Water pump and faucet questions

jim conlin

New member
Like Peacemaker, my 87 faucet and I have been spending too much time together. We too have no issue with city water mode [ to the right ] but with lights on , full tank , faucet knob to the left , pump making the right sound , no water. With pump on and off I am able to suck water through faucet. There has to be a better way . This vehicle has set unused for years but most items have not suffered ,except for tranny, ............ .thanks in advance for any help


Take the pump out of the tank, and test in in a bucket using a 12vt power supply. It sounds like it may have siezed from sitting too long.

Generic replacement pumps are available quite reasonably it you can't get yours fixed.

Good luck,



New member
Tip - Replacing the '79 Westy sink pump with a demand pump.

I was always quite annoyed by the water pump on the '79 westy since there was only on/off. So when it was on it splashed and drained the holding tank very quickly. To fix this problem I added a reostat so I could control the flow by letting less current reach the pump. This ended up killing the pump, as it was dead 2 years later. So I decided to go for a demand pump. These pumps have switch built in that they turn off when the preasure rises and turn on when it drops. So when you open the faucet the pump turns on.

So of course you need a controlable faucet to use this. The city water connection to the stock faucet is just like this. So I disconnected both connections to the faucet and connected the new pump to the city water connection. The old pump connection at the faucet has to be blocked off.

I never use the city water connection, so I decided to just permantly disconnect it. I guess if you do tend to use it, you can put a Y connector in the system, so you can block either the pump or the city water.

I also kept the stock switch on the faucet, so I can turn off the pump manually when not camping, but I leave it on when camping so I can just open the faucet to the desired level.

One more thing, my faucet was very leaky when I installed the pump, you can unscrew the whole thing and soak it in CLR, and even replace the seals. It's fairly easy and you shouldn't drill open the rivets.

I mounted the pump on the floor under the stock location, behind the wood panel. I custom made a rubber mount with bathroom caulk. This makes the pump much quiter. The pump I got B-T-W was a 1 gal/min pump which is fully sufficient.

good luck


New member
Can someone describe the action of the faucet in a'90 Westfalia? I replaced a faucet that was broken (physically cracked) when I got my van. The new unit barely twists in either direction and I get no flow. I'll check the pump but wondered whether the proper "feel" of the electric faucet is that it actually moves an 1/8 inch or less? Since it was broken when I got it, I don't have a functioning faucet for reference. Thanks.

Capt. Mike

It should rotate about 3/4 - 1" (measured at outside circumferance of knob) in either direction. It does "feel" like there is a detent in the centered position.


New member
My dial faucet handle for the sink, broke off. 1990 GL Westy. February, 2004, Page, Arizona. Plastic gave out after too any harsh twists in life.

Went to a NAPA. Got a black plastic lid off an old spray paint can. Got a couple crimp conectors. Got a rocker switch.

The original on-off was from the ground wire inside the faucet handle and the hot wire touching, when the handle was turned.... Pretty Rube-Goldberg-- crude---but effective.

I just cut a tight slot into the paint can lid for the spigot, and a hole the right size for the rocker. Then crimped the rocker wires to the tank pump wires through the new rocker switch hole, and shoe-gooed the paint can lid down over the old faucet assemble.

Sweeeet ! Water-proof. Repairable. Water stays on or off with rocker switch. Downside= cannot use city water connection. I never do, anyweigh, so really, no downside. Pros = CHEAP, neat, simple, clean. Now it's Nov 2005, and in a couple months, I'm back to the desert. This has lasted about 45,000 miles so far, so good.

Next is to trace the leak, that rusts out the seam at my side panel below the sink. Maybe use food colouring in the tank to make it easier to see the water path? Ideas? Thanks!!
Dave in Edmonds, WA


New member

Going to big festival, Water pump is not working.. No sound, replaced knob and switch worked fine. Only thing I get is six lights on led panel of stove start at green then the left side goes off when I throw switch. That tells me power is getting to knob switch.

By the way have '83 water cooled.... Pump looks in fine shape no corrosion etc. Have winterized taken good care of tank. fuses seem to be ok.

What do I check? Thanks in advance for any help. I'm on a real tight schedule to figure this one out.

And yes I have read this thread completely.


Pretty simple really,,,,

Read the Bentley to trace the circuit, check the voltage at the components, and bench test the pump. If memory serves, the switch at the faucet grounds the ciruit. Pumps can look fine and still not work. Generic 12vt pumps are available at most rv places for under $50.

Capt. Mike

Power feeds the LED panel from fuse S4 then through fuse S5 to the pump and icarus is correct when he says the switch then grounds it (Bentley 97.33).

It's my understanding of the diagram circuits 13 & 15 and the description on page 9.32 for track 12 that the pump shuts off when the tank is empty based on an action of the solid-state circuitry device(symbol shown pg. 97.5) that is the center of the 3 in the panel. Fill the tank to see if the level LED's are working properly and if the pump works when filled. The left side row of LEDs only measures battery condition and should only have one light at any given state of charge.

The LED panel has its own topic "Westy elecftronic unit . . ." in the SPECIAL WESTY WIRING forum. If you've bench tested the switch, panel wiring problems should be posted there.


New member
After reviewing the posts in this forum, I was able to determine that the source of my "plumbing" issue was the faucet. I have a 1981 Westy, and I was getting flow throught the city water connection, but nothing from the tank. I could here the pump buzzing away, but nothing was coming out of the faucet. I disconnect the hose going into the faucet and there was plenty of water flow, so I assumed I had a bad faucet. Earlier posts mentioned that it may need repair/replacement. I decided to tinker with it before I put down the cash for a replacement. I figured there must have been something jamming the faucet, so I took a coat hanger and poked around a bit where the hose from the tank usually connects. Hooked everything back up, and BAM ... water started flowing.

I don't recommend this fix for everyone, but it worked for me as a last ditch effort. Amazing.



New member
had my van since feb. and just now trying to work all the gadgets. I've filled the water tank about half way (the gauge light is yellow) I twist the knob and nothing happens, no sound, no water. does the engine have to be running for it it work/get electricity from battery? I tried both with the engine on and off, and nothing.

Capt. Mike

Per your owners manual, the engine does not have to be running. Does it work on city water? Look at your Bentley factory wiring diagram 97.33 to see if you are wired correctly. If so, what testing (electrical) have you done (Guideline #3) to see if this is a mechanical faucet problem (this topic) or belongs in the WESTY SPECIAL WIRING forum, "Sink pump & fridge wiring. . . " topic?


New member
Before you go whole hog, first check the wiring and hose routing and connectors per the Bentley. After assuring yourself that all is connected as expected, you can use a multi-meter to verify power to your connections.

One place that can be a problem is the connector under the actual knob. The faucet knob has two wires, and a little copper sheet that makes contact and closes the circuit when the knob is turned. This may be your problem, if the circuit is otherwise powered.

As an explanation for looking at the system first: I have an '81 Westy. Per the manual, this should have a pump under the sink. The PO told me the pump was bad when I bought, it so I went to fix it. The pump was in the water tank... odd, but I ordered a new one from Bus Depot.

When I installed it, the pump still didn't work. Only then did I look at the whole system, and discover there was another, you guessed it, external pump that was also attached to the system.

After removing the pump, and running new water lines, still no water. Circuits test good, fuses good, what can it be? Pulled off the knob and discovered the two wires and the copper flap. Needless to say, they were crusty, poorly attached and the copper flap was out of position. Cleaned, tightened and flap adjusted.

Then I discovered the leak from the broken bottom of the faucet. That' another story, though...

Best of luck,


Capt. Mike

Transferred to consolidate same topic.

pieman Jr. member 20 Jan 2008

My wife and I have just bought a 95 t4 westy. We are both very excited and cant wait to get going on our first outing in march. BUT, today we were checking all the camper bits and when we filled up the water and switched on the tap, water stated filling up behind in the space behind the drivers seat (we were on a drive sloping forward).It didnt look as if it was coming from the waste pipe, so i asume it is a hole in the feed pipe. The only bit of the water feed i cant get to is the bit that runs under the fridge. Am thinking of replacing the whole length of hose, from the water tank to the tap. Does anyone know how easy (or hard) that might be or do you think i am barking up the wrong tree. I didnt get any manual about how it all works so i am just bluffing it. I also have an on board gas fill up at the petrol station type, is there a gauge to tell me how much is left??
Sorry about all the questions. The van was in such good condition we just had to get it!

Capt. Mike

The wiring diagram, Bentley X170, shows the switch in the faucet handle activates the submerged pump in the tank. If water is flowing into the cabinetry and not out the faucet, it's a reasonable assumption you have a hose broken or disconnected between the tank & faucet.

Accessing the water supply and faucett is shown in the Bentley R76-26; removing the water pump Bentley R76-28. Please read site Guidelines (especially #1-4) and note the Bentley and owners manual are expected to use this site. Sources are listed in several forums (Guideline #4).

That same switch also controls the shore water when connected, so be sure you are using the switch correctly and not cross-pumping from tank to shore connection, with the leak occuring there.


New member
Original pump specs

Does anyone know what the OEM pump specs are? I just pulled my dead submersible pump from my 1984 westy - I am confident it was the original pump. The specs were on a sticker that was deteriorating and I could only see 1.5 gpm at ....USA, 1.2 gpm at ... CAN. Pump had a 3 amp draw.

I installed a replacement pump from GoWesty and they did not know what the specs are. They claim it is OEM and made "by the same company", but by the amount of pressure that thing puts out I am dubious. Perhaps I was just used to a failing pump that put out low pressure. Has anyone else noticed a significant increase in pressure when installing an "OEM" replacement pump? Van cafe sells one that they said puts out 15 liters/minute at .5 bar. Thats about 4 gallons a minute - yikes (perhaps bad info from them).

Icarus, has your pump held up and what is your take on water pressure with the "aftermarket" pump?

This may seem like a silly point, but I want to conserve water on extended boony missions.
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Capt. Mike

Pump capacity

I tried to get to my pump to see if it was labelled and found the lid so tight I didn't want to break the seal. The lid to water tanks with submersible pumps are notorious for leaking so each removal becomes a game of chance.

However . . . I agree that the standard pump is too high a pressure. The Vanagon has an 13 gal capacity and 1.3 gpm would give you about 10 minutes. I have a fuel transfer pump on my auxiliary fuel tank that only does 1 gal every 2 minutes and I think that would be sufficient for sink use. Since the pump is a DC motor you could place a resistor in the pump power lead ala the resistors that cut blower motor speeds in the heater & A/C. If you go that route, remember the resistor will get hot so needs to be clear & ventilated. Look at the circuit in the Bentley for your heater blower for an example.


New member
water pump blowing fuses

I have a 1987 westy camper. Problem is blowing fuses when activating pump switch at sink. Sometimes instantaneous vs pump runs for a few seconds first. This initially occurred intermittently a few times now every time. Pump shaft spins freely and seems to run quietly and normally then fuse snaps. I've inspected wiring from tank to faucet (what was visible under storage, below sink etc.) and see no problems. There is nothing obvious under faucet knob either. A very small amount of aqua colored corrosion at worst. Any ideas? Where does pump obtain power? Do I need to check outside this immediate area? I did have a new front heater fan installed right before problem started?? That involves removing dash and probably potential for wiring problems?