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Old 08-04-2008, 11:36 PM   #15
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Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Remember what my profession is....Certified Master RV Tech. The 5 mescerators WERE NOT MINE ( I don't use one) but were on 5 high-end motor homes. I was just trying to relay my experience in what seemed to be a high failure rate for a single type of component when I compare it to all of the others that I work on. And yes, I have had to upgrade the OEMs wiring a few times, as a long run or 12AWG...or even 10AWG is insufficient for these devices.

I hope this clears the air a bit.

Originally Posted by norsea View Post

Not trying to be confrontational here but I am having a hard time dealing with the concept of 5 macerators going bad in a year. WOW!!!

Knowing that they are sold as intermittent duty pumps with the ability to "chew" small "soft" stuff into much smaller pieces I cannot help but wonder what is going into your black tank.

We fill our 40 gallon black tank every ten to fourteen days with just two of us in the trailer. I never let the pump run when there is not a full supply of liquid going into it; running it without sufficient liquid is a very good way to destroy the impeller blades that drive the pump. How many of your failures involved impeller failures?

And yes, running it for too long a period of time can cause it to overheat; ambient temperature plays a very big role in this area. If it is hot outside (80+) I never pump the tank in one go. I always stop and let the pump rest for a loooong period of time so the motor can cool. I also will set up a sun block so the unit is not in direct sunshine or time my chore so that the trailer shades the macerator when in use. How many were motor failures?

I have used our macerator more than 20 times to dump our black water tank. And this means that it then has to pump another 40 gallons of gray water when the black tank is empty as part of my hose cleaning procedure. Plus, and additional bit of fresh water once the gray water is empty.

Does the pump get warm? YES. But I monitor it as the instructions that came with it suggest and do not run it to the point that it overheats.

We use nothing but single ply tissue; I know many think this is not necessary but I'm a true believer. We've had too many septic tank problems thanks to guests who "don't get it" at places we've lived. I have never had a problem with tissue being "chewed" and pumped through the hose; it's 5/8" by the way.

For 5 months we were camped in my in laws driveway and we had to pump about 75+ feet uphill to a clean out about 24 inches above ground level at the house. We have never had a problem.

Now, having said all that it could be that the next time I pump the tank the macerator will die. It is just a mechanical device with a limited lifetime.

I suspect many people turn on the pump and walk away and do not make sure there is always lots of liquid going into the pump. And I suspect that many do not want to take the time it takes to let the pump cool before they carry on. And I suspect many don't alter their regimen when the ambient temperature is above 80 degrees.

And one last VERY important thing. I ran 6 gauge wire from my battery to my refer compartment where I connect the macerator. This too was in the instructions for the unit. Long wire runs with small gauge wire are a very good way to cause an electric motor to die an early death. Given the problems you have had I cannot help but wonder if you have insufficient voltage at the motor due to a long wire run with too small gauge wire. This certainly would cause lots of problems "chewing" things because the motor would not operate with sufficient amperage leading to all of the symptoms you have described.

Of course, I could be wrong.

As always, YMMV.


Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
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