Hanvey Mobile Grooming Studios
Is my van charging the bank while I'm driving?
Alternator Cable Circuit Breaker Reset
"I don't think my van is charging while I'm driving or parked and the engine is in idle. How do I fix this?
A test you need to do...
1. Make sure the van is NOT running.
2. Turn on the inverter.
3. What is your DC volt reading on the inverter control panel? This voltage can range from 11-13 volts. Write down this number.
4. Start the van engine
5. Wait about a
minute and check the voltage reading again.
Results and What To Do.
Engine on and voltage goes up. Wonderful! The van's alternator is charging the battery bank when the engine is running! Let me explain...
If the voltage goes up any amount, the alternator is charging the battery bank. If the voltage goes up at all, both circuit breakers are OK but still do a visual inspection of the circuit breakers to make sure they are set properly and not "Tripped". You are ready to go back to work.
Engine on and voltage does NOT change. Oooops! The alternator may not be charging the bank.
If the voltage does not go up, two things may be happening.
1. The batteries may already have a pretty good charge on them (green or yellow light) and they don't need much charging voltage.
2. The alternator may not be charging the battery bank. Before we conclude that the alternator is not charging the bank, try the test again when the battery power is in the red. Since it appears that the alternator is not charging, check both alternator cable circuit breakers tp make sure they are not tripped and stopping the flow of power from the alternator to the bank. See below for pictures and details on the circuit breaker.
During hot weather a "False Trip" of the engine compartment alternator circuit breaker is possible and does happen on rare occasions.
These breakers can also trip if the alternator cable has shorted out to the vans body somewhere along the cable. In most cases a "short" is very unlikely due to the heavy duty insulation on the cable. If the circuit breaker will not reset, inspect the cable from front to back by following the cable starting at the front battery breaker to the battery bank breaker to find the short or damaged portion of the cable. If damage is found call for details on repair.
Circuit Breaker Picture Help
This is what the circuit breaker should look like when it is NOT tripped and properly "set" to allow a running van to charge the battery bank while you are driving.
The next picture... The alternator can NOT charge the battery bank if it looks like the picture below. A "Tripped" circuit breaker will look like this:
One of these circuit breakers is located just above the battery in the engine compartment.
A second circuit breaker in mid-year 2006 and older conversions is located under the bumper on the passenger side, beside the battery bank.
Mid-year 2006 and newer units have this circuit breaker located on the sidewall near the passenger side back door near the van's tail light(inside).
Make sure both circuit breakers are reset to assure alternator charging of the battery bank.
Approved 3/5/07 CLH