12v Portable shower pump died again

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:06
ThreadID: 100130 Views:5184 Replies:14 FollowUps:7
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After my "cheap" pump died again, I am thinking of a more reliable alternative.
(I use it with a Portable jump battery starter). I am thinking of using a boat bilge pump
Any thoughts? Also my failed unit should be under warranty, but due to Supercheap
using thermal paper for their receipts, I have no evidence of purchase - Receipt
just faded away in the heat of the car - Sneaky trick I suspect !
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Reply By: Mick O - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:14

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:14
No Pedro, they've always got a limited lifespan. They are notoriously twitchy and have poor wiring. Also if you run the pump without water she no last too long (in my experience).

Mate instead of a bilge pump, buy a simple pressure pump from a caravan place like carac. Mount in the engine bay with a switch and when the time comes, drop one end in the bucket of water and have the other connected to a hose with a simple garden sprayer or proper shower nozzle. Being a constant demand type pump, it will stop once you release the trigger on the shower rose.

I've mounted mine inside the guard of my Tojo as per the blog. It's about 2/3 of the way down the blog page so scroll well down towards the bottom . A much simpler idea and the pumps come in various sizes and are a lot more robust (and not real expensive either).

Cheers

Mick

Fitting a shower pump to the cruiser




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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:23

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:23
Pedro, Mick O's idea is good but not cheap.
A cheaper alternative, similar to your original shower pump but more reliable is a bilge pump like this. It can just be dropped in a bucket and will connect to your original shower tubing and spray head.
When my shower pump carks it I'll be using one of these.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:38

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:38
That's another alternative but I'd suggest it needs a little bit of work. I'd suggest as you'll need to wire in an on-line switch or similar as the pump will not stop unless you turn off the power source so you'll have to make sure that's nice and water proof as well as you'll need it in the shower with you. By contrast, a pressure pump will halt the flow automatically once you block the outlet pipe (ie; by releasing the trigger on your shower head).

One other point, at 35 litres per minute it's going to empty your 10 litre shower bucket in 20 seconds. Its going to be a fast and furious shower I'd suggest. Make sure you don't blow the kids out the back of the shower tent lol.

Worthy of consideration though as it's about 1/3 the price of a pump such as I suggested.

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 22:05

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 22:05
Well Mick, Pedro already has an online switch. In fact he has everything except an actual working pump from the old setup. Unless in desperation he has thrown the lot in the bin! LOL
The specification of 30 litres per minute is, as always with pump specs, with an open discharge and no head. It is a centrifugal pump (not constant displacement) and as such the flow will be whatever you limit it to and the discharge pressure will only rise a little as you choke the flow. It is not a hi-pressure cleaner pump!
Believe me, it will work just as the original one did, but with somewhat more reliability. Just do not let it run dry for any length of time, but that's not hard.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 20:55

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 20:55
Allen,

right on, choking a pump will not only reduce the flow but it will also drop the current in that style of pump.
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Reply By: Mark - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:35

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:35
After going through a couple of the drop in bucket type shower pumps we now use a 12v pressure cleaner as a shower! Its works really well with some warm water in and can be adjusted to a fine mist which under pressure really gets the soap residue off, got to watch your delicate bits but it's not over the top. They use bugger all water to due to the high pressure mist and we get 3 or 4 showers out of one fill. The one we have is the Carcube brand but they don't make them anymore, there are what look like identical units on ebay etc. Also great for washing the dust off the back steps on the camper etc and spraying salt off the fishing gear blah blah...
About $150
AnswerID: 503164

Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:41

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:41
Actually, Mark has just reminded me of the shower setup Jaydub and Suze are now using, simply a good quality 10 litre spray bottle. They've fitted a larger diametre outlet hose and a garden sprayer and you simply pump the bottle up. Works a treat and removes the need for power all together. A tad bulky but light in weight.

Yet another solution.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Mark - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:47

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:47
Hi Mick,
We also used to use the garden spray pump for showering off when camping on the beach but they don't really have the pressure to get the soap off and you end up using twice as much water as you would with the 12 volt washer. Handy if you don't have power but we have a 3 batteries and half a dozen 12v Ciq sockets between the camper and the 4x4 so not an issue for us.
Cheers
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FollowupID: 779814

Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 23:57

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 23:57
I like the bilge pump idea. It is a centrifugal pump and if you turn off the tap at the shower head it doesn't pump while the motor still runs. just turn on the tap to resume or when finished turn off the motor.

BCF have them around $27 and two different gal/hr pumps available.
Just scan your receipt and save as it is the same company as Super####.
AnswerID: 503174

Follow Up By: Member - pedro1 - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 00:38

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 00:38
Thanks guys for the suggestions, The bilge pump is the winner,
I was concerned about output and strain on the pump if "throttled" back at the shower head.
The set up we need also has to be compact and portable.
This is because we have found in the past if you shower near the car, the ground can get muddy (especially with kids showering ).
So best well away from car and tent. Also the set up has to live in the spare tyre on the roof (with various other items) so has to be compact.

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FollowupID: 779826

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 09:21

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 09:21
After chucking several of the $25 bucket pumps I bought a bilge pump for $50.
It seized about a year later. So I salvaged the wiring & switch & shower head from a bucket pump..
added a Diaphragm Pump ($40..ebay) & it works great. Pump is like those fitted to caravans, & the same,I suspect, as referred to by guru, Mick O.
I had to fit an adjustable bypass to relieve the pressure. It operates off a Battery Booster, which means you can take it away from the car & camp..this often means
no screening is required...just add a bucket of water.
cheers....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 503191

Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 10:57

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 10:57
Picking up on the thermal paper issue. I use my phone camera to take a picture of all the receipts for things I buy with a warranty and store the photos in a separate folder electronically. You can rename the file to show the product, and if needed, print out the receipt on proper paper when you return the product.

T
AnswerID: 503197

Reply By: Greenant - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 11:30

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 11:30
Hi Pedro

I have a 360 gal/hr bilge pump cut off the old elcheapo pump used the same wire with switch and plug , bit fiddly to fit shower rose pipe but at 2 metres head the flow is just right pump cost $25 at BCF

Greenant
AnswerID: 503203

Reply By: pmacks - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 13:09

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 13:09
Hi Pedro1

we have been using the $25.00 drop in the busket type for years, ( the last one has lasted at least 6 years ) and the trick to them lasting is to never turn them off, just pull the cigi connection out from the battery pack !! we fill the bucket and then just let the shower head recurculate in the bucke, we do not recycler the water the pump only ever see's clean water with no soap

anyway this is what works for us, maybe we have just been lucky?

pmacks
AnswerID: 503209

Reply By: Member - Craig F (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 18:48

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 18:48
My 12v shower almost cost me a car on the weekend. Had it pluged in and ready to shower my two kids. Went down to the waters edge (beach) and started the process of draging them out of the surf. By the time I got to the back of the car smoke was pouring out of the pump. Pulled out the plug burning my hand in the process. The plug cable and motor was RED hot 40min later the motor was still too hot to touch. When I got home I pulled apart the switch to find that it had failed and turned on the motor which was out of the water.
In short DON'T leave them un-attended and pluged in or fit a fuse to the plug.

Craig
AnswerID: 503227

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 19:01

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 19:01
Craig, The instructions do warn to not run the pump dry. But perhaps your switch had not read that page. LOL
Seriously, these products like many are manufactured to a low price point and accordingly are of low reliability. So we economise at our risk?
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - pedro1 - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 19:50

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 19:50
Interesting incident with " The plug cable was RED hot 40min later"
One would of thought the car fuse in the accessory circuit would have blown if the current had reached this point. Also a lot of cheap cig lighter plugs do have fuses in them .
I had a experience where the car fuse kept blowing but the cig plug fuse was OK .
After investigation I discovered the short was in the plug, but before the fuse .
Cheap chinese quality couldn't handle the corrigations
AnswerID: 503235

Reply By: Willykj - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 20:29

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 20:29
I've been using one of the drop in bucket showers for many years now & it is still going strong. The only problem we have is when we are getting ready for a holiday iI test it & it wont work....so just get into the pump & free it up. It sticks every time when not used for a while but does free up & goes on strong from there. Best $25 I've spent.
AnswerID: 503242

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 22:26

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 22:26
I've had a few of teh original 12V shower pumps and none lasted more than a year.
Replaced it with the Johnson 450 that Allan has mentioned above - used the 10mm tubing and was disappointed - the flow was very poor because these bilge pumps are low pressure, high volume pumps.
Bought a cheap Rule bilge pump, and used bigger diameter 1/2 inch tubing and it works pretty well and has lasted more than a year!
AnswerID: 503251

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 22:54

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 22:54
Another BCF pump at low price is here.
I have no idea of its performance specs or quality but may be worth a try for those of us who do not require a shower equal to the one at home. The higher performers after all use a lot of water which can be precious where we travel even though we have 120L tanks.
Our $25 shower provides 2 minutes of shower time from 4 Litres. Quite enough for us. One minute to get wet, shut it off, soap up, one minute to rinse off. Lovely!
When really trying to preserve water supplies we use the "H2No Towels" obtainable from the ExplorOz shop.
Incidentally, waterproof in-line switches are available from ABR Sidewinder.
Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 503258

Reply By: Member - bill j (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 at 19:54

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 at 19:54
Hi I've used one of these for 4 years still going strong 12v whale pump, got a straight thru
one from the watertank to the sink in our jayco camper.



http://youtu.be/Tlm0FUrTIh4
AnswerID: 503445

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