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Not in a RV, but in a houseboat. Im having trouble with the…

Not in a RV...

Not in a RV, but in a houseboat. Im having trouble with the lights flickering when the pump kicks on... All LED lights..... Any suggestions? pump running on 14-2 boat cable

Mechanic's Assistant: Just to clarify, what are the exact lights you're talking about?

I have LED 12 volt lighting throughout the boat. This is a house boat, which has more than just lights on 12 volt

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Volt yourself? What have you tried so far?

Just discovered the problem while doing a systems check.... So I havent tried anything yet... The pump pushes water to the shower, the sinks , in both the kitchen and bath, along with a toilet...

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

No just trying to figure out what to do, or if I need a bigger pump, or bigger wire? or what possible alternatives I have

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Answered in 1 hour by:
3/22/2018
Jason
Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 16,758
Experience: Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
Verified

Hello my name is ***** ***** am I speaking with? I read what you wrote. Do you have any idea how your boat is wired in regards ***** ***** lighting, the pump, the batteries, and the switching panel? How many batteries does the boat have? Are the pumps and lights on the same battery (or battery bank)?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
My name is***** Yachts. I do know how the boat is wired. It has two 12 volt house batteries. Wired to a twelve volt panel on individual circuits. And yes they are all on the same batteries

H​I Karry. Are you familiar with electrical terms such as EMI and inductive kickback? Have you done anything on your own yet to try and troubleshoot the issue? Can I assume that both the circuits for the lights and the pumps have been checked for corrosion yet?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Not familiar with those terms, but have been wiring these boats for quite sometime, but this one has me puzzled... No corrosion this is a brand new, factory built boat

EMI is simply electro magnetic interference. All electric motors emit interference, it's just a question of how much. (Ever sit in an old car and try and tune in an AM radio while the engine is running, and get all sorts of noise through the speakers? That comes from the EMI caused by the alternator)

Inductive kickback is also something electric motors generate. On the inside of the motor there is a commutator and a set of brushes. The brushes apply voltage to this commutator, which is what causes the motor to spin. The motor essentially turns of and off very quickly as the brushes pass over the commutator. This constant on/off/on/off causes the magnetic field inside of the motor to turn on and off very rapidly as well. This causes electrical noise (EMI) but it also causes and inductive kickback. When the motor is "on" a magnetic field is generated in the motor windings. When the motor is "off" that field want's to collapse, and that collapse ends up sending AC voltage back down the line to the battery. This voltage is miniscule, and for all intents and purposes, doesn't hurt anything. However, LED lights are so sensitive to ANY and EVERY change in voltage, they will start to flicker. There are a couple of things I would do. If you have some scrap sheets of copper or scrap sheets of lead kicking around, throw a piece over the pump, try it, and see if the flickering stops. This sheet of copper/lead is going to act like an electromagnetic interference shield. If the flickering does stop, then you would need to keep the shield in place. If it does not stop, try installing a diode on your power wire for your pump. A diode is a 1 way electrical door. It allows voltage to travel in 1 direction but not the opposite direction. In theory this should work as any inductive kickback would be stopped by the diode. I say "in theory" because there are different grades of diodes in terms of quality and how well they actually work. But get a diode and see what happens. If it still does the flickering with the diode in place. Next, get a capacitor, and install that capacitor on the power line for the LED lights. The capacitor will help stabilize and smooth out the voltage that goes to those lights. Finally... after all this, if it still does it, all you can do is try a different brand of LED lights. Some of the "out of china" LED lights are so stinking sensitive to voltage changes, EMI, and inductive kickback that they are more or less useless in any real world application. And all you can do is try a better, more expensive brand of lights. That being said, as long as the lights are not of super cheap quality, adding a diode on the power wire to the pomp will likely fix the flickering. Does that all make sense to you. I think that should do it. But I work for tips so I do want to make sure you are happy with my service before you go. If you had a further or more specific question on the issue by all means feel free to ask. If not, Just in case you do not understand the way the website works (and some folks do not). You do have to put forth a positive rating in order for it to credit me for helping you. When ratings are not done, the website simply keeps your deposit and they will not credit me. The ratings box is located at the top of the screen. To rate, you must select the star you wish and also confirm it. Please let me know if you run into any problems or errors when trying to do it. If you do have a problem, or if you can not see the ratings box which is at the top of the screen. Please reply back "I rate Jason's service _______" and fill in the blank.

Questions do not close out, so if you have to come back later on with follow up questions to the issue you still can even after doing a rating.

Thank you
Jason

Jason
Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 16,758
Experience: Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
Verified
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