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LateNightSalami

Shower Pump blew?

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LateNightSalami

I have a 2008 VTX 20 that came with a shower. It was successfully winterized last year and I just got around to trying out the shower this year since it is starting to get cold. I went to flip the switch to turn it on and no water came out. The indicator light on the switch then went out. The fuse blew so I reset that. I tried flipping it on again and still no water. Indicator light on the switch is on. I went through and made sure that water was flowing through all the hoses feeding the pump and exiting the pump. The pump doesn't seem to even turn on when I flip the switch. A few questions:

1. I am assuming since the switch has an indicator light that is working that the circuit is complete and the pump is getting power?

2. Should I detach the pump and check the wires anyway to make sure it is getting current?

3. Is there anything else that could be triggering this? Is there an easy way to hook the pump up to another power source and verify that it fried?

 

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formulaben
1 hour ago, LateNightSalami said:

I have a 2008 VTX 20 that came with a shower. It was successfully winterized last year and I just got around to trying out the shower this year since it is starting to get cold. I went to flip the switch to turn it on and no water came out. The indicator light on the switch then went out. The fuse blew so I reset that. I tried flipping it on again and still no water. Indicator light on the switch is on. I went through and made sure that water was flowing through all the hoses feeding the pump and exiting the pump. The pump doesn't seem to even turn on when I flip the switch. A few questions:

1. I am assuming since the switch has an indicator light that is working that the circuit is complete and the pump is getting power?

2. Should I detach the pump and check the wires anyway to make sure it is getting current?

3. Is there anything else that could be triggering this? Is there an easy way to hook the pump up to another power source and verify that it fried?

What exactly do you mean in the area I highlighted in bold?

1.  Depending on your electrical setup, the light on the switch only means you have power to the switch.  On my older 2002, the switches only control the positive part of the circuit; a small ground goes to the switch to make it light up.  The circuit breaker is upstream of the switch, so if you have a bad ground or bad positive connection downstream between the switch and the pump the light on your switch will still turn on, but no power to the shower pump.

2.  Definitely check for power at the pump.

3.  Yes.  Many of these pumps are RV water pumps with built in pressure switches.  In the RV environment there is usually an accumulator in the system somewhere.  The purpose of this is to allow the pump to do its job but not run continuously: e.g. build up pressure and then turn off until it is needed again.  Anyhow, if you don't have ALL the valves open (usually a valve at the shower controls and another one at the faucet end, and since there is usually no accumulator in a shower) it could have run just momentarily and then shut off due to the pressure switch.  So double check the system is wide open...

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LateNightSalami

The bold is to mean that there are no blockages in the water system going from the engine-->hot/cold water mixer-->pump. And that there are no blockages in the hose from the pump-->shower nozzle.

1. That is helpful to know as it informs part 2.

2. Looks like I will have to figure out how to unhook the wires going to the pump so I can get a voltmeter there.

3. The pump I have is a heater craft non flammable liquid pump. I did see the screw on the top of the unit that I think adjusts the pressure shut off that you are talking about. I tried monkeying with it a bit but it didn't seem to do much. I will lossen it entirely tonight and give it another shot.

 

How often do these pumps blow fuses? I worry that the initial blown fuse might be an indicator that the pump went bad.

 

Thanks for the reply!

Edited by LateNightSalami

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LateNightSalami
On 9/28/2018 at 12:16 PM, formulaben said:

 

2.  Definitely check for power at the pump.

 

So I managed to expose some of the wires that power the pump and hooked up a voltmeter. When I flipped the switch on I was getting a reading of about 8.9 volts across the circuit, perhaps I wasn't getting very good connections with the prongs of the voltmeter? The pump is a 12V pump and I imagine the circuit should be showing around 12V since it is running off the battery. The pump didn't run at all so either it kicked the bucket or it is setup to not run unless it gets the full 12V, which I find unlikely but I am not so sure? If you are still paying attention to the thread would you agree that it is a bad pump or do I need to investigate further into why the circuit is only getting about 8.9V?

Edit: Forgot to mention that I loosened screw that gauges the sensitivity of the pressure switch and I made sure the system was wide open everywhere. Pump still wouldn't work.

Edited by LateNightSalami

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formulaben

If a piece of debris got into the pump housing that could be what is causing it.  These pumps are positive displacement so something small can stop the pump.  I would disconnect the wiring from the pump and re-test the voltage.  If you then get 12 volts then remove the pump and remove the lower housing (water portion of the pump) then reconnect power and see if the motor runs.  If it does, you can save some money with a rebuild kit (like this one, for example) if it was damaged.

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LateNightSalami

Just wanted to give back a final update:

I got a better connection with my volt meter and took the reading with the engine on this time. Got minimum 11V. Took the pump apart like you suggested to see if I could save money by doing a rebuild, nothing on it worked unfortunately. Looks like I need a new pump.

 

Thanks!

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formulaben
4 hours ago, LateNightSalami said:

Just wanted to give back a final update:

I got a better connection with my volt meter and took the reading with the engine on this time. Got minimum 11V. Took the pump apart like you suggested to see if I could save money by doing a rebuild, nothing on it worked unfortunately. Looks like I need a new pump.

 

Thanks!

Was that with the pump removed?  If so, you should be getting system voltage, which with the engine running should be around 14 volts.

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LateNightSalami

I was balky at removing the pump outright since I would have left open wires exposed (didn't have electrical tape with me and was running out of daylight). I can get some electrical tape pull the pump entirely when I go to finish winterizing in the next week or so. I'll see if I can get back to you then.

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LateNightSalami
On 10/18/2018 at 2:12 PM, formulaben said:

Was that with the pump removed?  If so, you should be getting system voltage, which with the engine running should be around 14 volts.

So I removed the pump entirely while I was winterizing. On battery alone I was getting a solid 12V. I think that means the circuit is good. Looks like I need a new pump...those are not cheap. Thanks for the guidance! Installation of the new pump seems pretty straight forward:

  1. Wire the new pump using crimps (to get a good connection) and shrink wrapping (to seal it from water)
  2. Mount the pump
  3. Hook up the hoses
  4. Test it out to verify it works

I unfortunately don't have a heat gun for the shrink wrapping for the wire. I do have a butane cooking torch. If I am super careful with it do you think that would work?

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mikeo

I was never pleased with the shower pump that was installed in my boat ('15 23 LSV) especially after I discovered that it had european plumbing threads that didn't match up with any of the lines that Malibu installed. There were a bunch of compression fitting adapters in the lines so the pump ended up sucking air in more places than I care to count and the sprayer never had decent pressure. I ended up buying a smaller version of the Johnson reversible ballast pumps many people (including myself) use and re-plumbed the shower system. I'm currently looking for a shower sprayer that I like that fits with the boat, but at least I can use NPT fittings when I find what I want. I can also use any (cheap) shower sprayer from Home Depot, Lowe's, etc until I find what I want.

What does this mean for you:

1. it's possible to replace the pump, and you don't need to use exactly what Malibu used.
2. If you want the pump that Malibu used in '15 I might have a deal for you (PM me if you're interested)

If I ever get a free minute I need to write up the details and put it on wakegarage.com since this could help others. I don't think I'll ever order a hot-water shower again knowing how it's installed (and activated on the dash system) I know I can do it myself in a day or less if I dedicate the time.

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mikeo
32 minutes ago, LateNightSalami said:

I unfortunately don't have a heat gun for the shrink wrapping for the wire. I do have a butane cooking torch. If I am super careful with it do you think that would work?

If you have a Harbor Freight nearby you can get a heat gun for $15. Some hairdryers will get hot enough to activate heat shrink tubing, but a heat gun is the way to go.

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hethj7

You can get a butane wiring torch with a little canister for probably $10-15 at Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.  That is what I picked up for my wiring projects on the boat.  

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LateNightSalami
11 hours ago, mikeo said:

2. If you want the pump that Malibu used in '15 I might have a deal for you (PM me if you're interested)

Sent. Let me know if you got it.

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Sparky450

A lighter will also work for shrink tube. Just make sure no fuel is present😎

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shawndoggy

heat shrink comes out WAY cleaner with a heat gun and if you check the back of your magazines or the junk mail, harbor frieght heat guns go on sale for $10 or less ALL THE TIME.  Totally worth it IMHO.

I used a butane torch for a couple of years and (a) it's hard not to burn the heat shrink a little, and (b) it's hard to get it to shrink uniformly.  I mean it's close enough and I'm sure works fine, but just not the right tool for the job (assuming you have power nearby).

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