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Old 10-25-2019, 03:12 PM   #1
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Poland , Ohio
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Macerator Failure

Winterizing my rig go to dump and turn on macerator nothing. sh$t.
Checked fuse blown 20amp fuse awesome, changed fuse nothing f#$k.
where to look now. I wish this was gravity, macerator always causing problems
keep it simple. Anyone convert to gravity dump?
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:15 PM   #2
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Try inserting a screwdriver in the slot on the end of the macerator and turn it back and forth. That will free up the pump if it keeps blowing fuses. If your fuse is OK then there must be a short in the wiring somewhere. I would cut the wires near the pump and run power to them bypassing the switch and all other wiring. To avoid frying the pump motor (assuming it is not already broken) I would run the power through a 20A fuse. I assume that the red wire is positive and black is negative.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Titus View Post
Try inserting a screwdriver in the slot on the end of the macerator and turn it back and forth. That will free up the pump if it keeps blowing fuses. If your fuse is OK then there must be a short in the wiring somewhere. I would cut the wires near the pump and run power to them bypassing the switch and all other wiring. To avoid frying the pump motor (assuming it is not already broken) I would run the power through a 20A fuse. I assume that the red wire is positive and black is negative.
Thanks titus tried the screw driver thing no help. Must not be getting power i hear nothing. Will get under the rig and see whats up.
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:17 PM   #4
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Ditto what Titus said. If you replaced the fuse, hit the switch and nothing happened, then the fuse probably blew again. I had to turn the pump many times to get the pump loose enough so that it wouldn't blow the fuse. I keep many 20amp spare fuses just for this purpose, although I purchased a new macerator to install next spring. The only thing I can figure is water leaks into the pump bearing, causing it to rust and seize.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:22 PM   #5
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I once had a can opener bounce out of drawer and fall on wires and short themout. A quick look behind refrigerator or remove screws on outside plate that holds switches and pull out far enough to check wires.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:29 PM   #6
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Ditto what Titus said. If you replaced the fuse, hit the switch and nothing happened, then the fuse probably blew again. I had to turn the pump many times to get the pump loose enough so that it wouldn't blow the fuse. I keep many 20amp spare fuses just for this purpose, although I purchased a new macerator to install next spring. The only thing I can figure is water leaks into the pump bearing, causing it to rust and seize.
Wow Bob thanks checked fuse again blown. So am I safe to assume wiring is ok and problem is clogged or seized pump. I am able to turn screw seems to move freely. Do I just need o turn more times to try and free it more and replace fuses until it works?
Thanks Larry
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Old 10-26-2019, 02:05 AM   #7
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We kept blowing fuses until the forum members told us to turn the screw on the macerator. It had stuck, and barely stuck, from road dust. Must not take much to blow those fuses. Doesn't sound like you are having as much luck. Hope you find an easy solution, I'd bet that fix is not so much fun.
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Old 10-26-2019, 05:19 AM   #8
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We kept blowing fuses until the forum members told us to turn the screw on the macerator. It had stuck, and barely stuck, from road dust. Must not take much to blow those fuses. Doesn't sound like you are having as much luck. Hope you find an easy solution, I'd bet that fix is not so much fun.
Thought about it last night night, tried the macerator after changing fuse before turning screw so I'm thinking I blew the fuse again before I loosened macerator, can't get to it before this afternoon so I am optimistic I can solve issue.
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Old 10-26-2019, 06:11 AM   #9
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Yes, you need to turn the pump manually before replacing the fuse. Turn it in both directions, with the last turning being in the direction of flow. (CW if I remember correctly.) You can determine flow direction by opening the valve at the end of the hose and watching for small flow out when turning it.
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Old 10-26-2019, 01:42 PM   #10
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Yes, you need to turn the pump manually before replacing the fuse. Turn it in both directions, with the last turning being in the direction of flow. (CW if I remember correctly.) You can determine flow direction by opening the valve at the end of the hose and watching for small flow out when turning it.
Thanks to Titus and aircrusier and all members of the forum where would we be with out the forum and you tube
Problem solved. Stuck macerator blowing fuses. My mistake, macerator not working check fuse, blown fuse, change and try macerator again, no luck. Hop on forum and read about screw driver test. Macerator turning seems loose, tried again no luck. Unbeknownst to me I had blown the fuse again when I tried the macerator after changing the fuse but before the screw driver test. Now the problem wasn't a stuck macerator but a blown fuse. So don't make my mistake do as Titus says and loosen macerator, replace fuse and off you go .
Thanks again
Larry
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Old 10-27-2019, 01:12 PM   #11
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I bought some 20 amp slow-blow fuses. With them, if I hit the switch and don't hear the macerator spin, I get off the switch quickly and the fuse doesn't blow.

I had to do some net searching to find the slow-blow, but they are there if you look for them. I think they are in lots of 10.
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Old 10-28-2019, 11:51 AM   #12
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So, after 25+ fuses, I finally replaced the pump

I've been following most all the AirForum the "macerator" posts for some 2+ years now. This is just my story.
At first my macerator blew a fuse after driving to the next campsite . . . so, I checked all the electrical connections. Still blew fuses. Then it blew fuses more often!
I avoided the dreaded macerator inspection/replacement ... In April 2019, I put the rig (AI GT 2016) in garage storage for 6 months in the Florida Keys; plugged in for charging power; temperature monitor showed average temperature of about 90 degrees! Took rig out of storage on October 24, 2019 -- all was in good/excellent condition -- except the macerator, which blew every fuse instantly.
Thankfully, I had emptied the tanks and filled each 1/2 way with clean water ... so it was time to face the macerator and check under the rig. The macerator was filled with hair (and we diligently use screen-type drain guards on both sinks and the shower floor - still the long hairs had to be my wifes') and some sort of plastic 'string' about 2-3" long (construction debris or had we dropped something down accidentally?).
As the plumbing and tanks were filled with only clean water, this was a clean(er) and less smelly job! Cleaned the macerator blades with a long-nose plier and turned the shaft from the opposite end. Pump still blew fuse. But I could find no electrical short. So - overnighted a new FloJet from Amazon for $184.00.
Removal of the old pump was slow and annoying but accomplished with a simple crescent wrench and camping headlamp for undercarriage light. Waited 24 hours for silicon on flexible hoses before pumping. All seems to be OK now and flow is much stronger. Opened old macerator but could not find what was wrong - impeller looks good, etc.
So, heading out for 2 weeks of camping on Thursday . . . will post any bad news, but if all is OK, then all has been written other than: face down the replacement of the pump - I dreaded it and don't look forward to doing in again, but it is not as bad as imagined!
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Old 10-28-2019, 01:01 PM   #13
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AI Joe....Iím curious how you applied the silicone for the flex hose.
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Old 10-28-2019, 03:17 PM   #14
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AI Joe....Iím curious how you applied the silicone for the flex hose.

Same here. Would have been great if AI Joe had shared photos...


I will be taking this on as well... was planning on using the rubber adapter with some hose to minimize on the silicone use...
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:39 AM   #15
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AI Joe....Iím curious how you applied the silicone for the flex hose.
Sorry guys but I did not take any pictures; I was fighting the Florida heat, not the macerator and the heat is what made the process unpleasant.

As for the silicon - on the 1" hose, which I had to cut a 3/4" slit into to get it off the old pump - I applied a bead of silicon on the inner edge of the hose and along the slit, before pushing it back over the new pump - first making sure the hose clamp was on the hose and facing the right direction so I could get a socket over the clamp screw to tighten it. Figured if it dripped a little, so be it - but it is not dripping.

As for the 3" black hose over the end of the macerator pump itself: I cleaned the hose first by peeling all the old silicon off then wiping down the inside with alcohol. Then applied a thin bead of silicon completely around the inside - maybe the thickness of a thin worm. Again, checking the hose clamp beforehand, I simply slid the 3" hose (which now had a silicon bead along the inside edge) over the rear of the pump, rotated it about 1" and tightened the clamp!

I then waited 24 hours - to give the silicon a bit of time to dry - opened the black valve (remember, black tank had clean water only) and voila!

I have added a note to my annual maintenance list to remove the black hose once a year; inspect and, if necessary, clean the macerator blades. I hope this might prevent the motor from working too hard and blowing fuses, etc.

Discovering how easy it was to remove this hose, I am to thinking about making a pvc insert that would allow me to simply remove the black hose, insert the pvc adapter and connect to a standard 3" dump hose (in case the macerator goes belly-up again). This might be a easier solution than building a permanent 3" dump "T" like some have done.

[Hopefully I would never need to use such an adapter. Furthermore, I do not carry a 3" dump hose, so I would have to buy or borrow one in the event the macerator did not work.]

Best thing to remember - always (absolutely whenever possible) rinse the black tank after each dump with the tank pressure rinse or at least a few quarts of clean water down the toilet with the dump value open, dump the black tank again and then close the black tank valve. Then flush toilet, filling it with a quart or two of water and 1/2 cup of "AquaKem" or your favorite treatment. Then empty grey tank and run some fresh water down the sink - so again, mostly what will be in the dump lines and tank bottoms is clean water! That way, if the unthinkable happens, perhaps the job will be less messy and smelly.

Having said all this - we head out tomorrow for 3-4 weeks. If I have macerator troubles, I will post here - otherwise, I am hoping I can stop agonizing about macerators and tank dumping for the foresesable future,
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:36 PM   #16
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Thanks AI Joe. I tried the same technique for the 3Ē hose the first time I hooked up the new pump. Did not work in my case. If I start leaking again, I may try it again.
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Old 11-26-2019, 01:59 PM   #17
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Macerator Redux

While on warranty in 2015, the AI's Macerator began leaking and its repair was conducted by a local RV dealership. As it turned out, the Macerator housing was cracked and required replacing. I did not pay much attention to the plumbing once it was repaired. But, last year, leaking again came from the Macerator. As I had to underwrite the repair, my attention to the problem was more concentrated. After elevating the vehicle, I was quite surprised to see the accordion style hose between the black/grey tank junction and the Macerator, and the cracked Macerator housing caked with silicon over the clamped hose. There had to be a better method to connect the black/grey tank junction and the Macerator. So, there was. See photo. The 3" white pipe came from Lowe's plumbing section. New Macerator came from Amazon, though there is a rebuild kit for the housing section that becomes cracked. Flojet 185982000 Waste Pump Service Kit for $54 vs $153 for a new one. The two couplers are from etrailer.com Valterra Coupling for Rigid RV Sewer Pipe - 3" Inner Diameter Item # F02-2104 &
Valterra Coupling for Rigid RV Sewer Pipe - 3-1/2" Inner Diameter Item # F02-2103. I believe after the modification, the whole system seems improved in its operation.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:50 AM   #18
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Hair might be the enemy:

As a follow-up to my post on this thread from 10-28 where I noted that I replaced the macerator on my 2016 AI due to continued fuse failures and eventual macerator failure . . . .

I am attaching two photos of hair that was caught in my shower drain trap after one shower! [Note that I have added a second "screen" of plastic to the shower drain.] Now imagine what would collect on the macerator blades over 3+ years with both husband and wife showering, not to mention what might go down the toilet or sink drains. Thus, I am blaming the blown fuses and the macerator failure on HAIR!

As noted in my 10/28 post on this thread, it was not very difficult to remove the flexible 3" hose to clean out the hair and any other debris caught in the macerator blades of the pump.

So my conclusion is that, once or twice a year, I am going to remove the flexible 3" black hose from the macerator end, clean the blades and re-attach the hose, adding a bit of silicon as necessary. I'm hoping a little bit of preventative maintenance will keep my fuses from blowing and my macerator working; the new macerator has worked flawlessly and I've found no leaks.

Now, if only, I could get the black tank level monitor to work properly and reliably! [No TP in black tank, black tank flushed almost every time it is dumped, usually dumped every 2 or 3 days when camping and have dump station at my home where AI is parked.]
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