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whalemaster system and whale external pump

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Post by Caraman on Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:44 pm

Allan,
You say you hose fill the tank via the drain tap.  What happens if you hose fill it through the Whale socket?  Does water get through into the tank and does it stop when the tank is full?
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Post by Caraman on Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:55 pm

Allan,
Also, have you tried putting 12V across the brass contacts on the Whale plug with say your jump leads with the pump submersed in the barrel to see if you get a strong water flow?
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Post by Caraman on Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:26 pm

Allan,
The reason i asked those questions is because my water roll fill played up during the last 3 days and its the first time I've used this method of filling since lockdown.  The Whale pump ran some of the time but not all the time and on a couple of occasions it chattered on and off in the way you described.  At first I thought it was poor brass connections in the plug & socket but cleaning them made no difference.  I then checked that the pump was OK by connecting it directly to 12V in the way I described and there was a respectable water flow.  On the way out of the site I connected the mains fed hose pipe to the Whale socket.  At first water didn't flow but after switching the autofill off and on it started to flow.  This morning back home I checked the water barrel filling and it now appears to be OK and for good measure I checked the hose feed which is also OK.  I routinely drain my water system between trips.  It is possible that dried out limescale interfered with the water flow which the mains water pressure cleared.  I haven't cleaned or descaled the water system which I might now do.  On my AS model the Whale solenoid and its connections are hidden amongst the EC700 rats nest which makes removal and cleaning difficult.  When you cleaned your filter was there any debris in it?  It's interesting that IslandSparky has removed his solenoid due to unreliability of the system.  This presumably means the water flow and pump will no longer shut down when the tank is full.
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Post by roger7webster on Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:21 pm

A further problem may be related to the water tank float switch. This is connected to a relay that allows 12v to the whale socket and solenoid valve when energized. Worth a check to see if its working
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Post by safariboy on Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:30 pm

I cleaned my tank with citric acid solution and ran the 5% solution into the system (inc. the water heater)  This solved the problem with intermittent operation of the pump and the level gauges started to work again correctly.
I made up 20l of hot citric acid and pumped it into the tank.  As it went in the gauge started to work correctly.  I then  pumped some of it into heater pipes etc. and switched on the heater for 20 min(low electric). I then topped up the cold water tank with cold water and left for several hours.  All then worked as new including the pressure switch. drained and washed out.  The water came out of the taps
 fizzing a bit.  It has continued to work since and we were using the van for about 2 months after the descale.
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Post by Peter Brown on Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:46 pm

roger7webster wrote:A further problem may be related to the water tank float switch. This is connected to a relay that allows 12v to the whale socket and solenoid valve when energized. Worth a check to see if its working

I thought the relay in the circuit was a relatively recent addition from about 2014 so didn't mention it but if there is one in the circuit it and the connections to the base should be inspected.
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Post by roger7webster on Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:39 am

I had a relay on my 2012 Sussex EB. Only found it when the system stopped working. Buried in the cats cradle mess of wires near the distribution box. It was the faulty component that time.
I have since ripped out the complete system, it was never going to be 100% reliable
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Post by Allan on Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:50 pm

I thought I'd just write to say thanks to everyone who has taken the trouble to offer suggestions re: my water pump problems - much appreciated! I don't know what I've done, but the whale socket now allows the submersible pump to work and I can hear water going into the tank - not very much - more of a trickle. I'm using the van next week and will check everything again - Cheers
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Post by gpilky on Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:14 am

Interesting thread - I was about to buy a submersible Whalemaster pump, but this has made me reconsider!

I did check the voltage on the brass connectors last week in the socket and there is 12v there, presumably to power the submersible pump. However, the Watermaster Mains does not have any connections (if I recall correctly) so these cannot have any bearing on the working of the system - they must supply power only. 

I have been looking at the wiring diagram for the Whale system and it does not have anything to do with the Sargent system that I can see. It appears to run from the 12v directly from the battery, so should be independent from being connected to mains. 

Overall I've concluded that it is a very simple 12v system - the pressure switch, solenoid (or relay) and float switch are likely all in series. When the pressure switch sees pressure and the float switch shows low level, the circuit is made, current flows and the solenoid opens. When there is no pressure or when the tank is full, the circuit is broken and the solenoid closes.

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Post by marconi on Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:26 pm

gpilky wrote:Interesting thread - I was about to buy a submersible Whalemaster pump, but this has made me reconsider!

I did check the voltage on the brass connectors last week in the socket and there is 12v there, presumably to power the submersible pump. However, the Watermaster Mains does not have any connections (if I recall correctly) so these cannot have any bearing on the working of the system - they must supply power only. 

I have been looking at the wiring diagram for the Whale system and it does not have anything to do with the Sargent system that I can see. It appears to run from the 12v directly from the battery, so should be independent from being connected to mains. 

Overall I've concluded that it is a very simple 12v system - the pressure switch, solenoid (or relay) and float switch are likely all in series. When the pressure switch sees pressure and the float switch shows low level, the circuit is made, current flows and the solenoid opens. When there is no pressure or when the tank is full, the circuit is broken and the solenoid closes.


How old is that diagram. Certainly by the time of the EC700, the Whale Autofil  does depend upon the Sargent Control System.

Yes the simple Whale set up is a basic series  circuit , the float switch has to be closed, the pressure switch closed and the Solenoid energised for water to flow.

Whale say a relay should be used controlled by the float switch as the float switch contacts are not rated for the Solenoid current.
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Post by gpilky on Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:35 pm

Hi Marconi,

The wiring diagram came from Sargent - it has a stamp on it saying it was approved on 4/12/2017 - so not that old! It doesn't actually state what control unit the wiring harness is for, but I was discussing problems with my solar on the EC500 with them when their technical department sent it too me.

I think you are confirming what I thought. I'd read about the relay too. 

Now what to do? The system seems to be causing all sorts of problems. Thinking about stripping it out (as I never run with a full tank anyway) but in the meantime it might just be a watering can smile!
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Post by Molly3 on Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:26 pm

The last thing i want  is to  carry an aqua  roll  .
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Post by marconi on Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:06 pm

gpilky wrote:Hi Marconi,

The wiring diagram came from Sargent - it has a stamp on it saying it was approved on 4/12/2017 - so not that old! It doesn't actually state what control unit the wiring harness is for, but I was discussing problems with my solar on the EC500 with them when their technical department sent it too me.

I think you are confirming what I thought. I'd read about the relay too. 

Now what to do? The system seems to be causing all sorts of problems. Thinking about stripping it out (as I never run with a full tank anyway) but in the meantime it might just be a watering can smile!

Looking at the EC500 outputs it does appear that there would be a Relay to control the fill pump. it seems you have a choice of Pump1 Pump2 or Both on the control panel.

Dare we ask what your Solar Problems are.

Regarding the Auto Fill system. There have been quite a few reports of problems recently and threads on the subject. Some like to use it.

Me, I tried it to see if it worked, laughed and have never used it again and don't intend to. I use a hose pipe or a watering can.

Seems Molly3 feels the same. up!
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Post by gpilky on Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:59 am

marconi wrote:
gpilky wrote:Hi Marconi,

The wiring diagram came from Sargent - it has a stamp on it saying it was approved on 4/12/2017 - so not that old! It doesn't actually state what control unit the wiring harness is for, but I was discussing problems with my solar on the EC500 with them when their technical department sent it too me.

I think you are confirming what I thought. I'd read about the relay too. 

Now what to do? The system seems to be causing all sorts of problems. Thinking about stripping it out (as I never run with a full tank anyway) but in the meantime it might just be a watering can smile!

Looking at the EC500 outputs it does appear that there would be a Relay to control the fill pump. it seems you have a choice of Pump1 Pump2 or Both on the control panel.

Dare we ask what your Solar Problems are.

Regarding the Auto Fill system. There have been quite a few reports of problems recently and threads on the subject. Some like to use it.

Me, I tried it to see if it worked, laughed and have never used it again and don't intend to. I use a hose pipe or a watering can.

Seems Molly3 feels the same. up!

Had a play yesterday getting ready for a trip. I have a Watermaster Mains so hooked it up the hose and started to fill. Worked OK but the fill rate seemed pretty slow, even with the tap full open. I guess its designed for leaving on and keeping topped up, rather than a quick fill. Couldn't wait for the tank to fill to test the tank float switch. Filled it with the watering can which is simpler and quicker, so now my water master is consigned to the garage!

I did switch off the EC500 when it was filing, so there must be some input from it. I see the connections for the Pump 1 and 2 on the back of the EC500 - I had assumed these were to do with the fresh water pump, but perhaps one does provide the power to the Whalemaster socket.

Regarding the solar: When I got my motorhome this March I noticed no power indicated to the solar panel. I took out the EC500, wiggled the wire a bit and it came on. So I put it back again and it went off. I repeated this several times and eventually got it working for over a month if I didn't fit the EC500 back in. Long story short: I theorised that the wiring harness was perhaps putting stress on the connection so I cut the wire, extended it by 3" or so and tightened up the plug connections a bit. Put it back in and its been fine ever since......
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Post by Gromit on Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:15 am

steamdrivenandy wrote:A watering can to keep the tank topped up is much less faff and provides some exercise.
IanH wrote:Couldn't agree more, uses gravity as the only power source as well!!! (Except getting wifey to tap with watering can!!)
marconi wrote:I use a hose pipe or a watering can.
Seems Molly3 feels the same. up!
gpilky wrote:Filled it with the watering can which is simpler and quicker, so now my water master is consigned to the garage!
As a founder member of the Watering Can Club, I hope all your cheques are in the post!!!  Whistle1 lol4 lol4
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Post by marconi on Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:40 am

Gromit

Did you ever see a French Campingcariste without a Watering Can.

They know how to do Motor-Homing, including persuading the Authorities to provide / allow places for enjoying them, for Disposal, for Public Health Reasons, plus Potable Water.  allthumbz


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Post by marconi on Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:56 am

gpilky wrote:

Regarding the solar: When I got my motorhome this March I noticed no power indicated to the solar panel. I took out the EC500, wiggled the wire a bit and it came on. So I put it back again and it went off. I repeated this several times and eventually got it working for over a month if I didn't fit the EC500 back in. Long story short: I theorised that the wiring harness was perhaps putting stress on the connection so I cut the wire, extended it by 3" or so and tightened up the plug connections a bit. Put it back in and its been fine ever since......

I seem to remember that EC500 Solar Panel problem from a while ago.

This problem of heavy wiring looms putting excess strain on the connectors is rife with the EC700 too. The strain on at least one plug in my Nuevo, actually on the EM50, has burst open the side of  the plastic moulding.
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Post by Caraman on Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:05 am

Gromit wrote:
steamdrivenandy wrote:A watering can to keep the tank topped up is much less faff and provides some exercise.
IanH wrote:Couldn't agree more, uses gravity as the only power source as well!!! (Except getting wifey to tap with watering can!!)
marconi wrote:I use a hose pipe or a watering can.
Seems Molly3 feels the same. up!
gpilky wrote:Filled it with the watering can which is simpler and quicker, so now my water master is consigned to the garage!
As a founder member of the Watering Can Club, I hope all your cheques are in the post!!!  Whistle1 lol4 lol4
gardenb lollarge lol4

winks
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Post by Caraman on Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:00 pm

This is not for the Watering Can Club!  After an afternoon of experimenting on the drive, I found two possible sources of my problems.  The springy brass contacts on the Whale Watermaster socket had lost their springyness and I wasn't always getting a good connection.  Remedy - unscrew and remove the blue outer plate, pin the outer ends of the brass strips with a screwdriver and use a second screwdriver to prise/bend their middle inwards.  Whilst you've got the blue plate off you can see the inner workings of the pressure switch and a small red microswitch.  When the microswitch is pressed and the autofill is on at the CP the solenoid is energised.  The purpose of the pressure switch is to ensure there is a connected pressurised water supply at the inlet before the solenoid energises to open the valve to let the water in.  Without a pressure switch the solenoid would energise as soon as the autofill is switched on which could burn it out if its accidentally left on.  It's unlikely to be accidentally left on if water is passing through the valve into the fresh water tank and when the fresh water tank is full, supply to the solenoid and water pump is cut off by the float switch.  The pressure switch is sensitive to voltage.  I found when not on an EHU with the Watermaster pump the solenoid valve consistently pulsed on and off and sometimes it did it on an EHU. So after taking advice from Whale I ignored the 'do not adjust' message on the back of the socket and set about adjusting the pressure switch.  To my surprise I discovered if you remove the adjuster screw altogether it works fine without pulsing on either mains water pressure or the Watermaster pump, with the EHU on and off.  I confirmed that the solenoid is not drawing current when the autofill is switched on at the CP with no water pressure at the inlet.  The 0.8A that the solenoid draws can easily be seen on the CP.   I'll be testing it fully next week.  If I need to replace the adjuster screw and fiddle with, I can do so and I'll have a 5 inch section of pipe with me just in case I decide to remove the solenoid valve.  The 12V supply for the Watermaster pump on the socket comes on with the autofill and isn't affected by the pressure switch.
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Post by inspiredron on Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:57 pm

THANK YOU for that detailed description of what lies within the Whale socket. Following all the previous posts on this subject I have been feeling concerned about the possibility that the solenoid was being lowered whenever the control panel is switched on and the float switch is on - is tank less than 100% full but not believing it. Your full description is completely logical and explains why, occasionally, the filling can be slow. I seldom fill while on EHU and, as you say, any drop in voltage coupled with a poorly adjusted Microswitch could lead to solenoid chatfer thus reducing flow.
Can this post please be added to the Factshset section.
Thanks again.

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Post by bolero boy on Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:48 am

pbmarconi wrote:Gromit

Did you ever see a French Campingcariste without a Watering Can.


They know how to do Motor-Homing, including persuading the Authorities to provide / allow places for enjoying them, for Disposal, for Public Health Reasons, plus Potable Water.  allthumbz
M, i reckon most of those will be Dutch, hreat exponents od the Watering Can.
...from my own 'general' observations the French like to use the facilities provided by the Aire/Site to fill/empty....they dont have awnings and other fixed bits of kit like some do, so are happy to fill/dump at the Bourne/MHSP.

while i dont have a Watering Can, i do subscribe to a similar 'top up method' (10 ltr plastic carrier and a guttering elbow fixed into the water inlet) if long terming and not near a tap....
however, our usual winter long term sites will include a tap/drain on the pitch and any other 'touring' stops will be just for a few days which is easily covered with one fill on arrival and one empty on departure.

im sure some folk love the fill gadgets being discussed and i can see why they work for caravans that dont move but it seems overly complex for a MH and requires extra kit over just stuffing a hose in a hole and waiting a (comparatively) short time till the tank is full.

a hose is also a pretty well tried and tested method.

i also wouldnt want my inlet water supply left open/connected and dependant on a float switch in a tank that was fitted by the same converter that cant even seem to get a water level reading correct from that same tank.

i appreciate the float switch and the water levels are 'measured' by different methods.....however... 

i wish users luck but this in a other 'extra/item' which sounds good (to some) in the brochure but is dependant on good execution to give long term, fault free usage....and that where the problem may lie?

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Post by alanlakes on Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:35 am

Sorry if this has already been mentioned in the thread. But have you checked the little filter. Its accessed by unscrewing the the bit with flanges on to the right of the black solenoid in your picture. Take it out carefully noting which way round it fits. It's very fine and is usually covered in black gunge. I check mine at least once a season and when the filling slows down. Hope I am not preaching to the converted.

Regards Alan
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Post by marconi on Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:55 am

bolero boy. It depends where you go to see French Campers, the Dutch and Germans are expert cannists too, but for me the French have it, including the exploitation of free water.
Have you ever seen the French Meerkats who suddenly at dusk appear at the front of their vans, territory check. Then the can comes out and he heads off at high speed. Follow him through a hole in a hedge 100m away and into the sports ground. Or along the road past the Borne, 2 Euro for water, no thanks, to a hand size hole cut in the chain link fence where there is a stand pipe for the horses. hugegrins

Caraman is right, except the Pressure Switch is not sensitive to Voltage it is sensitive to Pressure. The Whale Pump produces varying Pressure depending upon the Voltage of the supply.
Surprisingly to Whale obviously, a tap also produces a varying pressure. Hence the pulsing. With so many variables I can't see the Pressure Switch adjustment ever finding the correct point or a sweet spot. Memories of the submerged Whale Pump Pressure switch. Although setting it for the Whale pump on Hook Up and then adjusting the water supply tap carefully for the same pressure when filling from a Site Tap should work providing its not a slow tap.

No one seems to have noted that the EC700 at least, will stop filling at 7 minutes OR when the tank is full according to the instructions. This could cause confusion leading to the thought that the system is faulty, particularly if dirt in the filter is making the fill slow.


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Post by Gromit on Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:59 am

This is the circuit diagram for my system.  Whistle1  lol4

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Post by Caraman on Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:16 am

Thanks Alan.  I did check mine and there was a bit of stuff in it.  I've actually taken mine out to try and increase the flow.  I can put it back if I need to.  If a bit of grit gets into the valve I think the worst it will do stop it closing fully which won't be the end of the world.  Picking up on bolero boys points, I have recently bought a longer fresh water hose and cassette. I haven't used it yet but I think I will in preference to the Watermaster hose and connector that came with the Nuevo by putting the water directly into the tank through the lockable filler cap.  I reckon it will be quicker and also easier & quicker to wind in the hose.  Obviously the autofill won't function but a bit of water coming out the overflow shouldn't be a problem.  This means that the Watermaster socket will only be used by the Watermaster pump that came with the Nuevo (I'm not joining the watering can club yet!) in which case the solenoid valve will serve no purpose because the contacts on the Watermaster socket are live when the autofill is on and only go off when the float switch indicates the fresh water tank is full.  This being so, my solenoid valve might soon be a thing of the past and be replaced with a 5 inch piece of pipe which will reduce power consumption (0.8A) and will help to improve the flow rate.  All I will lose is the ability to have a permanently connected mains water supply that keeps the freshwater tank topped up.  I won't miss this as I don't use it now.  If I have a tap on the pitch I use it to refill the freshwater tank when I need to which is about once every couple of days.
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Member

Male

Posts : 568
Joined : 2019-04-19
Location : SALISBURY
Auto-Sleeper : Nuevo
Vehicle Year : 2019

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