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Reload Thread: amps draining a batterY?

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    joshpoints's Avatar
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    amps draining a batterY?

    I have a factory size battery and I got up and it was dead today in the morning. I have a total of 1000 watts rms worth of amps in it and I just installed an alarm. I was wondering if all these new accessories discharge the battery even when the car is off and the amp aren't really on. I know this happened in my last car when I would hook an amp up that was rated at 300 rms in it and let it sit for a few days but it has a tired battery. Does it sound like my battery is done or like something else? Also yesterday I noticed that the car was a little slow to turn over, but didn't think too much of it.







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    Quote Originally Posted by joshpoints
    I have a factory size battery and I got up and it was dead today in the morning. I have a total of 1000 watts rms worth of amps in it and I just installed an alarm. I was wondering if all these new accessories discharge the battery even when the car is off and the amp aren't really on. I know this happened in my last car when I would hook an amp up that was rated at 300 rms in it and let it sit for a few days but it has a tired battery. Does it sound like my battery is done or like something else? Also yesterday I noticed that the car was a little slow to turn over, but didn't think too much of it.
    Okay I just did some calculations. I hav a sub amp that rms 600 watts so I figure it peaks at 800. I have another amp for my other speakers that is 400 rms and I figure 600 peak. This totals 1400 watts. I believe my factory alternator puts out 70 amps. That equals 840 watts. That leaves 560 watts that the battery is getting ****** out, or 46 amps ****** out. So I figure that maybe 5 days of this coupled with the alarm sucking juice from the battery at night caused it to go dead. Let me know what you think of this theory.




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    I understand your calculations, but it really doesn't work that way. If the battery was supplying current constantly your lights would dim terribly at night.

    More likely there's a constant draw on the battery when the engine's off. I'd suspect the alarm if it's new.

    If you have a DMM with a 10 amp DC scale, you can put the meter in series with the battery cable and check to see if there's constant current being drawn (arm the alarm too). Any more than a few milliamps means there's a problem.



    dave
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    1999 Buick Park Ave Ultra
    Head Unit: JVC KWHDR720
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    Front Stage: Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine 5.25 mids, Morel Maximo tweets
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    Quote Originally Posted by maylar
    I understand your calculations, but it really doesn't work that way. If the battery was supplying current constantly your lights would dim terribly at night.

    More likely there's a constant draw on the battery when the engine's off. I'd suspect the alarm if it's new.

    If you have a DMM with a 10 amp DC scale, you can put the meter in series with the battery cable and check to see if there's constant current being drawn (arm the alarm too). Any more than a few milliamps means there's a problem.
    That's a great idea I'll have to try it. Do amps draw any current when they are off? Do larger amps draw more current from the battery when they are off? To be honest I've never used this feature on my DMM. Where do I connect the negative wire from the tester?




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    no an amp doesn't take energy when it's off... unless ur remote is also hooked up to ur battery or somthin that stays on....that way ur amp would always be on ...check that...



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    also...you can upgrade the wire from the amp to the battery to a larger size. This will help transfer power to your system more efficiently. I have seen this happen when power somewhere is going to ground. Check for voltage at your ground




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    Quote Originally Posted by djjdnap
    no an amp doesn't take energy when it's off... unless ur remote is also hooked up to ur battery or somthin that stays on....that way ur amp would always be on ...check that...

    thats happened to me before, when i finished putting my amp in i left some wire sitting in the trunk, and the positive on the amp ended up keeping the remote turned on (freak wire mishap)




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    just check and see when u turn ur car off if the power light on the amp stays on



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    Quote Originally Posted by GF7PE
    also...you can upgrade the wire from the amp to the battery to a larger size. This will help transfer power to your system more efficiently. I have seen this happen when power somewhere is going to ground. Check for voltage at your ground

    I'm currently using 0 gauge power wire. When you say test your voltage at your ground do you mean at the ground bolt for the amp?




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    Check there and in a few random locations....may be something else causing the leak




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    Quote Originally Posted by joshpoints
    That's a great idea I'll have to try it. Do amps draw any current when they are off? Do larger amps draw more current from the battery when they are off? To be honest I've never used this feature on my DMM. Where do I connect the negative wire from the tester?
    Amps should draw near zero current when they're off. If you want to use your meter to check things out:

    Shut off all electrical things and close the doors. Also remove any capacitors you might have in your audio system.

    Then remove the negative battery cable and put the ammeter in series with the cable and the battery post (meter + to the cable, meter - to the battery terminal). Note that you'll probably get sparks at first because the caps in your amplifiers have to charge, but that only lasts an instant.

    If there's something drawing current, it'll show up on the meter. In order to drain the battery overnight, it'll be significant current (more than 1/10 amp). You'll normally get only a few milliamps drain from the clock and such.

    Start removing fuses from your car's fusebox until the current draw goes away, then track down whatever is on that circuit. Normal suspects are lights that can be on without you knowing (trunk, glovebox, etc), or a frayed wire touching ground. Or a "partially on" brake light switch.

    If you get all the fuses out and there's still current being drawn, take the red wire off the alternator. Leaky or defective diodes in your alternator will drain the battery nicely.



    dave
    ----------
    1999 Buick Park Ave Ultra
    Head Unit: JVC KWHDR720
    EQ: Audiocontrol EQL
    Front Stage: Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine 5.25 mids, Morel Maximo tweets
    Sub Stage: Boston G3 10", 0.5 cu ft sealed
    Amp: PPI Phantom 900.4
    Rear Fill: Boston SE953 6X9's

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    Quote Originally Posted by maylar
    Amps should draw near zero current when they're off. If you want to use your meter to check things out:

    Shut off all electrical things and close the doors. Also remove any capacitors you might have in your audio system.

    Then remove the negative battery cable and put the ammeter in series with the cable and the battery post (meter + to the cable, meter - to the battery terminal). Note that you'll probably get sparks at first because the caps in your amplifiers have to charge, but that only lasts an instant.

    If there's something drawing current, it'll show up on the meter. In order to drain the battery overnight, it'll be significant current (more than 1/10 amp). You'll normally get only a few milliamps drain from the clock and such.

    Start removing fuses from your car's fusebox until the current draw goes away, then track down whatever is on that circuit. Normal suspects are lights that can be on without you knowing (trunk, glovebox, etc), or a frayed wire touching ground. Or a "partially on" brake light switch.

    If you get all the fuses out and there's still current being drawn, take the red wire off the alternator. Leaky or defective diodes in your alternator will drain the battery nicely.
    Okay I just fried my dmm last night trying this. Let me make sure if I'm understanding you correctly. Last night I left both terminals connected at the battery. YOu're saying I should just leave the positive cable connected on the battery, hook my positive on the tester at the positive battery terminal and then disconnect the negative battery cable and connect my negative battery tester to the negative terminal on the battery? Let me know if this is right or wrong, I don't want to fry another one.




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    maylar's Avatar
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    LOL, yea dude. An ammeter goes in SERIES with the circuit to measure the current flowing through it. A voltmeter goes ACROSS the circuit (parallel). Usually there's a fuse in a DMM to protect against accidents like you had. Check inside before buying a new one.



    dave
    ----------
    1999 Buick Park Ave Ultra
    Head Unit: JVC KWHDR720
    EQ: Audiocontrol EQL
    Front Stage: Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine 5.25 mids, Morel Maximo tweets
    Sub Stage: Boston G3 10", 0.5 cu ft sealed
    Amp: PPI Phantom 900.4
    Rear Fill: Boston SE953 6X9's

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    Quote Originally Posted by maylar
    LOL, yea dude. An ammeter goes in SERIES with the circuit to measure the current flowing through it. A voltmeter goes ACROSS the circuit (parallel). Usually there's a fuse in a DMM to protect against accidents like you had. Check inside before buying a new one.

    Too late I already bought a new one. It has one terminal that is fused and one that is not. THe fused one can only read up to 400 ma. THe unfused one can read up to 10Amps.




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    I tried it hooking it up with just the positive cable connected at the battery and the alarm didn't turn on and I didn't get a power reading.




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