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light bars killing my battery. what did i do wrong?

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r.j.

Joined: Apr 12 2008
Posts: 3


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Post Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:09 am

icon_redface.gif icon_cry.gif im replacing 4 light bars under continental (brand name) running boards on my p/u. I thought i had them grounded right, but thry're draining the battery. Also, i have a 20amp fuse for parking lamps etc. what gauge wire should i be using?
alkatmsu

Joined: Nov 08 2005
Posts: 1560
Location: Kentucky


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Post Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:33 am

Are your light bars hooked up to a switch or relay of some sort so they turn off? The only way I can think of that they'd drain the battery is if they were constantly on.

I'm not sure of the relation between the fuse comment and wire gauge question. Are you tapping into the parking lamp fuse for other lighting?
kornholio788

Joined: May 02 2005
Posts: 9748
Location: Tosa, WI


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Post Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:20 pm

You might also have a small short somewere in your wiring. And if you fuse is too big then it won't pop and that will drain your batter very quickly.
ofd25

Joined: Mar 04 2008
Posts: 75


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Post Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:57 pm

r.j. wrote:
icon_redface.gif icon_cry.gif im replacing 4 light bars under continental (brand name) running boards on my p/u. I thought i had them grounded right, but thry're draining the battery. Also, i have a 20amp fuse for parking lamps etc. what gauge wire should i be using?


not grounding drains your battery?
Cooper

Joined: Mar 19 2006
Posts: 1770


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Post Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:35 pm

I think you're turned around . Not having the light bars grounded properly would not cause a drain on your battery . What indicates to you that they're draining your battery ? Do you turn them completely off when you're not using them ? How long does it take to drain the battery and to what point ?
You mean the stock headlight-circuit fuse on the vehicle is 20 amps ? Is that the circuit you tapped into for the light bars ? Are you asking what gauge wire you should use on the run between the light bars and the fusebox or the stock parking lamps and the fusebox ? Where did you tap power from ?
This is all quite confusing . icon_neutral.gif
r.j.

Joined: Apr 12 2008
Posts: 3


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Post Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:16 am

alkatmsu wrote:
Are your light bars hooked up to a switch or relay of some sort so they turn off? The only way I can think of that they'd drain the battery is if they were constantly on.

I'm not sure of the relation between the fuse comment and wire gauge question. Are you tapping into the parking lamp fuse for other lighting?

They hook up right behind the head lamp, so they'll go on w/parking lmps, and/or headlights. I secured a better ground this afternoon...i'm hoping that was the problem. Tomorrow will tell. ty for your help.
r.j.

Joined: Apr 12 2008
Posts: 3


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Post Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:20 am

My husband did a horrible job of wiring underneath the frame, and i knew one light bar was not working. I re-wired it across the frame, and in the process i blew the factory 20amp fuse. anyways, when i did get them all working, the next day the truck battery was dead dead dead. It took a charge, and i thought perhaps they needed to be grounded better (to the frame)
alkatmsu

Joined: Nov 08 2005
Posts: 1560
Location: Kentucky


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Post Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:29 am

Who knows, maybe he had it wired to where it made a complete circuit all the time. If you blew a fuse installing lights, you just learned an important lesson: always disconnect the negative side of your battery before doing electrical work!
PwrRngr

Joined: Jul 19 2007
Posts: 4407


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Post Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:43 am

The lights not being grounding is not going to be your problem. If anything, the lights not being grounded should tell you it's not the lights b/c there wouldn't be a complete circuit. I suspect something besides that lights.

Here's something you can do. Get a DMM (digital multi meter) and set it to read current. Remove the ground from the lights and attach that wire to one wire from the DMM. Connect the other wire from the DMM to ground and read the current. If there's no current, that's light isn't your problem so go to the next one.
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