Whale water filling system on Nuevo

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Post by yottieman on Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:20 am

Well, I have discovered that the solenoid valve works and I can rill with water if I supply 12v to it. The problems lies in the supply and I don't know why this is failing. The fuses are all fine and I seem to have switched on everything I should. Had the van nearly a year now and had no problem before with filling water apart from one dead fuse.
If all else fails I shall rig a separate supply to the solenoid valve or take it out altogether.
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Post by Peter Brown on Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:39 am

There is a switch in the fill point that is operated by water pressure that activates the system and causes the solenoid valve to open. There is a float switch in the tank that closes the solenoid valve (by interrupting the 12v) when the tank is full. Either of these or the wiring could be at fault.

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Post by Gromit on Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:03 am

Strewth Peter - how much more complicated can it get!!! No wonder it seems to give a lot of problems.

I can't resist saying again that my watering can doesn't need solenoid valves, and I'm not trying to be funny! I just can't see the point of fitting such a system to a motorhome when it involves so many complicated component parts. It needs only one of them to fail for the whole thing to stop working.

In a caravan it simply pumps water from a barrel in to the taps, on demand, so nothing more complex than a single pressure switch is required. The additional complexity needed to force it to work in a motorhome seems (to me) both utterly pointless and plain daft, when the system itself is completely un-necessary.

Perhaps it's just me, but I do like the KISS principle, and I miss the ability to mend things with a well aimed blow from a big hammer!

Dave
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Post by Paulmold on Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:13 am

Couldn't agree more Dave. Thank God I haven't got that system.

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Post by Quilter on Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:18 am

Paulmold wrote:Couldn't agree more Dave. Thank God I haven't got that system.

This has all been said before: again and again and again.

Face it, some of us like the system very much, some of us tolerate it, some dislike it and others loathe it. That's life. End of.

Help the poor OP get his system up and running but please, don't keep sniping at the original installation.
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Post by Gromit on Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:36 am

The OP wrote. "We have recently purchased a new AutoSleeper Nuevo.  After 6 weeks touring in Europe we are looking to replace the crazy Whale water filling system for a conventional filling hole.  Has anyone had this conversion carried out or tacked it themselves.  Our suppliers say a conventional filler can be installed alongside the Whale but with a loss of tank capacity.  They seem reluctant to carry out the work and have yet to give us a cost.  Any advice would be welcome.
Chris"


Seems to me that the many comments for and against are exactly what he was asking for???

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Post by yottieman on Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:47 am

I am with you, Gromit, but thank you too, Peter, for explaining the intricacies of the filling system. I have checked 12v supply to all bits around the filling system and can find nothing live. I am tempted to remove the solenoid valve but not sure what to do with the spare wires! And will some other part of the system not then work so I have water in the tank but cannot extract it?
Thank you, Quilter, for your sympathy! I don't really want to spend £200 adding a direct fill if this system is not working as well.
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Post by Quilter on Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:50 am

My fault Dave: 2 threads running at the same time.  The thread initiator wanted pros and cons, though seems to have made up his mind already.

Later yottieman came on looking for help with a fault.. He is the OP I was referring to and I am sure he does not need endless repetitions of how awful the system is.
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Post by Peter Brown on Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:50 am

see posts from roger7webster on page 4

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Post by Gromit on Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:58 am

yottieman wrote: And will some other part of the system not then work so I have water in the tank but cannot extract it?
That is the big question Yottieman (and why I am so much against it - such a lot of interdependent component parts) but it's easy enough to overcome that potential problem. up!

I think it was Moggieminor who posted detailed instructions of how he fitted a diaphragm pump, disconnecting the electrics from the existing submersible pump and using it as a water pick-up. It wasn't difficult at all, and would at least ensure that you can always draw water from the tank - and in case of pump failure on holiday it would be very easy to change it for a new one. If the submersible gives up you are faced with a nightmare!!

As I understand it, his modification would entirely isolate the water supply from the rest of the Whale system, so that any failure in the latter would affect only the filling - not the drawing of water from the taps. A brilliant result, assuming my conclusions are accurate.


Apologies if it wasn't Moggie. I have to dash out now so can't look for it, but someone will know if you can't find it.

Hope this helps - a bit at least!!

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Post by Paramedic on Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:06 pm

Paramedic wrote:May be simpler to check contacts in plug and socket are clean and making contact?
Forgive me Yottieman if my earlier post was heeded by yourself. I recall similar problem with other motorhome that used the trigger conection and resolved by cleaning (scraping contacts to make them bright) Regards
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Post by Peter Brown on Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:11 pm

As I've said in other posts; there are two COMPLETELY INDEPENDANT Whale installations. One to fill the fresh water tank and the other to feed water from the tank to the taps.

This thread is about the filling system.

Small bore filler pipes were introduced to allow the location of the fresh water tank to be flexible with respect to other underfloor installations by removing the constraint of getting a large bore pipe through furniture. They are not cheap. On some vans the location of the tank with respect to the furniture has allowed the retrofit of a large bore filler. This does not apply to all models.

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Post by yottieman on Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:15 pm

Thanks, Gromit, I remember that post and will look it up. Then I will see if I can do the mods doing away with the submersible pump and adding a sureflo to the system.
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Post by moggyminor1966 on Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:06 pm

Here is the link to the method I used to replace the inline tank pump with a Shurflo pump in the wardrobe.

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Post by inspiredron on Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:48 pm

yottieman wrote:Well, I have discovered that the solenoid valve works and I can rill with water if I supply 12v to it. The problems lies in the supply and I don't know why this is failing. The fuses are all fine and I seem to have switched on everything I should. Had the van nearly a year now and had no problem before with filling water apart from one dead fuse.
If all else fails I shall rig a separate supply to the solenoid valve or take it out altogether.
The impression I get is that a connection to the float valve may have fallen off. Do you have any problems with rodents? They sometimes love chewing cables!
If you get underneath you may be able to see if the wires to the float valve are intact. Do some checks with a multimeter.

As a side comment - when my van was being made I was offered a normal filler, which I would have accepted but it could only be installed as a free supplementary - not a replacement. Although I had been very bothered about the Whale system I was reassured by a conversation with Whale at the Show, so declined as I did not want to lose locker space to extra plumbing. Àpart from slow filling I have never regretted that decision. I do carry a spare solenoid valve for emergencies sourced very cheaply on eBay, thanks to this forum. I have not yet had reason to regret that decision. up!

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Post by yottieman on Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:05 am

Thanks Ron,
I don't usually get any problems with rodents but following your hint I had a look underneath and there is a wire hanging down by the front of the water tank. I am not able at present to get the van high enough to get underneath to inspect more closely to see where this has been connected but reckon you are probably right and this is the connection to the float switch. My water gauge does not work either so probably all the same thing.
Here's hoping.
Thanks again for all the advice, everyone
Graham
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Post by inspiredron on Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:10 pm

That sounds like a couple of wires off, or maybe an earth wire, because the level and the float switch are not connected.  I cannot remember the layout but space is VERY restricted at the front of the tank.  I put some bath sealant over the level studs and could not get at the 75% or the 100% studs unless I had dropped the tank.  I did notice that the cable loom that served the studs was trapped against a chassis member so I loosened the tank so that I could inroduce some padding/sheathing - I used a chunk of outer sheathing from 2.5mm twin and earth mains cable!  It is just possible that you have the same issue and that the chassis has cut the loom!
Good luck!

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Post by GrahamF on Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:36 pm

Just to add that having had the same problem some time ago with no 12 volts arriving at the solenoid. It was finally traced to the connector on the tank float switch that had corroded through. It is open to all the elements up there. As "inspireron" says, it is a pig to get at and I sadly had to resort to a dealer to fix. As it happened just as we were about to set off for France, this is when I resorted to filling through the freshwater drain pipe (as previously reported). Even after the fault was fixed I continue to use this method as it fills in less than a third of the time due to the larger bore pipe. The Whale filler system is a nice idea but too prone to problems for me.
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Post by yottieman on Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:14 am

Hi again,
Well there is a brown (I think) wire hanging from the middle front of the tank but I cannot see where it is attached. I am just going to my friendly local garage to put her on the lift so I can get a better look. My suspicion is that this wire is an earth ire which should be attached to the tank supports for earth. The wire is NOT part of a loom.
Any observations would be helpful.
Thanks
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Post by yottieman on Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:57 am

Further to my previous message earlier today.
Just been to the garage lift and the wire IS from a loom and should lead alongside another wire still attached to something up the front of the water tank. It would appear that the loose wire has been severed by part of the tank frame. POOR, POOR DESIGN!  Anyway, I cannot get at it without dropping the tank. My garage man offered to help me drop the tank but I need to know what happens to the other bits - water in and out pipes and pump connections.

Meanwhile I shall work around to operate the solenoid so I can fill the tank and will consider whether to remove the solenoid valve altogether.

Happy motorhoming!
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Post by crisp on Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:41 am

Still think straight forward is easier and once the filter gets a bit of muck in it it takes forever. I know its easy to clear but who wants to clear cupboards while your away to get at the thing.Whilst I use it I still don't think its an improvement just more to go wrong!!
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Post by inspiredron on Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:13 pm

yottieman wrote:Further to my previous message earlier today.
Just been to the garage lift and the wire IS from a loom and should lead alongside another wire still attached to something up the front of the water tank. It would appear that the loose wire has been severed by part of the tank frame. POOR, POOR DESIGN!  Anyway, I cannot get at it without dropping the tank. My garage man offered to help me drop the tank but I need to know what happens to the other bits - water in and out pipes and pump connections.

Meanwhile I shall work around to operate the solenoid so I can fill the tank and will consider whether to remove the solenoid valve altogether.

Happy motorhoming!
Glad you hav efound the problem.  Have you got one of those usb cameras that attach to a laptop and are on a wire that can be wrapped round a coathanger?  They also have led illumination built in.  That could help you see the pipes etc.


Last edited by inspiredron on Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Deleted warranty query when i saw it is a 2011 van)

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Post by yottieman on Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:30 pm

Well, I connected 12v to the solenoid valve and started filling the tank. It was veeeeery slooooooow!  So I took the valve off to examine it a found that the filter was pretty gunged but the valve only just opened so flow was very restricted. As I have another valve on order from China I thought I would use this u/s one as a connector and drilled straight though the plastic so we now have free flow. I shall put a filter in the hose line and probably not bother to fit the new valve as it has no power to drive it. My gauge has started working again so I can keep an eye on it when filling. I believe there is an overflow on the tank but will pressure be a problem when filling by hose if I neglect to see 100% water or the gauge fails?  Someone said the filler block has sufficient restriction so as not to cause damage - is that right?

Thanks for all the help - let's go and enjoy ourselves!

Graham
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Post by Gromit on Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:12 pm

Hi Graham

If your garage man is willing to help you drop the tank, wouldn't it be worth thinking about fitting a simple "hole in the wall" filler?

You sound like a pretty competent fixer, and having once done that you could totally relax, secure in the knowledge that your filling system was so simple that nothing was ever likely to give problems in the future.

Once you had fitted a suitable spigot into your tank (CAK Tanks will have one) it's only a bit of flexy pipe to the Fiamma filler.

I think I would, if I'd suffered half the frustration you have.

Dave smile!
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Post by yottieman on Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:40 pm

Good idea, Gromit, but without the solenoid valve in the system I should not have any trouble filling up. I think I will wit for the immersed pump to fail before maybe considering dropping the tank. 
On the other hand an earlier post suggested just putting a shurflo pump in the system instead which would draw water through the dead pump.
Putting a different filler point maybe be problematic as I am not sure the size is the same as a whale inlet.
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