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Old 06-13-2009, 10:55 PM   #1
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Water Pump

Occasionally, when we disconnect the water and try to use the water pump, we can hear the pump running but it takes a long time for the water to come out. It's almost like it lost its prime and can't quite get the water flowing. Once it gets going, it seems to be fine. Is this an indication that the pump is dying? I was also wondering if traveling somehow causes air to get into the line and the pump has to work to get the water flowing again. Anyone have similar experiences or insights?
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:16 PM   #2
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I have seen the same thing after traveling down the road, but only if the water level is starting to get low, like less than 1/4 tank. It sometimes takes a few seconds to get the water to flow properly. I also notice more noise when it runs. Once it starts it works fine until I rock down the road again. I doubt it is an indication of a problem with the pump.

We tend to use the pump and not connect to city water except to refill the tank. (Old habit from our class C days with more drydocking.) So I have not noticed it happening after being connected to city water and then disconnect.

Based on my experience with the Shurflo pumps, I always carry a spare pump! After the next failure I intend to switch brands.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:26 PM   #3
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I've had the same problem with mine. It seems to have become worse over time to the point that I changed the pump. Mine was the original pump for a 2002, Sureflo 2.8 gpm. I changed to a Sureflo 5.7 gpm. We have not been traveling since the change so we don't know how well it will work. When I took the old pump head apart it had a very sticky substance in it. It looked like some sort of lube that had gone bad.
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:56 PM   #4
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Jerry- I just changed my 5.7, and had a lot of air in the lines; it tookthe new pump a while to "hook up" and reach pressure. You may have cracked a faucet and let air back into the piping and created a similar situation.

JL- I'll bet the sticky stuff (white or whitish gray?) is sealant they use on tank joints. I had a wad of it plus some plasitc shavings in the strainer between tank & pump. Its pretty gooey.

All- the 5.7 instructions CLEARLY call for the ShurFlo Extreme Series strainer between tank & pump. I always thought the strainer WRV used was the right one. While exchanging my 1st 5.7 pump, I noticed two strainer devices on the trailer supply joint's rack, ours & the Extreme which has about 3x the volume. FWIW I put the OEM unit back on. They both have the same inlet/outlet zise & structure; only the bowl & strainer area are bigger on the Extreme so I couldn't see any difference in hydraulics that would relate to surging or other issues. Course I fill the tank thru filters & the RO membrane. If your rig puts city water into the tank directly, you might accumulate debris over time that would invite the larger strainer for reserve volume purposes.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:39 PM   #5
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My '02 coach had the water outlet on the side of the tank and the line went from there up to the pump. When traveling, if the water wasn't very high in the tank, when the water sloshed forward it allowed the water in the line to the pump to empty. Upon stopping I would have to re-prime the pump. To cure this, I directed the outlet of the tank down, added a shut off valve for servicing, then ran the line back up to the pump. This arrangement wouldn't allow the pump inlet line to drain anymore.

Mike,

The ShurFlo engineer and tech who worked on my pump were quite adamant about the size of the strainer needed, beside the wiring size. There are evidently many issues in volume of piping, type of tubing, how close to elbows, etc when using the 5.7 pump.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:05 PM   #6
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After my first pump failed, I made sure I put on the correct Extreme filter. The second pump failed too. The third pump is holding in there. I believe it was manufactured after they made some sort of revision to the pump design.

When I put in a shutoff valve as Dale mentioned, I used the Flair-it valve that is like the rest of the plumbing system. No additional restriction.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:06 PM   #7
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Dale- did you change your strainer to the Extreme version?
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:08 PM   #8
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The two guys from ShurFlo did and I can't say that it made a difference! As you probably know, I gave up and installed an accumulator tank. I had done everything that they had suggested with no good results.
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:49 PM   #9
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After I dropped the intake line (from the tank to the pump) from the side of the tank to a tee in the main drain (pictures posted earlier), my system quit sucking air and is always primed and ready to go. I'll get some gurgles when switching over to city water, from air in the hose, but not when switching over to pump.

I am still getting some intermittant pulsing in pressure from the pump, but the overall pressure is great. I'm going to make a few alterations to see if that will stop:
  • upgrade wire to pump
  • add Intellitec pump controller (not related to pulsing)
  • adjust the set screw on the pump to various positions (I've only tightened it)
  • harass Shurflo since they are only a few miles away. I'll challenge them to provide an empirical solution
As a side note, when I am hooked up to city water, but the pressure is low, I run the pump, too. The pump never pulses with this set-up, but I do have to monitor the fresh water tank to not run dry.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:04 AM   #10
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Take- That's an interesting solution to eliminate pulsing- hook up to a lesser city water connection. Perhaps this elimination of the air cushion on the city fill side of the piping has something to do w/the lack of pulsing.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:21 AM   #11
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My assumption would be that the city water system is acting like the accumulator tank that I added, always supplying a "backup" water supply.
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:00 PM   #12
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Dale- I was temporarily going the other way (tho it makes as little sense to me either direction; just trying to cut a hole out of this maze really). I.e. if the air supply in the accumulator makes a large, cushy spring to push against, and that cushy spring makes it easier on the SmartSensor "logic" to "sense" the pressure and even out flow, how is it that the air supply in the dry city fill wouldn't do that better when pumping from the tank, vs. connecting & filling city side w/incompressible water and then running pump; i.i.e.e. how is it that Take's lack of a cushy spring fixes his sensor the same as your accumulator did for you? (this is where I need the animated smilie whose head spins around several times and then he takes out a gun & shoots himself, but I can't find that one, and headbang and slapface don't nearly cut it even if I line them up ten deep)
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takepride View Post
After I dropped the intake line (from the tank to the pump) from the side of the tank to a tee in the main drain (pictures posted earlier), my system quit sucking air and is always primed and ready to go. I'll get some gurgles when switching over to city water, from air in the hose, but not when switching over to pump.


I am still getting some intermittant pulsing in pressure from the pump, but the overall pressure is great. I'm going to make a few alterations to see if that will stop:
  • upgrade wire to pump
  • add Intellitec pump controller (not related to pulsing)
  • adjust the set screw on the pump to various positions (I've only tightened it)
  • harass Shurflo since they are only a few miles away. I'll challenge them to provide an empirical solution
As a side note, when I am hooked up to city water, but the pressure is low, I run the pump, too. The pump never pulses with this set-up, but I do have to monitor the fresh water tank to not run dry.

Where are the pictures posted?
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:10 PM   #14
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Rick:

This is the thread:

Full Fresh Water Tank

Post #29 has the photo. The thread has a discussion on pumps as well as fill and drain issues.
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