Varistream Digital Waterflow Regulator

Discussion in 'Water Fed Pole Cleaning' started by j4star.f, Jul 9, 2012.

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  1. j4star.f

    j4star.f Member
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    hi every one, can any one help i have a surflow pump and Varistream Digital Waterflow Regulator all works fine until i get near to the end of the day if i switch off the flow to get round a house and when i turn back on i have to go to the van and restart the pump. could anything need adjusting or recalabrating if so how, or could anything else cause this problem
     
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  2. bluemonkey

    bluemonkey Guru
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    its either low water letting air in system or low battery charge, do you have to charge battery or is it on a split relay
     
  3. j4star.f

    j4star.f Member
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    thanks mate its on a split charger
     
  4. bluemonkey

    bluemonkey Guru
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    how low is the water at end of the day,
     
  5. gto

    gto Active Member
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    do you drive far enough to charge the second battery completely.
    if the pump is playing up every day, try taking you battery out one night charge it up for the next day, and see what happens.
     
  6. j4star.f

    j4star.f Member
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    when it happens i normaly have about half a tank and my pump is very low to the floor, when it's restarted all works well until its turned off at the pole for 2-3 minutes also i drive the van between 10 to 24 mile to do my work and private use between. i tested the charger and it turns on about 13v
     
  7. spruce

    spruce Grand Master
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    Sounds like a battery issue to me. Unfortunately you haven't told us much about your setup.

    When a leisure battery (presuming the second battery is a leisure battery) is charged by the alternator it will show a high voltage even if the battery is only half charged. It will take time for the battery to settle down to its actual voltage. You will also find that a battery will show a good state of charge when you test it, but under load the battery voltage will drop. Once the battery voltage drops to below 11v the Varistream will cut the current to the pump.

    As you have a split charge relay here is a test you can do. When the controller cuts the pump out, bring you stuff to the van and start your engine. The van's alternator will not only charge the battery a bit but will also provide the current your pump requires. If the pump runs with no problem past the time it would normally cut out with the engine running, then the battery is the problem.

    However, the battery may not be the actual problem. It is most likely the Varistream. If you have the latest Varistream that features the facility to press the + or - buttons with the unit off to test battery's state of charge (3 bars full, 2 bars half charged etc.) then suspect this being the root of the problem. With everything off, remove the positive battery terminal to your leisure battery. Do you get a small spark of current when you couple it back up again? You may also hear a clunk from your pump at the same time.

    If you get this then what you have to do is get an isolator switch that must be coupled to the + power supply before your Varistream. If you put it there it won't interfere with the power supply to your battery from the split charge relay. We use a switch similar to this one from Screwfix product code 47152. All electrical supply outlets should have something similar - its an outdoor 240v 10amp on/off switch behind a plastic cover so splash proof. We use this to switch the Varistream off at the end of the day. We found that the current draw on a 85amp hour Numax battery with the vehicle standing idle would leave the fully charged battery half charged after a week, despite what Williamson pumps said to the contrary.

    Since we have done this the problem with a flat battery on this van has solved.

    Now, this isn't the end of the matter as there are other things you need to understand with regard to battery charging with a split charge relay. If you do a minimal mileage to and from your work area the chances are your battery will never be fully charged and will need supplementary charging from time to time.

    My son in law whose van (04 Ford Transit Connect T220 L LWB) had the problems travels 9 miles to work with us, then works within a 6 mile radius of our home and travels back 9 miles that evening. They use the van to do a further 40 miles once every second week. That mileage just keeps on top of his charging requirements and necessitates a 'bench charge' every couple of weeks just to ensure his leisure battery is fully charged.

    His van has a Shurflo 5l per minute pump and draws between 2.5 and 4.4 amp depending on the Varistream Digital speed setting. (Speed setting 4 = 2.5amp, speed setting 5 = 3.4 amp and speed setting 6 = 4.4amp.) These readings were taken with the pump pushing water through 100m of 8mm minibore hose with all but 5m still coiled on the hosereel and connected to the brush with 2 only 2mm pencil jets. The 85amph leisure battery in this van was new at the time of this test in November 2011 and at the point of test was 12.5v or fractionally over 75% charged. When the engine was started the alternator was supplying a charge to the battery of 7.5 amps via his relay. As the battery gets a 'fuller' the rate of charge it will accept from the alternator decreases down to 1 - 2 amps..

    Take his van as an example. If he works for 4 hours a day on the glass, then he will use/consume 10 amps from his fully charged 85amp battery that day. If it took him 15 minutes to drive home he would only replenish his battery by just less than 4 amps (18 miles round trip). (Charging a battery isn't about distance travelled, its more to do with the time is takes to do that distance. If he was stuck in traffic for 2 hours with his engine running, the battery would receive more of a charge than if he got straight home without traffic problems.)

    On paper he would need to bench charge his leisure battery every week under these conditions to keep it in peak condition. (I have a Citroen Relay SWB van with a 110 amp leisure battery. Even when the battery is at a low state of charge I have never seen the amp meter recording higher than 12 amps, and that is for a very short period just after engine start up. It nornally settles down to 8 - 9 amps within a few moments.)

    I hope our personal experience and solutions will help you.

    Spruce
     
  8. j4star.f

    j4star.f Member
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    thank you spruse for the detailed info you have been a big help, i had a look and the battery indicator only shows two bars and have also noticed the display also flashes L when this problem starts. i used to have it wired streight to the van battery and it always showed three bars but i did not feel comfortable about t even with it having a fuse fitted, this has only happend when i started a new round with most houses one after the other. i will fit a switch like you sugested and look out for a better battery thank you
     
  9. spruce

    spruce Grand Master
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    Hi,

    No problem and glad we could help. If your Varistream is registering 2 bars then it needs charging badly. A flat battery will 'recover' voltage wise to give a 'satisfactory' result on a voltmeter, but won't have the charge (drive or energy) to power your pump for long.

    Many do find that working off the van battery works for them, but its all about how much time they spend on the road. We fitted a change over switch to my sons van (Peugeot Partner 2.0 Hdi) so he could use his van battery as a backup should he need it. One day his Jack Russell must have knocked the switch and so the van's battery was being used without us knowing. Within 4 days his van battery was flat - 10 minutes to work and back wasn't enough to recharge his battery. We tried this same experiment when we replaced his van battery about a year ago, and the result was the same - flat within 4 days.

    We also initially tried the same thing (using van battery) with son in laws Transit Connect. Within a week his battery was flat, but then we were also 'competing' with the Varistream drain issue that we hadn't identified then.

    Of course you do need to have a good size battery that will have plenty in reserve after a full day's work, remembering that in the winter the battery will not perform as well as it does in the summer. Most single operators successfully use an 85 amp hour sized unit.

    Another thing: is your 'leisure' battery earthed to the vans chassis as well? If it isn't it must be.

    Spruce.
     
  10. harunh

    harunh Legend
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    Spruce is the man ! :p
     
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