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Old 11-18-2019, 12:29 PM   #1
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Water Pump / Electrical Problem

Most recently the domestic water pump stop working. At first I thought I needed to replace the pump. But, it turns out that's not the case. The pump works fine if I apply 12v. power directly (via a battery charger). With the pump out of the circuit, I have 13v output from relay (upper) board in the wet bay, when I active the pump switch to the on position. If I connect the pump, the voltage drops to 3v, and pump will not run.

BTW, when I activate the pump switch, I can hear the relay closing, and the LED on the switch comes on. Best I'm able to determine, 3v. is what's needed to power the LED on the switch. I don't understand how I can have 12v. at the relay outlet with no load, and when I connect the pump (electrical load) the voltage drops to 3v.

Newmar can not offer any trouble shooting or idea(s) on how to diagnose and/or fix the problem. They can offer up a replacement controller, but don't know if that will solve the problem. I don't really want to spend money to change parts that may (or may not) help.

I searched thru previous threads and found a picture of what my setup looks like in the following thread.

Water pump about to fail?

Has anyone experienced a similar problem? I was wondering if you could help me out and offer any suggestions on what the problem might be, and how to address it.

Thanks in advance for your time
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:45 PM   #2
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If pump doesn't work when activating rocker switch it might be a grounding problem in relay. Try connecting pump ground wire directly to frame of MH.If this works probably bad relay unit?
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:19 PM   #3
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Definitely a weak electrical connection somewhere. Question is, where. Grounding, relay bad, etc. you can work your way back up the electrical system. Eg find another 12v source on the rv and connect positive to that but leave negative connected to current ground. That will help isolate negative/ground.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:42 PM   #4
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It sounds like you are still using e-plex to control the water pump. But, the pump is not working when switched on.

I think I remember how the eplex - water pump circuit works. The eplex relay connects the water pump to ground. I believe there is a 12V source (with fuse) connected to one of the water pump's wires. The other wire connects to a eplex relay. The other terminal of the eplex relay connects to ground.

That you are seeing 3V when the pump should be running suggests the eplex relay's connection to ground is poor. That voltage should be 0. You can verify this by turning off the 12V system and measuring the resistance to ground. Should be exactly 0 ohms.

If the ground checks out well, then the eplex relay is not working probably (most likely). You can verify this by shorting the output terminals of the eplex relay to make the pump run. This could be done using a wire to connect the output terminals of the eplex relay together.
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Old 11-19-2019, 05:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rag View Post
If pump doesn't work when activating rocker switch it might be a grounding problem in relay. Try connecting pump ground wire directly to frame of MH.If this works probably bad relay unit?
When I ground the pump directly to the chassis, the pump works fine. Unfortunately the switches are then nonfunctional. No way to turn the pump off. So, makes a case for the relay being bad.

Thanks
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by azSkier View Post
It sounds like you are still using e-plex to control the water pump. But, the pump is not working when switched on.

I think I remember how the eplex - water pump circuit works. The eplex relay connects the water pump to ground. I believe there is a 12V source (with fuse) connected to one of the water pump's wires. The other wire connects to a eplex relay. The other terminal of the eplex relay connects to ground.

That you are seeing 3V when the pump should be running suggests the eplex relay's connection to ground is poor. That voltage should be 0. You can verify this by turning off the 12V system and measuring the resistance to ground. Should be exactly 0 ohms.

If the ground checks out well, then the eplex relay is not working probably (most likely). You can verify this by shorting the output terminals of the eplex relay to make the pump run. This could be done using a wire to connect the output terminals of the eplex relay together.
Checked it out as you suggested in your post. I think the deciding test was when I checked the continuity to ground of the relay when the switch was in the on position. With the switch in the on position, there should no resistance to ground from the relay output wire (the ground switch leg). The resistance reading varied up to the kilo-ohm range (1000 + ohms). So, it would appear that the relay is bad and requires replacement.

Thank for your help.
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:15 AM   #7
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The PUMP should have fused 12v to the positive. It turns ON/OFF by controlling the 12v negative ground.

The switches do not power the pump. They are just wired to ground. The controller allows multiple switches to be connected to the controller. If the controller is in "HI STATE" you will see a switch voltage up around 7v...in "LOW STATE" the switch will have 2 to 3v. 3v isn't strong enough to get past the diode in the switch assy. The led does not illuminate. 7v will go past the gate voltage of the diode and the green LED lights up. Each time a switch is pressed...it is shorting the logic signal to ground. The controller uses the momentary grounding as it's signal to switch states. Hi state is ON...low state is OFF.

If your pump runs when you connect a good ground. The water pump controller may be the entire problem. My first one died in less than two years. It was a C-Storm version....which I replaced with Intellitec version.

If your coach has a relay connected to the WPC controller, it was probably done because your pump is a high amp model. The WPC controller only handles a certain amperage. Adding a relay with heavier wires...allows the controller to use a low amperage to close the relay, which passes the necessary amps to the larger pump. In any case...I would purchase a controller and a relay. Swap into your rig one at a time to see what fixes the problem. Throw out the part that failed...and then order another to keep a set of spares. If you have a spare...you will never need it. If you don't...it will probably fail again soon Seems to work that way.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post
The PUMP should have fused 12v to the positive. It turns ON/OFF by controlling the 12v negative ground.

The switches do not power the pump. They are just wired to ground. The controller allows multiple switches to be connected to the controller. If the controller is in "HI STATE" you will see a switch voltage up around 7v...in "LOW STATE" the switch will have 2 to 3v. 3v isn't strong enough to get past the diode in the switch assy. The led does not illuminate. 7v will go past the gate voltage of the diode and the green LED lights up. Each time a switch is pressed...it is shorting the logic signal to ground. The controller uses the momentary grounding as it's signal to switch states. Hi state is ON...low state is OFF.

If your pump runs when you connect a good ground. The water pump controller may be the entire problem. My first one died in less than two years. It was a C-Storm version....which I replaced with Intellitec version.

If your coach has a relay connected to the WPC controller, it was probably done because your pump is a high amp model. The WPC controller only handles a certain amperage. Adding a relay with heavier wires...allows the controller to use a low amperage to close the relay, which passes the necessary amps to the larger pump. In any case...I would purchase a controller and a relay. Swap into your rig one at a time to see what fixes the problem. Throw out the part that failed...and then order another to keep a set of spares. If you have a spare...you will never need it. If you don't...it will probably fail again soon Seems to work that way.
With the Essex E-plex system, everything is a bit more complicated and difficult. What I'm referring to as the relay, is actually an addressable logic board that is specific to E-plex, and operates as a latching controller. If it was directly replaceable by an intellitec controller, I would do it in a heart beat, and buy a spare. Unfortunately, it's not that easy, and the problem could originate from the E-plex system itself.

Not only is it difficult to get to it (behind the wet bay panel) and you have to work by feel with your fingers. It's quite pricey - about 10X the cost of an intellitec controller. So, before I start buying and changing parts, I want to be sure I'm changing the correct component.

Thank for your effort.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SX_RVing View Post
With the Essex E-plex system, everything is a bit more complicated and difficult. What I'm referring to as the relay, is actually an addressable logic board that is specific to E-plex, and operates as a latching controller. If it was directly replaceable by an intellitec controller, I would do it in a heart beat, and buy a spare. Unfortunately, it's not that easy, and the problem could originate from the E-plex system itself.

Not only is it difficult to get to it (behind the wet bay panel) and you have to work by feel with your fingers. It's quite pricey - about 10X the cost of an intellitec controller. So, before I start buying and changing parts, I want to be sure I'm changing the correct component.

Thank for your effort.
Oops...yeah, sorry, not eplex fluent.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:16 PM   #10
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Oops...yeah, sorry, not eplex fluent.
You're not alone in that This is very difficult when I can't get Newmar to give me any sort of hint on how to diagnose what needs replacement.

I appreciate the help from you non the less. Thanks again.
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