Another water disaster

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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Parf on Sat May 13, 2017 5:42 pm

Currently in Scotland with a failed water pump in our 2012 Stratford that we have owned for 6 weeks. Dealer said there was a guarantee but not what for. There is a large circular plug in the bottom of the tank. Will this unscrew if I fashion a suitable spanner?

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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Gromit on Sat May 13, 2017 6:05 pm

If it's about 15 - 20cm across (from memory) and with fins for gripping round the rim, then yes it will unscrew.

You might need a bit of muscle though as it could have been put on with a sealant in the threads. On a previous van I got ours off by levering with a long wooden batten across the fins. It wasn't easy, but it did come easily enough once it had been started.

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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Bulletguy on Sat May 13, 2017 10:31 pm

bikeralw wrote:This problem has come up many times with owners of newer vans on this forum. Why on earth did AS drop the reliable Shurflo (the name says it all) pump that they had fitted in their vans for years?
In my case the pump has run trouble-free for 13 years now, I never give it a thought when touring, it just works!
The savings they make on fitting a submersible pump at build stage must only be a few quid, but they feel they can charge a premium price on the finished van....
Al.

Normally i'd say it's sacrificing quality due to 'building down to a price' but somehow a £50k price tag doesn't cut this excuse.  shrugg
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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Gillyhar on Sun May 14, 2017 6:41 pm

We are changing the submersible whale pump for a Shurflo.  We have disconnected the faulty pump and brought the cabling (white & orange and green & blue) back inside, under the bed, where the new pump will be sited. A meter on these 2 cables is 0v.  We have disconnected the 2 blue & green wires which went to the pressure switch and when joined together we get a 12+v reading.  By turning the water taps on and off, the reading does not alter.  Can anyone help, as there is no reference to tap wiring/switching on Autosleeper’s diagram.
 
We have 2 purple wires which we have left connected to 2 black wires at the cold water tank.  Does anyone know what these 2 purple wires do?  The Autosleeper wiring diagram shows it coming from fuse 4 to the water tank, but does not explain its purpose.
 

Any suggestions?
Thanks
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Re: Another water disaster

Post by inspiredron on Sun May 14, 2017 11:25 pm

I have no information but it may well be that the purple/black wires are the float switch that switches off power to the solenoid that is part of the Whale filler system when the tank is full.
As far as the pump/pressure switch are concerned I believe that the Shurflo has a built in pressure switch.  Logic says that you should disconnect the wires to the existing pressure switch and join them together. Then wire the new Shurflo to the old Whale pump wiring that you have pulled through. once you have connected together the existing pressure switch wires you should get 12v  across the white/orange and green/blue. If my memory is right the white/orange will be the earth return and therefore green/blue should be +12v.

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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Gillyhar on Mon May 15, 2017 5:59 pm

Ron
Thanks for the info. What you describe is what is happening. With the pump connected, but no water, the pump keeps running and the taps have no effect on turning it on/off. We are probably missing something very simple.
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Re: Another water disaster

Post by bertb on Mon May 15, 2017 6:46 pm

Could a Shurflo pump just be fitted in-line (hydraulically) to the existing pipework near to the pressure switch?
Electrically it could be switched from the P/S. This is in a 2013 Dorset. Not a problem yet but the Shurflo is relatively cheap and I assume delivers more pressure.
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Re: Another water disaster

Post by bertb on Mon May 15, 2017 6:49 pm

Sorry I missed a page! Someone has already answered my question!
Ron have you adjusted the pressure switch on the pump?
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Re: Another water disaster

Post by kaspian on Mon May 15, 2017 7:02 pm

Gillyhar wrote:Ron
Thanks for the info. What you describe is what is happening. With the pump connected, but no water, the pump keeps running and the taps have no effect on turning it on/off. We are probably missing something very simple.
Gill
Hi Gillyhar, try filling the tank with water as the pump will run when pump on button pressed at control panel . If no water in tank it will run forever! With the pump running it will pump water until system pipework is filled and pressurised. On opening a tap , water will then flow and pump restart to supply demand.When tap closed pump will stop once system pressure cut off point is reached.Taps nowadays do not have microswitches built in to turn on pump but rely instead on the pressure switch to sense flow and switch on pump. I believe the shurflo has pressure switch built in . You may be closer to completing job than you realise assuming wiring is correct! Fingers crossed.  up!

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Re: Another water disaster

Post by inspiredron on Mon May 15, 2017 11:58 pm

Kaspian is absolutely right. With no water the pump will just continue running. I am pretty certain that the Shurflo has its own built in pressure switch. It is probably preset but might need adjustment. Gromit will tell you how to do that.
Is thede any possibility that you had the old submersible running without water? A Shurflo will survive but a submersible will die frkm overheating in a few minutes.

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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Gillyhar on Tue May 16, 2017 4:01 pm

Woo hoo, success! Gentlemen, you were spot on with your advice. We connected up the pipes, added water and it worked a treat. We left the broken pump in situ, per Moggyminors advice, and water flowed once more.  It looks like we are ready for our next trip.
Thanks again everyone
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Re: Another water disaster

Post by kaspian on Tue May 16, 2017 8:30 pm

Well done! allthumbz          Did you connect your semi rigid pipework direct to the pump or use lengths of  flexible pipes . I seem to remember that the makers recommend using tails of flexible pipe to absorb vibration that might otherwise damage  the semi rigid pipes that we have.

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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Gillyhar on Tue May 16, 2017 10:09 pm

We popped along to our local caravanarama emporium and bought some blue flexible pipe, so I hope its the right stuff! 
Thank you again
Gill
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Re: Another water disaster

Post by kaspian on Tue May 16, 2017 10:25 pm

Excellent should do the job. What make/ model of pump did you end up buying as it might be useful for  others who wish to change?

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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Gromit on Wed May 17, 2017 8:57 am

inspiredron wrote:Gromit will tell you how to do that.
Thanks for the vote of confidence Ron, which I have only just noticed. smile!

Unfortunately, or perhaps it should be fortunately in this context, I don't know how to do it as I've never had to adjust a Shurflo.

There will be a twiddly knob somewhere, or a screwdriver slot, and all I would do is mark its original position before anything else, then give it a quarter turn and see what happened. Note (on paper!) which way and how far it was turned of course, and keep adjusting it one way and the other until it works properly.

It can only be trial and error, but don't rely on your memory if it needs a lot of adjustment. Make a note every time you turn it so you know where you have got to, and can therefore return to any previous setting if required.

Hope this makes sense.

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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Gillyhar on Wed May 17, 2017 6:07 pm

We used a Shurflo Trail 7 20 psi, used, from a friend with an IH van who replaced it because it was noisy, but what he really needed was an accumulator! Seems the same if not quieter than the whale.
Its great bit of kit, and easy to fit with help form the forum experts. If it does go wrong it least everything is 'get attable', no more crawling about underneath.
We didnt have to adjust the pressure, seems fine straight out of the box. 
My work here is done!
....but I shall probably be back soon on another quest......!
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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Cookie99 on Wed May 24, 2017 7:23 pm

I have just replaced my submersible with a Shurflo Trail King 7 and it is giving me much better pressure at the taps. I have found that it runs on for around 20 seconds after I turn the tap off.
Tried adjusting the pressure screw but that doesn't make any difference. Can anyone help please.
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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Bartfarst on Thu May 25, 2017 10:29 am

Cookie99 wrote:I have just replaced my submersible with a Shurflo Trail King 7 and it is giving me much better pressure at the taps. I have found that it runs on for around 20 seconds after I turn the tap off.
Tried adjusting the pressure screw but that doesn't make any difference. Can anyone help please.

Cookie99,

If the pressure switch is working OK, and it should be on a new pump, then there must be some compressible element in your water system. This could either be an accumulator or trapped air, most likely in your water heater. A good run through at full bore normally clears air (in systems of my vintage anyway).

One way to test would be to pinch the outlet pipe thus minimising the volume into which the pump delivers. If the pump then comes up to pressure in no time then, you'll have something compressible downstream.


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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Bartfarst on Thu May 25, 2017 10:52 am

I suspect in common with many others on this forum who are satisfied with our 'older' vans and generally know them and their foibles pretty well, I've lost touch with developments. So this is the first I'd heard of submersible pumps being installed in AS vans. However my immediate thought was that surely Whale pumps' target application is tow caravanner who generally have an external "Aquaroll" or similar and insert the pump in the water as required. In my view this differs completely from what I understand to be a permanent installation where, day in day out, the pump is submerged in a fixed tank, sloshing about with jolting, vibration and everything else which goes on in quite a hostile application. Moreover, whilst we might consider that our clean water tanks are clean, if you've ever taken one off after a few years, I'll bet that, like I did, you'll find substantial quantities of sand, silt and other debris in the base of the tank, presumably accumulating right where the submersible pump is tasked with lifting the water. Again, this is totally different from use in an Aquaroll where water you don't use gets drained along with any accumulation of crud. I assume there's no strainer too so any crud goes straight into the gear, impellor or whatever.

In short, whilst there may be a quality issue with Whale pumps, to me this situation smacks of the wrong pump being used in the wrong application. Having been involved in supplier quality for more years than I care to remember, it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in conversations between AS and Whale over warranty costs!

Meanwhile having just changed my Shureflo after 22 years of service, this has to be best tool for the job, particularly with a nice high capacity strainer on the inlet.


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Re: Another water disaster

Post by meanchris on Thu May 25, 2017 11:39 am

Sounds about right to me up!

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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Cookie99 on Thu May 25, 2017 1:29 pm

Hi bartfast, I have a nature pure water filter in line before the pump and the inlet and outlet pipes are both 10mm against the rest of the installation 13mm pipe. Perhaps that and the filter is causing it?
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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Cookie99 on Thu May 25, 2017 1:37 pm

I am also getting a lot of noise from the pump which may be the hard plastic pipe and push fit connectors I have used and perhaps I should have used softer and more cushioning hose pipe with jubilee clips.
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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Bartfarst on Thu May 25, 2017 3:31 pm

Cookie99 wrote:Hi bartfast, I have a nature pure water filter in line before the pump and the inlet and outlet pipes are both 10mm against the rest of the installation 13mm pipe. Perhaps that and the filter is causing it?
If you've put the water filter on the inlet to Shurflo inboard pump then my feeling is that this will cause you some issues. The key issue is that according to the manufacturer's specification a Shurflo pump can self-prime from dry when the water level is 6ft below the inlet to the pump. So basically it can lift a head of circa 72 inches of water which, at 26 inches H2O per psi, equates to a capability of roughly 3 psi of 'suction'. Now at the flow rate the pump draws, the resistance/restriction provided by the pure water filter might be of significance, perhaps not sufficient to stop the pump self-priming (particularly when the filter is dry and you're drawing air through it) but it might just be restricting the pump's delivery capability.

Is this the filter concerned?

http://www.motorcaravanning.co.uk/shopuk/water_filters.htm

If so, note their comment regarding pressure range 25 - 100 psi with the possibility of operating down to 15 psi. These are *supply* pressures and imply that even at these pressures, flows are restricted. So you'll get away using this in the delivery side (is your pump rated at 20 or 30 psi?) but on the inlet side, I'd expect that you'd notice a significant impairment of pump performance. In other words the pressure drop though the filter is likely to be significant in comparison with the pumps suction performance, but much less significant in comparison with its delivery performance, so stick it on the delivery side of the pump.

Also bear in mind that, from what folk have said, whilst a Shurflo pump appears to work with a defunct Whale pump still in line down in the tank, this will provide a further degree of restriction on your inlet side potentially further exacerbating the problem.

10 <-> 13mm ID pipe I don't think is the issue. 13mm offers 59% of the resistance of 10mm (ratio of areas) but that's 59% of very little anyway in comparison.

In summary, in my view the sequence of flow should be tank, pick-up (preferably without the failed sub. pump), Shurflo strainer, Shurflo pump, water filter, taps etc. Or does the filter only go in the line to the kitchen for drinking water? If so then put it only in the line feeding that tap.

Hope this helps?


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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Cookie99 on Thu May 25, 2017 5:23 pm

Many thanks for all your input Bartfast. The filter is the one your link referred to and it is on the inlet side of the pump so I will rearrange it when I get back home next week and let you know how it goes. Also it is the 20psi trail king 7.
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Re: Another water disaster

Post by Cookie99 on Mon May 29, 2017 6:12 pm

Well Bartfast, you were spot on with your diagnosis! I have rearranged the plumbing so that the pump is upstream of the filter and all is working fine now. I had to remove the one way valve also as the pump was making it chatter quite a lot. All is working quietly and only running on for a couple of seconds after turning the tap off. Thank you so much for your invaluable help. allthumbz
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