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Evening all,


The good lady and I have been away on our first trip this week in our new Auto Sleeper Warwick XL. Most things have lived up to our expectations and in general the quality of fittings etc are far better than anything we've owned before but. there's just a couple of things I'd like to solve. In the past when we go out for the day we always switch the pump off well, I forgot the other day and when we got back the pump was running god knows for how long. It stopped as soon has we turned a tap on and happened again during the evening and sometimes I can hear a buzz as if it want to start? It's a Whale submersible pump so I guess it must be some sort of adjustment, it's our first dealing with whale so if anyone knows how is this done I'd appreciate that.


The other thing we find is, that water draining away from both sinks is very slow indeed and I just wondered if that's common with this model or is it a trip back to the dealer


Again I'd appreciate any comments from the experienced among us, particularly those who have Auto Sleeper



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My motorhome had a submersible Whale water pump with a pressure switch mounted in line from the output. This is a white Plastic unit with a control knob which was initially fixed with a blob of paint. The purpose of the knob is to compensate for variations in battery voltage. However, I found it impossible to find a setting that was consistent, and if the van was on EHU the setting required was different when off power. The resulting constant random switching on of the pump even if no water was being taken was infuriating, especially at night. I gave up and fitted an external pressure pump with an integral pressure switch and have had no trouble since.


This may not be applicable to your system so ignore it!



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This Auto-Sleepers handbook covers the in-line water pressure switch in Section 7.3.




and I’d expect the current handbook for a Warwick XL to have similar guidance if that type of switch is fitted.


Advice on adjusting the Whale in-line pressure switch (with LED) is provided on this YouTube video



and here




The Whale switch’s sensitivity to 12V voltage variations (eg. when the leisure-vehicle’s onboard battery-charger is operating or not) has been criticised ever since the switch began to be used and I’m not sure if this has ever been successfully addressed. The switch permits a submersible water-pump to be used without the water outlets (taps, shower) needing to have micro-switches, so there are cost and installation advantages to the leisure-vehicle manufacturer.


The German manafacturer Comet markets in-line pressure switches (example here) that Swift were evidently fitting in caravans 10 years or so ago.




However, this 2017-originating CaravanTalk thread suggests that the Comet switches aren’t beyond criticism.




Slow draining of the sink/wash-basin/shower-tray is a common complaint as these are seldom ‘vented’ to allow air into the water flow, and often the drainage is either via narrow diameter hose or the hose run to the waste-water tank is poorly designed. Even if ‘domestic’ type rigid plastic pipework is used, drainage may still be very slow when the motorhome is parked at a specific angle. My 2005 Hobby motorhome had its waste-water tank just to the rear of the cab and the shower at the very back of the vehicle. Park slightly nose down and the shower-tray would drain rapidly; park level and the tray would drain slowly; parlk slightly nose up and the tray would not drain at all.

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There is a fairly easy fix for this, I had to do this on a caravan for a friend, it involves wiring one of these




into the power feed to the in line pressure switch. The effect is a constant 12v power supply is sent to the switch irrespective if on mains or battery.



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Inserting a voltage stabiliser into the power-supply to the pressure switch (and on to the water pump) seems like the logical approach to address the ‘changing voltage’ issue, but - although there has been a host of complaints about this problem (mostly on caravan forums) - I don’t recall the ploy being mentioned before.


It’s perhaps worth observing that only the most basic/cheapest Whale 12V submersible pump has a sub-3A rating, with the rest rated either 3.6A or 3.8A. Not sure if that would matter with the product you’ve provided a link to - there are slightly more expensive higher amperage versions (example here)




but they all seem to be shipped from outside the UK.

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But, bearing in mind "new" van, might doing this raise warranty issues? Dealer or Auto Sleepers should really be doing this, as it is, in effect, their installation and equipment choice that is at fault, and it is a recognised problem they have not yet fixed. They may even be grateful for the suggested cure! :-D
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This long (and sometimes confusing) 2012 forum discussion may be of interest




Caravan/motorhome water systems are described in this 2016 article




that includes the caveat


One of the problems of using pressure switches with submersible pumps is that the delivery pressure is very dependent on the battery voltage. If you're off-grid, this can slowly decay to the point where you have to adjust the pressure switch. To eliminate this potential issue Whale and Truma each developed intelligent pressure switches that effectively do the adjustment for you (see panel).


The Whale Watermaster IC (Intelligent Controller) is aimed at caravans using an external water container (eg. an Aquaroll) and involves an external socket in the leisure-vehicle’s bodywork




so really won’t be suitable for motorhomes.


It OUGHT to be practicable to replace a Whale in-line pressure switch in a motorhome with a Truma Ultraflow Smart Switch




but the switch’s asking price is from £60 upwards.


Assuming that the pressure switch and wiring to the pump is reasonably accessible, it should be possible to install the voltage stabilizer Bas has mentioned in a way that - should there ne any knock-on problems - it could be removed leaving no trace that it had been fitted.


(For what it’s worth, I hadn’t realised that the Whale in-line pressure switch had an integrated non-return valve.)

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Whatever the potential final solution, if the 'van is fitted with the in-line Whale pressure switch, the first thing to do is to adjust the switch in accordance with the "Rainbow-Conversions" download that Derek has posted above.


Simple things first, and if this doesn't produce a workable "sweet spot" then other potential solutions can be investigated.


(In the dim and distant past I had a Fiamma pump where the pressure switch used to go out of adjustment when laid-up. It proved relatively easy to successfully re-adjust until it next had an extended lay-up).

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There’s a 2019 ASMOF thread about the pesky Whale in-line pressure switch




This highlights how inaccessible or difficult to locate the Whale switch may be in an Auto-Sleepers model and mentions that the forum has a factsheet relating to swapping the switch and submersible water pump for a pressure-sensitive pump (eg. a SHURflo Trail King).




A lot of the ASMOF forum cannot be viewed unless a person has registered and logged in, so I’ve copied the factsheet text and photo below


Replacing a submersible pump with a Shurflo.

Post by Gromit on Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:47 am


Instructions kindly provided by MoggyMinor1966


To anyone wanting to change the pump in the cold water tank for a pump inside here are details of the completed job together with an idiot's guide.

This was done on a 2011 Nuevo II EK but may well apply to other models.


1. First job is to drain the freshwater tank and hot water tank then raise the van so I used a pair of Milenco Quattro ramps on the front wheels. This gives reasonable access underneath.


2. Make sure the 12V power is off on your control panel and then get underneath the freshwater tank with your legs facing the back of the van. This makes it easier to see and at the front of the tank coming from the top you will see a white cable which is from the pump in the tank. This white cable is connected to a pair of single cables encased in black insulation. Where they are joined with male and female spade connectors carefully remove the black insulation then you can simply disconnect the pump.

The wires to the pump I just taped these out the way as they are no longer required. Cut the terminals from the wires going towards the rear of the van. Carefully pull the cable back through the cable ties and plastic trunking until you can see it disappear up into the floor at the bottom of the wardrobe.


3. You are now finished underneath. Back inside the van remove the drawer under the wardrobe. Some may just tilt and pull out but on mine you have to remove 3 screws on each side of the drawer and it will come out. Remove the inspection cover inside the wardrobe.

Now if you look at the bottom of the wardrobe floor you will see a jumble of wires going through the floor. There are a few black covered sets of cables but I found that by tugging each set you soon find the pump cable which is loose under the van and pull it all through.


4. Now in my van the positive cable is coloured orange/white and the negative is coloured blue/green but to be safe test it with a 12V bulb tester. You could if you wish try to find the cables without going underneath but it is not easy as there are so many wires.


5. Unscrew the existing pressure switch on the right wardrobe inside wall by unscrewing the 2 screws underneath and then by holding the inside collar on the connectors pull up from the rigid pipe. You can keep the connectors as spares.


6. I screwed the Shurflo pump to the rear wall of the wardrobe as shown in the photo in the upright position. Left side where the filter is is the input from the water tank and the right side is the output to the taps. Use 4 1 1/4 X 8 pozi pan head stainless steel screws.


7. Next you need some 1/2 inch ID water quality high pressure flexible tubing.

Fortunately I had an old filling pipe from my previous van. It is nylon enforced. You also need 6 stainless steel Jubilee clips 11-16mm, 1/2in-5/8in. Connect the pump input to the rigid pipe that goes straight through the wardrobe floor and connect the pump output to the other rigid pipe which goes to a T connector on the wardrobe floor.


8. Next connect together the 2 blue/green wires which went to the pressure switch. I cut off the existing connectors and used a crimp connector to join them together. Now connect the red positive lead from the new pump to the orange/ white lead from the old pump and connect the black negative wire from the new pump to the blue/green wire from the old pump.


9. Now you can switch the 12V power and pump on briefly just to make sure it is working. The pump can run dry without damage so don't worry.


10. Lastly put some water in your tank-I filled it 50% and then you can switch the pump on and fill in the usual way. It fills a lot quicker with much stronger pressure and shuts off very quickly when the tap is closed. If the pump runs after switching on briefly open and close a tap and it should stop.


11. Forgot to mention that the old submersible pump in the tank remains in place. As it is no longer powered the Shurflo pump is powerful enough to draw the water through the impeller of the old pump. It also makes sure the pickup pipe remains at the bottom of the tank.




I would leave the redundant wires to the pump in the tank in place but disconnected in case it was ever decided to revert. I would tape the ends for tidiness and add a label to confirm what they are for future reference.




The Surflow pump has its own pressure switch so diss the one that is there already, connect the two pipes to the new pump,




Re: Replacing a submersible pump with a Shurflo.

Post by Gromit on Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:10 pm


Additional suggestions kindly provided by InspiredRon.


Moggyminor's notes suggested that I neded to get to the very bottom of the wardrobe which, on mine, meant that I removed the front - not too difficult but a total pig to get back afterwards and actually unnecessary in the event. In that cavity was my reserve location if the pump was too big to go where I did fit it.


I did not bring the wires up through the floor there as they formed part of the main loom from where the cable from the pump was joined - instead I joined a length of cable to where the submersible was connected to the loom and fed that up through a gap in the floor alongside the corner of the gas bottle locker nearest the leisure battery, joining that cable to the short pump wires. It is the white wire in my picture that can just be seen emerging from the pipes mass. I joined the two wires to the old pressure switch and pulled those back to the base of the wardrobe under the Truma heater.


Shurflo recommend that you have at least 30cms of flexible pipe between pump and semi-rigid piping, to keep noise down. *** Fortunately the 12mm semi rigid pipe (I used Whale with the blue line as used by A/S) is a reasonably snug fit into 1/2 inch clear flexible reinforced hose and can be made pressure tight with 2 jubilee clips and a reasonable overlap. Getting a good seal on that flexible hose was my only issue. Jubilee clips can feel fully tight when it is merely the worm drive binding. I found out the hard way that you need to use a touch of lubricant on the thread and tighten them to smaller than needed BEFORE you slacken them off again to fit them over the pipe and tighten - and that applies to the Shurflo barbed fittings as well.


Here is a picture of the location before replacing the battery box. You can see one of my leaks! The wires were tidied up a little as were the bits of reinforced half inch pipe. Hope this helps somebody else.


*** Gromit note. Mark at A/S fitted ours, and they didn't use any semi rigid pipe - possibly because it's mounted on the floor and is not unduly noisy there.


It’s interesting to note that the submersible pump was not actually replaced (which almost certainly would have involved unbolting and lowering the motorhome’s under-slung fresh-water tank) and the submersible pump’s output hose was just connected (my green arrow) inside the vehicle to the SHURflo’s water inlet. I would have thought that this approach has a real potential to ‘throttle’ the SHURflo pump, but presumably it was found to work OK.


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