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Old 01-08-2021, 02:02 PM   #1
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Macerator pump failure and replacement issues....

I wrote this up in response to another thread up here on the forum, but it falls under a title that would make it very difficult to find if someone was doing a search for information on a macerator problem, so I am going to repeat my post here under a more easily found title. This is the duplicate post on a failed macerator motor and costs.
--------------------------------

I just went through an experience with the Sanicon.... my first.

I drained the black and gray tanks when I dropped my coach off at Middlebury and S&S paint to do the 2 year PDI delayed by COVID and an operation. It worked when I dumped as I arrived in Middlebury, and did not work when I arrived at Spartan 3 weeks later after picking up the coach at Middlebury a few hours after it returned from S&S paint. What happened is hard to know and understand.

However, this is what I learned. First, the black and gray tanks will passively drain through the Sanicon hose, although they will obviously drain more slowly than if the pump is working, and obviously, the tanks will only drain downhill. I had never used the 3" stinky slinky before with this Cornerstone, but it was not hard to figure out how to use it. There is a valve in the water bay that control the flow of liquid though the system and a "T" handle that opens or closes that 3" discharge pipe. That drain goes through the basement bottom wall and terminates into a hose fitting right under the basement wall (including a plastic hose cap). If you remove the cap and use the stinky slinky, the whole process is very quick. Both black and gray tanks drain through the Sanicon motor/tank but drain out of the 3" stinky slinky hose very quickly. Draining through the Sanicon hose is much slower but the liquids and most of the dissolved solids will drain through that hose also, just takes longer.

I checked my circuit breaker and they were fine. I checked my macerator switch and it was electrically fine. I checked my relay which actually controls the macerator motor most directly by switching the 30 amp circuit on and off which applies the 12 volt power to the macerator motor. I check all of this with a voltmeter (DVM) and knew that power was getting to the motor.

Now, my problem was different. I will deal with your problem next paragraph. I found that the macerator motor is not removable by itself and in fact the motor and the fiberglass or plastic "box" (tank) or compartment that holds the motor is only sold as a single combined unit.... you cannot buy the motor alone. You must buy the unit of the motor and the tank that holds the motor. Its all sealed. There are other parts that can be replaced, but the motor and tank are just one unit. That tank and motor is Thetford part number 97518 and it was sold by Thetford a few years ago for $400.00. I discovered that Thetford does not sell to the general public direct anymore. In chatting with Thetford, they gave me two referral links for the tank and motor which were WalMart (?) priced at $348.00 and $246 at a marine and RV web site. However, neither of those sources had them in stock (they seem to be sold out generally, supply chain issues?).

I just happened to be camped near NIRVC and they had one they had ordered months ago for another owner who then sold their coach or backed out of the deal and they had been stuck with it.

Now installation was a 4 hour job and cost me $600 in labor plus the cost of the tank/motor ($1,000 total) so this was not chump-change at all. I'm glad that I didn't have to do the swap but if it happens again, I will roll up my sleeves and do the job.

Short term, buy yourself a sufficient length of stinky slinky and dump through the 3" system and then figure out what you are going to do about the motor/tank. I am pretty sure that you will only find it as a unit, and not separate parts.

More relevant to you two guys. Now, I would be afraid to just run the macerator as though there is no problem as it is only a matter of time before that hard metal object jams into the motor. If it jams and the motor burns out, then you are the same place I was. (and there was nothing dropped into my black tank.... best guess that I can make is that the motor was left "on" and run "dry" for God only knows how long by me or someone at Middlebury and it ran until it burned out).

The tank/motor unit has a glass "portal" included in it. Nicely , the glass port is positioned on the bottom of the tank as Entegra has it installed and you cannot see or get into it (its approximately one inch above the basement floor). I tried an inspection camera to see what was blocking the macerator but could not get enough space to turn the camera up through the port. I did NOT try to run the camera from above. Now, you can manually remove the macerator motor and tank out of the system (by loosening hose clamps) and once out of the coach, you can get through the glass port and you can remove whatever metal is in the tank that has not yet jammed the motor or flush the pipes to force the metal out. If you did that, you probably can get away from replacing the burned out motor. It will be a messy job but if you catch it before it jams, you will probably be able to resolve your problem before you have to lay out any money.

ANYTHING dropped into the macerator toilet will jam the motor and your system will fail. Most commonly reported on here are "wipes" or such that inexperienced visitors might drop into the toilet or metal objects like the two owners on here. However, its going to take removed of the tank assembly to clear those objects out of the tank in my experience.

Gary
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Old 01-08-2021, 05:12 PM   #2
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Also, lots of great information and clarifications of fine points on this same topic by reading through this link.....

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f278/emb...on-520635.html

Gary
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Old 01-09-2021, 08:26 AM   #3
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Thx Gary for your information! The rear commode Thetford macerator motor and our black and gray macerator motor in our 2018 Anthem 44A both stopped working recently. This is our second Anthem (our previous Anthem was a 2013 44DLQ) so we are very careful about what to place in the commode. I purchased and connected a manual sanitation hose and we still are able to use our mid-bath commode. Both macerator motors and assemblies will need to be replaced and we should know in a couple of days the cost to replace both motors and related assemblies. I anticipate the wait for all the parts might be a few weeks given the pandemic.
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Old 01-09-2021, 10:15 AM   #4
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Thx Gary for your information! The rear commode Thetford macerator motor and our black and gray macerator motor in our 2018 Anthem 44A both stopped working recently. This is our second Anthem (our previous Anthem was a 2013 44DLQ) so we are very careful about what to place in the commode. I purchased and connected a manual sanitation hose and we still are able to use our mid-bath commode. Both macerator motors and assemblies will need to be replaced and we should know in a couple of days the cost to replace both motors and related assemblies. I anticipate the wait for all the parts might be a few weeks given the pandemic.
It seems unusual that both would fail. Any idea why? Was it a related problem?
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Old 01-09-2021, 11:27 AM   #5
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Hi Gary,

Thanks for your note! We do not know what caused the macerator motors to fail. Our rear commode macerator would occasionally malfunction and we would reset the entrance door master switch to seemingly resolve the situation. We reported the problem to Entegra during our two-year PDI/AIR visit in July, 2020. However, Entegra was unable to replicate the problem and unable to address the situation. The rear commode macerator begin malfunctioning again in October and completely failed in November. Our black and grey tank macerator motor failed just before the Thanksgiving holiday and we again do not know why. I reported the black and gray macerator situation to Entegra CS. Entegra advised me to change the macerator motor relay which Entegra thought might resolve the situation. Unfortunately, changing the relay did not resolve the situation. The Camping World/Gander technician reports both motors have failed and we will need new motors and new related assemblies. The technician was unable to advise us the cause of the motors failing. I am thankful the mid-bath macerator motor is working fine and we are able to use the mid-bath commode.
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Old 01-09-2021, 04:37 PM   #6
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Based only on posts I have seen here I thought the mid toilet was just a gravity drop. However yours is the first F I have seen post. Does our mid toilet have a macerator?
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Old 01-09-2021, 07:03 PM   #7
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Based only on posts I have seen here I thought the mid toilet was just a gravity drop. However yours is the first F I have seen post. Does our mid toilet have a macerator?
Some are macerator some not. B is straight drop. A was macerator W is macerator not sure on others. Just depends if the stool is directly over black tank.
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Old 01-10-2021, 07:38 AM   #8
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I am always finding more I don't know about my coach! I don't know where the black tank is. But both toilets run and sound the same when flushed and are identical. Would something obvious be different? And where is the macerator for the individual toilets?

I guess not knowing is a good thing in that nothing has happened to necessitate my finding out but would be good to know in the event that something does.
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Old 01-10-2021, 08:27 AM   #9
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Just looked at my 2018 brochure. The F floorplan has the location of a straight drop toilet. The 1/2 bath should have this toilet with the 2 buttons on the side. That is a straight drop model.



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Old 01-10-2021, 10:50 AM   #10
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Thanks Chuck but mine both have the buttons on the wall and I don't think they have the swept up back. I'll take pics when I get out there.
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:52 AM   #11
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My 20F has macerator x2, as did my 18 A floorplan.
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Old 01-10-2021, 11:21 AM   #12
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Remove the metal door in your wet bay and get a flashlight. My black and gray tanks sit right inside that door and sit directly on top of the macerator unit and all the T-handles that control flow. Easy to figure it out. Pretty sure that regardless of what type of toilet your coach has, your tanks are in the same place as mine.

By the way, I try to NEVER use the macerator toilet in the back bath.... we stay away from it like the plague. The "drop" mid toilet is used unless it is absolutely not available. And if I have not been boondocking for a week already and I am connected up to commercial water and sewer.... if I am, then I always flush the macerator using the "high water flush" and flush it three separate times to flush the residue out of the plastic lines.

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Old 01-10-2021, 01:55 PM   #13
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Gary

Remove the metal door in your wet bay and get a flashlight. My black and gray tanks sit right inside that door and sit directly on top of the macerator unit and all the T-handles that control flow. Easy to figure it out. Pretty sure that regardless of what type of toilet your coach has, your tanks are in the same place as mine.

By the way, I try to NEVER use the macerator toilet in the back bath.... we stay away from it like the plague. The "drop" mid toilet is used unless it is absolutely not available. And if I have not been boondocking for a week already and I am connected up to commercial water and sewer.... if I am, then I always flush the macerator using the "high water flush" and flush it three separate times to flush the residue out of the plastic lines.

Gary
Gary, as far as whether Mh has macerator toilet for center bath is a function of where toilet sets. Your B center bath dumps straight into the tank. My W and others are not directly over the black tank so they use a macerator toilet.
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Old 01-10-2021, 02:45 PM   #14
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JH

I think I know that. But regardless of whether the coach has a drop toilet or a macerator toilet, aren't the black and gray tanks in the same physical location directly behind the wet bay removable hatch?

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