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Autocruise Lighting flickers when water pump in use


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I have a S/H Autocruise starspirit 2004 on Peugeot Boxer cab. The fluorescent lights were very poor so I removed the starter assembly and put in LED strips within the original housing. Very pleased I was too!


Dont know whether its related but the lighting now flickers as the water pump splutters its pumped water through the taps.


As a MH virgin and a life time meddler, is it normal for a pump to make a noticeable quick on off surge whilst pumping?


My handbook says I should have a Shurflo pump and its actually a whale pump?


Any experienced meddlers have any advice please?

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Possible the battery is a bit old and tired & volts are dropping when the pump is running.

Does it still do it if hooked up to the mains?

The pump could be generating interference and you are getting spikes on the 12 volt supply, if thats the case you could try fitting a suppressor to the pump.

Normally LED's don't suffer from these problems but there is big range of different quality LED available and some are more susceptible than others.

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I echo lennyhb's advice regarding the lights flickering.


Regarding the water-pump surging and spluttering, both SHURflo and Whale diaphragm-type pumps commence pumping as a reaction to a drop in pressure within the motorhome's water system (eg. when a tap is opened) and will continue pumping until the pressure rises again (eg. when the tap is closed.)


If a pump won't shut off, or comes on spontaneously, it's possible that there's a leak on the outlet side of the pump. Spluttering at the taps can be due to a number of causes, but probably the most common will be an air-leak on the pump's inlet side or a fault with the pump itself. You might want to look at this earlier forum-thread that contains a link to a SHURflo instruction document that carries trouble-shooting advice.




As you are a motorhome virgin and happy to meddle, I suggest you obtain John Wickersham's "The Motorcaravan Manual" as that provides a lot of practical technical information.



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Hi, the flickering led lights almost certainly due to current surges from the battery as a result of pump starting and stopping.. this suggests to me that the battery is not in such a good condition as one would hope, and is probably getting towards end of useful life.


as a trial, leave the battery charger on for 24 hours, check the acid levels in the cells assuming it is not a sealed battery, and check the terminal voltage of battery . A good battery should show 14 volts fully charged.

make sure the battery terminals and connections are clean,and tighten them if necessary.


turn on pump and let water flow freely, recheck battery volts with pump running, and then stop pump and measure again. Battery voltage should not drop much, but a tired battery will drop volts significantly .more than 1/2 volt drop between pump on/pump off, would suggest possible battery problem.


led lights themselves are much more sensitive to voltage the incandescent ones as there is no thermal lag

so dont be too surprised that you can notice the flicker. When the pump is stopping and starting, there is likely to be a Back Emf spike of voltage which aggravates the flicker, and might do damage to the leds, particularly if the battery is that tired..


hope this might help




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tonyg3nwl - 2014-05-26 3:38 PM


...A good battery should show 14 volts fully charged...



A 12V battery in good condition and fully-charged will show a voltmeter-reading no higher than 13V. It's generally advised that, if the reading is between 12.7V and 12.9V, that can be considered fully-charged.


If the battery is being charged from an external source (eg. the motorhome's alternator or on-board battery-charger) a voltmeter-reading taken at the battery's terminals will not indicate the battery's charge-state but the output of the alternator or battery-charger, and that output may well be 14V or higher.


Similarly, if a battery that has been charged (via alternator or battery-charger) is not allowed to 'settle' (for, say, four hours) before taking a voltmeter-reading, the reading will be artificially high.


(It's all in "The Motorcaravan Manual" ;-) )

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I have a 2006 Autocruise Starblazer. The fluorescent lights have always flickered when the pump is on, both before fitting new batteries and after. It does not bother me although there may be an underlying cause of imperfection somehwere in the wiring. I understand the Autocruise did use some 'below spec' wiring for the diesel heaters, so could be so for the pump.


The 'spluttering' is something else and should not be so, however I do sometimes find this happens briefly after filling the fresh water tank which seems to be due to some introduction of air into the system during filling



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