Intermittent circuit outage - troubleshoot

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  #1  
Old 12-08-14, 04:46 PM
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Intermittent circuit outage - troubleshoot

I have a circuit (outdoor outlet) that I use to operate a 12v battery smart charger which I let run overnight. Frequently, when I check the next day, it is clear that the charger has reset itself (reverted to default settings) sometime during that time. I have never "caught" the circuit losing power. I use that outlet for power tools, back porch radio, and Christmas lights and never noticed a problem.

How to troubleshoot a circuit that only fails when I am not around?

(Yes, I need to haul my battery and charger to another outlet and try it there....)

Separate (but possibly related) issue: my home has interlinked A/C powered smoke alarms. One smoke/CO alarm (FA SC9120B) keeps using up its batteries in a few weeks, as if it is losing A/C power and running on batteries. A few weeks after installing fresh batteries, the weak battery beep starts going off (always at 2:00 am). Of course, like the charger, it does not seem to do this when I am looking.

In this case, I could also suspect the smoke detector, since they seem to suffer a variety of mystery failures these days.

Thoughts?

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-08-14, 04:51 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Historically smoke/CO units are a problem. I run into that battery problem a lot. It usually means the unit needs to be replaced. (regardless of its age)

Pretty hard to check the outdoor circuit if it doesn't remain off. Try plugging an electric clock in to the circuit and see what happens in the morning.
 
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Old 12-08-14, 05:11 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

CO/smoke alarm. I am getting tired of buying these things. and replacing/warranty returning half of them within six months. Local code is for smoke & co in 5 locations.

Plug in a clock. Duh. Brilliant!
 
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Old 12-08-14, 05:39 PM
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I strongly suspect a loose connection is causing your issues.
 
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Old 12-08-14, 07:09 PM
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12v battery smart charger
If the battery tender reverts to default settings, I would not assume a power loss at some point.
The tender instructions are rather complicated, especially if only one indicator light. It may be that the battery is above 80%, and it is in storage mode.
 
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Old 12-08-14, 07:14 PM
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I strongly suspect a loose connection is causing your issues.
Do you mean in the wiring somewhere between the breaker and receptacle?
 
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Old 12-08-14, 07:18 PM
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It may be that the battery is above 80%, and it is in storage mode.
It's not float mode. This is full reset, where it reverts to the default charging amps and battery type. This is obvious when it happens because it changes the type from flooded to gel. I checked with the manufacturer (Batteryminder). They said that a power interruption would explain this behavior.
 
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Old 12-08-14, 07:27 PM
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The issue could be anywhere in the circuit. I would start in the most used devices after checking the panel connections.
 
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