Worcester water pump packed up - in Finland!

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Post by hblewett on Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:42 pm

We are in Finland in our Autosleeper Worcester and the water pump has stopped working. The water system is a Whale pressurised system; I have checked the fuse - No 4 - and that is OK. For a couple of days the pump has sometimes 'run-on' (or sounds as if it has) after the tap is switched off, particularly if the tap was run very slowly. Opening the tap fully then shutting it again has switched the pump off.

Any thoughts as to what may be wrong and the possible fix would be most welcome
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Post by DickandJanGlover on Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:46 am

There is a pressure switch on the water system, which in our Worcester is at the bottom of the cupboard under the sink. The knurled knob turns clockwise to increase water pressure and anti-c to reduce it. Have a play with that. We had pump run-on problems and solved them by reducing the pressure a little. If the pump does not work at all, I have no good suggestions: the pump is inside the water tank... and to change it you would have to drop the tank (and have a spare).

If your night time temperature approaches freezing and you have not heated water, the frost valve by the hot water cylinder will drop all your water and running the pump dry will break it quite quickly. If you heat the water, that should prevent the frost valve from actuating, since it's alongside the hot water cylinder and will get enough leaked heat to keep it warm.

If it has been really cold, your water tank (and the pump in it) may have frozen - happened to us once - and the pump won't run, but isn't broken.

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Post by Dutto on Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:09 am

Hi there,

I agree with previous.up!

This can often happen if you have accidentally left the pump switched on when you are motoring.wave

Also, it might help if afterwards you fill the tank completely and open all the taps to make sure that the system is fully purged of air and there is no "spitting".

If it looks like you need a new pump then there will be plenty available from local stores; even in Finland!allthumbz

Best regards,
drinksallround

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Post by hblewett on Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:48 am

Thanks to you both. I have had a play with the pressure switch and that hasn't produced any result, unfortunately. I wouldn't have expected the pump to go, as the motorhome is less than 2 years old, and had little use befor ewe bought it 2-3 months ago, but maybe it has. It was over-running a bit earlier, but only after running the tap very slowly - opening it fully and then shutting solved the problem. I'm waiting for the dealer to get back to me before deciding my next course of action, but there is a dealer where we are in Rovaneimi, so we shouldn't have much bother - there are plenty of Finnish Motorhomes about, so I'm sure it will be no mystery to their people. 'll let you know how we get on.
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Post by DickandJanGlover on Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:24 am

Dutto wrote:
This can often happen if you have accidentally left the pump switched on when you are motoring.wave

Not on this van, most habitation 12v supply is deactivated when the engine is running. The pump can't be used while the engine is running.

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Post by Dutto on Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:00 pm

DickandJanGlover wrote:
Dutto wrote:
This can often happen if you have accidentally left the pump switched on when you are motoring.wave

Not on this van, most habitation 12v supply is deactivated when the engine is running. The pump can't be used while the engine is running.

.... and what happens when you switch the ignition off and the water is still sloshing about in the tank may I ask???????scratch headscratch head

I think you will find that the pump kicks in regardless and can pull air into the system!allthumbzallthumbz

Best regards,
drinksallround
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Post by groundhog on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:47 pm

Sorry to hear the problem,hope you get it sorted, I am worried myself now.

I left the heating on in the winter but clearly not enough and the valve dumped all the water but I also left the pump switched on so in the morning it was running with no water in the tank, must have been running for ages like that, possibly hours! Anyway it still seems to work OK but maybe I have damaged it and it will give up the ghost when we go away?? Do you think I should change it, seems to work fine at the moment.

Re the engine not exactly sure what you mean Dutto but as soon as you start the engine everything else shuts down. If you turn the ignition/ engine off you have to physically switch the pump back on again it will not switch on by itself.
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Post by Dutto on Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:14 pm

groundhog wrote:Sorry to hear the problem,hope you get it sorted, I am worried myself now.

I left the heating on in the winter but clearly not enough and the valve dumped all the water but I also left the pump switched on so in the morning it was running with no water in the tank, must have been running for ages like that, possibly hours! Anyway it still seems to work OK but maybe I have damaged it and it will give up the ghost when we go away?? Do you think I should change it, seems to work fine at the moment.

Re the engine not exactly sure what you mean Dutto but as soon as you start the engine everything else shuts down. If you turn the ignition/ engine off you have to physically switch the pump back on again it will not switch on by itself.

Hi there,

Most modern pumps are diaphragm pumps and designed to run "dry" for quite a long time; luckily for most of us!

If it is running okay and developing pressure and flow then the chances are that you haven't damaged anything; but you may have added a couple of years of wear!!wave

With regard to the pump running:

o  Assume that there is a low water level in the tank.  (With us there is always a low level because we hate paying for the extra fuel to hump water around!)

o  The 12v has been switched "On" and the pump has stopped on "high pressure".  (i.e. The high pressure switch has activated to stop the pump.)

o  The engine is started, the 12v is disconnected and you set off for a nice long drive.

If there is any drop in discharge pressure the pump cannot start; but the pressure switch will activate and try to turn the pump "On".   (When the water in the heater cools down the pressure in the hot water system always drops!)

At this stage, if the engine ignition is switched off the pump will start; and if there is any air in the suction the pump will air-lock and keep running because there is no water in the suction to reinstate the pressure and stop the pump via the pressure switch.

Hope this is a clear explanation.allthumbz

Best regards,
drinksallround

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Post by DickandJanGlover on Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:31 pm

Ian said: "At this stage, if the engine ignition is switched off the pump will start; and if there is any air in the suction the pump will air-lock and keep running because there is no water in the suction to reinstate the pressure and stop the pump via the pressure switch."

No, it won't in a Worcester. You must do two things manually after turning the engine off before the pump can run:
1. Turn on the 12v system
2. Turn on the 12v supply to the pump (and yes it runs a bit, and then normally stops; if it keeps on running you switch the pump off again until you have time to check out why, with us it's often air in the pipes to one or other of the taps)

Everything else Ian said is fine, but not this bit. The 12v electric supply controls are a bit too smart to allow that error by omission!

That doesn't help our friend in Finland, as it does sound as if his pump has packed up and Groundhog has illustrated one way that might have happened (hblewitt has only had his Worcester a few months and it's getting on for two years old, so who knows what may have happened before he bought it).

We've had all the described pump behaviours at one time or another, bar total failure. One of the problems we had was that some push-fit connectors became pull-unfit, so, water everywhere except where you want it. I need to check and see whether these push-fit connectors are actually push-and-twist connectors...

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Post by groundhog on Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:46 pm

Thanks Ian - I ran it again tonight and pumped a whole tank of water and it was fine, as we are soon off to Monaco via somewhere (?) I will hope it will be OK, plenty of repairers in France unlike Finland I guess.

Thanks Dick & Jan - hope you are enjoying wherever you are currently!allthumbz

Finally hope you are sorted in Finland, I had a Boeing 737 break there once and if they can fix that there is hope.

Best wishes
David
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Post by Dutto on Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:55 pm

I stand corrected!wavewave

Looks like technology has caught up with me - again!allthumbzallthumbz

Best regards,
drinksallround

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Post by groundhog on Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:58 pm

No don't stand sit down and have a drink much better for you...allthumbzallthumbzallthumbz
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Post by JanGlover on Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:51 pm

We are back home now and trying to catch up with everything!
The pump needs careful handling! We realised at one point that we were accidentally knocking the pressure switch( not the correct term but this is Jan not Dick)in the cupboard under the sink when stashing boxes of wine to bring home and causing the pump to run continuously. I hope that the broken pump is repaired and that the holiday in Finland etc is not disrupted too badly. I would love to hear more about the trip. Norway is definately on our to do list! Please keep us informed as to how the problem is resolved.
Enjoy Provence Groundhog!hairdryerallthumbz
Dutto, was it you who said that wine boxes were the best way to bring back booze!? It certainly is!allthumbzallthumbz
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Post by groundhog on Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:48 am

Same here I think Scandanavia might well be on the cards next year, been there a lot on business and love the place so a few weeks touring sounds great.... let us have the feedback please if you don't mind!up!
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Post by Dutto on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:09 am

Hi there,

This is the report of our trip (and the reason behind it) to Finland last year.

Enjoy.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

We prefer to bring wine back home in "bricks" or boxes as they are much lighter and easier to pack.

Plus, if you have the inclination, easy to bottle at home and lay down for a few years to improve the quality. For this purpose we tend to bring back 5 litre boxes of 12.5% or 13% Bordeaux or Merlot reds as they stand a good chance of maturing without going "off".

We use the special plastic "corks" and haven't had anything go off during up to a six year "lay-down" period.

Best regards,
drinksallround
Ian

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Post by JanGlover on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:54 am

Dutto:We are getting very off the original topic here but I'm not sure where else to post it! I read your blog about Lidl and the mid- night sun and found it very entertaining. Normally we don't shop at Lidl. There aren't any nearby but in Southern Croatia it was the nearest thing to Waitrose! It was virtually the only place we could buy decent quality vegetables and fruit! There was one between Mlini and Dubrovnic and it was like a breath of fresh air. We stocked up fridge and freezer before moving on!
We bought boxes of Bordeaux Red and Rose from Inter Caves in Calais. We are not as yet sure of the quality!
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Post by hblewett on Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:20 pm

groundhog wrote:Sorry to hear the problem,hope you get it sorted, I am worried myself now.

I left the heating on in the winter but clearly not enough and the valve dumped all the water but I also left the pump switched on so in the morning it was running with no water in the tank, must have been running for ages like that, possibly hours! Anyway it still seems to work OK but maybe I have damaged it and it will give up the ghost when we go away?? Do you think I should change it, seems to work fine at the moment.

That's useful info - I shall make sure that we switch off the pump at night when its likely to e cold, as well as turning the heating up a bit. We've been surprised by how low a temperature you get with the thermostat on 1, though warm enough for sleeping - we are having to conserve our gas as there is no 'autogas' in Finland and we've only one 21kg Gaslow bottle, but it's not cold anyway - we didn't have the heating on most of the time even in the Arctic Circle!).

We went to two dealers who were both unfamiliar with our system, and ceratinly didn't have Whale parts in stock. Autosleeper have given us the part number, and it is available readily in UK for £25 - so it may be worth carrying a spare, especially if yours has had a hard time at some stage! We have found that the best place to get a pump from here will be a marine chandlery, and where we are now, at Oulu, is very much a 'sea city' so we hope to be able to find one here somewhere. When we've got one we'll hopefully find someone to fit it for us. We'll let you know how we get on.

Thank goodness for the internet, and some kind folk who enable free access, and a long-range wifi aerial - we'd be struggling without it!
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Post by groundhog on Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:31 pm

If you need one getting over here and shipping to you I am willing to help! Might just get a spare to take with me just in case and then any competent garage should I guess be able to do the job of dropping the tank and fitting it.

Enjoy the rest of your trip.

David
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Post by hblewett on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:12 pm

Thanks David that's very kind - we are hopeful of getting a pump when we get to Helsinki - we could get one where we are now in Oulu, but it would have to be sent from Helsinki anyway and by the time it gets here will will have arrived there anyway. If we aren't able to get one I will probably take you up on the offer smile!
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Post by groundhog on Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:00 pm

The following seem to be a Whale stockist
OY Maritim
Veneentekijante 1
PO Box 46
00211 Helsinki 21

Telephone
358-9- 681631

Must be worth a call!

Good luck
David
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Post by hblewett on Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:18 am

Thanks David up! - I've got them marked down for a visit when we get there - it will probably be 3-4 days before we get to Helsinki. We are in Oulo, the sun is shining, it's 24 deg, there's cold beer in the fridge (normally I drink English wam beer, but this is hot enough for a cold lager!), so we are going to enjoy the journey which is what it's all about, despite juggling with bottles and jugs - I'll just have to drink more beer and less tea hugegrins . We didn't realise it could be so hot just 100mls south of the Arctic Circle.
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Post by groundhog on Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:26 pm

It sure can and you will not be using a lot of electricity for lights either will you!! I was wondering whether there is some way to use your exterior pump but for the life of me can't immediately think how?

Enjoy the trip very envious:up!: up! 
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Post by hblewett on Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:14 am

groundhog wrote:It sure can and you will not be using a lot of electricity for lights either will you!! I was wondering whether there is some way to use your exterior pump but for the life of me can't immediately think how?

Enjoy the trip very envious:up!: up! 

True - the batteries have never been in better shape, with travelling, sunshine ad no need for lighting up!  We thought about the filler pump too, but concluded it won't be any help. Much the same pump, but differnt configured connections
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Post by hblewett on Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:24 pm

Once we've found a pump - hopefully tomorrow, does anyone know if the way to get it into the tank is to drop the tank and put it in from the top of the tank? Or is there some other access point on the side or whatever? All ideas appreciated:smile!: 
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Post by hblewett on Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:57 pm

Well, we didn't find a pump 'tomorrow'. This is how the saga played out

To replace the submersible pump, required the fresh water tank to be lowered - something we only established for certain after several emails to the AutoSleeper.  Two motorhome dealers in Rovaneimi said they didn't know about the system, one did offer to look at it but had no spare parts for it anyway.  We discovered, using the internet, that we could get a pump from a marine dealer, so we tried two when we were in Oulu, only to find that the pump would have to come from Helsinki - in 5 days including the weekend, so we decided we were best to carry on to there, get the pump, then find someone to fix it for us. Well we were lucky with that, because we stumbled upon a really helpful company and a real a 'diamond bloke' to do what turned out to be a pig of a job - and thank goodness he spoke English, as most, but not all do here.  Why did it fail after less than 2 years? Probably run 'dry' by previous owner, as they normally last 10 years  or so - some things you can't foresee.  

Then, worst of all, after the pump was replaced we went off to fill the tank with water, and the external pump which is used on this system to fillthe tank would not work!  After the closest we have come to panicing, we tok some deep breaths and had (yet) another think - we figured that it must be the 12 volt supply, so Edward had a look under the 'van and found a connection, disturbed by the work that had been necessarily been done, which was broken.  So back to the friendly dealer who took it all apart and found that the connections, less than 2 years old, were badly corroded - no wonder they fell apart when disturbed to to the rest of the job!.  Very kindly, he didn't charge us for the extra work, saying it was part of he previous job - I couldn't see many in UK doing that.  The new joints will be well protected by me when we get home!  Anyway, we are all up and running again now, so all is well

If any Worcester owners, or any others with he same syatem, have any questions, or want more info, give me a pm. I can't promise to answer promptly, or who-knows-when, as wifi is a lottery for us - but I'll do my best when circumstances and time permit.
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