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Water pump problem...

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Water pump problem... Empty Water pump problem...

Post by groundhog on Wed May 21, 2014 7:38 pm

Just filled the van with water (whale pump) and unit reads 75% full tank, open the drain and yes it is pretty full. Turn on the water pump and the unit reads 0% full and starts beeping, no water at the tap and the pump does nothing. Checked the pump fuse ( blown), put in a new fuse and still nothing from the pump but the unit no longer bleeps, the pump light just stays on and the unit still reads 75%? Listen carefully and you can here what sounds like a solenoid trying to kick in so there must I think be power to the pump. Had a look at the wiring under the tank and it looks OK but without deeper investigation who knows.

Since new the pump has always been very noisy, well it is silent now. On a previous thread I mentioned it may have been damaged when knowing no better I left it on and the dump valve opened and it was running dry for a while! Wouldn't have thought that would have been the cause of it just stopping suddenly though?
i
Suggestions please? scratch head
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Post by inspiredron on Wed May 21, 2014 8:24 pm

Oh dear! Two things point towards burnt out pump. First it is not working and secondly you found the fuse blown. These pumps are not designed to run dry and if it ran dry for "a while" it would have got very hot. I guess that the motor windings overheated, melted and created a short circuit thus blowing the fuse. If it is like our Lancashire the pump will be a submersible in the water tank which will need to be dropped to check it and to replace if necessary.

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Post by modelman on Thu May 22, 2014 7:53 am

If the pump HAS burnt-out, then I would change it for a Shurflo, which CAN be run dry & are self-priming.

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Post by Peter Brown on Thu May 22, 2014 9:32 am

On the control panel you can select 3 options for the pumps; int, ext and both.  If ext is selected then the pump won't work.

After many attempts, the erratic operation of my freshwater indicator giving symptoms similar to yours was rectified by replacing the 5 sensors in the tank.

Not with the Whale system, but on my van the Sargent system inhibits pump operation and gives an alarm when the level indication is under 25%. The alarm can be overridden.

So it could be switching, indication problem or faulty pump or any of the associated wiring and fuses.

If you are able to split the system and test operation of pump by false feed, do so.  Otherwise you need to visit a repair agent.

Peter


Last edited by Peter Brown on Sat May 24, 2014 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : corrections made to pump operation with empty tank)
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Post by inspiredron on Thu May 22, 2014 6:06 pm

Peter Brown wrote:

The Sargent system inhibits pump operation when it thinks the tank is empty.

Peter


If that is the case then the pump would have switched off as soon as the tank ran dry which is a very useful safety device. But why would the fuse have blown?  scratch head 

I will check my own one out because I think that I have heard my pump running, at least for a moment, when the tank is empty and I have switched it on by mistake. On my old Hymer I always had to remove the pump fuse for winter storage or I could not leave the taps open - there was no switch on th ewater pump circuit!

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Post by Peter Brown on Thu May 22, 2014 6:15 pm

It won't stop the pump when the tank empties.  It gives an alarm and stops the internal pump being switched on when the fresh water level indication is 0%.  This can be overridden by acknowledging the alarm. I found this out with faulty indications, not with an empty tank!

Peter


Last edited by Peter Brown on Sat May 24, 2014 9:23 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : corrected pump oeration info)
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Post by groundhog on Thu May 22, 2014 9:01 pm

Thanks all. Since replacing the fuse the unit still shows the correct water level when turned on so can it be a sensor issue? In any event I will get a new one fitted even if it starts to miraculously work in the meantime, I just do not trust the old one now, rather replace it now than have a failure in some far away spot!

If fitting a sureflo pump this would have to be inside in a cupboard, is that correct? Am I also correct that you do not have to drop the tank on the Worcester to replace the whale pump but can do it via the access on the top?
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Post by hblewett on Fri May 23, 2014 7:20 pm

Sorry to say that you do have to drop the tank on a Worcester to replace the internal pump -even Autosleeper thought it could be accessed from inside the van until they went and checked one in 'the yard' after I queried where is the supposed access was, and they then agreed that there isn't one.

I'm having problems with my level indicator too - it goes onto 0% when the tank is FULL, but as soon as you use some it gives a 75% reading, (so the 0% indication does not inhibit the functioning of the pump).  It randomly reads 0% at other times to, so it's difficult being sure how much water we have left with real confidence.

When we had our problem with the pump failure last year in Finland, we also had a problem with the external pump not working after the internal pump was replaced; this was down to the joints on the 12v connections having broken as a result of being disturbed while the tank was being taken down, AND because they were nearly corroded through - I would say they would have corroded on their own accord within another year.  So I would check all those 12v leads/connectors, as well as the sensors, as they could be the cause of the problem too.

I believe that our internal pump must have been left running too, for it to fail - we now have a spare tucked away, just in case - only £20 something pounds on ebay.

We are currently in Poland, on our way to Berlin, having gone via Venice and Budapest - great trip and no water/pump problems this time apart from uncertainty about how much water we have.  Like you, I will get it all looked at before our next long trip - it was no fun having the problems while we were away, but we got it sorted, as I'm sure most things can be if needs must.
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Post by hblewett on Fri May 23, 2014 7:34 pm

PS

Just to clarify - there is an access in the top of the tank, but there is no access through the floor to get at the top of the tank, so the tank does have to be lowered.

Also, our pump worked for two months after we acquired thevan at 15 months old, then failed suddenly - when the pump ws removed from the tank it the casing was clearly showing signs that it has overheaded, being brown and slightly distorted at the top where the lead goes into the pump.

Good luck with getting yours fixed - as you say, I would get the lot checked/replaced as necessary, and ideally get the 12v connectors under the van wrapped with something like Densotape, as the insulation tape used originally obviously hardens, the adhesive dries out, and then water/raod salt can ingress the joint and before long it has corroded
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Post by groundhog on Sun May 25, 2014 8:24 pm

Thanks for that hblewett, you are certainly getting around in your van hope the trip is everything you could wish for. We had a problem with the level indicator too, seems quite common, Marquis had an electrician fix it and all was fine except...... he did it on a wet day and taped the wiring back on the tank with some pretty cheap tape, within five miles it started to come off and the end went under the back wheel. BANG ripped off the wastepipe and left the wires exposed. I ended up getting the new parts posted to me and doing it myself. confused3 

We are taking the van back to Marquis in a couple of weeks, I really don't fancy doing it myself. W are not planning to use the van again until September as we will be with the family in Canada until then so the repair is not too urgent.

Thanks again and happy travels allthumbz
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Post by groundhog on Tue May 27, 2014 10:07 am

The plot thickens, had a proper look and the negative wire to the solenoid under the sink had come or been knocked off. Both fuses had blown. Replace fuses, replace connection and.........nothing!! At least the fuses didn't blow again.
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Post by groundhog on Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:17 pm

BRILLIANT SERVICE FROM MARQUIS PLYMOUTH.......took the van in and sure enough the water pump was u/s and as hblewett says tank has to be dropped.

They went one better and cut the back of the tank and fitted an access hatch, pump replaced and now working, all covered under the three year County extra warranty. 

You can't ask for better than that. A simple modification well worth thinking about as I can now clean the tank out, change the pump etc within minutes.

Thank you Marquis one very happy customer!!
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