12v water pumps

Submitted: Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 12:24
ThreadID: 84986 Views:4194 Replies:3 FollowUps:5
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Considering fitting a 12 v water pump to my caravan and just wondering best ideas of going about it. Have heard some pressurise the tank and push the water up and others pump the water up directly (like a bilge pump). Also do u have to fit a completely new "tap" or can the pump up type be fitted inline with hand pumps.

Any help at all will be greatly appreciated.

(am currently being spoilt with running water in a caravan park hahaha)
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 12:51

Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 12:51
The hand pump type will not work with a pump. Water pumps work on pressure switch. When switched on they pressurize the pipe until a set pressure is reached and then switch off. When you switch a tap (flick mixer usually) on and release some pressure the pump automatically comes on until the tap is switched off the pipe re presurrized.

If you go this way, have a switch on the pump which can be turned off during travel to ensure the van doesn't get flooded in the event of a mishap with van plumbing.

I switch town mains off as well if the leaving the van for any period of time to be safe.

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Follow Up By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 12:53

Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 12:53
Any positive pressure on a hand pump will have it drip continuously. So don't leave the hand pump in the line with a pump. They are made to lift water when required. A pump system keeps water at the tap for immediate use.

FollowupID: 720520

Follow Up By: ob - Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 15:02

Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 15:02
What Alan said and importantly switch off power to pump and turn off mains from caravan park when leaving the van for a day trip or whatever. I remember seeing water running out of a van (luckily not mine) in a park once. Fortunately turning off the mains stopped the flow, they had switched off the internal pump but didn't think the mains system would cause a drama.

FollowupID: 720530

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 15:21

Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 15:21
Agree with the above.
Or you may simply want to install an inline whale pump near the tank and have a switch which is manually operated near the sink.
This will then pump the water thru the existing hand basin pump easily and will have the kids in a fit as the pump will rise to its full extent then the water flows.
I had this system in my second van (self installed) and it worked well however I changed the switch to a momentary one so that one must have the finger on the switch to get water and this saved litres of water due to the lazy factor.
This can be installed easily with just a couple of wires.

Pump here.

Momentary switch.

Swtch Momentary 1

I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 17:59

Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 17:59
Hi Dodger,
I was about to suggest that it can be done also so long as you switch off when finished.

But I like your reply better and I am wrapped in the WOW factor you mentioned (rising hand pump) LOL. Never gave that a thought. And the momentary switch is a good idea also.

Cheers, Bruce.
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Follow Up By: Ray - Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 at 09:58

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 at 09:58
Have you been in Dick Smith lately? Ok if you want to buy a TV or a computer. All the other bits and pieces including kits have now gone.
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Follow Up By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 at 12:37

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 at 12:37
We have the same system using a Whale pump and a pushbutton near the existing hand pump/tap. Works well and minimum changes needed.

I think constant pressurised systems are to be avoided as the risk of water loss is something I do not want to increase. I am sure that many have vans with them and have no problems, but having to remember another switch to turn off before travelling is not for me.

FollowupID: 720623

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 18:05

Monday, Mar 14, 2011 at 18:05
Hi Kevmac,

My camper has both a hand pump and an electric pump.
The line from the water tank has a tee piece in it.
One line goes to a standard type hand pump mounted externally and the other line to an in-line pressure sensitive electric pump.
Because the pump is a "suction" type, there is no "high pressure" in the water line.
The pump is controlled by a 12 volt control switch. To use the pump simply switch on the control switch which primes the water line, then, when the tap is opened, the change to a lower pressure operates the pump and water flows. Turn off the tap and the pump stops.
No leakage occurs at the hand pump because the water pressure is still relatively slow when the pump is in operation.
The control switch can be left on while at rest, but common sense determines it is wise to isolate the electric pump while travelling, or away from the camper or van for longish periods.

The tee piece, hand pump and electric pump are at the other end of the water line from the rear mounted water tank, so all the "business" occurs in the last couple of metres of the run.

No change to your existing tap is required.

The pressure generated by the electric pump is still quite low.
I had a problem at one time and diagnosed the cause to be nothing more than a kink that occurred in the plastic water line when the slide in/out kitchen drawer was operated.
Installed a new piece of water line and all is good.

For your use a standard type water pump should suffice.
Have a look at the Shurflo Range


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