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Old 07-08-2018, 10:21 AM   #1
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Water pump will not stay primed

Greetings and thanks as always for any assistance.

In the endless game of whack-a-mole that full timing entails, I have a new issue.

Nothing is leaking - thank goodness - knocks on wood.

However, there is no consistent water flow from the pump. Air is getting in the lines. I hear my hot water heater gurgeling at times. Water pressure will be fine and then just die while the pump continues to run. Opening a faucet here or there - both hot and cold - will solve the problem for a time and then within minutes we are back to no water. Draining a bit of water from the TP valve on the hot water heater will also get it going.

Before I start removing panels and looking for my pump (never seen it), I was hoping someone might have experience with this and hopefully a simple fix.

Thanks again,

James
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:25 AM   #2
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Does the pump build up pressure and shut off, or is it just running continuously? If it is just running on and on, is there a chance someone changed the valve setup in the water bay. If the valves are not set correctly, it will make the pump run with no water. My tank fill valve has to be set to city water or the pump will just run and run with no water. Also you should add your model of rv on your signature, it will help people with similar rvs to assist you. Cheers
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:51 AM   #3
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Does the pump build up pressure and shut off, or is it just running continuously? If it is just running on and on, is there a chance someone changed the valve setup in the water bay. If the valves are not set correctly, it will make the pump run with no water. My tank fill valve has to be set to city water or the pump will just run and run with no water. Also you should add your model of rv on your signature, it will help people with similar rvs to assist you. Cheers

Thanks winniman. It does both. At times it will pump up to full pressure and the pump will turn off. Most of the time however it runs continuously.

I've played with the valves. Normal operating positions for my two valves are *city water* and *tank to pump*

In that vein of thinking - for some reason - if I pull water from a non-pressurized source I have to switch to *inlet to pump* and then very oddly I have to turn the other valve halfway between *tank fill* and *city water*. Otherwise the pump will not pull water from the non-pressurized source.

I pulled off the panel that hides the pump. The filter screen and clear cover were very clean.

James
2007 National Pacifica QS40C
Freightliner - Allison - Cat 350
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by KimoJames View Post
Thanks winniman. It does both. At times it will pump up to full pressure and the pump will turn off. Most of the time however it runs continuously.

I've played with the valves. Normal operating positions for my two valves are *city water* and *tank to pump*

In that vein of thinking - for some reason - if I pull water from a non-pressurized source I have to switch to *inlet to pump* and then very oddly I have to turn the other valve halfway between *tank fill* and *city water*. Otherwise the pump will not pull water from the non-pressurized source.

I pulled off the panel that hides the pump. The filter screen and clear cover were very clean.

James
2007 National Pacifica QS40C
Freightliner - Allison - Cat 350

IMO, the bold^^in your post is very important to explain in detail. When the pump pressurizes and operates normally, just how are your valves set? When it fails and runs continually, what changed? This is all assuming that when the pump pressurizes and shuts off the condition of loss of flow described in your OP does not occur.
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:25 PM   #5
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Water pumps have a built in check valve. Your is probably damaged or stuck open by debris.
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:48 AM   #6
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Thanks Don and Larry

Apologies for the long delay in following up. We've been boondocking in The Rockies with no Verizon and minimal ATT which is no excuse but it's all I have.

I'm liking the check valve theory and I agree Don that the particulars of what happens when is critical but I have not established a pattern.

I'll hopefully be pulling it soon and will report back.

Happy Sunday!

James
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:52 AM   #7
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Air getting in after water pump? Spit, sputter, and stoppage.

Howdy All and happy Monday.

As always thanks for any tips or ideas -

I've isolated my water pump and it's water source. It's pumping nicely at what seems to be 3 GPM ish. It's priming and pulling. The output does pulse - straight out of the pump, but its a "quad" piston so that would appear to be normal.

The problem arises when I connect the pump to the line that feeds the fixtures in the RV. They sputter and spit and have very weak pressure and often none at all. The hot H2o tank gurgles. I isolated it too and that didn't help.

I'm assuming that a fair amount of air is getting in the line and then compressing in different spots to cause all of the havoc at the fixtures. There are no water leaks or drips that I can locate.

Anyone had this happen? Ideas?

Thanks!

James
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:56 AM   #8
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[moderator edit] thanks for the ideas. I took apart the pump - it's fine. I added an in-line check valve just for fun. Didn't help.

The problem is AFTER the pump [moderator edit]
Thanks again!

James

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Old 07-16-2018, 10:57 AM   #9
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Air can't come in to the system after the pump, only before.
If there is a 'break' in the lines downstream of the pump, on the pressure side, that will manifest as a leak. To draw air into the system the break has to be before the pump (or AT the pump) on the low pressure side so that the pump can draw the air in.

I'd suggest putting a short hose on the output side of the pump and have it pump into a bucket (or whatever) full of water. That way you could see if the pump is pushing air into the bucket.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:31 PM   #10
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Air can't come in to the system after the pump, only before.
If there is a 'break' in the lines downstream of the pump, on the pressure side, that will manifest as a leak. To draw air into the system the break has to be before the pump (or AT the pump) on the low pressure side so that the pump can draw the air in.

I'd suggest putting a short hose on the output side of the pump and have it pump into a bucket (or whatever) full of water. That way you could see if the pump is pushing air into the bucket.
Well I took your advice Podivin - thank you - however I used a 50 foot hose because it's what I had left to work with and it seemed like it would better approximate the resistance from the rigs water system.

It was a very inconsistent flow and only about 1.5 GPM. So it was the pump.
Luckily, in this small cowtown I had a choice of pumps and went with a Sureflow. It was almost plug and play except for some splicing and "Bob's your uncle" all is working again properly. I'd still like to repair/renovate my old flojet quiet quad pump to keep on hand as a backup or even a booster if ever needed. I just have no idea what could be wrong with it. I added an in line check valve and that did not improve the old problem so I don't think it's that.

Regardless, all is well and I'm very appreciative of everyone's help.

All the best,

James
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:17 PM   #11
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Great news, glad you got it worked out.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:25 PM   #12
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Great news, glad you got it worked out.
Thank You!
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:30 AM   #13
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The check valves internal to the pump could be going bad, or you could have a small leak; common pump locations are 1) outside compartment; 2) Bath compartment; 3) under bed; 4) under breakfast bench seat; might also b=verify that all valves in proper use position vs WINTERIZE position.
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