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Old 09-17-2011, 06:47 PM   #1
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I want my water pump switch to light up...

So... I bought a little red switch that lights up... popped of the smart-sensor panel... the existing switch an an unused green ground wire leading nowhere. I put the red switch in, but I can only get it to work the pump, or work the light, but not both. If I jumper the ground to the -, it will flash on when I switch it on, but doesn't stay on (the pump is running). I have no water in the system, so I can't leave the pump running too long.

The 3rd lead is supposed to go to ground, but there is no ground in the box... only + and - ...

Am I asking too much to have a kit switch for the water pump?

Ideas? I need to make it as foolproof as I can for when my wife takes it by herself...
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:56 PM   #2
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With 12V "-" is the ground.

Bill

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Originally Posted by Friday View Post
So... I bought a little red switch that lights up... popped of the smart-sensor panel... the existing switch an an unused green ground wire leading nowhere. I put the red switch in, but I can only get it to work the pump, or work the light, but not both. If I jumper the ground to the -, it will flash on when I switch it on, but doesn't stay on (the pump is running). I have no water in the system, so I can't leave the pump running too long.

The 3rd lead is supposed to go to ground, but there is no ground in the box... only + and - ...

Am I asking too much to have a kit switch for the water pump?

Ideas? I need to make it as foolproof as I can for when my wife takes it by herself...
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:59 PM   #3
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With 12V "-" is the ground.

Bill
Would the reason the switch isn't staying lit is because the pump us running and sucking all the power? I can't put any water in right now... got it winterized already...

Maybe I can take the ground to a black wire on the panel itself? Or should I use the - for the pump? Or just any black wire I can find handy?
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:01 PM   #4
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I don't know, on my Safari, there is a three way switch, one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom, with a light in the kitchen when the pump is energized.

Bill

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Originally Posted by Friday View Post
Would the reason the switch isn't staying lit is because the pump us running and sucking all the power? I can't put any water in right now... got it winterized already...

Maybe I can take the ground to a black wire on the panel itself? Or should I use the - for the pump? Or just any black wire I can find handy?
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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Maybe wire the light right off the two wires on the pump. Power to pump = light on.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:00 PM   #6
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Maybe wire the light right off the two wires on the pump. Power to pump = light on.
This switch doesn't seem to work like that... it's got a +, -, and ground... when I go + to ground and turn it on, I get a light, but no pump. When I go + to - I get a pump, but no light. When I short the ground to the -, I get the light flashing when I turn it on and off, and the pump running...
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:47 PM   #7
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Could you draw a schematic of how you are wiring the switch, and how the light and switch are wired internally? It should have a drawing on the package it came in.

Alternately, please provide the brand and part number of the switch, so we can find this info on the Internet.

Thanks...
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday View Post
So... I bought a little red switch that lights up... popped of the smart-sensor panel... the existing switch an an unused green ground wire leading nowhere. I put the red switch in, but I can only get it to work the pump, or work the light, but not both. If I jumper the ground to the -, it will flash on when I switch it on, but doesn't stay on (the pump is running). I have no water in the system, so I can't leave the pump running too long.

The 3rd lead is supposed to go to ground, but there is no ground in the box... only + and - ...

Am I asking too much to have a kit switch for the water pump?

Ideas? I need to make it as foolproof as I can for when my wife takes it by herself...
Hi, check out the thread called "Favorite Mod Under $100" and you can see what I and others have done.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, check out the thread called "Favorite Mod Under $100" and you can see what I and others have done.
I found the thread, but can't seem to decode the instructions... I'll read over it again...
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:22 PM   #10
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If there is a switch in the bathroom and a switch in the galley like most Airstreams, then this is a 3-way circuit and you can not use a simple toggle switch in the circuit. The best option is to buy a 12v LED somewhere like Radio Shack. Use the original switch and wire the LED to the wire that goes from the switch to the water pump and the ground (black) wire on the LED to a white wire or else the body. In most trailers, that switch is in the galley. Alternately, you can wire the LED to the wires at the pump itself.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:42 PM   #11
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If there is a switch in the bathroom and a switch in the galley like most Airstreams, then this is a 3-way circuit and you can not use a simple toggle switch in the circuit. The best option is to buy a 12v LED somewhere like Radio Shack. Use the original switch and wire the LED to the wire that goes from the switch to the water pump and the ground (black) wire on the LED to a white wire or else the body. In most trailers, that switch is in the galley. Alternately, you can wire the LED to the wires at the pump itself.
I think my only water pump switch is on the water control panel... there are two things that bug me with it... no 'on/off' label, and no light. The black switch that is in there now has 3 tabs, the + going to the middle and the - going to one end... the other tab had a clipped green wire going to no where (and no even taped or capped) just hanging.

I'm guessing that if I run the - and ground to the same pump wire, I'll get a light... but now all I get is the switch flashing briefly and then the pump running. I think if I could get the pump to stop, maybe the light would stay on... but I can't add water to the FW tank... (well I could, but it's all winterized).
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:07 AM   #12
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Make and model of the switch?
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:27 AM   #13
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OK, if you only have one switch, then it is not a 3-way circuit and the switch may be supplying ground with the +12 wired directly to the pump. Then, I would guess that the flash of the light you see is because the pump has a lot of resistance for an instant when first energized.

In that case, I agree with splitrock's post above that you should go back to the original switch and a light should be wired across the two wires at the pump. That would mean that the light would have to be physically close to the pump so that it can be wired. The best solution would be a 12v LED which pulls very negligible power when lit. Radio Shack sells 12v LEDs. Observe polarity.

Wish I could see a wiring diagram. The solution would then be obvious.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:39 AM   #14
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If the wires to the light are connected at the point that the pump gets power, the leads to the light can be as long as needed to install the light in any accessible location. I haven't understood the need for the light, but I assume there's a good reason. The principle is: that which has power (the pump) connected to that which needs power (the light) will provide needed power to that which needs power (the light).
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:18 PM   #15
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The 'old' switch is a Sigma, has +, - and ground. In my picture, the ground is now bare, but it had a 6 inch long green wire going to nowhere. It is wired yellow to centre (+) and purple to (-).

The 'new' switch is also a Sigma, has the same 3 poles, seems to light when I go + to ground, and seems to run the pump when I go + to -. If I jumper the - and ground, I get the pump running, and a short flash of light when I turn the switch on and off.

I am guessing (?) if I can find any open - nearby I can run the ground to it... but the only thing handy would be to solder something to the control panel. I probably don't get a light, because the pump is running a sucks all the power, or the pump has it's own pressure shut off and will interrupt the circuit.

The switch is a T-55 Sigma...

The only possible grounds (-) that are close are some fat wires that run to the tank heaters. They go to lit switches, so maybe I just need to piggyback one of those. The odd thing with those switches, is they run a much heavy gauge wire to all 3 poles... even the ground, which if my experimenting is working is only to light the switch. There are 2 tank heater switches, so why not run 1 common ground to both switches?

Mysteries of the universe... makes me want to disassemble my whole trailer and re-wire it.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:17 PM   #16
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Any + or - marked on the original switch is irrelevant. It is also irrelevant on the lighted switch unless the light in the switch is a LED. The switch can be wired into the circuit several different ways.

The pump does not and can not "suck all of the power." Simply, you need to connect the light between the 12v to the pump and ground. Any ground (white wire) is fine for the light. The additional load is trivial.

Since there are 2 colored wires on the switch, I suspect that there is a ground at the pump and the hot wire is switched. That would mean that you need to wire a light between the wire going to the pump from the switch and a ground. If there is no white wire handy, the shell of the trailer is plenty good for ground. When I put LEDs on my outside lights, there was no ground wires anywhere reachable, so I wired the ground to the shell.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:43 PM   #17
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Try this.

Wire the new switch same as the old then jumper a wire to ground to the ground terminal at the switch.

If the light stays on all the time reverse the + & - wire at the switch.

Theory;

Normally a switch is on/off with no ground at the switch the ground connection is at the device being controlled.

Ground to the light (built into the switch) provides a complete circuit for the light part of the switch.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:00 PM   #18
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As Garry says...

1. You need to identify the POS wire (use multi-meter)...hook to the POS marked tab on the switch...

2. Identify the wire going to the water pump and hook it to the CENTER tab on the switch...you can touch this wire (momentarily) to the POS wire and you should hear your pump running...

3. Attach a GROUND wire to the remaining tab on the switch - this will allow light inside switch to illuminate when switch is turned to the ON position...

See Dia below...
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:03 PM   #19
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I guess the quest is for a ground then... the metal of the outside of the bathroom does not seem to be grounded... The switches for the tank heaters are near by, are 3 tabs, and light up... so I will try a piggyback join and see what blows up...

It is weird though, that I can get the switch to light up... but the resulting 'on' is separate from the on that actually runs the pump... do they not make a 2 tab switch that just lights up when you turn it on? Weird...
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