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Old 04-20-2016, 04:32 PM   #1
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Macerator woes

Emptied tanks last Thursday. No problemo. Macerator in good voice. No black water flush available at campground so waited until I returned to storage to flush. filled B/W tank about 1/2 with water. Drove around a little bit, shook it up. Opened B/W tank, pulled out hose, inserted in drain, clicked on the macerator switch. The pump ran for about 5 seconds, then quit. Dead quiet. No clicks, no sounds whatsover. 15a Fuse looked good. No red light. Removed rubber cover, turned expeller (?)screw per manual 1/4 turn clockwise. Felt tight. No go. Still dead. Searched forum but didn't see any help for this particular macerator issue. Suggestions?
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:36 PM   #2
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Can you check to see if 12VDC is getting to the pump?
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:47 PM   #3
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I've blown a fuse on the macerator pump no less than three times since I've owned my Interstate.

Quick check without having to go back inside the van, does the hose reel still retract? It's on the same fuse.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:07 PM   #4
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I removed the hose at the inlet of the macerator and found a lot of what appeared to be slimy saran wrap. All I can figure is that the toilet packets dissolve enough to let the blue powder out, but are still intact enough to nearly plug the pump impeller. I no longer throw in the packets - just snip the top off and dump the contents in. Whether/not that is your problem, partially plugging the pump can't be good for it.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:48 PM   #5
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Can you check to see if 12VDC is getting to the pump?
My electrical skills are lacking, but with guidance could figure it out probably. Tips.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
I've blown a fuse on the macerator pump no less than three times since I've owned my Interstate.

Quick check without having to go back inside the van, does the hose reel still retract? It's on the same fuse.
Yes, the reel retracts and both valves function properly. Could be a switch issue I hope, considering how quickly and dramatically the pump shut off. 73shark said I might check to make sure 12VDC is getting to the pump. Checked the fuse in the 9 slot and it looked okay. Must be since the reel operates. All worked perfectly 6 days ago. The switch is a little wobbly. Can't get back to the AI till early next week so I'm taking notes.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Titus View Post
I removed the hose at the inlet of the macerator and found a lot of what appeared to be slimy saran wrap. All I can figure is that the toilet packets dissolve enough to let the blue powder out, but are still intact enough to nearly plug the pump impeller. I no longer throw in the packets - just snip the top off and dump the contents in. Whether/not that is your problem, partially plugging the pump can't be good for it.
I don't use the packets but thanks for the tip so I won't use them in the future.
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:24 PM   #8
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Assuming you have a Volt Ohmmeter (VOM),also known as a multimeter, you can probe the two wires at the macerator pump connector w/ it disconnected. If no connector, then you'll have to pierce the insulation (I use straight pins) and probe the wires that way.

If you don't have a VOM, Harbor Freight has very inexpensive ones and coupons for free ones sometimes.
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Old 04-21-2016, 02:24 PM   #9
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Removed rubber cover, turned expeller (?)screw per manual 1/4 turn clockwise. Felt tight. No go. Still dead. Searched forum but didn't see any help for this particular macerator issue. Suggestions?
I had a similar problem last year while in Canada. The macerator got hopelessly jammed and did not do anything. Popped the rubber plug of the end and turned the shaft forward and backward (360 degree rotations) for over 30 minutes before it started working again. In a sense I was performing a manual evacuation of the system.

Root cause....excessive toilet paper use by my youngest child despite the TP being RV friendly.
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Old 04-21-2016, 04:43 PM   #10
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I had a similar problem last year while in Canada. The macerator got hopelessly jammed and did not do anything. Popped the rubber plug of the end and turned the shaft forward and backward (360 degree rotations) for over 30 minutes before it started working again. In a sense I was performing a manual evacuation of the system.

Root cause....excessive toilet paper use by my youngest child despite the TP being RV friendly.
That might be why it (pardon the pun) ground to a halt. The pump did run for a short time before it stopped. I'll give it a try. Thanks for the response.
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Old 04-21-2016, 04:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I had a similar problem last year while in Canada. The macerator got hopelessly jammed and did not do anything. Popped the rubber plug of the end and turned the shaft forward and backward (360 degree rotations) for over 30 minutes before it started working again. In a sense I was performing a manual evacuation of the system.

Root cause....excessive toilet paper use by my youngest child despite the TP being RV friendly.
forgot to ask..did you have the switch on and valve and hose open while you turned the shaft?
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:31 PM   #12
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The switch for the pump was off. The valve was open.

What I did was I would turn the macerator off. Cycle it manually for a few minutes and then turn the macerator back on for a few secs. Usually a little bit of stuff would come out. Then I would reverse direction.

I rinsed and repeated until I got a free flowing macerator action.

Because of that incident I now carry a thick (screwdriver tip big enough to really grip the end of the pump shaft) and very long screwdriver in the van. When I had that problem I only had a small screwdriver and let me tell you it was miserable.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The switch for the pump was off. The valve was open.

What I did was I would turn the macerator off. Cycle it manually for a few minutes and then turn the macerator back on for a few secs. Usually a little bit of stuff would come out. Then I would reverse direction.

I rinsed and repeated until I got a free flowing macerator action.

Because of that incident I now carry a thick (screwdriver tip big enough to really grip the end of the pump shaft) and very long screwdriver in the van. When I had that problem I only had a small screwdriver and let me tell you it was miserable.
Thought of that...good point. Will head to hardware store first to get a big screw driver..Could tell after my one quarter of a turn it needed a larger driver. Thanks again.
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:54 AM   #14
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forgot to ask..did you have the switch on and valve and hose open while you turned the shaft?
Switch should be off. Last thing you need is for the motor to start turning on its own while you still have the screwdriver attached to it. That's a good way to get hurt.

Hose valve should be open. Trying to cycle the pump into a closed-off hose means you're working against whatever pressure builds up in the hose.

Tiato did it exactly right.
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