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Old 08-10-2010, 02:52 AM   #1
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Water Pump Switch

Hi All,
I just finished putting in new wiring on my 63 Bambi. I was looking at some other people's threads/pictures, and I've noticed that some people have on/off switches for their water pumps. I will be getting to the plumbing soon, and I am wondering, is this necessary? What are the purpose of those switches...i.e, wouldn't the pump operate when it's supposed to without a switch? Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:22 AM   #2
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You need to turn it off when using city water and when you leave the trailer. If you have a leak it will keep running to pressurize the lines and you could loose a lot of water etc.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:26 AM   #3
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Also, when the tank is empty, or you're traveling down the road, you need to be able turn the pump off.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:11 AM   #4
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Yes you want to be able to turn the pump off as noted above.

You will want to be able to switch the pump on and off when pumping antifreeze into the system.

You may also notice that a lot of trailers have 2 switches. One in the bathroom and one in the kitchen area. This is most helpful when on the road and you just need one or the other facility. If you consider this keep in mind that these switches are single pole double through.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:23 PM   #5
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thanks for the answers. i did notice, however, that a water pump i was looking at online advertised itself as being able to run dry without damage.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:01 PM   #6
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I'll betcha that the installation instructions call for an on/off switch to power the pump. Running dry without damage vs. running constantly with nothing to pump but air 'cuz you can't shut it off are two different things. RV water pumps will pump until their set pressure is reached in the water line, then they shut off. You open a faucet, that lowers the pressure in the line, and that in turn triggers the pump to kick in and provide more water. With just air, there will be no pressure build-up in the water line, and the pump will run constantly. Not good.

Chris
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:17 AM   #7
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Sometimes, while you are traveling, a faucet will jolt itself to the on position. If your water pump is running then you will pump yourself dry; if your sink is plugged, you will have an unpleasant mess awaiting you when you open your door.

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Old 08-11-2010, 10:46 AM   #8
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It is not a question of whether or not you need a switch it is just a question of how many and where to put them.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:02 PM   #9
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if a water pump was the only thing on a circuit, could the breaker theoretically serve the same purpose as a switch?
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:58 PM   #10
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You'd need a 12 volt breaker then. Most of the 12 volt panels I've seen are fuses, not breakers. In theory, a breaker would work, although it may not be in the best location from an ease of use point of view.

You certainly have my curiously up though. Why are you against installing a switch for the water pump? Enquiring minds and all…

Chris
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:59 PM   #11
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I picked up a timer switch yesterday to replace the on/of pump switch. Does anyone have any comments on that. Knowing you should turn off the pump before hitting the road and actually getting it done are two different things in my life these days. On my last trip I returned home to hear the running of the water pump. Don't know how many hours it was going. That's when I got the timer idea. Have one on the Iron switch at home. Got tired of screwing up that "night out" with my wife to go home and see if she unplugged the iron. Does anyone see a problem with a timer instead of a switch ?
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:59 PM   #12
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I don't. I was actually thinking of getting a timer for the water heater since that's what we seem to forget to turn off. The pump switch is illuminated, so we see it on when we lock up to travel, but the water heater switch isn't. Is the timer you picked up battery operated, or a manual one? Just wondering.
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:19 PM   #13
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Leds

It is easy to put LEDs on both the water pump and the water heater switches. Radio Shack has 12v LEDs with the resistor built in at reasonable prices.

I have LEDs on water heater, water pump, and outside light switches. My wife is responsible for inside preparation for towing. She just needs to turn off all of the green lights.
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:10 AM   #14
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I just purchased a 60 minute timer switch at lowes that fits in a switch box, twist the dial to how ever many minutes you think you will need water and listen to it click. I wasn't thinking about it being 12 volt and don't know if it would work, but assume it will. I'll let you know
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