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Old 11-03-2019, 04:15 PM   #1
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Water pump cycles, but no leak?

When it rains, it pours. While I am mid trouble shooting a water heater issue, this comes along...

We sprang a slow drip from the hot water supply line coming from the water heater to the main T-connection that then feeds hot water everywhere else in the camper (2018/2019 Reflection 29RS full timing for 1.5yr). It's no surprise, it's the flex-hose line that goes into the plastic-T. I could go on about why the H3LL they'd use flex hose, but let's skip that for now. I cut out the T and fixed that. There's no drip and it is bone dry to the touch and paper towel test.

After finding the problem and before tackling that fix, we turned the water pressure off and on, and off, and on, outside at the campground spigot until I could get to the problem. That's when we decided we would fill the fresh water tank and use the 12v pump for our water needs because it was easier to turn the water pressure off and on as we needed. That's what brought to light the newest problem.

The water pump burps on for a couple seconds either, every 2 minutes, or every hour or two. You would think a leak would be consistent, but it doesn't seem to be. Regardless, my question is this:

I have visually felt, touched, and paper towel tested every connection, and length of pipe/hose, from the Nautilus-1 to the "T" I repaired, to the connections from there that leads to the toilet, and to the bathroom sink, and the back of the shower control valves (which is where the last leak occurred). I have also tested the kitchen sink faucet down to the floor. I cannot find a leak anywhere.

I think the leak could be somewhere between the T I repaired and where the water lines come up from under the kitchen sink about 5-6 feet away, or at a cold water line that runs to the back of the camper where there is a cold water push-on hose connector. The issue is that all of these areas of concern are unreachable and unseeable, except possibly by removing the entire coroplast from the bottom of the camper. Literally, if I can see it, I have touched it looking for a leak and I can't find a leak anywhere. Yet the water pump cycles. And I am SURE there are connectors hidden under the floor. And worse, I'll bet they are on top of the gray and or black tanks rather than under the tanks where I could get to by removing the coroplast.

Any ideas on what else to check, of methods to check short of removing the coroplast? Any war stories that may help me diagnose this?

Thanks in advance
Mike
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:19 PM   #2
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A few places come to mind.....
City Water Inlet check valve not closing so when pump is on water drips out the connection
Water Heater Relief Valve weeping
Water Pump internal check valve not closing allowing system pressure to decrease which triggers pump pressure switch. (common source of short cycling of pump)



Water pump ..... Install an In-Line Check valve in pump suction line
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
A few places come to mind.....
City Water Inlet check valve not closing so when pump is on water drips out the connection
Water Heater Relief Valve weeping
Water Pump internal check valve not closing allowing system pressure to decrease which triggers pump pressure switch. (common source of short cycling of pump)

Water pump ..... Install an In-Line Check valve in pump suction line
Old Biscuit

Those are some great ideas to check. I'll look in to each tomorrow.
Thanks
Mike
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mikec557 View Post
Old Biscuit

Those are some great ideas to check. I'll look in to each tomorrow.
Thanks
Mike
One more possibility is a bad seal on the city water/tank fill valve. Water pressurized by the pump could be seeping past the seal and leaking back into the fresh tank.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:25 PM   #5
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One more possibility is a bad seal on the city water/tank fill valve. Water pressurized by the pump could be seeping past the seal and leaking back into the fresh tank.
But if the pump sucks out of the fresh tank, and if the pump is in the on position, how would water pressurized by the pump leak back into the fresh water tank? Which seal would I be looking at?

Thanks
Mike
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:32 PM   #6
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I recently had a similar issue. Water pump would cycle (burp) a few times per hour. When left in storage, upon powering up the pump it would run and push air through the system. When I started full timing earlier this year I also found when hooked up to city the fresh water tank would slowly fill and overflow.
Replaced the pump and issues went away. For me it was the internal pump check valve.
Good luck to you!
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
A few places come to mind.....
City Water Inlet check valve not closing so when pump is on water drips out the connection
Water Heater Relief Valve weeping
Water Pump internal check valve not closing allowing system pressure to decrease which triggers pump pressure switch. (common source of short cycling of pump)



Water pump ..... Install an In-Line Check valve in pump suction line
Having a leak at the pump's check valve seems to be very common. Most often, it's a piece of grit/trash that lodges in the valve seat that allows a slow, or fast, or variable, backflow causing the line pressure to drop and the pump to "burp". Pulling apart the valve to check is the "proper" way to troubleshoot; adding the in-line check valve is the quick-n-dirty method. Having an in-line filter can also help keep junk out of your lines.

Lyle
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:04 AM   #8
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But if the pump sucks out of the fresh tank, and if the pump is in the on position, how would water pressurized by the pump leak back into the fresh water tank? Which seal would I be looking at?

Thanks
Mike
To be clear, it is the seal or valve that shunts water from the fill port. If the valve is turned to City Water, the path to the tank is shut off and water is pressurized via the outside hose through all the lines of the RV.



A leak or bad seal in this valve would do two things. First, if City Water is being used, it could leak into the tank and gradually fill the tank. This has happened often. Second, when on the pump, the same thing would happen because the pump is pressurizing the water lines and the water is seeping through into the tank, which is not pressurized, causing the pump to cycle. The tank would not over fill, of course, because the same water that is seeping back in is coming from the tank itself.


The OP never made it clear just how long he was on City Water, so we don't know if he could/would detect his fresh tank slowly filling. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. I offered this up only as another possibility, but there are other more likely areas pointed out by Old-Biscuit.
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:06 PM   #9
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If you have an ice maker in your freezer you might want to check the water line to the ice maker. It is found by removing the outside panel of the refrigerator. Thats where I found mine. Also if you are running off the pump it will cycle occasionally as it fills the ice maker.
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:21 PM   #10
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Water pump cycles, but no leak?

Suddenly having exact same problem. Only connection I didnít verify was the shower faucet connections.

Fresh water tank does not appear to be filling.

I assume the pump check valve is allowing water back into the fresh water tank. I got a camco check valve to install in between the pump and strainer.


Camco 23303 1/2" Back-Flow... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000EDUTN6...p_mob_ap_share
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:02 AM   #11
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I purchased a one way valve and placed it on the output of my pump. It cycled about every 2 seconds. I placed it on the input of the pump, it stopped cycling so the pump was leaking back. Replaced the pump guts, pulled the valve because it restricted flow.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:04 AM   #12
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Check the plastic plug on the hot water tank also. I have had a drip there on occasion. Hot water evaporates before the leak was detected from out side. The only way I found it was I happened to see the drip once. Now it's on my list of things to check after the water warms up
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:37 PM   #13
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Had a similar problem, it went in for warranty service multiple times, everything supposed to be fine but problem persisted. Hot water heater electric side failed so dealer sent part for me to replace, simple job except on this unit water heater had to be removed. I decided to cut out the panel in the back storage compartment which allowed access without removal and found that the cold water connection to the water heater was leaking and had been for some time. The water had damaged the floor but then ran out under the rv and was never noticed. Tightened the connection & all fixed.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:53 AM   #14
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Update

Sorry for the delay in updating this thread.

Technically the problem remains unresolved. But the pump cycling has gone from every few minutes to every couple hours or even longer interval.

We were at an RV Park in Peoria AZ when the problem came up. But we were looking for a house to buy in Sun City West at the time and that was very time consuming. We made an offer and began the process and at the same time moved over to Indio CA which had been planned long ago.

Too late to make a long story short... We're still in Indio and the house in AZ closes tomorrow.

The pump burping is infrequent enough that we just keep turning water pressure on and off as we need it. I've decided to buy the replacement pump head rather than a whole new pump. $25 instead of $75, and I'm not sure it's the solution to the problem but it's a place to start.

Need to make a run, without the rv, to Texas to get what little we kept when we sold our last house a year and a half ago. That will probably push the pump repair into early December.

I'll report back at that time.

Thank you for all suggestions and info.

Mike
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