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Old 03-18-2008, 10:57 AM   #1
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Well, finally got around to finishing this project, and seems to work well. We normally run off the water tank, and I don't like leaving the pump on at night or when we are gone.

Last year when I had my bathroom corner wall out to fix the black tank vent pipe I snaked a 2 conductor cable under the floor into my water/sewer bay, and installed a lighted door bell button on the wall.

Today I connected up a 12V relay in the water compartment, splicing into the water pump switch located there.

My pump switch has 5 wires going into the back of an 8 cable connector. Measuring the voltages with the inside and outside switches in the 4 different configurations, I came up with the following;

Wire 2 = Plus 12 Vdc
Wire 7 = Water Pump
Wire 8 = Ground (white wire)

NOTE: Wires 1 and 3 change from ON (Plus 12 Vdc) to OFF depending on the switch positions.

Wires 2 & 7 are connected to the relay contacts. A splice from wire 2 goes thru the doorbell button then to the relay coil, and wire 8 goes to the other relay coil connector.

Push the doorbell button & water pump operates.

I wasn't sure whether the doorbell button light would work on 12Vdc, but it does. Added bonus.

Now I just have to tie wrap the cables out of the way.

Someone might want to try this with a remote wireless doorbell system. It would have to be one that makes a constant sound when activated. I'm just not sure if the voltage going to the buzzer would be enough to operate the 12Vdc relay coil.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:57 AM   #2
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Well, finally got around to finishing this project, and seems to work well. We normally run off the water tank, and I don't like leaving the pump on at night or when we are gone.

Last year when I had my bathroom corner wall out to fix the black tank vent pipe I snaked a 2 conductor cable under the floor into my water/sewer bay, and installed a lighted door bell button on the wall.

Today I connected up a 12V relay in the water compartment, splicing into the water pump switch located there.

My pump switch has 5 wires going into the back of an 8 cable connector. Measuring the voltages with the inside and outside switches in the 4 different configurations, I came up with the following;

Wire 2 = Plus 12 Vdc
Wire 7 = Water Pump
Wire 8 = Ground (white wire)

NOTE: Wires 1 and 3 change from ON (Plus 12 Vdc) to OFF depending on the switch positions.

Wires 2 & 7 are connected to the relay contacts. A splice from wire 2 goes thru the doorbell button then to the relay coil, and wire 8 goes to the other relay coil connector.

Push the doorbell button & water pump operates.

I wasn't sure whether the doorbell button light would work on 12Vdc, but it does. Added bonus.

Now I just have to tie wrap the cables out of the way.

Someone might want to try this with a remote wireless doorbell system. It would have to be one that makes a constant sound when activated. I'm just not sure if the voltage going to the buzzer would be enough to operate the 12Vdc relay coil.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:57 PM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DancinCampers:
--snip--
Push the doorbell button & water pump operates.
--snip-- </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Dan - maybe I'm a little dense here, but what was the objective?
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:21 PM   #4
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Hi John,

Not having to go back out into the hallway to flush the toilet. Mostly used at night.

I turn the pump off when we go to bed.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:28 PM   #5
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This is one of those "I wish I would have thought of that idea" - very smart! I can't say how many times I've run into that same problem. Great idea.
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:41 PM   #6
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Thanks Steve, it will be most helpful in keeping DW happy
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:16 PM   #7
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Ok, like I said in another thread today, I'm fairly new to RVing.

Somebody told me that it wouldn't hurt to keep the pump switch on all the time. I thought it might put too much pressure on the pipes and system but somebody told me that it isn't that big of a deal ...that the pressure the pump is putting on the pipes is not that high.

So we really shouldn't be leaving the pump on while sleeping, right? I know when on city water, I'll turn off the outside faucet when I leave to go shopping or a doctor's appointment, etc. but even on city water, I'll leave pressure to the system during the night.

So Dan, when you flush the toilet in the middle of the night, you have to hold the doorbell button down as you flush, correct?
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:18 PM   #8
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Not that there is any thing wrong with it. I am curious as to why you don't want to leave the pump on overnight.

Does your pump cycle several times over night?

Are you concerned of a water leak?

Jim
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:36 PM   #9
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Just out of curiosity, I'm wondering why you used relays rather than a Intellitec pump controller. The controllers are inexpensive and only requuire a single ground control lead from each switch location.

I have four pump control switches on my coach utilizying a single controller.
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:50 AM   #10
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I don't see anything wrong with leaving the pump switch on all of the time. However, it is always a good (no, great) idea to always turn the water off before leaving the coach - this means city water or the pump. If a leak developed while you were absent, that could flood your rig in a matter of a few minutes.

Turning off the city water supply was a critical task with the boat - a prolonged leak could literally fill up the boat and sink it - at least we don't have that issue anymore
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:56 AM   #11
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If you're hooker to city water the pressure is on all the time!

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Old 03-19-2008, 07:19 AM   #12
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Good morning,

If your plumbing never develops a leak then there is certainly no reason not to have it under pressure.

I have seen too many RV's with water running out and have chosen not to be one. I have also learned over time that the best way to ensure you perform an operation the same over time is not to break your habit. I find that when I break the habit bad things happen. I left the city water on once when I left (Sharon was home) and the water line to the drinking faucet broke loose under the sink. It started pouring water into our AC breaker panel & EMS controller. Sharon had the wits to turn off the water & pull the breaker on the pole. When I got back she was sitting outside with Kasey, having no intention of going back in. Luckily, no damage, I dried out the breaker panel & EMS & electric step switch and outside compartment and all has been well since.

I don't have the city water on unless I'm filling the tank. The water pump is on unless we are gone or sleeping. This switch is just a convienence to use at nite because we usually forget to turn the pump on in the hallway before we go.

I have no leaks at the present (knock on wood), but have had the pump short cycle before & have been able to find the slow leak & repair.

Dick, I used a relay because it was the easiest way to tie into my system, at least as I understand how it works.

Bottom line, I prefer this way.
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Old 03-19-2008, 07:24 AM   #13
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If we are on inboard water, I have never turned off my water pump switch when we are in or out of our motorhome....never had a problem with any of our 12 RV's.

I do think it is a good idea to turn off the city water if you are hooked up to city water if you are going out though.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:16 PM   #14
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We haven't gone as far as adding a second pump switch in the bath but we did add a second one by the pump. It gets used when winterizing the coach so I can shut off the pump before it drains a gallon of RV anitfreeze.

We also added inline shutoff valves at the toilet and all the faucets including the out door shower. It started with the outdoor shower. It would always freeze when driving down the road in cold weather. With the shutoffs in place I could leave the antifreeze in the outdoor shower lines while flushing all the interior lines.

The valves also allow us to use water at the remaining faucets should one fail while on the road.

As for shutting off the water we now do it anytime we leave the coach or at night whhen we go to bed. We had an incident last year on the way to Alaska that convinced us it was prudent. We pulled into a campground for the night, hooked everything up and took the dog for a walk. When we came back there was water pouring out of the water heater compartment door. It seems the plastic elbow on the inlet side of the heater had broken. Fortunately our heater is outside and no damage was done. We continued on our way with no hot water for 2 weeks until I could find the parts to do the repair.
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:42 PM   #15
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Maybe a stupid question, why do you need a 12v relay? why not replace the doorbell button with a spst momentary 12 volt 15 amp switch mounted in the bathroom with the two wires running from it to wire # 2 (plus 12dc)and wire # 7 (Water Pump)???
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:21 PM   #16
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Besides being concerned with a flooding in the coach, if you were boon docking, you could pump your tank dry and be left with out any water at all. It's just a good habit to do. JIMHO.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:56 PM   #17
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I am surprised your coach didn't come with a bathroom pump switch. My 1999 Chieftain 36L has one on the main panel, one in the bathroom, and one in the outside water compartment.
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