Water pump and faucet questions


New member

I am looking at an '82 Westfalia for sale. The owner say's he doesn't know if the water pump and sink have ever been used. Is the pump and sink still useable, or could there have been damage from non-use that would prevent the water pump and sink's use?

Thank you,

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Capt. Mike

Check the tank first for growing things, old deposits & dirt. Then clean & sanitize the system before using.

About the only thing that would hurt the water system is corrosion of the pump. You can test it -- see the Bentley manual for further information & wiring diagrams. The piping was all plastic so not likely to corrode -- though I'd inspect for damage before filling the tank. And then just a little the first time.

Capt. Mike

Transferred from other posts to consolidate similar topic.

Dripping Leak on Water Tank/Pump Connection

bemuzed Junior Member # 611 posted 02-16-2001 01:16 AM

There is a leak on the connection between the water tank and water pump on my '78 Westy. When the bus was purchased the original pump had been stripped, so I ordered one from GoWesty! And installed with little problems. The pump worked fine, but the pesky leak has dripped through two seperate efforts at seam & pipe seals. Any help would be appreciated. I tried to check the archives at different times but never could access the Sink & Water Archive. I've had trouble getting the tank out of the cabinet to have a closer look. so any help with freeing the tank without damaging anything (if necessary) would also be appreciated. Thanks.

-1st Time Westy Owner

Capt. Mike Moderator Member # 11 posted 02-16-2001 09:42 PM

There is an out-of-print shop manual titled Service Manual Type 2 that covers camping equipment in a lot more detail but it's still pretty quiet about the water tank. It does have one reference about removing the "cover plate for water tank drain hose." The tank has a drain hose that runs out the bottom of the vehicle. It's clamped to the floor pan with a plate and a couple of screws. That would have to be freed up to allow the tank to come out of the cabinet.
They also mention removing the doors from the hinges when pulling the cabinet. But don't be surprised if you find the plastic fill line GLUED in through the cabinet top. I remember the drain for the sink was glued on mine.

bemuzed Junior Member # 611 posted 02-19-2001 04:49 PM

Thanks for the tips on getting the tank out.
I was wondering if you had any tips on stopping the drip?

Thanks for the reply.

Capt. Mike Moderator Member # 11 posted 03-07-2001 07:18 AM

For slide on and hose clamp type connections, you can use either the standard plumbers sealant or clear silicone seal to fill minor blemishes in the hose & nipple surfaces. For threaded fittings on plastic pipe, the Teflon tape is a good choice.

Sink faucet replacement

Gene & Heide Member # 477 posted 04-01-2001 06:13 PM

Frustration got the better of me so the faucet in my Westfalia has been replaced with a home made affair I feel works better
although perhaps not as attractive.

After I replaced the faucet the second time at $120 each from the VW dealer I decided there had to be a better way. The faucet always leaked into the cabinet below. Besides, it was easy to break off the spigot. I learned that the hard way.

I removed the faucet/switch assembly and sawed it off flush with the top edge of the flange which secures the faucet to the sink.
I drilled a 3/8 inch hole straight down through the faucet remainder. Into this hole I inserted a short length of 3/8 inch
copper tubing which was bent to a nice "J" shape that I felt put the water outlet about where I would want it.

The opening in the faucet remainder was filled with 2-part epoxy securing the tube in place and making the whole affair leak
proof. Next I reinstalled the faucet with the copper tube and made sure the stove cover would close down properly. It did.
The plastic tube from the storage tank was reconnected to the copper tube.

I drilled a 15/16 inch hole in the front panel under the sink on the extreme right side. This is the same panel through which the stove knobs protrude. I installed a rocker switch in the hole. I used Radio Shack part 275-730 which will handle 25 amps at 12 volts. Previously a test with an ammeter disclosed that my pump drew no more than 1.69 amps when starting and 1.4 to 1.5 amps running so the switch is not likely to burn out. The switch was connected to the pump wiring where the original switch had been located.

The switch cost about $3.00. Everything else I had on hand so the cost of this conversion was $3.00 plus an hours labor not
counting the time it took for the epoxy to cure. I chose to buy a Unibit - a stepped, cone shapped affair that will drill through
thin materials - to get a nice hole quickly but I could have used a rat-tail file and saved the $23.49 cost of the Unibit.

I added a resistor to drop the current to the pump so that stream of water was not so forceful. I have since cut about 1 inch off
the tube and swaged (enlarged) the end of the tube to let the stream of water "relax" a little as it comes out. The resistor
plus the larger opening in the copper tube seems to have reduced splattering of water quite a bit.

I can no longer connect to city water. That is an acceptable trade-off for me because that (city water connection) always leaked, too, and even worse than when using water from the storage tank.

For those who want to keep their Westfalia original, the Bus Depot has what appears to the same faucet/switch assembly for $50.00.

water pump

bg Junior Member # 969 posted 08-11-2001 12:32 AM

I just bought a '90 camper and found the water pump in the water tank doesn't seem to work. There's some duct tape holding the wires in place on top of the tank, but I have no clue as to what to do about it. Does anybody have any suggestions as to what I should check or replace or who to take it to? Thanks. BG

RichardBulis Member # 86 posted 08-15-2001 10:39 AM

It's a process of elimination. Mine was bad when I bought my '87. Take the pump out of the tank ( or access the connections right above )and hook it up to a 12v source. Instant feedback. Replacement pumps are available from GoWesty. ( 'bout $35 I think, I got mine there a couple of years ago.) If the pump is good, you'll have to chase down the fault. Could be the switch in the sink faucet handle, so try that next.

My kitchen wiring was all boogered by the DPO, and I studied and studied those wiring diagrams in the Bentley ( You DO have one by now, right? If not, click right on through at this site and get one RIGHT NOW.)
Anyway, I finally got the wiring right and everything works.

Final hint. Since the pump is DC, it is possible to be wired backwards so it runs but doesn't put out. If that's the case, simply reverse the leads.

As Westy problem solving goes, fixing this should be an easy confidence-builder for you!
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New member
Getting ready to replace the water tank pump on my '91 westy. I have found 2 types - submersible and non-submersible. The previous owner had placed a a non-submersible pump IN the tank (hence the replacement situation now).

Any thought on advantages/disadvantages to either route?

It seems like creating a mount for the non-sub pump would be easy. It would also make sense to me to mount it below the level of the storage tank so that it would stay primed between usages.

Any input greatly appreciated.

Capt. Mike

Posting a question more than once will not get you a quicker response -- in fact the opposite.

A '91 would have used a subsersible OEM. There is a picture of the external pump on page 76.12 of the Bentley -- if fit under the raised floor at the rear of the cabinet.

You must first examine which tank you have. Does your tank have the lower exit fitting? If not, your external pump would have to be capable of the 'lift' to raise the water to the tank top. Most should.

Second, how would you address your water level indicator in the electronic panel? It uses sensors on the submersible pump pole rather than the side wall sensors of earlier models.

Last, consider pump capacity. I know one instance where an aftermarket pump was used and the pressure was so great (probably meant for a big RV) that water always splashed and sprayed everwhere and increased consumption.

Below is a response on transferred from the duplicate post:

Good day,

The Canadian version of the Westy as an exterior non-submersible pump. (RV style)
It is located below the sink on the bottom under the small shelf (maybe the US version doesn't have the shelf!), the pickup come from the lower part of the water tank. (of course). The line goes behind the fridge on the floor.

That could be a problem (gravity) if you don't have the lower pickup on the water thank.

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New member
How do I "clean and sanatize" my sink and water unit in my '73 Westy? (Just bought it recently, and want to make sure I rid it of any funk before using...)

Thanks for your advice and direction!

Capt. Mike

Answered in the Water Tank & Filler topic. Running the disinfecting strength solution through your lines & faucette will usually take care of them.

Capt. Mike

Transferred to consolidate same topic.

mcsims67 Junior Member posted June 05, 2002 11:09 PM

Just wondering if anyone has seen a manual replacement pump for the Westy sink. I own a 77' with a small electric pump down below, it works well, but too well! We find each time you turn it on you get this huge blast of water, splashes everywhere, overkill when you just want a small squirt to wet your toothbrush. Thinking a little manual pump would give much better flow control, save a lot of water. Any thoughts appreciated!

Pat Generic Junior Member posted June 06, 2002 07:31 PM

Faucet surge

Matt, I have an 89', not sure what your faucet looks like but we had the same problem. My wife came up with the idea to put a 1 inch piece of surgical tubing over the end of the faucet. The tubing is flexible. I just spread the end a little, slipped it over the end of the faucet and let go. The tubing then grabs hold. When we turn on the pump now the tubing "absorbs" the surge and we have had no more problems. Hope this works.

Capt. Mike

Capt. Mike

The manual pumps used on the earlier (pre-electric) Westies are still available from several vendors. Others are available through RV sources.

A problem with most replacement pumps is that they are meant for the larger RVs, thus too high a capacity for Westies. However there are some smaller ones or you can add a pressure regulator or regulated replacement pump. I'd also investigate reducing capacity electrically. VW uses a series resistor shunt to reduce other motor speeds like fans. (Consult an electrical expert first -- some motors can be damaged by low voltage.)

Capt. Mike


New member
Own an 85 westy (canadian version). When i purchased it about 6 months ago I replaced the (external) water pump & it worked just fine (rarely used anyway) for a while then failed (the 3amp inline fuse kept blowing and no pump action)while vacationing in Arizona. Bought another after market pump and this one worked just fine until very recently and now it is now blowing this same fuse. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif . I'm not sure now whether to go out and spend more money for another pump or not???? Could there be something causing this pump to short like the switch? Any ideas please


New member
I have an '81 Vanagon Westy, and took apart my faucette to clean the contacts since I did not get water when I installed my new pump. I did it at dusk (bad idea), and left myself with a handful of 3 screws, 2 washers, and the 2 contacts. I was wondering how this is to be put back together, and where the switch is. Is this something inside the faucette itself? I tested the resistance of the contacts, and the needle was deflected just enough to show the slightest of movement. I am not electrically inclined in the least, and would like to build some confidence! (And to show my husband something for constantly getting on my case about buying this "piece of crap!") Thanks for your help!!!

misty alderman

Capt. Mike

Yes, the water pump switch is built into the faucet assembly itself. See the Bentley pages 97.31 for tests and its relationship with the water level (pump won't work if tank is empty) And 97.33 circuits 11-13 for the wiring diagram. There is a fuse S5 in that cirucit as well.

Capt. Mike

Transferred to consolidate same topic.

rhoda Junior Member posted September 22, 2002 11:16 AM

I have a great new 85 Westy and can't figure something out. I found a clear hose (about garden hose size)under the sink coming through the wall just a little below and to the left of the sink. It is not connected to anything, but has a clamp on the end and a small rubber bushing inside like it should be connected to something. I can't find anything that looks like it should have this hose connected to it. Haven't tested out any of the water supply yet because I'm afraid of a flood. There is a small grey pipe, about 3/8" diameter connected to the faucet along with the wiring to the faucet. Can anyone tell me what this might be or where it should be connected. Thanks in advance for your help. Rhoda

michaelmaxp Member posted September 22, 2002 03:14 PM

Rhoda's mystery pipe

Rhoda, I have an 84 westy so I don't know if the plumbing is the same. I have two rubber pipes associated with my sink setup. A clear hose with webbing comes from the water tank (way left of the sink) and connects at the bottom of the faucet. Another dark gray larger diameter than the faucet is the drain that leads out of the sink to beneath the van. If you can account for the supply line to the faucet and the drain hose from the sink, neither of which are the clear hose that you mention, I don't have a clue. Possibly the prevoious owner rigged a line to do an additional chore (rinse hose, shower). If it connects to the sink drain, maybe it has been rigged to drain into a bucket inside of the van rather than outside. You could lead your mystery hose into a bowl or a bucket, throw a handful of towels under the sink cabinet, turn on the faucet and watch to see what happens. If your hand is on the faucet you can't make too big of a mess. Hope this helps

Michael P

rhoda Junior Member posted September 26, 2002 01:44 PM

I figured it out!

The hose in question hooked up to the tank side of the water faucet and had broken off the plastic it had mounted onto so I didn't realize there was supposed to be 2 connections to the faucet. One to the city side and 1 to the tank side. Thanks for the help in trying to figure it out.


New member
I recently baught a 78' westy and am in the process of bring her back to camping shape. I purchased a new water pump (mounts under tank), wiring, etc. Is there any way to find out how to wire a pump to the faucet. I havent come across anything (been looking for a while) . Ex: what size connector do I use to connect pump to ground, what wires go to what connections etc.
The Bently manual only shows the the hand pump from 1974. Also , How do I get the water tank out without removing the filler pipe ? thanks for the help.

Capt. Mike

The Type II Westy camping wiring diagram is posted on this site -- see Tech Drawings link from home page. Use it as a quide for wiring coloring and gauge, which is given on the diagram.

Capt. Mike

Transferred to consolidate same topic.

mr.rocksteady Member posted December 17, 2002 02:21 PM

Hi all. I am fooling around with the sink and pump and realize the previous owner of my westy broke the piece of the faucet connecting the faucet to the the tank hose. The Bentley shows quite clearly the process for removing the water faucet. FIRST it says to disconnect the 12v DC electric connection (labeled 1 in diagram 76-107). My westy is an 85.

ok, my question is: how the heck do i disconnect it? i tugged on it from both ends...and i didn't want to pull on the wires too hard, causing the male/female to come apart. is that how you disconnect them? can i use needlenose pliers to pull them apart? does the plastic sleeve come apart?

sorry this is so simple, but i don't want to mess anything up. thanks for any advice.

p.s. i may try to put a tube in the 2 broken pieces? epoxy them?

thanks. tp.
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Capt. Mike

Since that portion of the wiring was installed by Westfalia after VW production, it could be any one of half-dozen different connectors I've seen over the years. Most are plastic housings of standard male/female spades. At the age of your Westy, they have probably oxidized and the plastic turned hard & brittle. Many had friction bumps or tabs that would release when new, but not anymore now that they've hardened. Some also had similar bumps or tabs in the space connectors themselves.

Sorry, there's probably not much you can do beyond forcing them. Look for side releases where you can slide in a very tiny screwdriver, even a jeweler's screwdriver like used for eye-glasses. There are special release tools for electrical work but probably not worth the cost for a one or two-time job. Putting a new, modern insulated spade connector set on the wires might be a good idea anyway. If tugging them apart finally works -- spray them with a good electrical contact cleaner & lubricant from Radio Shack or similar supplier.


I just replace the pump in my '87 syncro. I bought a teel model 1p811 submersible pump off the shelf at my local hardware store, less than $25 one 3/8" npt fitting to match the plastic pipe, run the wire through the existing grommet and wired it like the original. 2 amp draw 1.5 gmp. Icarus".
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New member
I am thouroughly stumped. I sent my 78 westy to the shop for some body work and when I got her back my water sink pump was not working. I tested the line and found that its not hot. I checked all of the fuses and cannot determine why the line to the pump has no power. Can I just run the line to say the hot lead from the lighter and see if that works? All I need is a line that has a current, right? Hope your not as confused as I am. anything can help. thanks

Mike Robinson

New member
Firstly check the fuse for the pump, then trace the wire - where possible - I know this can be difficult - to see if it has been damaged. If you can determine the location on the fuse box for this wire test its integrity with a multimeter - using Ohms (resistance) - if it is in one piece it should read 0 ohms.

To rewire - which is where I suspect you will be. In therory any 'hot' wire near the pump will work. It is possible to piggy back and hot wire and put it to your pump. The closer the better - it is just easier. This is a bit of a messy method for two reasons - but it should work. But bear in mind the following -

What has happened to the old pump wire? - it it has been cut - from the body work (quite possible especially if you have had gas welding done) having a hot wire exposed is not good - so spend some time trying to find the problem as it may avoid a fire later.

Piggybacking any hot wire has its conciderations. The 'chosen' hot wire has been rated by gauge of wire and fuse for its use. Adding another device may increase the currents specified. Not usually an issue if you use your pump in isolation, but if you are piggybacking a light ... who knows. Be careful. I don't really like doing the piggy back thing - it is best to do wiring properly, but sometimes after spending days with a nightmare wiring harness... sometimes I admit to 'bodging' the problem.

You can do what you suggested - take a hot from the cigarette lighter - just a piggyback, especially if you do not use this device it probably has a similar gauge wire and similar fuses to the water pump. Also think of doing it properly by removing the old wire from the fuse box and running a new line to the device. If doing this check that by removing it you are not disconnecting other equipment. VW may have piggybacked a load of stuff too.

Always remember with wiring to use correct connectors, guage of wire and make a tidy job - keeping wires away from anywhere they can be caught, or damaged.

'82 Diesel