How does the water system work?

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How does the water system work? Empty How does the water system work?

Post by bernieproberts on Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:53 pm

In my previous 2004 Nuevo ES I poured water into the fresh water tank and had a pump under the seat delivering it to the taps. I now have a 2013 Nuevo ES and having read the posts about the difficulties in replacing the submersible pump I am very worried about the fresh water system.

Has anyone removed the fresh water tank, how easy was it, and what cables and pipes go into it.

Also when putting water into the tank from a tap it goes through the Whale Socket and through a Solenoid Valve on its way to the fresh water tank. What does the Solenoid Valve do, what is the wiring diagram for it?

Am I correct in thinking that should the pump in the fresh water tank fail I could use the pump from an external water bottle and then by joining the Solenoid Valve to the Water Pressure Switch this would enable the system to work?

I would like to know how the system works in case I have a problem on holiday abroad.

 

Bernie
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Post by Dutto on Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:22 pm

Bernie,

Unfortunately I don't own a Nuevo however, as I said many times before I retired to Operators in the oil and gas industry, "Have you read the Manual?" Whistle1 

It's amazing how much information there is in those books that I used to write!! allthumbz 

Best regards,
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Post by inspiredron on Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:37 am



Am I correct in thinking that should the pump in the fresh water tank fail I could use the pump from an external water bottle and then by joining the Solenoid Valve to the Water Pressure Switch this would enable the system to work?

I would like to know how the system works in case I have a problem on holiday abroad.

 

Bernie
Your solution would work BUT you would need to get to the electrics feeding+ the socket on the side of the van.
There are several posts on this site with arguments on the merits and demerits of the Whale system which will give a flavour to you.
However, to answer your specific question - as far as I know there are two valves involved when filling. Let's first look at the plain hose. That has a normal tap connector on one end and the box on the other. That box, which clips onto the socket on the side of the van has a mechanical valve inside it. When you clip it onto the side of the van the o-ringed pipe inside the socket enters the hole in the box and opens the valve. At the same time the o-rings make a leakproof connection, even under pressure. Behind the socket is another electrically operated valve and that only opens if power is applied to the solenoid AND the Sargent unit is switched on. So the "Pump" setting on the Sargent has to be set to External or Both. When you drive to the tap your Sargent will automatically switch off so you have to remember to switch back on to let water into the tank. As far as I know failure of the electic solenoid valve means there is NO WAY TO GET WATER INTO THE TANK. 
You should have a small plastic widget which can fit into the back of the box on the hose and turned slightly to retain it and so to release the mechanical valve. That has two purposes; one to allow you to use the same hose to fill the Thetford flush tank and the other to allow the cassette hose to flatten as it is recoiled. You will notice that the white box has no electrical contacts.
The second hose is much shorter and has a submersible pump on one end and what looks like the same white box on the other - but not quite as this one does have electrical contacts. As soon as the white box is plugged onto the side of the van the pump starts to whirr and will empty a 2 gallon bucket in about 40 secs. Always drop the pump into the bucket of water before plugging the white box onto the side of the van. Although the submersible pump is pumping the water, it cannot go anywhere unless both the mechanical valve and the solenoid valve are open. So unless the solenoid valve is working and energised the pumped filler is useless.
This is covered very sketchily in the manual and there is no hint that, if the solenoid valve fails, you are stuffed but I am pretty sure that you are.
If the pump in the tank fails then your wiring would allow the external pump to replace it but you would also need to energise the solenoid valve. It's a get you home fix!
I hope this helps.

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Post by bernieproberts on Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:46 am

Thank you inspiredron for the information.

I noticed that when water from the tap is fed into the fresh water tank the solenoid valve is open but closes stopping the water supply when the tank is full. Does this mean there is a float inside the water tank which actuates and closes the solenoid valve when the tank is full?

Also I notice there are three electrical connections used on the Whale Watermaster Socket when I think only two are required. I would be interested in a wiring diagram to answer my questions. I have asked Auto-Sleepers but was told they would not release it as it was classified as intellectual property.

 

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Post by inspiredron on Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:56 am

bernieproberts wrote:Thank you inspiredron for the information.

I noticed that when water from the tap is fed into the fresh water tank the solenoid valve is open but closes stopping the water supply when the tank is full. Does this mean there is a float inside the water tank which actuates and closes the solenoid valve when the tank is full?

Also I notice there are three electrical connections used on the Whale Watermaster Socket when I think only two are required. I would be interested in a wiring diagram to answer my questions. I have asked Auto-Sleepers but was told they would not release it as it was classified as intellectual property.

 

Bernie
I don't know where the cut-off is but it is likely to be in the tank. It may be pressure activated but that is unlikely as the tank has a breather hole at the top which leaks water when the tank is full. That auto cut-of is very useful as it allows you to deal with emptying the loo and waste while the tank is filling without worrying about water gushing everywhere.  It is also an essential if you are on a pitch with a dedicated tap as you could leave the water connected and it would top up the tank every time you use any water.  Having said that, I don't think I would ever leave the van for more than a few moments with mains water connected!

I have not investigated the wiring of the socket but there would need to be at least three wires. One would be for positive powering the solenoid valve, a second positive for powering the external pump and a third as a common negative for both. Presumably the positive that powers the solenoid valve would be fed via the tank full cut-off switch.

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Post by SteveplusChris on Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:40 pm

Hi, You have by the sound of it read my hysterics about the submersible pump in the tank. This has to be one of the poorest designs / set ups ever. I have cut out the subs pump and fitted a Surflow in the wardrobe. The tank looks easy to remove, believe me it is impossible without a full vehicle hoist and a lot of mechanical work to get stuff out of the way (handbrake cable and mechanism for one). Don't even start if you are working under the van on the deck!! All the other posts are quite correct re solenoid valves and stuff. I think if I had a failure on this I would dissconnect the water feed pipe from behind the unit (relatively easy) join the 12ml pipe to something bigger and add something like a hoselock connecter so you can then fill the tank (gauge should still tell you how much you have put in but failing all else the overflow will tell you when its full). All in all an over complicated and unnecessary system unless you are using your MH as a permanent chalet!!
As for reading the manual, don't ask my opinion on that-- absolute waste of space!!!
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Post by Peter Brown on Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:58 pm

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The leaflet above shows how the fill system works.  The distribution plumbing is as normal except that the pump is in the tank.

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Post by bernieproberts on Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:57 pm

Hi StevenplusChris. Thanks for your advise.

Not wanting to put a pump in the wardrobe and on removing the draw and seeing such little space below I think I would try and replace the sub pump. I would remove the sub pump and attach an in line coupler to the pipe and pump. Then drill a hole high up on the tank for the pump cable. If this did not work it would have to be a pump in the wardrobe. With luck the pump will not need replacing but good to be aware of the problems.

Bernie

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Post by bernieproberts on Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:03 am

Thank you Peter for the diagrams.

While installing a De-Frost Thermostat in the fresh water tank and insulating it I did not see a float but thought there should be one to operate the solenoid valve. I will now try and draw a wiring diagram for this part of the motorhome.

Bernie

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How does the water system work? Empty Related problem and one suggestion.

Post by GrahamF on Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:49 pm

Being a new member, my apologies if I am repeating anything previously covered, but I do have a related problem that could be of interest, and a couple of suggestions.
One day before recently setting out for 3 weeks in France, I found that I could not input any fresh water into the tank. (Worcester model, Whale system).  It either had to be the solenoid valve that had failed or the drive to it. Not having the time then to investigate, desperation came up with the idea of filling the tank via the drain pipe using one of those flexible hoses with a rubber conical end. (Flushing out beforehand of course). As the water level indicators were all working, it was a simple matter of filling until it showed 100% or even waiting for the water to come out of the tank vent. Not only did this work well but it filled the tank in a quarter of the time it usually takes due to narrow orifices on the Whale system.
On returning home I decided to get the problem fixed. However I live 90 miles from my nearest Autosleeper dealer - this is a 6 hour round trip which would probably have to be done more than once as spare stocks are not at all comprehensive. Therefore I thought that it made more sense to go to a local caravan dealer that was an approved Whale service agent and pay directly even though it was still nominally under warranty. Four hours of work later they determined that the solenoid was not receiving any drive signal and that the fault was probably in the Sargent EC328 (main power supply unit) and it would require changing.
Not only was I unconvinced about this diagnosis, but the thought of changing this unit filled me with trepidation let alone a dwindling bank balance. In fairness to this firm they did suggest that due to the cost I should take it to an Autosleeper dealer for completion under the warranty and generously did not charge me for the time they had spent investigating.
Having now got it back home I have looked at it myself (my working life was in electronics). I agree that the solenoid appears OK and no signal is being received to open it. As a first solution I have removed the solenoid valve and replaced it with a short length of copper pipe and two compression fittings (quite simple) such that I can now fill the tank - albeit I do have to turn the water off when it is full. However I would like to investigate further, but before doing so I would be very interested in any knowledge any members have of the system - how is the drive signal originated, etc. (Sargent do have quite an informative site).
This sounds like a good non-urgent job for a wet day - anything to avoid that trip back to the dealer!! 
Many thanks to anyone who can add to my knowledge.
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Post by Peter Brown on Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:22 pm

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I think you will find that both Whale and the AS Service Centre will give you advice over the phone.

I really admire the lateral thinking in filling your tank - brilliant.

Have you looked at the leaflets showing operation above? I don't think the Sargent unit gets involved except for supplying the power - have you tried using it to switch both pumps on?

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Post by inspiredron on Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:45 pm

Graham,
These Whale water systems have one rather silly quirk. You cannot fill unless the Sargent panel is switched ON. The first time we filled ours we were at home and the panel was switched on as we were checking all manner of things in the van. Two days later I spent half an hour at the service point at a site in Luxembourg trying to get water in, including checking the manual, before I realised that the panel might need to be switched on at its master switch (top left button). I already knew that the pump select setting had been put at "both" (which is probably irrelevant). What I had neglected was that when you start the engine to drive to the tap Nanny-State EEC regulations require that DC in the van is automatically switched off.  So when I arrived at the tap, there was no power to that solenoid valve until power is switched on again.  If the caravan dealer has not met this he may not be aware. 
I hope this is your problem, even if you may feel a littlel foolish - I certainly did in Luxembourg! scratch head 
Nowhere in the manuals does it tell you that the Sargent must be on to be able to fill, though if it was not you could not pump water in from an external container using your other hose with the pump on the end.


Last edited by inspiredron on Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:46 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)

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Post by bernieproberts on Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:38 am

From what I have been able to find the solenoid is normally closed. To open it power is needed from the Sargent unit which goes through the fresh water tank float switch. The float switch supplies power opening the solenoid until it reaches the full stage. It then switches off the power to the solenoid which closes.  A fault in the float switch may prevent power reaching the solenoid.


Last edited by Peter Brown on Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:44 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Convert to standard forum font)

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Post by inspiredron on Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:28 pm

bernieproberts wrote:From what I have been able to find the solenoid is normally closed. To open it power is needed from the Sargent unit which goes through the fresh water tank float switch. The float switch supplies power opening the solenoid until it reaches the full stage. It then switches off the power to the solenoid which closes.  A fault in the float switch may prevent power reaching the solenoid.
That is exactly right - the purpose of the float switch is to switch the water off when the tank is full, thus allowing the hose to be left permanently attached to the tap - if you have a personal one on your pitch.  And that is why the Sargent panel MUST be switched on for the valve to open.  So, if you drive to the tap you have to remember to switch the panel on again.

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How does the water system work? Empty Water system operation update

Post by GrahamF on Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:28 pm

My thanks to all members who volunteered information on the operation of the water system on my Worcester. (Input of 05 November 13). I thought that I would just inform you of the outcome in case it was of any help to others. My problem was that the solenoid valve would not operate and hence it was not possible to fill with water. The fresh water level indication is indeed taken from conduction across the stainless studs mounted up the side of the tank. However, this is not used to control the solenoid (it would have needed a driver stage to achieve it). As far as I could tell by crawling around underneath, power is fed via the Sargent EC328 control unit (to switch to "Ext" mode) and then via a float switch at the top of the tank and then through by what I assume is a pressure switch in the back of the Whale input socket and then to the solenoid. I guess the pressure switch is required to prevent the solenoid being permanently powered up if the water is disconnected and the control panel is inadvertently left in the "Ext" position. (Am I alone in thinking that this system is too complicated for the advantage obtained?) My difficulty seemed to be that power was not being transmitted by the float switch.  As this was very difficult to get at without pit or ramps and the van was still under warranty, I reluctantly threw in the towel and took it to the dealer. Their findings were that the connections to the float switch had corroded, remaking them seems to have solved the problem. I also asked them to look at the waste tank indicators as they also had not worked for some time - again they thought that this was the same problem. I have seen references on the forum to corrosion in this area - it is obviously not an isolated incident. Also, 3 months back I had the vehicle serviced and it was found that both number plate lights had corroded beyond redemption. For a vehicle that was only 18 months old this was somewhat worrying - it may be wet up in the Yorkshire Dales but I don't live in a salt mine! Hope this information may be of some use to a member.
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Post by Peter Brown on Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:39 pm

Thank you very much for the feedback.

Peter

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Post by Jaytee on Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:37 pm

All this info is really useful, copied and stored. 
I had an issue when I first filled mine with solenoid ticking furiously when I switched the master switch on. It was so annoying I wat the point of a stroke. 
No fuse diagrams that made sense so I could not isolate the problem.
Wifey (bless her) said 'this only started when we filled the tank'.  scratch head 

So next step, check under sink where the solenoid etc lives. While under sink noise stopped. Hmmm, but as soon as I moved it started. 
Problem solved, float switch has no time delay so when the van moved so did the water in the tank.
I now fill till the solenoid closes the fill valve and then drain some off until the clicking stops.
Good design eh  Whistle1

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Post by inspiredron on Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:24 pm

John,
Were you coasting with the engine off?  As soon as you start the engine to move the control panel switches off - and this includes the solenoid. If yours doesn't then it needs fixing, always assuming that it is an EC325/8.  If you have the Whale system I am surprised if you don't have a complant control panel.

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Post by Jaytee on Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:46 pm

Hi Ron, no just on site without the rear legs down. Mine has the EC480 panel. Does all switch off when engine running so no probs there  up!

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Post by Bad Penny on Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:49 pm

Hi Bernie. Just catching up on the forum and saw your query "how does the water system work".  I have just taken delivery of my new Broadway EK TB LP and because of all the feed back regarding problems of filling etc, I asked if I could have a normal water filling system fitted, where I can just pour water in, in the old fashion way from a hose or a can to top up. This now sits alongside the caravan type filling system. Maybe an option you could consider, it is not a difficult job to have done. 
Unfortunately I don't know what the cost would be.

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Post by daisy mae on Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:45 pm

After reading all this,  riveting stuff it may be, I know one thing I am sticking with the MH I have , new technology, uh! all that faffing about, I thought "camping " was suppose to be a relaxing hobby or life style, it is like everything these days, everything you go to buy is suppose to be New and Improved most times it isn`t . I like plain and simple, probably like me then. hugegrins

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Post by Jaytee on Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:02 pm

Have to agree in a way daisy Mae BUT when computers etc are working they are wonderful and do make life easier. Plus of course to get all that power from the engine and still get 26mpg would be difficult without the darn things.

If I could have bought a new motor home without a computer in it then I must admit I would have  Whistle1 

I did change my computer driven Landrover for a 20 year old one where the most complex bit of electrics is the wiper motor  hugegrins and it's cheap as chips to fix and I don't need to carry diagnostics. BUT the traction control has to be my head, hands and feet instead of a computer  shrugg 

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Post by daisy mae on Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:58 pm

Hi jaytee

I wasn`t meaning computers as such, it is the new water systems, whatever happened to the ..if it aint broke don`t mend it , I have a computer in my MH , but isn`t anything like the one in my husbands  Mondeo Titanium X, I don`t like it, plus I am very uncomfortable getting in and out of cars, too low for me, that is why my Clubman is my everyday vehicle, which I do use a lot. years ago I use to do jobs on my cars, these days have to pay someone to do them, it is just money for the garages, there doesn`t seem to be mechanics now just fitters, I am very fortunate that I have an old fashioned mechanic that can repair and knows modern vehicles as well.

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Post by bernieproberts on Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:45 pm

Hi Penny ,
I would have had the normal water filling system fitted along side the caravan type if it had been offered by Auto-Sleepers when I went there to discuss alterations. I find the hose fitting to fill the fresh water tank good if a little slow as it can be left to switch its self off when full. As for filling from a water container it works well without having to lift the water container. I have worked out the wiring and plumbing  for the water system and think I can cope with a mall function. The part that I did not appreciate was the pump inside the fresh water tank. I have now figured out how to use the filler pump outside in a water container to provide water to the taps if the pump inside the fresh water tank fails on holiday. It involves altering the plumbing slightly but should work. I, like you, cannot see why the normal water filling system with the pump inside the motorhome that has proved very reliable could not be retained. I just hope the Whale system is as reliable as the system in my old 2005 Nuevo ES. I hope you enjoy your new Broadway EK TB LP  as much as we are our Nuevo ES.
 
Regards Bernie

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Post by Bad Penny on Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:13 pm

Bernie. I would not worry too much about the pump inside the water tank, I had a Burstner with that system for nearly ten years and never had a problem. Just drain well in the winter and make sure you never run it accidentally when the tank is empty.
I don't think I made myself clear regarding the old water filling system, but you can have it retro fitted by the dealer such as Marquis or at Broadway by Auto-Sleeper.

Happy touring for 2014
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Vehicle Year : 2014 mod

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