Sink pump & fridge wiring questions (No dual battery questions, please.)

Mike Leonard

New member
Hey folks, I am trying to put in a new pump for the sink in our 76 camper. The new pump is a 12 volt, requiring a 3 amp fuse. Everytime I hook up the live wire (+), the fuse blows. Any suggestions? I have double checked, and I cannot see were there would be a short. The wire goes from the hotwire to the fuse, to the switch, to the pump to the ground. (BTW, there is a ground on the switch that I hooked up, could that be it?) Thanks all. I would have looked under archives, but it does not seem to be working.


New member
If you have a DIRECT path to ground, your fuse will blow (thats why it's there). So if one side of the switch is 12v from the fuse, the other side of the switch should be feeding the pump. There sould be no ground hooked to the switch.

Capt. Mike

Yes, the switch itself shouldn't be grounded. The only time a switch has ground is if it's on the final side of the circuit -- i.e. the power goes hot - fuse - pump - switch - ground. In your case it sounds like you're going hot - fuse - switch - ground. Since electricity always takes the path of least resistance, it'll ground & blow the fuse rather than go through the pump.

3A seems lite for an electric motor pump. If you are using an original VW pump, the wiring diagram calls for a 16A. However, if it's aftermarket, I'd use whatever they specify.

I have the camping equipment wiring diagram for a Type II posted on my pic site (link on home page) under the Technical Diagrams folder. Two parts -- diagram and legend. You can print or order it.
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Capt. Mike

Transferred from another post to consolidate topics.

Sink pump wiring

gadao, Junior Member posted 10-08-2000 07:39 PM

I need to know where my sink pump hooks into the fuse box on my 74 westy. I see the wires going behind the drivers seat but where do the come out?
Pleeeeeeeese help!!!

Capt. Mike, Moderator posted 10-08-2000 09:02 PM

I've posted a copy of the Westy P27 wiring diagram and key on my pic post site, linked from the home page. Look under the technical diagrams folder.

The sink fuse, S5, is a 16A IN-LINE fuse located next to the fuse box. If I remember correctly -- it's been some years -- the wires emerge from behind the cabinet to run under the rubber floormat to get to the front dash area where they pick up their power from the auxiliary battery feed.

Capt. Mike

Transferred to consolidate same topic.

cs_wolfrom Junior Member posted May 22, 2003 5:49 PM

Hi folks, I've got a 1987 Westy with sink troubles (turn the knob and the pump doesn't kick on). One of the things the Bentley manual says to check is the pump's fuse, but I can't locate it. Is it in the pump housing itself? Thanks in advance.

zookz Member posted May 23, 2003 11:38 AM

According to the VW Camper Supplement for the 1987 Westy:

Fuses (12 Volt)
A small fuse box, located on the door post behind the driver's seat just below the seatbelt retractor reel housing, holds the following two fuses:

Refrigerator - 16 Amp

Water pump and lights in sink cabinet control panel - 8 Amp

Good luck.

'87 Westy

cs_wolfrom Junior Member posted May 24, 2003 10:05 AM

Hi zookz,

The Bentley manual (97.31) says: "check fuse on water pump and fuse located under driver's seat"

I found the fuse block behind the driver's seat, but can't find one on the water pump in an obvious location. Is it integral to the pump, or is it located in the wiring in the cabinet next to the water tank?

ARwesty Member posted May 30, 2003 10:17 PM

I had a similar situation with my 85 Westy and never found the fuse on the pump, only the one on the door post. I ordered a replacement which said it had a fuse but when it arrived it was just like my old pump with no fuse. GoWesty said their ad was wrong and that particular submersible never had a fuse on the pump. It was light blue and sealed except for the area around the impeller and where the water comes out. Sounds like you may have the same pump. Good luck.

Capt. Mike

Transferred to consolidate similar topics.

dieselsmoke89 Junior Member Posted August 31, 2006 04:16 AM

One of the 2 fuses in my 89 California blows as soon as I try to insert it - it's the one the fridge and water pump run on. I have no idea what's causing it, everything was fine until one day it blew and now as I say I can't replace it without the new one blowing immediately.

I've tried unplugging the fridge, and of course disconnecting the mains hook-up, but still the same thing happens. Could it be the water pump?

A wiring diagram would be useful, I looked at Capt. Mike's tech docs but couldn't figure out which was appropriate for my van, any advice would be much appreciated!

Capt. Mike

Your information is not sufficient to diagnose (Guideline #3). First, the '89 has two fuses, but one is for the DC fridge, and one for the water pump; which one and which amperage? Fuse S51 (16a) feeds the fridge; fuse S23 (8a) feeds the water pump.

2nd, the '89 did not come with dual batteries in the US; is your vehicle aftermarket fitted? This matters in the wiring of the relay. If OE single battery, is this occuring only when the vehicle is running (relay activated) or all times? Is either the sink pump or fridge 'on". 'Unplugging the fridge & mains' infers you have unplugged the 120v AC side; the DC side is hard wired.

Anytime a fuse blows immediatly upon insertion, it tells you there is a dead ground short after the fuse. At that point, electrical diagnosis reverts back to the Bentley 97.2-97.6 & the "Distribution module, fuses . . " topic in the BASIC VAN WIRING forum.


New member

We just purchased a 90 Westfalia Camper. The PO said everything works and so we were testing it yesterday, but encountered some problems:

#1 The panel control LED lights do not turn on. We checked the fuses behind the driver's seat and they seem to be fine. Do you have an idea why the would not turn on? (They should be in working conditions...but maybe the battery is not charged?)

#2 The sink pump does not start on DC. The pumps look in working conditions. We cleaned the tank with baking soda.

#3 The fridge does not start on DC neither

#4 The fridge does not start on Gas

What does work:

1. While the vehicle is turn off, the light on top of kitchenette turns on. ( I wonder if it works of the battery for the camper or of the car battery -- sorry silly question maybe but this is our very first Westy.. )
2. The fridge works on AC
3. The Stove works
4. The sink works on city water

Any trouble shooting ideas would be very appreciated. We should have tested all this at time of purchase, but car was being sold by a friend of the owner who did not know who things work and neither did we! He assured us everything works, maybe we were naive in trusting him, but he did seem a really honest person.

Thanks in advance for your help,

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Capt. Mike

You need a copy of the Bentley factory shop manual (Required for site, Guideline #2) and to familiarize yourself with the camper wiring. We need to know what you've checked and hopefully eliminated before we can give much advice. Also be sure you have a copy of the owners manual AND camper supplement to be sure you understand how these items work -- some are quirky.

1. The LED panel has it's owns topic in this forum. Did you turn it on? The little switch in the panel is to allow you to turn it off when not needed. It monitors the MAIN battery, not the auxiliary. If you have an auxiliary in a US model, it was added by the previous owner and we can't confirm if done correctly. The 2nd battery is a common owner modification and has its own topic in BATTERY, CHARGE SYSTEM forum.

2. Have you tested the power to the pump and knob switch (Guideline #3) to be sure it's an electrical problem? Water pump & faucet has its own topic in SINK & WATER SYSTEM forum if not. The faucet knob turns one way for DC pump power, the other for shore water supply. "Off" is the center detent.

3 & 4. FRIDGE has its own forum. There is a topic for "Fridge won't run on DC" and another for "Vanagon Fridge Syndrome -- won't run on LP" already established. Those topics will also tell you about 'expectations' and the need to pre-cool on AC before either.

"Galley/Cabin lighting" has its own topic in this forum. Please read Guidelines, especially #1-4!


New member
PO cut frig DC

1980 model sold in California: Trying to reconnect the frig to DC power. Frig has 3 cut wires, no plug, and no mate for the missing one to be seen. As there is no aux battery I will have to hook it to the main battery of course. Under the drivers seat there is a two wire cable coming from the front with one 16a inline fused red wire that energizes when the ignition is on. The other wire is of unknown origin. Under the sink is a two pronged plug that has a yellow wire that tests continuous with the energized red one. Perhaps this could be used for the main 12v power, however the wiring diagram shows two power wires , one of which comes from the main panel. How do I fix this mess?

Capt. Mike

The red wire w/ the 16a fuse is supposed to be connected to terminal #30 at the fuse panel, which is NOT ignition controlled; termingal #30 is battery hot all the time. It feeds the fridge switch and htr. resistor only when the heater resistor relay is activated by the other black wire from the dash, which gets it's power from the alternator direct instead of ignition ON. This insures the relay is activated only when the engine is running. The relay will have two terminals #87. One will go to the aforementioned red power from the battery; the other to feed the sink 8a fuse & LED panel. That way the sink is not dependent on the engine running like the fridge.

Look at the auxilliary battery diagram posted on the Tech Drawings. Pretend the #30 lead off the relay goes direct to the fridge instead of the aux. battery. I think that's clearer and more up-to-date wiring than the Bentley §97.33. #30 would normally be hot IN, but VW reversed it with the #87 (normally switched hot out) so that it could parallel the sink & panel power direct so as not to be controlled by the relay.
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New member
Re: frig wires cut off

The original wiring does not appear to correspond to the book, so I must try to make do with what is existing. Please confirm if I am on the right track here to power up the frig to run on 12v. BTW the water pump is also out of commission due to the PO and I am not attempting to get that working just now.
1. Frig has 3 wires not connected to anything
2. Connect frig ground to available ground wire nearby
3. Connect hot power wire (red fused) to frig positive lead. I assume this will not energize until the frig relay gets power when motor starts.
4. Connect another new wire from the alternator to the frig relay control wire
If correct, to which terminal on the alternator would the connection be made? And what about fusing this?
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Capt. Mike

The black 'power' wire from the alternator to activate the fridge relay is tapped from circuit #32. You should be able to reconnect there rather than try to rewire all the way from the alternator. The 8 guage red wire in circuit #26 is the one that feeds 'terminal' #30) at the fuse box. It should jumper to feed all of the other circuits that are not ignition-on dependent and presumably a jumper to feed back to the relay. I can't ID the 3rd wire except to note that after the fridge fuse, a Yellow one breaks off to feed the fridge fan (circuits #16-18.). Please note that in that diagram, the fridge relay is wired backwards from actual installation to accomodate the feed from #87 to the sink pump. It would only be correct if the sink pump was double tapped at #30 but most relays of that nature have two outbput #87's and only one input #30.
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New member
Finding circuit numbers

There is a cable sheath that runs from under the dash downwards and beside the accelerator under the floor padding then into the cavity under the drivers seat. This carries the hot power for the frig (red) and a blue wire. The blue wire connects to a four part plug and then to other myriad places which are next to impossible to figure out! It also would seem to be grounded, which is useless in this case. It does not go live when the motor runs either. I have fished another wire along the route to use as the power switch to activate the frig relay, but I need some guidance as to exactly where to splice or connect it at the source, under the dashboard. If circuit 32 is there how would it be identified?

Capt. Mike

That blue is the trigger wire from the alternator. Your wiring diagram shows it blue, but the fridge suppl. diagram shows it blk. It's blue on the newer Vanagons. If you get this corrected, it should be 12v w/ alternator current. It breaks down to feed the alternator charge light and oxy sensor switch circuits #32 & #33. I would imagine the fridge relay draws power from the 4-way T4c in circuit #32. That should go to terminal #86 on the relay. If your charge indicator light works, then you have alternator current to the dash and just need to get a branch down to the relay. The blue should not ground -- it grounds AFTER activating the relay through terminal #85. Again, refer to the suppl. wiring diagram on the tech drawings forum.


New member
Water problems too!


we've had 'wolfie' our 1990 Westie Atlantic for a few months and have have still to get the water going!...

At first the tap would run if i fiddled with the microswitch underneath but the pump would not switch off so had to pull out one of the spade connectors to the switch it off - doing this blew the fuse behind driver's seat.

Took put the tap and stripped it down so it was operating the switch properly, replaced fuses that blew while i was disconnecting the microswitch and stuck it all back in but it wouldn't work.

I thought that maybe the microswitch had burned out (it looked pretty corroded) so ordered a replacement for this - fitted the new switch but still nothing - switch is operating ok but pump not running.

ordered a multimeter to test the wiring and see if maybe the pump has blown somehow so Question:

1. Are there any other components on this system beyond the fuse box which is ok because the control panel lights are working

2. Is there a circuit diagram for the water pump anywhere.

Capt. Mike

The water pump circuits in Bentley 97.33 for the earlier campers should be the same as yours. The faucet is your switch; turning knob one way turns on the pump, the other way opens outside water hook-up. Center is off.
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