change the wiring for the generator over to the chassis batteries.

Back to the parasitic amp draw---

Really appreciate  the info on the Victron battery BP65 to replace the salesman solenoids.  I think I would probably go with the 100 amp version just to have plenty of capacity.  I think I would get the non-Bluetooth models and just hook the trigger wire to the existing salesman switch at the dash.  The Bluetooth for my Victron Orion 30 amp DC to DC charger is in the back of the coach and it's looses connection when I'm in the front of the coach so its frustrating to uses.

Ken-I really like the remote control Christmas tree light switch controller idea.

Off to work on the coach now.

Thank you and All The Best,

JJ

John J

Signature 40

JJs Signature Batteries .jpg

FR Bay house feed  wiring.jpg

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Posted (edited)
On 5/25/2022 at 8:40 AM, jjroxus said:

Ivan K.-thanks for you information-It is interesting to hear about your .7amp draw when the main battery is on and the salesman switch off.  That's about the same as my 2002 Signature. It is .7 amps sometimes and the goes to one amp other times.  I think that's probably a normal situation with my coach. 

In my testing, I found a strange situation with one of the salesman solenoids' output connection.  The  2ga red wire that is connected to its output side has a constant connection to the house battery, regardless if the solenoid is on or off.  I originally thought this was a feed to the front run bay.  I temporally disconnected this 2ga red wire from that solenoid output side and found that has had no effect on any circuits. I can not figure out what it is for.   I traced it's power source,  but not its connection to a 2ga red wire in the battery compartment that comes of the main house battery through an automatic circuit breaker that is connected before the main house battery cut-off switch.  ( I've enclosed a photo for the source in the battery bay)  This must be  the source for the circuits that are not effected by the main house battery cut-off switch.  To complete my testing I removed the red 2ga wire from the automatic circuit breaker and this disconnected the suspect 2ga wire from the salesman switch and also disabled the operation of the bedroom slide.

Do you have any insight to whats going on there?

JJ

John J

2002 Signature 40IMG-3913.thumb.JPG.8dbcabf93d61fe67465480d62fb83617.JPG

 

I have had my Signature for about 6 month and it's turned out to be more of a fixer upper than I was expecting...   That said, it has resulted in putting in a lot of time getting an understand of how all  the systems work.  I enjoy the challenge and still have a ton of questions

 

Thanks you guys for your replies. 

I have removed all the fuses one at a time in the front run bay and house fuse panel in my search finding no difference. 

I am considering using the Blue Seas ACR switch once I finish figure whats going on with the second salesman switch solenoid output wire that currently has no apparent function.

On my 03 dynasty, that circuit breaker connected straight to the battery feeds the ‘domestic hot’ fuse block in the front electrical bay. It’s the bank of fuses to your right as you look into the electrical bay. 

With the halogen lights eliminated, I don’t think the house loads would ever exceed 50a, so the two solenoids are way overkill. A solid state relay like Rocketman suggested would be pretty slick... and anything bigger than the 65a model he suggested would be overkill.

My original configuration involved one latching relay that cascaded to a continuous relay. After swapping out the 70-80 amps worth of halogen ceiling heaters, I was able to remove the continuous solenoid and put all the salesman-loads through the one KIB latching relay (rated at 60-65a I think). You've got house lights, water pump and a few other things, so there's really not much of a load on the salesman switch once the halogens are gone.

Each of your continuous solenoids draws about 750ma , so that simple change would save at least 36amp-hours per day right there. 

Good quality DC clamp meters are kind of expensive, but a really great tool for figuring out where your current is going. 

Cheers,

Walter

Edited by wamcneil
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Posted (edited)

John, I only have 1 cable coming in from the rear plate, the one with the copper bar. That bar jumps it to generator and hydraulic pump power cables. I don't have the lower pair of cables with the jumper in your picture, so no idea what they are for.

IMG_20220526_112939437_HDR.jpg

Also I have no PCB, just simple straight cables and terminal blocks with fuses so things got different in 02. I like simplicity...

Edited by Ivan K
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, jjroxus said:

Ivan K-I think I might have cracked the situation with the second solenoid's output 2 ga. wire being energized.  I was looking in my FR Bay and noticed there is a jumper wire between the two input feed posts for the House fuse blocks.  It seems to me that they are not supposed to be jumped together like that, and that is why I have current on the output wire of the salesman solenoid.  Can any of you verify my thoughts about the jumper.  I have enclosed a photo of the inputs to the FR Bay.  I'm guessing  the previous owner probably jumped these together to get more starting wire capacity for starting the generator as it used to be started by the house batteries.  One of the first things I did after getting the coach was to add an addition battery to the chassis bank and change the wiring for the generator over to the chassis batteries.

 

 

FR Bay house feed  wiring.jpg

I think you're right. I've got that same arrangement, but I do NOT have the lower jumper wire. The top terminals connected by the bar are chassis and feed the generator and hydraulic pumps.

The lower terminals I believe are Domestic Hot and switched domestic. And if so, those should NOT be jumpered together. One is always hot and the other comes through a salesman relay. 

See attached wiring diagram. You should be able to trace wires coming from the terminals to the fuse panels that they feed. 

 

p131.jpg

Edited by wamcneil
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There is something quite wrong with that kind of amp draw.  Thirty Amps is excessive.  How are you measuring it?  I have the Victron equipment too, and using the CCGX, it shows the current (wattage) used by 12 VDC circuits (lights, and CO/Propane Monitors, etc.) and 110 VAC circuits powered by the inverter (when in inverter mode - no shore power).  

First, shut off the inverter AC at the Inverter Sub-Panel.  This should kill all the 110 VAC circuits powered by the inverter.  That means the resulting current is due to 12 VDC circuits.  This should below 5 Amps, unless you are powering other items off the 12 VDC circuits.  In my case I have my MiFi, Router, WiFi Amp, along with cell phone chargers connected to 12 VDC and they continuously draw current along with the installed safety monitors mentioned above, and the inverter iteself.  What current do you have in this case?

Next, turn on the Main Inverter breaker in the Inverter Sub Panel.  Turn off all the individual breakers in the Sub Panel (Galley, Bath, Bedroom, Dinette, Main Salon, Entertainment, etc.).  Measure any change in total current.  There should not be any.  Next, one at a time, turn on each circuit breaker and note the change in current.  This will help identify the circuit(s) that are drawing power.  In my case, the Entertainment breaker alone has over 8 Amps - due to the standby current of 3 TVs, DVD, Roku, Dish Hopper (the biggest draw since it is ready to record at any time), A/V Amplifier, etc.  The Microwave circuit may have an amp to run the display.  You likely have several things plugged in that you don't realize are drawing current because you are not actively "using" them.  Go through each breaker and not the individual currents.  

Now you can start chasing down the offending devices.  If it is due to 110 VAC circuits, you can start by unplugging everything on that circuit to see what is the contributing offender(s).  If it is the 12 VDC side that is the major offender, you can start pulling fuses for the domestic 12 VDC circuits.  That Fuse Box is likely in a Bedroom Closet/upper cabinet, or possibly the Bathroom.  Note any current change when you pull each fuse.  This will narrow down the circuit.  Then you'll have to do you own investigation as to what is on the fused circuit drawing excess current.  

Hope this helps.

  -Rick N.

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Got caught up in the weekend so haven't had a chance to get back to my project.  In addition to the holiday, it was our 50th wedding anniversary-busy busy and no coach work...

I did disconnect that jumper wire situation in the FRB.  That solved the issue with power at the solenoid output when the solenoid was off.  Now that salesman solenoid is acting the way it should.  Thanks Ivan K.

I decided to go with two of the Victron BP- 65's to replace the two salesman solenoids.  Thanks Rocketman3 for PB65 tip and, wamcneil for your insight and drawings!.

Yes I was referring to a daily amp draw of 30 amp hours and I do have a good clamp on meter for testing.

The Victron Bp 65's arrived yesterday so hopefully I can get back to the project and get the old salesman solenoids replaced with new Bp65's today or tomorrow.

I have a question for Rocketman3 concerning hooking up the Victron BP 65.   I am assuming that the ground (negative) wire on the BP 65 is going to purple salesman switch wire to provide the ground connection for operation.  I this how you configured the switch?

More to follow.

John J

2002 Signature

 

 

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I took the ground wires to the ground bar in the rear run bay (about 3’ to the left in my rig) and I just “abandon” the salesman switch wire (and ignore the actual switch).  If I need it switched on or off - I use the Victron app. 

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Thanks for that.

 

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I finished removing the two old salesman solenoids and replaced them with two Victron BP65-non smart switches.  I didn’t use the smart versions of the switch with Bluetooth as I have another Victron Smart device in that vicinity (Victron Orion 30 amp Dc-Dc charger) and the Bluetooth signal does not dependably reach the cockpit area.  The good news is the parasitic amp draw dropped down to about one amp hour or less.  So that is great!  It was above 3 amp hours before the upgrade.  Thanks again Rocketman3!

One caveat is that the old salesman switch is not usable to turn the BP 65’s on/off.  So at present they are activated all the time. That seems to be fine.  I was hoping to still be able to use the salesman switch to turn off the power to the lighting, etc. when not on the coach.  The Victron BP-65’s require a two wire switch to interrupt the 12 volt signal control wire.  I tried to use the salesman switch purple wire as the main ground for the BP-65’s, but they did not like that and showed an E1 error code message.  The salesman switch purple wire is a ground connection switch. On my 2002 Signature it shows about 100 ohms of resistance when activated. So it is not a good ground.  At the end of the day, if I want to use the BP-65’s as a switch, I will need to run a new two wire connection to the salesman switch at the dash.  I will do that at a later date…

On to the next project-repair or replacing the ignition switch.

Thanks to everyone for their insights….
John J

16E7B43C-CE83-48C5-ADDA-F3287B8690D0.jpeg

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