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Old 08-02-2003, 08:40 PM   #1
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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Question Water System Woes

Well my luck finally ran out. I tried to get the water system up and running and ended up with water in the bedroom closet (no water filter attached - easy fix) and then under the bed (when connecting the city water hose.)

My guess us that the coach was winterized for storage. Since I bought it as is and there was no delivery prep done on it at the dealership, I have no idea how to "un-winterize" it.

I have filled the potable water tank using my garden hose. I basically filled until it ran out the drains. The water pump turns on from the kitchen and bathroom switches but no water comes through. I did get about an inch in the water filter but that was it. Is there a valve somewhere in here that I need to find? Is it inside or outside? I have the side mounted queen in back. (Sounds like a movie title! ) I looked an looked through the little 1' x 1' access hole but didn't see the big valve handle I was searching for.

On the city water, as soon as I turned the faucet on the garden hose I could hear a spraying sound from the back of the coach. I turned off the water immediately, but there was about a half gallon all over under the bed. Could something be open? Broken? The plumbing layout back there is not exactly obvious to me.

Despite the many many spare parts and information left on board by the PO the one thing I do not have is a operators manual for the coach itself. I have all of the books receipts and manuals for the appliances and sub systems but not the factory systems like water and chassis. This is no fun. (I know - call secretarial services!)
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Old 08-02-2003, 08:48 PM   #2
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There is a whole mess of plumbing under the bed. There should be a small access panel in the rear corner if you take the mattess off. The coach is plumbed with PEX. The elbows can crack, I had 2 cracked ones on mine. There will also be drain valves and such under here. You will have to play with them to figure it out.

You need to find the back of your water heater. If it has a bypass for winterizing it you need to get the water flowing thru it before you get around to lighting it.

Does your pump just run nonstop? If it is not pressurizing the system it will not stop. It could also be that the drain valve is open and when you trn on the pump it is pumping out the tank.
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Old 08-02-2003, 08:57 PM   #3
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Brett,
The pump does run nonstop. The water heater is mounted under the dinnette, I'll run out and check that first. I'll also turn on the pump and see if it's draining water outside.
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Old 08-02-2003, 09:03 PM   #4
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daddy!

steve

to quote my best friends four year old "daddy, the trailer is peeing!"

the first time he tried to put water in his "new" '74 excella the winterizing valves were open.

the pump ran non-stop.

sounds like you might have some lines disconnected.

also, check the suction side of your water pump, the p.o. may have added a antifreeze pickup valve. it may be open.

john

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Old 08-02-2003, 09:11 PM   #5
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An '86 would still be plumbed with polybutylene, not PEX. And yes, the connectors (elbows, Tees, splices, everything but the tubing itself) will crack or even blow completely apart.

There is quite a bit of information about polybutylene plumbing in the archives.

Mark
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Old 08-02-2003, 09:21 PM   #6
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I'll check those archives tonight. I ran out there and checked under the bed. Starting fiddling with the valves. Everything that looked like it ran down through the floor I turned off and everything that ran away toward other parts of the coach I turned on. Same on the water heater. Still no water but I'm getting closer. Looks like there is something called a Pump Saver inline with the feed to the SureFlow.

I also found the source of the leak. It looks like a spliced in Home Depot outdoor faucet (Faucet is in PVC which mates to brass fittings with double screw type hose clamps connecting to the polybutylene tubing.)

Its got that "yeah that'll work" look about it. The PVC is cracked about 2/3rds around. Replacement time tomorrow.
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