Water tank connection

sydnsue

Full Member
Further to my previous question concerning the useless Whale water filler, I have decided to install a new water filler point. This will require a new hose to the fresh water tank. How do I connect to the tank? There is no large opening to get a hand inside.
If this is not possible, I will have to insert a Y connector into the existing hose, but this may slow the fill speed (or remove the hose from the Whale and connect it to the new filler).
Also, the water system is a pressurised system. Is the tank also pressurised?
 
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daygoboy

Free Member
You can get circular plastic access hatch with screw cap to allow getting
an arm into the, £7 or so on ebay. Just need to cut a hole in the tank
with a jig saw and bed the hatch in sealant drill screw holes for s/s fixing
screws. Then you can fit any size spigot with backnut you choose. No plastic
welding of spigot required.
Never come across a pressurised water tank in a M/H context, Normally an inline pump
draws water from the tank then pumps it under "pressure" on the outlet side to the taps,
wc etc.
 
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sydnsue

Full Member
You can get circular plastic access hatch with screw cap to allow getting
an arm into the, £7 or so on ebay. Just need to cut a hole in the tank
with a jig saw and bed the hatch in sealant drill screw holes for s/s fixing
screws. Then you can fit any size spigot with backnut you choose. No plastic
welding of spigot required.
Never come across a pressurised water tank in a M/H context, Normally an inline pump
draws water from the tank then pumps it under "pressure" on the outlet side to the taps,
wc etc.
That's worth knowing. I didn't know they existed. I had that on my previous Bessacarr complete with an access hatch inside the van. I will have to check the clearance above the tank. It's quite tight even for a bulkhead connector.
Glad about the non-pressurised tank. In which case breaking into the existing hose may be easier.
 

sydnsue

Full Member
Before dropping the tank and installing new filler point, decided to investigate the slow fill further.
In between the fill point and the tank there is a solenoid valve. This is obviously for the water cut off when the tank is full. It is obviously connected to the float switch but it is normally closed, so the float switch when full must remove the voltage from the solenoid. However this does not explain what opens the valve when I connect the hose to the fill point. I have manually checked the valve and it clicks ok when 12V is applied, but what the hell is opening it? I contacted Whale and they said there will be a switch. I asked where? They said "Don't know". There is a wire on the back of the fill point housing marked SOLENOID but I can see no type of switch or mechanism when I plug in the hose.
The wall socket has 2 contacts on the outside which align with the plug that is connected to the submersible pump (this is a 2nd option to connecting to a tap). These contacts obviously supply 12V to the submersible pump, and when a circuit is made and the pump operates, this may well also send the signal to the solenoid. That makes sense, but it does not explain how the solenoid is turned on when the standard plug for filling from a tap is used as that plug has nothing electrical on it. Only the submersible pump plug has electrical contacts.
I assume by now the reader will be totally confused. It is all quite simple if you can see it so I have attached photos.
If I can work out what triggers and opens the solenoid valve, I can then determine if the valve is part of the problem.

Inked20190909_183447_LI.jpg20190909_183150.jpg20190909_183252.jpg20190909_183316.jpg20190909_183427.jpg
 

daygoboy

Free Member
Could be that the solenoid action is the reverse, the valve is closed when not energised.
That is when the tank is full the float switch trips possibly a relay which cuts the supply
current on the heavy gauge cable to the + at the inlet and also the take off to the solenoid.
So your external pump will also cut out and a hose water supply will be blocked by the valve
under spring action.
Conversely as the tank empties the float switch closes the relay which then supplies current on the
heavy gauge + supply and to the solenoid which then opens the valve,, you can then plug in the
external 12v pump, or connect water hose.
All long range, but might be feasonable guesswork!
That solenoid/valve might need a good clean, calcium etc might prevent it
opening/closing.
 

sydnsue

Full Member
Could be that the solenoid action is the reverse, the valve is closed when not energised.
That is when the tank is full the float switch trips possibly a relay which cuts the supply
current on the heavy gauge cable to the + at the inlet and also the take off to the solenoid.
So your external pump will also cut out and a hose water supply will be blocked by the valve
under spring action.
Conversely as the tank empties the float switch closes the relay which then supplies current on the
heavy gauge + supply and to the solenoid which then opens the valve,, you can then plug in the
external 12v pump, or connect water hose.
All long range, but might be feasonable guesswork!
That solenoid/valve might need a good clean, calcium etc might prevent it
opening/closing.
The valve is normally closed so your first paragraph is correct. That is exactly what happens but as the tank empties, it will not send a signal to open the valve. If it did, the valve could be open for many days or weeks, and the spec states that the valve should not be energised for longer than 15 minutes due to the high current, even though it is connected to a relay.
This is why I cannot see what is opening the valve. When I need to refill, all I do is connect the hose plug and turn on a tap. I wondered if there was a pressure switch inside the fill point which opened the valve as soon as water pressure was sensed but Whale made no mention of this.
 

daygoboy

Free Member
I think you are correct there possibly is a pressure switch in the filler housing soon
as you put a hose on it completes the circuit to power the solenoid/valve to open.
That "Do not Adjust" screw looks like it gives the game away, clearer image on
laptop compared to the mobile!!
 
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PeteS

Full Member
I think there is a pressure sensor in your fill point which energises the solenoind when you connect a hose to the fill point, they still make that setup. Thats what the 'do not adjust' screw is for.
They are still available: https://www.amazon.co.uk/WATERMASTER-SOCKET-ES1001-PRESSURE-SWITCH/dp/B00AIOIIZM

See this article, scroll down until you come to the water fill picture which is used in caravans
 

sydnsue

Full Member
I think there is a pressure sensor in your fill point which energises the solenoind when you connect a hose to the fill point, they still make that setup. Thats what the 'do not adjust' screw is for.
They are still available: https://www.amazon.co.uk/WATERMASTER-SOCKET-ES1001-PRESSURE-SWITCH/dp/B00AIOIIZM

See this article, scroll down until you come to the water fill picture which is used in caravans
The DO NOT ADJUST screw is locked on a factory setting of 1.5 bar. It is not a pressure switch. It is a pressure limiter to protect the system in the van. I don't know what the SOLENOID cable is connected to inside and I'm loath to open up the socket.
 

daygoboy

Free Member
Combined pressure limiter/switch. 1.5Bar is about a 3rd of normal
domestic supply, potentially the tank could split at 3.0Bar.
Have to say seems to be a complicated solution to what is normally
achieved with much simpler set ups. But with beingan inboard tank and
the inlet at tank height does present problems.
 

sydnsue

Full Member
Combined pressure limiter/switch. 1.5Bar is about a 3rd of normal
domestic supply, potentially the tank could split at 3.0Bar.
Have to say seems to be a complicated solution to what is normally
achieved with much simpler set ups. But with beingan inboard tank and
the inlet at tank height does present problems.
The tank can't split because all tanks are vented. I believe the limiter is to protect the plumbing which is all quick connect fittings.
The tank is not inboard. It's underslung as normal so the inlet is above the tank. I agree the setuyp seems over the top, just to stop the flow when full. My last motorhome just overflowed when full. Simple. Just had to keep an eye on it, but no pressure switches or solenoid valves to go wrong.
Still not sure if it's the valve causing the problem. It clicks when actuated but being a diaphragm type, there is no movement to speak of so impossible to see visually. I may yet remove the valve and test it remotely. The motorhome goes in tomorrow for a repair on the distribution PCB so I shall do some brain picking while there. At least is sailed through the MOT and a major nservice today.
 

daygoboy

Free Member
The tank will get pressurised with high volume high mains pressure if
it can't flow out of the overflow vent pipe at the same rate. From your
pics it looks like the supply pipe goes to a floor mounted tank but obviously not,
the complex fill arrangement led me to think there must be some special reason
for requiring it.
The most likely thing to go wrong does seem to be the valve/solenoid,
IIRC the diaphragm type are fairly cheap replacement items compared to
a gate or ball type.
 

sydnsue

Full Member
The tank will get pressurised with high volume high mains pressure if
it can't flow out of the overflow vent pipe at the same rate. From your
pics it looks like the supply pipe goes to a floor mounted tank but obviously not,
the complex fill arrangement led me to think there must be some special reason
for requiring it.
The most likely thing to go wrong does seem to be the valve/solenoid,
IIRC the diaphragm type are fairly cheap replacement items compared to
a gate or ball type.
Would you believe the original German Muller valve is £160 compared to generic valves costing just a few pounds. I found one for £3.82. After tomorrow I may order a cheapy just to try it.
 

daygoboy

Free Member
I was going to fit a remote solenoid ball valve grey water emptying valve a few years ago,
50mm dia. bore was quite difficult to get, but noted small bore 15/25mm dia diaphragm variety
were very cheap on ebay. In the end I just cut an access hatch and fitted a 50mm manual
koi carp tank back nutted water valve, kept it simple.
 

sydnsue

Full Member
I was going to fit a remote solenoid ball valve grey water emptying valve a few years ago,
50mm dia. bore was quite difficult to get, but noted small bore 15/25mm dia diaphragm variety
were very cheap on ebay. In the end I just cut an access hatch and fitted a 50mm manual
koi carp tank back nutted water valve, kept it simple.
Simple is good. Something the MH manufacturers seem to have lost sight of.
 

Markd

Full Member
What we can see from the photos is that the filler pipe is very small bore - that's why filling takes forever.
A new large diameter connection to the tank is obviously the way forward.
 

daygoboy

Free Member
What we can see from the photos is that the filler pipe is very small bore - that's why filling takes forever.
A new large diameter connection to the tank is obviously the way forward.
Obvious, but I believe it's sized up to suit hose connection and electric external pump
connection, I don't think you can even directly pour in a watering can or 5L bottle etc
very easily as it is? More a kind of a caravan arrangement adapted for a M/H with tank.
 

Markd

Full Member
Yes - that's what I meant. There's no point in try to attach a hose to it - which is where we started if I remember.
On occasion it may be handy to use the external pump but a large diameter gravity filler will be more practical.
 

sydnsue

Full Member
The blue pipes are 12mm o/dia so around 9mm bore I believe. Problem with new pipes is a new fill point needs to be positioned through the wall with a 60mm hole (Truma), and the tank is hung underneath with 3 large metal straps giving a gap between tank and floor of 10mm. Not much room for fittings of a larger bore. I'm not dropping the tank lower. If the fill pipe is inserted through the tank wall, the capacity will be reduced considerably. As is always the case, what appears simple to fix gets more complex when you get into the detail. I reckon the solenoid valve is a major restriction as it also has a steel mesh strainer, so I'm about to try bypassing it. If not enough improvement, then time for another think.
 

Markd

Full Member
There may be no capacity reduction.
If the tank has a breather-overflow them you just fill up and water will be in the filler pipe up to top of tank.
 
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