Sunday, 10 July 2016

Reich Twist Caravan Tap with faulty microswitch - Fixed

Our tap has recently stopped working.
Scroll past this text to see the photos and click on one of them to see a large version

It is obvious that it is a fault with the micro-switch or wiring to the switch.
I popped out the little silver lug which is on the back of the tap handle and used a tiny 3mm allen key to turn the screw which is now revealed under the silver lug. Note this isn't the red and blue lug and the allen screw only needs a quarter or half turn, don't remove it, its just holding the top on and needs to stay in place or it may be a pig to get back on or you may lose it!

The top of the tap then lifts off and the micro-switch is revealed. I could see that one of the wires has sheared off and it looked too fiddly to solder as it was flush against the micro-switch.
I then unscrewed the main body of the tap and removed the inside cartridge (the blue and white component).
I then had a trip out to Chorley to Stuart Longtons and bought a new micro-switch (£13.55)
Re-assembly was a complete pain in the backside.

The wire was always in the way and I couldn't get the cartridge back inside without the wire becoming trapped.

I then discovered that the main tap body screwed apart into 3 pieces.
I separated the 3 pieces then I could get the wire and cartridge back in the seemingly correct position.
One of the 3 pieces is a brass hexagonal nut which screws in between  the top plastic small dome and the main metal body.
I made the mistake of having the nut face downwards and couldn't make the whole thing go back together because of this.
After I removed the nut and put it back in the correct way with the nut facing upwards, i was able to reassemble it all.
One of the most awkward aspects was getting the two lugs on the cartridge to align onto the two holes and also keep the wire at the opposite end to the lugs and then twist the body down.

When I put the microswitch back into the top of the tap handle at first I pressed it too far in so that when I put power back into the wires the tap was in a permanent on setting. So I pulled the switch out of it's recess a bit until the switch was being pressed properly when the tap handle was back in place.

The wiring bit to get it powered again. 

When I first removed the old wires I marked up the old wire with a sticky label wrapped around it so that I could reconnect the spades back to the correct coloured wire.
My switch had black and brown wires but the caravan had black and purple. So I labelled the black wire with a label and wrote purple on it.

Reattaching the wires to the caravan.
The new wires that are now protruding under my worktop are just bare wires so I re-used the spade connectors from the old wiring and re-attached using some electrical connectors to make it easier to connect to the electrics.

Job done and a complete PITA (Pain in the Arse)

If you click the first photo then the photos will be displayed much larger and you can see in more detail.
Good Luck if you are having to change your microswich.

The brass ring in the middle is actually upside down in some of these photos
I didn't leave enough wire to enable the switch to fit into the tap handle so I had to start over
3mm allen key
Before I removed the spades I checked I would know how to re-connect by checking the colours and labelling
Aaahh the wire is too short
The wire is just right. Phew