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How to Fix Kitchen Tap and Water Pump Problem and solution.

Fuse SH16 supplies the power to the microswitch but it no longer supplies the pump directly, the pump is now controlled by the new special vehicle control unit (J608), (this is not the camper display).
The SVCU has a number of fuses in Fuse box C under the light switch.
 
The water tap problem seems to be a never ending story for many people. As other members describe, it is often related to the microswitch in the kitchen tap. I think, that the only right solution is a relay to relieve the switch, but it is not properly described. It is not that difficult to make, the only new wire, is a short one to the ground. I’m not an electrician, but made it in an hour, and the setup works. I didn’t even clean the microswitch. The 12 V relay, a couple of spade terminals and a short wire is required - costs less than 5 Euro. The relay is screw mounted straight over the waste water tank - see photo and diagram. The mentioned wire colors are related to California T6, 2016.

View attachment 44364

View attachment 44365
Hi - I used this diagram to wire a 12v relay to my tap (I had never done this before), and like yourself, once fitted the tap worked normally again! It only took me an hour.

I was a bit nervous about cutting off the connectors and fitting spade connectors but it was really straightforward.

Essentially both the RED cables are joined into a spade connector and go to '30' on the relay. The rest is straight forward.

I got all the bits from Halfords for £11 and used a spare bit of wire to run to ground:





Only had to make one small drill hole to screw the relay and ground into the metal under the sink.

The tap was very sporadic before - now it works every time!

Thanks for the diagram!
 
Hi - I used this diagram to wire a 12v relay to my tap (I had never done this before), and like yourself, once fitted the tap worked normally again! It only took me an hour.

I was a bit nervous about cutting off the connectors and fitting spade connectors but it was really straightforward.

Essentially both the RED cables are joined into a spade connector and go to '30' on the relay. The rest is straight forward.

I got all the bits from Halfords for £11 and used a spare bit of wire to run to ground:





Only had to make one small drill hole to screw the relay and ground into the metal under the sink.

The tap was very sporadic before - now it works every time!

Thanks for the diagram!
When I wired in a relay I also added a switch so that the tap can be left “open” without the pump operating . Allowing the system to be drained and safe from freezing without the need to remove any fuse.
 
When I wired in a relay I also added a switch so that the tap can be left “open” without the pump operating . Allowing the system to be drained and safe from freezing without the need to remove any fuse.
I'm just happy I managed to do the relay wiring and it actually worked.

A switch might be pushing it too far :)
 
Thank you for all this information. I've just fixed our unreliable tap by cleaning the microswitch with sandpaper and now it works much better than it ever did before!
Just one extra pointer for novices like me. The click you hear in the tap is a physical click, not an electronic one - you may still need to change the fuse before you get the ta dah moment.
 
Can anybody give me a tip for getting the pump power cable through the grommet on top of the tank? (Cali T6). I've tried reaching into the tank from behind the seat and in front of the seat with both my left and right hands, but seem to need an extra joint in my arms or hands! Tried pulling with a piece of copper wire, again no success. Worst thing is, the problem was the microswitch and not the pump!
 
Cannot express just how amazingly helpful this OP thread was over the past week (and Cali club in general, it's just absolutely priceless this site!)

On my T5, it turned out to be the pump in the end as it was the original VW logo one from new (2008).
Weird because, it worked absolutely fine since we had bought in Oct 2021, but then didn't use for a while and I think our hard water must have just seized it up (banging didn't get it moving).

The best investment in finding fault was to buy a simple multimeter / voltmeter from InExcess, £6, then I just checked all the connections along the way (from the switch connection under the back of the sink) until I determined that the pump power connector clip was receiving power (12 V reading) when the tap was turned on, and not receiving power when turned off, so it had to be the pump.

Anyway, I got the one recommended in original post, (£28 on Amazon) a couple of hours of blaspheming and growing new bodily joints, as described in the original tutorial, and all was back to a fully working water system.

And to think VW charge £400 for this repair. Nope nope no thank you.

QUESTION TO ALL: What's the general advice on keeping the pump in good condition when not in use for long periods of time?
Should I keep it submerged in water? Take it out, dry it and keep in storage?


I read somewhere it's a good idea to take the 5 amp fuse out so it doesn't draw any power and strain the system when not being used, but not sure it's worth it.


CometPump.png
 
Cannot express just how amazingly helpful this OP thread was over the past week (and Cali club in general, it's just absolutely priceless this site!)

On my T5, it turned out to be the pump in the end as it was the original VW logo one from new (2008).
Weird because, it worked absolutely fine since we had bought in Oct 2021, but then didn't use for a while and I think our hard water must have just seized it up (banging didn't get it moving).

The best investment in finding fault was to buy a simple multimeter / voltmeter from InExcess, £6, then I just checked all the connections along the way (from the switch connection under the back of the sink) until I determined that the pump power connector clip was receiving power (12 V reading) when the tap was turned on, and not receiving power when turned off, so it had to be the pump.

Anyway, I got the one recommended in original post, (£28 on Amazon) a couple of hours of blaspheming and growing new bodily joints, as described in the original tutorial, and all was back to a fully working water system.

And to think VW charge £400 for this repair. Nope nope no thank you.

QUESTION TO ALL: What's the general advice on keeping the pump in good condition when not in use for long periods of time?
Should I keep it submerged in water? Take it out, dry it and keep in storage?


I read somewhere it's a good idea to take the 5 amp fuse out so it doesn't draw any power and strain the system when not being used, but not sure it's worth it.


View attachment 89397
Your last point regarding removal of the fuse…
When the water tank is drained for winter it is a good idea to also drain the pump and tap supply Pipe .To do this the fuse is removed and the tap lever opened allowing the water to drain back into the water tank.
Alternatively you can do what I’ve done and fit a switch under the sink to isolate the tap power feed. I added the switch at the same time as I fitted a relay to the tap supply. This reduces the current through the tap‘s micro switch.
 
Cannot express just how amazingly helpful this OP thread was over the past week (and Cali club in general, it's just absolutely priceless this site!)

On my T5, it turned out to be the pump in the end as it was the original VW logo one from new (2008).
Weird because, it worked absolutely fine since we had bought in Oct 2021, but then didn't use for a while and I think our hard water must have just seized it up (banging didn't get it moving).

The best investment in finding fault was to buy a simple multimeter / voltmeter from InExcess, £6, then I just checked all the connections along the way (from the switch connection under the back of the sink) until I determined that the pump power connector clip was receiving power (12 V reading) when the tap was turned on, and not receiving power when turned off, so it had to be the pump.

Anyway, I got the one recommended in original post, (£28 on Amazon) a couple of hours of blaspheming and growing new bodily joints, as described in the original tutorial, and all was back to a fully working water system.

And to think VW charge £400 for this repair. Nope nope no thank you.

QUESTION TO ALL: What's the general advice on keeping the pump in good condition when not in use for long periods of time?
Should I keep it submerged in water? Take it out, dry it and keep in storage?


I read somewhere it's a good idea to take the 5 amp fuse out so it doesn't draw any power and strain the system when not being used, but not sure it's worth it.


View attachment 89397
If you live in a hard water area I'd drain the water tank when not in use to stop limescale build up in the pump and prevent bacteria growth, I do this and my pump's still working after 11 years :)
As @ArunAlec state above, it's well worth fitting a switch and relay to avoid removing the fuse when fully draining the system and avoid the high pump current arcing the tap microswitch contacts, can't understand why VW don't do this at the factory to avoid many of the microswitch issues.
 
Your last point regarding removal of the fuse…
When the water tank is drained for winter it is a good idea to also drain the pump and tap supply Pipe .To do this the fuse is removed and the tap lever opened allowing the water to drain back into the water tank.
Alternatively you can do what I’ve done and fit a switch under the sink to isolate the tap power feed. I added the switch at the same time as I fitted a relay to the tap supply. This reduces the current through the tap‘s micro switch.

Thank you so much for the informative reply.
I didn't think about the residue moisture left in the pipes / taps but now you mention it, that would be a very good idea to do this.

So to be clear, I remove the pump fuse under the passenger seat, the small 5amp one - in order to cut power to the water system.
Then open the tap (I assume to allow air in and for residue water to trickle back to the tank)
Then once fully drained, empty out the fresh tank again to keep for dry storage.

This sounds great.

As for the relay, could you point me in the direction of a good overview of how to fit these?
I've seen a few posts here and there, but have lost track of them.

Thank you all (and @KGCali )
 
Here ya go! Check the attached file.

1645529395133.png
Halfords (HEF554) Relay 12v 30amp 4 Pin
1645529432299.png
Numbers of a Relay
Note that each pin is numbered. 85 and 86 are the coil pins while 30, 87, and 87a are the
switch pins. 87 and 87a are the two contacts to which 30 will connect. If the coil is not
activated, 30 will always be connected to 87a. Think of this as the relay in the Normally
Closed (OFF) position.
 

Attachments

  • VW California Ocean Water Tap Relay Switch.pdf
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Reactions: Loz
Thank you so much for the informative reply.
I didn't think about the residue moisture left in the pipes / taps but now you mention it, that would be a very good idea to do this.

So to be clear, I remove the pump fuse under the passenger seat, the small 5amp one - in order to cut power to the water system.
Then open the tap (I assume to allow air in and for residue water to trickle back to the tank)
Then once fully drained, empty out the fresh tank again to keep for dry storage.

This sounds great.

As for the relay, could you point me in the direction of a good overview of how to fit these?
I've seen a few posts here and there, but have lost track of them.

Thank you all (and @KGCali )
Correct, the switch/fuse removal allows the plumbing side of the tap to drain. I just added the switch in series to the relay circuit. My version of the relay plus switch…
image.jpg
 
Hi all
Just wanted to say again thanks for all the advice. I will look into getting a relay fitted. Looks a little complex though for my non existent understanding of electronics (always been a really difficult thing for me to understand - expecially wiring diagrams, @ArunAlec , but I appreciate you taking the time to send this over and explain it all the same)

However I did do the fuse removal and water drain last night and it drained perfectly so I feel reassured that it should dry up and remain in good nick while not in use for long periods.

Thank you all again!
Bloody love these forums.

C
 
Hi all
Just wanted to say again thanks for all the advice. I will look into getting a relay fitted. Looks a little complex though for my non existent understanding of electronics (always been a really difficult thing for me to understand - expecially wiring diagrams, @ArunAlec , but I appreciate you taking the time to send this over and explain it all the same)

However I did do the fuse removal and water drain last night and it drained perfectly so I feel reassured that it should dry up and remain in good nick while not in use for long periods.

Thank you all again!
Bloody love these forums.

C
Fitting the relay is super simple. Just follow the schematic I posted from Loz. Only takes about 30 minutes to do that actual work.
 
Really helpful and comprehensive post - thanks @jeetu2k for taking the time to do this!
Just a small note my problem turned out to be the micro switch in the tap - BUT I was still getting a voltage reading of 12.7v at the pump. The pump wouldn’t run or try to start but when I cut the wires and wired the pump directly to a 12v battery it buzzed away I reconnected the wires and nothing ‍♂️
I don’t pretend to be any sort of expert but I guess there was enough contact in the switch to produce a voltage reading but not enough to run the pump. As soon as I cleaned the contacts on the micro switch it worked fine and I now have water - yay!
 
Really helpful and comprehensive post - thanks @jeetu2k for taking the time to do this!
Just a small note my problem turned out to be the micro switch in the tap - BUT I was still getting a voltage reading of 12.7v at the pump. The pump wouldn’t run or try to start but when I cut the wires and wired the pump directly to a 12v battery it buzzed away I reconnected the wires and nothing ‍♂️
I don’t pretend to be any sort of expert but I guess there was enough contact in the switch to produce a voltage reading but not enough to run the pump. As soon as I cleaned the contacts on the micro switch it worked fine and I now have water - yay!
The pump takes a lot of current (Amps) and can cause the small contacts on the tap microswitch to arc and burn so well worth fitting a good automotive relay and fuse to do the switching, see details in thread or search the forum, fit and forget :)
 
One thing I experienced with my 22MY Ocean. If the tank is empty there will be a notice on the CU that the pump is disabled to protect it. In my case filling the tank failed to enable the pump for the tap. I found on another forum the advice to attach the rear shower, run water through it, disconnect the shower and voila, the tap worked.

This solved my problem where the tap clicked but the pump failed to run.
 
This is a fantastic post, thank you very much for the detail.

In reference to the water tank tool, I used the below set up to access mine.

I sat the grippers handles in the lids grooves and applied pressure slowly to the bar. Quick and simple.

Tool.jpg
 
Yes, it was the micro switch in the tap. Just dismounted the tap, opened it (pull the small lever straight out) cleaned it out a bit and then everything worked as normal :)

The micro switch is quite small and if you do this make sure to sit at a table with good light.

Like someone said, you can shortcut the connection to the tap under the sink to bypass the micro switch and start the water pump. If it do start, then it's the micro switch.

Thank you everybody :)
Hello,

I'm going through the motions of troubleshooting my water issue. Very useful content, thank you for this.

I came across the below video and thought it useful to have on this thread. I believe it shows the micro-with you mentioned.


Question: Any advise on how to disassemble the tap?

Thanks,
 
Hello,

I'm going through the motions of troubleshooting my water issue. Very useful content, thank you for this.

I came across the below video and thought it useful to have on this thread. I believe it shows the micro-with you mentioned.


Question: Any advise on how to disassemble the tap?

Thanks,
See download document here ... worth fitting a relay as mentioned in the above thread.
 
See download document here ... worth fitting a relay as mentioned in the above thread.
Thanks for this. Unfortunately I don't have the right permissions to download
 
ALL FIXED!

Apologies if these has already need covered. Here's what I discovered.

As highlight by some of the member above, the issue for me was the taps micro switch, this needed cleaning.

When I looked at it (I gently pulled the tap hand off), it didn't look particularly dirty. But this should be silver, not bronzy (I think).

I used a tooth pick with some WD40 on the tip to scratch it off.

Something worth noting though is the small "U" shaped spring like thingy. This is the part of the micro switches mechanic that helps to make the click sound (I think). This is under tension and if you remove it, it will ping off. Be warned, if you lose this you might need to by a whole new tap! I guess try and not remove it. You need good eye site to get it back on again.

I've tried to capture where this is below. The blue shape is my attempt to show the the shape of this piece. It's like a "U" as I mentioned with 2 very small holes either side to hold it in place.

Note the position of the tap when you pull this off. There are grooves in the white plastic rod that align to the mouldings on the inter of the tap.

Screenshot 2022-04-27 at 20.18.46.png

Also some else worth nothing.

I did change the water pump. The new pump is now so strong at drawing water, the hose from the pump that exits the tank, often pulls off the out let tube, due to the high pressure. This wasn't helped by the fact I allowed the water pump to sit freely in the tank.

I moved the pump in-between the 2 nubs seen in the below (this might be where it is supposed to this anyway?) and this helps reduce movement from the pump. But if I turn on the tap too fast and open the switch too much, the hose pulls off the inner outlet.

I'm hoping a hose clip will fix this issue.

Screenshot 2022-04-27 at 20.32.06.png

Any where thank you all very much for all the advice on this thread. It's need a great experience and I've learnt something new. Also saved myself £400 by avoiding VW!
 
Cannot express just how amazingly helpful this OP thread was over the past week (and Cali club in general, it's just absolutely priceless this site!)

On my T5, it turned out to be the pump in the end as it was the original VW logo one from new (2008).
Weird because, it worked absolutely fine since we had bought in Oct 2021, but then didn't use for a while and I think our hard water must have just seized it up (banging didn't get it moving).

The best investment in finding fault was to buy a simple multimeter / voltmeter from InExcess, £6, then I just checked all the connections along the way (from the switch connection under the back of the sink) until I determined that the pump power connector clip was receiving power (12 V reading) when the tap was turned on, and not receiving power when turned off, so it had to be the pump.

Anyway, I got the one recommended in original post, (£28 on Amazon) a couple of hours of blaspheming and growing new bodily joints, as described in the original tutorial, and all was back to a fully working water system.

And to think VW charge £400 for this repair. Nope nope no thank you.

QUESTION TO ALL: What's the general advice on keeping the pump in good condition when not in use for long periods of time?
Should I keep it submerged in water? Take it out, dry it and keep in storage?


I read somewhere it's a good idea to take the 5 amp fuse out so it doesn't draw any power and strain the system when not being used, but not sure it's worth it.


View attachment 89397
A neighbour of mine who's been an avid caravaner for many decades said, you'll naturally go through these pumps over time. But best never to let it run dry (using it dry), as the water drawn through it keeps it cool and stops over heating.

This is probably common knowledge to most, but I've fallen foul to this by not paying attention to the content level display on the system hub and thinking "oh there is no water coming from the tap, the tank must be empty". Something to avoid.

I'd avoid leaving watering in your tank for long periods of time though, while the van is not in use (like out of season or something). Best to drain it using the open manual out let value.

Just don't use the tap with no water in the tank. Also, I'd not keep the tap running for long periods. Like filling a large pan for pasta etc.

Just my thoughts.
 
ALL FIXED!

Apologies if these has already need covered. Here's what I discovered.

As highlight by some of the member above, the issue for me was the taps micro switch, this needed cleaning.

When I looked at it (I gently pulled the tap hand off), it didn't look particularly dirty. But this should be silver, not bronzy (I think).

I used a tooth pick with some WD40 on the tip to scratch it off.

Something worth noting though is the small "U" shaped spring like thingy. This is the part of the micro switches mechanic that helps to make the click sound (I think). This is under tension and if you remove it, it will ping off. Be warned, if you lose this you might need to by a whole new tap! I guess try and not remove it. You need good eye site to get it back on again.

I've tried to capture where this is below. The blue shape is my attempt to show the the shape of this piece. It's like a "U" as I mentioned with 2 very small holes either side to hold it in place.

Note the position of the tap when you pull this off. There are grooves in the white plastic rod that align to the mouldings on the inter of the tap.

View attachment 92412

Also some else worth nothing.

I did change the water pump. The new pump is now so strong at drawing water, the hose from the pump that exits the tank, often pulls off the out let tube, due to the high pressure. This wasn't helped by the fact I allowed the water pump to sit freely in the tank.

I moved the pump in-between the 2 nubs seen in the below (this might be where it is supposed to this anyway?) and this helps reduce movement from the pump. But if I turn on the tap too fast and open the switch too much, the hose pulls off the inner outlet.

I'm hoping a hose clip will fix this issue.

View attachment 92414

Any where thank you all very much for all the advice on this thread. It's need a great experience and I've learnt something new. Also saved myself £400 by avoiding VW!
You can buy just a new microswitch ...
 
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