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Anti flood protection


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After experiencing a catastrophic leak ($1500) after accidentally leaving on my pump, I have decided to take action. Althoguh I have a pre-departure checkist and the pump is on that, in this case I forgot to turn it off after a roadside pee break, I hit some rough roads, the kitchen tap swung over the counter and a tap vibrated open (I seldom hook up to city water, I prefer to fill the tank & use the pump). The photos show the components I am using, which added up to less than $50. I will screw the sensors to the floor under the kitchen & bath sinks & shower, with a small piece of cloth under them to soak up water. I will also put one in the insulation under the floor below the sink where all the plumbing goes down into the sub floor. They will detect any water, and operate a 12v relay which will shut off power to the pump. (And the city supply when the valve I ordered below also arrives)


LINK.

I hope to be able to adapt this on to the city water supply line to shut that off as well.

 

 

There is 12v from a source other than the pump on-off switch in the area, namely the 12v feeding ,my slide. Without that I would nto be able to operate the solenoid, but pump shut off would still work since it only needs to if the pump is accidentally left on anyway.

 

 

valve.jpg

 

 

 

leak1.jpg

 

Since I can easily fish a wire from ,my pump location to the bathroom, I also intend to install a NON-LOCKING pushbutton. This will pressurize the system and allow enough wtater for one flush. A second push should be enough for a quick hand rinse. That way the pump stays off and pressure is released by flushing. .

 

Now I also want to install a lit bypass switch so I dont have to wait for the sensors to dry out if i do get some water on them accidentally. I want it lit so I do nto forget to reset the system later. Here is a diagram. The relay has normally closed contacts (plus one normally open for the solenoid) so 12v is passed to the pump in a normal condition and denied to the solenoid. If a sensor detects water, it energizes the relay coil and opens the circuit, cutting 12v to the pump and at the same time it will send 12 v to the city water solenoid, but via the contacts in the bypass switch, which is in the off position. So the pump is denied 12v and the solenoid is energized blocking city water.

 

Now if i turn the bypass switch on, it directs the 12v that is now feeding the solenoid, over to the pump instead, energizing it and at the same time removing the 12v from the solenoid. Once the water dries and the relay drops it will go back to normal. The light in the switch will get 12v from either the pump or from the solenoid, whichever one is energized, as one or the other always will be. That ensures the light is on when the switch is in bypass mode.

 

circuit.jpg

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Since you never need the pump powered on while under way, wouldn't a simple normally closed 12-volt relay operated by the TV charge line with the contacts connected to interrupt the pump power insure against unintended pump operation?

Tht would work as long as the truck is idling.

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Back in my TT days, the charge line stayed live as long as the trailer was connected to the TV. Maybe they do it differently now.

It would depend upon how the tow vehicle is connected. Most today are connected to the tow source such that a relay opens when you shut down the tow vehicle engine to prevent the RV from draining the tow vehicle's battery.

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Our rig has an accumulator (a separate small tank with a rubber bladder). When the water pump is turned on the water is pumped into the small tank until the air at the top of that tank is compressed to the pressure that shuts the pump off. This gives us enough water pressure at the faucets and the toilet for several flushes and washing hands. When the accumulator pressure no longer has sufficient pressure to push water into the system just turn the pump on until it stops... then turn it off.

 

If you need lots of water (showers, dish washing, etc.) just leave the pump turned on. When the high volume use is over with and you stop using water just wait until the pump stops and turn the pump off.

 

Accumulators are dead simple to install.

 

WDR

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It would depend upon how the tow vehicle is connected. Most today are connected to the tow source such that a relay opens when you shut down the tow vehicle engine to prevent the RV from draining the tow vehicle's battery.

 

Thanks, Kirk, that does make sense. My TT days were long ago, and I'm not surprised the technology has advanced. :)

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Our rig has an accumulator (a separate small tank with a rubber bladder). When the water pump is turned on the water is pumped into the small tank until the air at the top of that tank is compressed to the pressure that shuts the pump off. This gives us enough water pressure at the faucets and the toilet for several flushes and washing hands. When the accumulator pressure no longer has sufficient pressure to push water into the system just turn the pump on until it stops... then turn it off.

 

If you need lots of water (showers, dish washing, etc.) just leave the pump turned on. When the high volume use is over with and you stop using water just wait until the pump stops and turn the pump off.

 

Accumulators are dead simple to install.

 

WDR

That would not have saved me. The issue here is forgetting to turn off the pump which is easy to do and having a tap come open by itself and the faucet rotating over the countertop. I have ofudn out since that this has hapopeend to others. I am not taking any chances on it happening again. I may not be as lucky as to be in Arizona next time. I could be in the rainy NW. I will aso be changing the tap set out.

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We have read of similar flooding problems in fora over the years and consequently have always had the worry about some drip filling the cabin/bathroom with water.

 

We likewise seldom hook up to city water. The few times we have had the opportunity, we have just filled the freshwater tank since the flood worry is far greater with city water.

 

We similarly have pre-departure lists and turning off propane and water are among them. Such lists can easily be forgoten after pee-breaks.

 

Most folks do not turn off propane but we do it everytime. The fridge will keep things cold for 8 hours and can be turned on at breaks to cool things down. We have (as noted ad nauseum) sufficient solar to run the fridge and generally do on sunny days.

 

Our rig has "automatic" leveling which is quite useful; however, when run automatically it has a tendency to raise the wheels off the ground. Our previous rig was also an Open Range 337RLS 5th wheel and the switchboard would not turn off automatically, we were in Yucatan headed for Belize/Guatemala when something touched the board and ran out the right front landing gear, which dutifully bent at 45 degrees when we hit the bump onto Mexico 307 (Cancun to Chetumal). I was going to saw it off but our friend Erik (from Germany) who had drive out to help us with traffic (it is four-lane) suggested just running it our until it dropped out (it is a worm gear jack). We visited with friends in Belize and they knew a machine shop that was able to fix it. They cut it and then welded. Got a piece of plywood and attached Velcro so that the switchboard is covered while traveling.

Reed and Elaine

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