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Author Topic: Rainwater pump is calling for mains only  (Read 3644 times)
chris wills
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« on: February 16, 2019, 05:36:01 PM »




I have had a rainwater harvesting system for the last 10 years now, all has been OK, only a few minor hiccups.
I have just noticed though that the pump is drawing from the mains and not the rain tank. Maybe its the pump not being able to draw the water?
I checked the floatation valve in the tank best I could, seems to still have the ball going back and forth.
What should I do, get the pump serviced or something else?

As always I appreciate your help guys.
Picture above of the pump, cored in my garage.
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paul149
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2019, 06:49:35 PM »

Need to check 'what' actually tells the pump 'where' to draw water from first, do you have a low level sensor in your storage tank that calls for mains water in time of drought?
More details needed on system to diagnose further really!

Paul m.
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3.5 kWp (14 x Sanyo H250E01 + SB3000TL) 225' (SW) at 35' Pitch Lat 51.30' (Bristol) Installed cost 2.63/Wp (Nov 2011) now with solarimmersion and 250L unvented dhw (Almost Zero gas input for DHW from Apr to mid Sep)
ecogeorge
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2019, 10:37:50 PM »

Need to check 'what' actually tells the pump 'where' to draw water from first, do you have a low level sensor in your storage tank that calls for mains water in time of drought?
More details needed on system to diagnose further really!

Paul m.
Agree what tells the pump there is enough rainwater , surely if it is demanding mains only it thinks there  is  no rain water (even if there is ) must be a sensor to measure rainwater , or is it stuck on mains  ?? need a schematic or wiring diagram.
Is it a make / model we can google ?
George.
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chris wills
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2019, 10:40:15 AM »

Here is a picture of the pump system, it has a floating switch in the tank which tells it to take mains or rainwater.
To be honest the tank has never been empty in 10 years, so really i don't need it I guess.
Is there a way to bypass it as a trial or disconnect it?
I did look at the floatation valve yesterday, the ball in there seems to be moving, but it could be faulty.

Anything you need please let me know.


* fullsizeoutput_98a.jpeg (237.54 KB, 1024x768 - viewed 204 times.)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 11:19:42 AM by chris wills » Logged
chris wills
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2019, 11:19:08 AM »

Here is the schematics under the blue cover on the pump, this includes the mains and the flotation switch.
What would happen if I disconnected the floatation switch, would then only draw rain or mains?


* fullsizeoutput_98d.jpeg (91.7 KB, 567x425 - viewed 203 times.)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 11:20:48 AM by chris wills » Logged
ecogeorge
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2019, 11:47:25 AM »

2nd picture is just a 3 way valve assembly.
My money is on float switch failed -but it could be 3 way valve not switching.

In the tank can you trace the float switch cable back to where it is wired in . Can you  see if it is 2 or 3 wires . (photo of connections). Usually float switches have normally open (NO ) and normally closed (NC)  options.
Do you have a multi meter to check conductivity ? (touch 2 probes and it beeps) . Are you willing to test it? we'll tell you how when you tell us float switch wires.
rgds George
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ecogeorge
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2019, 11:50:17 AM »

Sorry -just reread your last post to see that float switch is connected to 3 way valve .-is it 2 wires only going to the float switch ??
George
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chris wills
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2019, 12:16:58 PM »

There is 3 wires going to the float switch, live, neutral and earth.
Is that OK?
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ecogeorge
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2019, 12:26:31 PM »

Ok we don't know whether your float switch works by being open circuit when in raised position or closed circuit when in raised position.
BUT -we can try a couple things ..........

TURN POWER OFF
Disconnect one of the float switch wires (ignore the earth wire) -turn power back on does the pump take rainwater ??
If this does nothing ...

TURN POWER OFF
remove both float switch wires (live and neutral) and replace with a link - in other words connect one terminal directly to the other with a link of wire a couple inches long .Turn power on -does this pump now take rainwater ??
Report back .
George.
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chris wills
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2019, 02:28:59 PM »

OK, so I removed one of the float wires, in fact I tried it on each one in turn just to be sure.
Also I turned off the mains water feed so I knew where it was coming from.
The result was that after it used up all the remaining mains water it no longer pulled any rain through, no nothing changed there.

Did 2nd option and again the same


* fullsizeoutput_997.jpeg (119.27 KB, 540x720 - viewed 190 times.)
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knighty
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2019, 02:46:52 PM »

those 2 ways valves are a bit naff... they're a normal replacement part on central heating etc..

see the leaver sticking out the side of it? - if you move that you can switch it manually, move that leaver and see if it starts using the rain water :-)
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chris wills
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2019, 02:58:23 PM »

Tried the lever previously, usually its in the down position which moves it to auto and the up is manual.
Has no affect at this time.

Question - is it worth replacing the 2 way valve system and where can I get one......any links please?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 06:41:47 PM by chris wills » Logged
ecogeorge
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2019, 07:05:52 PM »

Not sure if others agree but i'm suggesting its not the float switch.
Do it pump rainwater and mains or just pump  rainwater and mains at mains pressure ??
If so can you confirm you have power ??
Sounds like its the  motorised valve not switching but as knighty says you've tried that .
Please confirm if  the pump  runs ??
George
PS -Where in the country are you ?
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chris wills
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2019, 07:22:18 PM »

Hi George, it pumps the mains water no problem, to all the toilets and the washing machine and outside taps. I know its not pumping rain water, because I have shut down the mains supply and as soon as the mains water has been used, its then that the pump will not send any more water to fill the toilets etc.
I have full power, its all normal there and the pump runs fine, no funny noise coming from there.
I am based in west wales, close to Swansea.
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ecogeorge
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2019, 07:53:48 PM »

The fact that you have  disconnected the float switch (made it NO ) and  linked it out (made it closed - NC ) proves its not the float switch. It's got to be the 3 way valve not changing state.
I guess try a new valve or even just the motorised bit -but would prefer to prove things with a meter.
I am puzzled it does not pump when the valve is manually switched .
Do you know a local electrician ? do you have a wiring diagram ?

Just a thought try linking the float switch out as before and switch the valve manually ...........
George
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