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Richard Vyse
11-30-2015, 11:27 AM
This is my second Cole-Hersee switch I've installed but battery #2 does not work. Is it possible this switch went bad on me and should replace it as well or might there be other issues?

When starting the Lifeliner I always put on BOTH for the batteries. It turns real slow then takes right off. Out of curiosity I tried Battery # 1 and got power then Battery #2 and got nothing.

Thoughts?

As an after thought, is it possible to just hook both battery cables to Battery #1 terminal on the switch allowing me to use both batteries?

Danny Ryder
11-30-2015, 11:42 AM
I think I have one you are welcome to if you need it or want to try another one.

Richard Vyse
11-30-2015, 12:12 PM
I think I have one you are welcome to if you need it or want to try another one.

I'll take it Danny.

Richard Vyse
2323 W. Brandon Blvd.
Brandon, FL 33511

Give me your PayPal account and I'll fund you some money.

John ED Renstrom
11-30-2015, 12:29 PM
test light, I gave you a test light. it's not that hard to open the hood and see if there is power going threw both solenoids. or if you have the rotating switch in to and out of it. a bad cable,a dirty connection either ground or hot will give you the same problem as will a bad battery. you turn it to both and the bad battery will suck the juice out of the good one. with the switch you have the ability to isolate the batteries. it should start on either battery or both running on both just helps to maintain they and gives you the amps you need to run the emergency equipment. the bad part of starting on both is if your starter is getting marginal you won't find out till it gone. the amps of the two batteries will spin a bad starter.

Richard Vyse
11-30-2015, 02:30 PM
test light, I gave you a test light. it's not that hard to open the hood and see if there is power going threw both solenoids. or if you have the rotating switch in to and out of it. a bad cable,a dirty connection either ground or hot will give you the same problem as will a bad battery. you turn it to both and the bad battery will suck the juice out of the good one. with the switch you have the ability to isolate the batteries. it should start on either battery or both running on both just helps to maintain they and gives you the amps you need to run the emergency equipment. the bad part of starting on both is if your starter is getting marginal you won't find out till it gone. the amps of the two batteries will spin a bad starter.

I forgot about that Ed, thanks

Todd Merrifield
11-30-2015, 10:05 PM
I would not suggest using the BOTH position to start your car, ever, unless it won't start any other way. Even then, it is not how the switch is designed to work.

An overwhelming number of people seem to have the misconception that using the BOTH position on the switch is like jump-starting your car, but it really is not, unless both batteries are fully charged and at equilibrium with each other, which is rarely the case. If it WERE the case, one battery or the other should start the car just fine, you shouldn't need two fully charged batteries to start your car. If you do need two, something is wrong.

Here is why: think about what you do when you jump start a car with another car. You always have the other car running, and by hooking up the jumper cables you are essentially hooking up the dead battery to the good cars battery AND charging system. You usually won't get anywhere by hooking up a dead battery in a car to another battery all by itself. You might get a couple extra cranks, but it probably won't start the car. Hooking a good battery by itself to a dead battery will only cause the voltage in the good battery to drop, and continue to drop until the batteries both have equal voltage, probably dropping enough that neither battery will be able to start the car. You need the charging system to start a car with a dead battery, but it is not available to you in the car with the dead battery because the car needs to be running for the charging system to work.

Back to the Cole-Hersee switch...setting it to the BOTH position is essentially the same as trying to jump start a car with just a second battery, as I described above. You are essentially doing the same thing, you just happen to have both batteries in the same car and already wired together, but with a switch in between.

The way these switches are intended to work is to keep different types of loads separate from each other. You wire your starter and other normal things (radio, dome light, headlights, cigarette lighter) to battery 1. You wire all the things that draw current when the vehicle is not running (emergency lights, scene lights, etc.) to battery two. When you park and leave all your emergency equipment on, they will only draw from battery two, and battery one will be available to start your vehicle with a full charge when you need it.

When the vehicle is running, and the alternator/generator is available to charge a battery, you set the switch to whichever battery you want to charge, or BOTH if you want to charge both. When you are driving you would want it set to either position 1 or set to BOTH, so that your charging system is part of the circuit while you are driving. When you are not using the vehicle at all, you would set it to position OFF, to disconnect everything in the vehicle from the batteries, so a light or other device left on will not discharge the batteries.

This page is for boats, but it kind of describes the same thing. The top portion (2 batteries, 1 motor) is similar to what we have in ambulances.

Todd Merrifield
11-30-2015, 10:08 PM
Forgot link, won't let me add it in. Here it is:

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/dualBattery.html

John ED Renstrom
11-30-2015, 10:22 PM
were in theory it would work, that is not the way the manufactures wired the car. they wired the car to operate everything off either battery. the only problem with unequal charge in the batteries is that the car has only one charging system if one battery is lower then the other it tends to over charge the good battery. remember it charges with amps not volts.

Todd Merrifield
11-30-2015, 10:42 PM
were in theory it would work, that is not the way the manufactures wired the car. they wired the car to operate everything off either battery. the only problem with unequal charge in the batteries is that the car has only one charging system if one battery is lower then the other it tends to over charge the good battery. remember it charges with amps not volts.

That does make more sense now that I think about it, but starting the car using both batteries is still not a good idea if they don't have the same charge. So I guess moving the switch from 1 to 2 is basically the same as removing one battery and putting in another?

Peter Grave
11-30-2015, 11:05 PM
The CH switch was used so operators had a reserve battery if you had a Generator/Alternator failure. The procedure in the old days was off when rig not in use,for general use, transports, returning from EM run, both position used. For an emergency run, one in use #1 or #2 so in the event of an electrical failure a fully charged spare battery was available to get you through. As far as the issue here the second battery not able to work by itself Ed is right a meter is your best friend. Causes with second battery can be #1 dirty battery connection on either end of both cables. #2 defective battery #3defective CH switch meter will identify this. #4 bad (open) cable again meter in Ohms position will show this. I have had this back in the day with Cadillacs and usually it was first dirty connections second bad cable.

Richard Vyse
12-01-2015, 10:22 AM
Forgot link, won't let me add it in. Here it is:

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/dualBattery.html

This certainly is very informative and will give to my mechanic.

Thanks

Richard Vyse
12-01-2015, 11:27 AM
I'm happy to report my guy got the switch working properly and now each battery works on #1 and #2 and on both.

Thanks Todd for the information on using only one battery at a time which going forward will be the way I operate it.

Might as well touch upon the CCA of my batteries. I have one battery with 810 CCA and the other at 700 CCA. I purchased a 900 CCA battery but was too big to fit in the space so took it back. I assume they should match and the biggest CCA possible, right?

John ED Renstrom
12-01-2015, 12:48 PM
third poor ground. thanks for the run info. were I'm sure the head volunteer in each service had they own way of doing it that way makes sense. we had more they one incident were they left everything runnign doors open and a long time at the incident and returned to find that old Collins barely runnign as the alternator could not keep up with the load at a idle.

Richard Vyse
12-01-2015, 02:12 PM
third poor ground. thanks for the run info. were I'm sure the head volunteer in each service had they own way of doing it that way makes sense. we had more they one incident were they left everything runnign doors open and a long time at the incident and returned to find that old Collins barely runnign as the alternator could not keep up with the load at a idle.

Funny you mention this Ed. My Lifeliner has a cable that used to be hooked to the carb that I assume was used to rev the engine up while at a scene with all those goodies operating.

John ED Renstrom
12-01-2015, 11:27 PM
it did two things by picking up the RPM keep the ault at full operation and keep the temperature down buy increasing circulation and fan speed

Joe Rackov
12-02-2015, 04:31 PM
And not as a cruise control. I ripped into one of my fellow volunteers once for using it as such. He cried to the Chief. Chief backed me on that. Of course he never drove for me again as I was "mean"........

Richard Vyse
12-04-2015, 11:13 AM
Want to hear a funny.... In talking with my mechanic he discovered why battery #1 was not charging and connected. Turns out the mechanic at the transmission shop (speculation) had discounted the ground cable to work on the transmission lines but failed to make a clean connection when re-connecting the ground cable. Joe worked backwards and found this out. He replaced the cable and cleaned the connection.

Now both batteries work as they should.

:eek:

John ED Renstrom
12-04-2015, 12:25 PM
9 times out of 10 it's a ground problem. normal it's not at the battery. but on the other end. then my other pearl of wisdom this am is is "if your having new trouble go to the last thing you did"

Peter Grave
12-04-2015, 02:55 PM
We had a 75 series limo years ago battery issue. An NYC livery car. No start no lights etc. All cables etc. cleaned and intact. Mystery!! On many Cadillacs the ground connects to the front cross member on the right front corner all OK on this one. Finally being desperate hooked up jumper cables used alternator bracket for ground, started right up. When moving car heard a clunking from front end (Bushings)??? NO the welds had broken on the crossmember and some how there was no connection. Solution weld crossmember back on NO clunk and ground worked.