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Old 10-05-2010, 07:09 PM   #15
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Does anyone who winterizes their coach by blowing out the water system ever remove the water pump (ShurFlo SmartSensor 5.7)? Or, have a pump failure when it comes time to summarize?
I wonder if blowing out the system gets all the water out of the pump ...I don't know for sure. When I winterized, I did it by sucking antifreeze through the pump from the tube supplied for that purpose.

That said, I installed my first ShurFlo SmartSensor 5.7 pump in Jan 2005. Although some have lasted as much as 18 months, I have now replaced the pump 5 times due to various failures (won't run, won't shut off, leaks under pressure, etc), so one per year is my average. Each replacement was under warranty ...the ShurFlo warranty is I think 2 yrs on these pumps, and if you don't have a receipt from when you bought it, they go by the mfg date on the pump body.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:25 AM   #16
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All -

1. Shurflo has a 3 year warranty on the Smart Sensor 5.7 pump, unless they have changed since two months ago. As I understand it, it may have been redisgned as well. The latest one I installed in our rig works perfectly out of the box.

2. Blowing out the water lines is great, unless you have a Hydro/Aqua Hot unit, then, you should fill the system with RV antifreeze solution, as blowing out the HH/AQ units won't get all the water out of them and you could cause a blown out water line in the HH/AH unit and brother that gets expensive to the tune of 4-6K dollars. I have seen the results of a blown up water line on those units when I attneded school there last spring. Use the Red Stuff on those systems to be sure it's winterized per the HH/AH factory, warranty is void on a unit not winterized by using the RED STUF (RV Antifreeze Solution).

3. We don't use the fresh water in the refer, we have that line closed off. I was not aware of the tank which needs to be drained. But you can disconnect the line (tank bay on my unit PS-just in front of rear wheel) and maybe drain it out that way and blow back through the filter assembly in the refer (assuming residential type unit).

4. RV Antifreeze is the recommended way to properly winterize an RV. It is more trouble/work, but once it's completely through the system the rig is protected. Trick is to make sure the stuff flows out each and every faucet/shower head/outside shower/toilet/washer, etc. Open the low point drains and get a good flow out of them as well. Blowing out the lines first will assist in getting more pure RV antifreeze in the unit so you don't need as much to complete the whole job.

5. Camco makes this: http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/plastic-winterizing-hand-pump-kit/4411

6. APEX owners may have a little bit more trouble doing the pump thing because of the solenoid valves and such. As mentioned the air pressure purge may damage those, so just pumping in the Red Stuff might be a better idea.

RV Antifreeze as I understand it keeps the seals/o-rings, etc in the water pump wet and slightly lubricated so the pump is protected. Figuring out a way to use the pump to fill the system would be the easiest way to winterize the rig. It helps to have a very large container which is filled with the Red Stuff so the pump is not sucking air.

We plan on spending our winters in SoCal, NV, AZ and NM, so cold weather won’t be an issue. TX maybe, but fuel prices need to drop 1.00 gal for that to happen.
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:46 PM   #17
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I have been following this post and am blowing out the lines as described by many. I have a 97 Fleetwood Storm and the water pump is next to impossible to reach. After blowing out the lines as described, I can see the clear bowl on the inlet side still has about 1/3rd full of water in it. No matter how I turn on and off faucets, low point drains, air compressor, etc. I can't seem to get this water to move. Since it's in such as tight spot, getting in there is next to impossible....unless of course, I'm missing something very obvious. Please help with any and all suggestions.

Thanks in advance.
Dan
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:24 PM   #18
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Dan:

I'm thinking the "bowl" you describe is the strainer. Just unscrew it and dump it out (if you can reach that part). It will never blow out completely.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:17 AM   #19
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Angry

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That's the problem.... I can't reach it, and for the life of me, I have no idea how you would ever service the pump if you had to. It is in a horrible spot. (See Pic). I recently purchased this RV in California and I live in a northern climate. I'm guessing that it's never had to be winterized before. VERY frustrating!
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:06 AM   #20
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That picture is worth a thousand more questions. It's difficult to make out the setup from it.

Are the pump inlet and outlet lines actually attached to the same line (with the copper fittings) in the front, or is that an optical illusion? It looks like that line attaches to the supply side of the pump with 3 elbows, but also t's from the outlet side. Or is the line coming from the right that goes behind the pump the supply line? There is also another line coming from the right that is hard to see where it goes.

Where is the fresh water tank in this picture? Is it at the right where the white elbow and the shutoff valve are? Is that the tank drain? It looks like a water-fill hose across the top of the picture.

If you can't map out the setup because it's too far back to see, stick your camera further in and take more pictures from more angles so you can study the pictures.

Is there any access from above- in a cabinet, etc? Does the shelf above the propane tank come off and allow any access?

Do you know anybody with really long arms and a small head? Sorry.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:09 PM   #21
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Thanks for the reply John...and don't be sorry about the "really long arms and small head" comment, because I've been sizing up my neighbors more closely because of this dilemma!

At any rate, the copper fittings with the two small valves are used as a city water bypass valve (left) and low point drain valve, (right).

The supply line to the pump is coming from the back right to left and the holding tank is further back on the right.

There is NO access to this contraption from anywhere above or below it, just through the opening above the LP tank.

For what it's worth, this looks like the factory install and does not appear to have been altered or changed! It's so far back in there that when I want to open and close the big drain valve on the holding tank itself, I had to make a "hook" with 1" pvc pipe and a couple of 45 degree elbows to latch onto the handle.

Here's a closeup picture for you to ponder.

Thanks for giving it a stab!

Dan
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:23 PM   #22
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Dan,

Sooo....is the vertical tubing in the middle of the picture the city water line? And if you open the left-hand valve can you fill your fresh water tank that way, rather than filling it with a hose through the larger tubing?

If so, it seems like you could possibly pump some antifreeze into the city water inlet, with the valve open and the pump on, in order to get some antifreeze into the pump.

It looks like city water goes one way to the coach fixtures, or the other way, through the shutoff valve to the fresh water tank. If so, this is the same line through which the pump draws water from the tank, so if the tank were empty and antifreeze were in the city water line with the valve open, maybe you could draw enough antifreeze with the pump to protect it. Only problem is, the pump will also be trying to pump air from the tank, and pumping antifreeze into the city water line will be sending it to the rest of the coach as well. But maybe you could finesse just enough in there to do the job.

The only alternative may be to put antifreeze in the fw tank and use it throughout.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:56 PM   #23
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John,

Thanks again for the thoughts. The vertical line is the output that supplies the fresh water to the coach. The city water inlet is on the opposite of the vehicle, but that's what I'm going to have to do. Draw anti-freeze in from there until I know it has gotten through the pump.

My primary goal was to blow it completely out with air, which I had already done, and not use anti-freeze at all. Doing it this way is not a huge problem, just the general access to the area is. Again, I cannot imagine what Fleetwood was thinking when they designed this. You actually can't reach the valves to open and close the fresh water tank without some sort of tool, unless of course, you're 6'3' and weigh about 150. I'm 6' 0" tall and 185 and it's out of reach for me. I just better hope nothing ever breaks in that area.

Thanks again for all of the help.

Dan
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:54 AM   #24
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Wow where was the RVIA when this one was built? I think to make it easier on yourself, that you just put the RV Antifreeze in the fresh water tank and let it pick up and distribute it from there. It will require you to sanaitize the system in the spring, but you would want to do that anyway. Blowing out the lines with air won't clear the strainer, or any low points with water. RV AF would be my choice with this setup.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:10 AM   #25
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I agree Monty. It is an extremely poor design. I did as suggested last night and brought the anti-freeze through the city water side.

Thanks everybody for chiming in on this.

Dan
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:07 PM   #26
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I've been considering using a cheep vodka instead of rv antifreeze. You wouldn't have to flush the system. De-winterizing could be even happier!
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:25 PM   #27
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Hmmm, I don't know as the alcohol would not hurt the pipes, but then what do I know, you certaintly would not have to sanatize in the spring that is for sure. EM-What say you to this idea?
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:05 AM   #28
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Alcohol would kill the pump (diaphragm), so that would be out for olifer, but would work on all the non-rubber piping, connections, etc. Some of the valves, like the three-way use rubber, too.
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