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Old 11-07-2019, 04:14 PM   #1
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2004 Thor Four Winds: Water heater killed my battery in 2 days

Hi All,

When I park my RV at home, I have the electric connected to my home 15amp output, and I have the battery connected switch set to on (this suppose to charge the car battery).

However, the battery died in 2 days. I finally learned that, if I pull out the electric connector wires that support electric to the water heater (shown in the attached images), the battery would be okay.

Apparently, the water heater uses the battery in a bad way, even though that I did not turn on the water heater.

How do I stop this from draining the battery?
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:20 PM   #2
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when you place the house battery switch to "use" it closes the relay to power 12 volt throughout the RV. The water heater's control circuits, and also things like the fridge will use 12V power even if you are cooling using propane.
There are tons of parasites in the RV.

That said, if you have it plugged in, even to a 15 amp circuit, the converter will be powering the 12 volt loads and charging the house battery as needed too.

My guess is that your converter isn't powered up. Could be a breaker or fuse problem...or could be a bad converter I suppose....

Or it could be a bad battery too, just not taking a charge
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:11 PM   #3
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Thanks,

Do you know where is the converter located, or what does it look like?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Never mind, I located the converter box. Pardon me for stupid questions.

The box looks okay to me. Is there a way to check if the fuses and the circuit breaker are good?

I am also confused. My RV has two batteries: One is for the Chevy motor. And the other one is located next to the onan generater. The battery for the Chevy motor is dead, but the battery for the onan gen is fine. Why would the water heater use the power from the car battery? Why doesn't it use the other battery instead?

Thanks
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dqninh View Post
Hi All,

When I park my RV at home, I have the electric connected to my home 15amp output, and I have the battery connected switch set to on (this suppose to charge the car battery).

However, the battery died in 2 days. I finally learned that, if I pull out the electric connector wires that support electric to the water heater (shown in the attached images), the battery would be okay.

Apparently, the water heater uses the battery in a bad way, even though that I did not turn on the water heater.

How do I stop this from draining the battery?
I'm not entirely sure that what you think is happening actually is. But first, how exactly did you discover that disconnecting a couple of wires, in a completely unrelated area, was causing/fixing the problem?
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:04 PM   #5
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Your CAR battery is called the Chassis battery. The battery near the gen is called the House battery. The WH uses 12 volts only for a control circuit from the house battery. The WH is powered by Gas and/or 120 volt Electric. Your converter will provide 12 volts to lighting and charge your House battery when hooked to shore power. I do not know if the Converter charges the chassis battery. But I do know the 12 volt control circuit should not drain the chassis battery because the WH is not on and using any voltage from the DC circuit.

Only one circuit breaker is involved here. That would be the one labeled WH. BUT the 120 volt electric is NOT in play here. Check fuses and breakers with with a multi-meter. Breakers are 120 volts AC. Fuses are 12 volts DC.

Pull the Chassis battery and have it Load Tested at an auto parts store before you waste a lot of time.

What made you start disconnecting wires? What wires did you disconnect? The WH does NOT use voltage from the Chassis battery.
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Squerly View Post
I'm not entirely sure that what you think is happening actually is. But first, how exactly did you discover that disconnecting a couple of wires, in a completely unrelated area, was causing/fixing the problem?

Thank you for reply. The Chassis battery (labeled 04/2018) keep dying, I have to jump start it if I leave the RV for 2, 3 days. I finally remember when I bought it, the previous owner had the wire disconnected (in the red circle). So I disconnected the wire, and the problem is gone.
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cavie View Post
Your CAR battery is called the Chassis battery. The battery near the gen is called the House battery. The WH uses 12 volts only for a control circuit from the house battery. The WH is powered by Gas and/or 120 volt Electric. Your converter will provide 12 volts to lighting and charge your House battery when hooked to shore power. I do not know if the Converter charges the chassis battery. But I do know the 12 volt control circuit should not drain the chassis battery because the WH is not on and using any voltage from the DC circuit.

Only one circuit breaker is involved here. That would be the one labeled WH. BUT the 120 volt electric is NOT in play here. Check fuses and breakers with with a multi-meter. Breakers are 120 volts AC. Fuses are 12 volts DC.

Pull the Chassis battery and have it Load Tested at an auto parts store before you waste a lot of time.

What made you start disconnecting wires? What wires did you disconnect? The WH does NOT use voltage from the Chassis battery.

Thank you for the information. it's really helpfull.

The Chassis battery (labeled 04/2018) keep dying, I have to jump start it if I leave the RV for 2, 3 days. I finally remember when I bought it, the previous owner had the wire disconnected (in the red circle I drew on the picture. It has 3 wires). So I disconnected the connection, and the problem is gone.

Also, when the Chassis battery is dead, all house led lights are gone. But I still can start the generator (is the house battery help to start the gen?). After the Chassis battery is recharged, the lights are on again. That tell me, somehow all lights in the house are using the Chassis battery.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dqninh View Post
Thank you for the information. it's really helpfull.

The Chassis battery (labeled 04/2018) keep dying, I have to jump start it if I leave the RV for 2, 3 days. I finally remember when I bought it, the previous owner had the wire disconnected (in the red circle I drew on the picture. It has 3 wires). So I disconnected the connection, and the problem is gone.

Also, when the Chassis battery is dead, all house led lights are gone. But I still can start the generator (is the house battery help to start the gen?). After the Chassis battery is recharged, the lights are on again. That tell me, somehow all lights in the house are using the Chassis battery.
I believe this to be an issue that will not be fixable on a forum platform. Something very unique to your RV is going on. I suggest you call Mobil RV tech to have a look. Stay away from a Dealer. $$$$$$$. Please keep us informed.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:50 PM   #9
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I agree with Cavie that this is something that probably won't get fixed on a forum. But just for kicks-n-grins, what happens when you flip the breaker that feeds power to the water heater? That should kill the power going to the water heater easier than disconnecting the red wire.

Not that this is a solution by any means, but I'm curious as to whether it will produce the same effects.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:52 PM   #10
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The WH image shown is only propane fired, 12VDC operated - no 120VAC in that puppy. So typically there is the water heater switch located on the control panel in the RV, the one with the "pilot out" red LED, so if that switch is off, there should be no DC travelling to the WH control plug... the brown or blue wire in the image. A DC voltmeter would confirm that.
If the RV is plugged into shore power, then your lights should not go out. Even with the batteries removed, the converter will supply DC to them, albeit a very rough DC power.

A proper DC schematic of the RV and voltmeter would go a long way in solving this one.
EDIT: The brown wire goes thru the limit switch before going to the control plug, so my guess is that is the positive DC.

Stay cool
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:36 PM   #11
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Thanks all for replying. I will take a deeper look into this issue and will have you informed.

Thanks.
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