Cruisers Forum

Main Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: frecklestweety on March 12, 2013, 06:25:59 pm

Title: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: frecklestweety on March 12, 2013, 06:25:59 pm
Hi,   I posted this before and got alot of suggestions which i appreaciated.  I took it to the RV dealer in my area and found out the maserator is "toast" as they say.  But I can still dump the regualr way which I am used to.  They said it would be around 600 dollars plus labor and is not covered under my warranty.  So I said forget it. 
     I had a problem with the frig as it did not switch over from electric to propane  but they fixed that...
   Has anyone had this problem with the maserator and are they as good as they say....I am so used to the old way. The only thing is that you have to have electric to open the valves but I can deal with that....

  Getting ready for a trip to Paducah KY and later in May across the US to Wyoming. Looking forward to the trips.
   Be safe to all travelers.  :)
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: billy on March 12, 2013, 08:28:35 pm
I also went back to the dump hose. Not sure but if you wanted, check with the factory. Might be cheaper. They don't look that hard to replace?
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: Ron Dittmer on March 12, 2013, 10:39:27 pm

Do yourself a favor and call the factory for a price on a new replacemet.  The cost just may surprise you.  And regarding installation, simply stated, it's something that can be handled by a near novice.  If you can't install it yourself, I am sure any handyman can at nominal cost.

If or when my 6 year old mascerator dies, I will be replacing it ASAP for I really appreciate it's ease of use for dumping.  The bonus to that is the envious audience it sometimes draws at the dump station. :)
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: TomHanlon on March 13, 2013, 07:00:52 am
"The only thing is that you have to have electric to open the valves but I can deal with that...."

They should run on the house battery. You do not need to be plugged in to electric. Just thought you would like to know.

I for one do not like using the maserator as it is slow and noisy. I prefer the 3" hose.
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: LRS on March 13, 2013, 06:53:37 pm

      There is a drip under the macerator pump-----at least
 I think it is the pump part----over to the right side in that area in that bin/compartment.   Talked to someone at Camping World and he did not seem too knowledgeable.  ???   E-mailed P.C. but have not heard back yet.  The C.W. guy said to dump and flush before
coming...since they were not equipped to do that.  Hmmmm...

After dumping, the water kind of flowed down that black pump in a little stream.  By the time I got
home (15 miles) it was just a drip.   
The sensors  must not work well, either, since the inside gauge lights don't seem to change much after
dumping.   Help!    Am hoping some of you experienced folks can offer advice.    Thanks so much!
: )
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: lghjr on March 13, 2013, 10:52:37 pm
In a way I kind of hate to post this but will for the mechanical inclined.  I had my macerator in & out several times for one reason or another and did happen to find that by taking what need to be replaced to my local bearing supply there was never a part that I could not get locally and a very substantial savings over getting the parts from the maker (not PC).  That drip is probably from "solids" drying out and damaging the seal on next use. By design there is some small leakage just to lube the seal as the shaft turns.  I also changed all of the brass screws/nuts to stainless even having to make four of the long ones that bind the whole together.  I believe I have read or heard that the hardware in newer macerators has been redesigned to stainless steel.  It is very important to flush til clear with water and when winterizing to make sure that the antifreeze gets to the pump which will then act as an over winter lube on the seal surfaces.
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: backroadcruiser on March 14, 2013, 07:51:07 am
Thetford has a few videos on You Tube. I hope they can help to answer any questions.

Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: LRS on March 14, 2013, 08:02:29 pm
Thank you all.  I am not mechanical.  Will watch the videos.  :)  LRS
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: ragoodsp on March 15, 2013, 08:40:08 am
The unit just 1/4 turn locks onto the black discharge pipe.  Take one screw out that is on the bottom of the stainless bracket that screws into the grinder unit, disconect two wires (there are disconnect plugs) loosen the small radiator clamp that holds the 1" hose on and then twist the unit off.  I can not believe the grinder portion of the system would cost $600 but who knows?  Good luck
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: lghjr on March 15, 2013, 12:39:09 pm
I bought the portable version for a trailer and the whole thing in a case was less than 250.  Dealer may be adding a ton of labor when it's not that much of a job.
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: Bob Mahon on March 15, 2013, 04:31:53 pm
FWIW, the macerator is a nice little 'gimmick' and allows some flexibility when dumping, especially for a one night stop. However, we usually stay at a place for a few nights (or more) and I use the 3" dump almost exclusively.
If/when our macerator goes south, it will not be replaced.
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: Awilson on March 16, 2013, 04:19:06 pm
I had to replace my pump last year and the most economical place I found to buy it was PC factory. Repairs and kits were crazy expensive.  I am somewhat mechanical and after taking it apart I found mine had a screw cap that had obviously come off and gone through the pump. It was irrepairable and they do not sell components separately and as mine does not have the option to dump any other way I started looking for a replacement. This is how I found out that PC is the most economical place to buy. How much did I give? I don't remember.  I just know that I spent three hours looking everywhere else but PC thinking the dealer just HAD to be the most expensive place to get it.  I now call them first on everything. I even took my cruiser over to Indiana last year to get some things fixed that I broke and a couple the grandkids broke and the factory fixed them all in about four hours. No Charge! I always check the factory first now.
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: Bob Mahon on March 16, 2013, 04:25:13 pm
There's no denying the PC factory takes very good care of their customers. 2o2
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: JackD on March 23, 2013, 12:22:28 pm
I replaced the pump on a previous PC, and I can do some stuff, but am not a mechanic, for sure. I got the replacement from Carol at the factory, and at a price less than from Thetford.  I do like the macerator, and use it all the each his own.
For sensors, it is most important to flush with fresh water after dumping, wait until the tank is 3/4 full before you dump, and use either the commercial holding tank stuff or a soap mixture (I've not used the mix but a friend of mine swears by it).  Also, there is a sensor cleaner which might help the error.
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: Ron Dittmer on March 23, 2013, 02:09:37 pm
At end of each season, I fill both waste tanks full...twice, first time with bleach solution and run maserator a little to get solution in it.  After a little time, then drain first manual method, then maserator method.

Clean smelling, clean maserator, working sensors, six years so far so good.  I don't expose everything too long with bleach as I hear it can do damage if soaking too long.  Odor control is critical in our under-the-house garage.
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: travler on March 23, 2013, 08:11:08 pm
Ihave an 07 and mine died last year.  Started leaking and than would not work.   Alocal dealer I went to said there are no parts for the pump.  PC is much more reasonable than manufacturer.  Didn't cost much to install and was a simple job.  After i flush good, i put a gallon of windshield washer fluid (-20)  in toilet and run through pump.  So far so good.   Have to be careful there is no water in maserator.

Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: LRS on March 28, 2013, 02:21:03 pm
Well, Camping World replaced the macerator pump for me.  The extended warranty product that Amanda sold me paid for most of it, including the labor and taxes.  I paid less than my deductible. 

Now on to other issues.   ( haha) 
Cross this off the "to do" list.  At least this one seemed to be the most serious.  Hope so.

Has anyone with a Sprinter had the steps not stay out?   The outside light near the door does not come on either.  Both
switches are beside each other inside on the wall.   Could this be a fuse?    Would anyone know where they are for this?

I am not mechanical and definitely a novice with car/rv stuff...or anything mechanical.

Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: Ron Dittmer on March 28, 2013, 02:57:50 pm
Regarding the electric step not going in and out properly.  Try this.

Open the door and stand outside.  Look in the lower right corner.  There is a bolt that pushes a button in and out.  By hand, push that button ALL THE WAY in and let it spring out.  Watch your shins if the step moves.  If the button does not spring out, it is faulty.  Spray WD-40 or equivalent in the switch to free up the internal mechanism.  If no luck, then replace the switch.

If the step works well by hand but not with the door, the bolt needs to be adjusted to push the switch in further.

If the step does not react to you pushing the switch by hand, then flip the left side wall switch to the opposite position and repeat.   Remember that little wall switch is labelled backwards.  "On" means "Off".  When "On" it means the step should stay down all the time regardless if the door is open or closed.  At least that is how mine is labelled.  It can be confusing.

If still nothing happens, lay on your back on the ground and clean the electrical contacts to the switch.  Then repeat.  Be careful when on the ground.  Make sure your body stays clear in case the step decides to move down.  You don't want it pinning you under the rig.  That would be embarassing. :lol
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: LRS on March 30, 2013, 05:42:50 pm
Well, 2400 Sprinter was taken to Camping World for a replacement macerator pump.  Thankfully, they had one left. The ext. warranty I bought from Amanda(?) at PC factory paid for most of it.  I ended up paying less than the deductible.  Hope all is well now.   :)
I plan to take the advice given about keeping the tanks clean...dumping just not enough.  Also watched the online videos and hope with
the new habits, the sensors will clean off and stay that way.   Thanks again!

Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: frecklestweety on April 02, 2013, 04:22:07 pm
 Talked to the factory and got a price for a new macerator pump and they were only about $60 more than the Thetford Dealer near my home.  They are charging me 1/3 the cost of the RV place I went to orginally and their labor cost is much cheaper. I am not mechanically inclined to install the new pump and it is worth is to me to have someone else do it.  I found a RV dealer in Honeybrook, PA who is a Thetford dealer and very nice people and will do more business with them.  Family owned for over 30 years .  The original dealer was going to charge 600 plus 120 labor.  Absolutely outragous.    I did dump the regular way this weekend but would like to use the macerator.   Wish it was insulated from the cold weather since it is out in the open...
Thanks for all the info. tymote
Title: Re: Maserator doesn't work
Post by: frecklestweety on April 03, 2013, 04:34:41 pm
 I mentioned in the beginning of this discussion  about my maceratory not working. I  Finally had my macerator pump replaced .  It seems the former owner never took good care of the pump. All kinds of Nasty Stuff in it and it froze over the winter.   No wonder it did not work.   Found an RV Thetford in Honeybrook , PA, Millers RV, and it cost 285 for the pump and 135 for labor and it has a water outlet on the pump to back flush it and the pump  is easily removable for winter storage if necessary. Believe it or not it has its own carrying case for storage.  I felt this was fair since Stolztfus RV wanted 600 plus. 
   Millers RV were very accomodating and answered alot of my questions and would recommend them for service.   heartshower