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Old 07-27-2008, 09:59 AM   #1
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...and her name is Lucy.

Well it's about time that I started tinkering with this thing (which, by the way, we've named Lucy). I was on an obvious "mission" to buy one and now it's been sitting for 3 weeks and my first trip is scheduled 3 weeks from now. I have a ton of questions and need a ton of advice but I'll start off slow.

Firstly I want to put water to it but have some connections to make beforehand.

In regard to the water pump, what is the purpose of the small in-line filter installed between my fresh water tank and water pump (see photo)?
I'm assuming the pink stuff inside the bowl is antifreeze...do I drain it out before running water through it?

When I reconnect this system does the in-line filter need to be oriented in any special way (i.e. sight bowl up or down)?

I suspect this system was leaking because the flooring directly below the pump is a little soft. It seems this would be a good place for a little drip pan...do they make such a thing or should I just cut a small plywood doubler as a temporary fix?

Can I connect city water to this AS IS? Isn't there a check valve somewhere to restrict water flow back to the pump and tank or is that controlled by the two ball valves in back (see attached photos)?

Oh, almost forgot, I don't have a key for my water fill...where can I get one?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:24 AM   #2
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The filter is just a screen to keep larger pieces from getting to the pump. I do not think there is any proper orientation.

The pink stuff is anti-freeze, I would just flush it out when you get the pump and tank running.

The pump should prevent water from backing into the water tank. It looks like you have the original PAR which may need to be rebuilt. I think parts are still available for those pumps.

The two valves in the last picture do not look like ball vales to me. They look like stop valves (cut off valves). The ones in the picture look like they are drain valves for the hot and cold lines.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:13 PM   #3
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Well it's about time that I started tinkering with this thing (which, by the way, we've named Lucy). I was on an obvious "mission" to buy one and now it's been sitting for 3 weeks and my first trip is scheduled 3 weeks from now. I have a ton of questions and need a ton of advice but I'll start off slow.

Thanks in advance.
The place to start off, should be expedited asap.

That place is to make absolute positive that any and all exterior water leak possible problems, have been corrected.

Check the window, access compartment, entrance door, and especially the sewer vent pipe gaskets.

If they have never been replaced, then they are all shot, unless the trailer was stored inside.

After leak proofing, then you can proceed to other areas of concern, as your time and budget may allow.

Andy
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:53 PM   #4
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The pump should prevent water from backing into the water tank. It looks like you have the original PAR which may need to be rebuilt. I think parts are still available for those pumps.
So if the pump is the restrictor I should NOT hook up to city water until I have it connected...right?
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:55 PM   #5
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That place is to make absolute positive that any and all exterior water leak possible problems, have been corrected.

Check the window, access compartment, entrance door, and especially the sewer vent pipe gaskets.
Is this task as simple as standing inside looking for leaks while someone runs a garden hose over the area of interest?
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Old 07-27-2008, 05:03 PM   #6
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So if the pump is the restrictor I should NOT hook up to city water until I have it connected...right?
That pump does not contain a check valve.

A check valve "MUST" be installed on the output side of the pump, so that the pressurized water cannot back feed thru the pump.

Andy
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Old 07-27-2008, 05:11 PM   #7
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Is this task as simple as standing inside looking for leaks while someone runs a garden hose over the area of interest?
Nope, that's not how it's done.

Physically look at the gaskets.

If they are the original, then they are 32 years old, and have been shot for years. The original gaskets are good for perhaps 20 years, or so.

New gaskets, or good gaskets, should have a high degree of bounce back to it. If yours are original, the window gaskets will all be flattened. The entrance door and access door gaskets would no longer be a pure triangle. The sewer vent pipe cover gaskets will be badly cracked, that you can easily see once you remove one of those covers that are held in place with 4 sheet metal screws.

After those replacements, then it would be wise to water test as you mentioned, to see if any rivets are leaking.

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Old 07-28-2008, 12:35 AM   #8
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Get er done... Andy is correct... but you can use it as is. You may find that you need a new pump... those diaphrams in the PAR do wear out.... mine did. Your local Marine West store has the repair kit... I disembled mine and took the diaphram to the store to compare... then broke the screws holding it all together... so I bought a new pump rather than deal with the old one. My freshwater tank did fill when connected to city water.. and fill and fill... again, problem solved when I put a new pump in.

I can't tell if your fresh tank has a stopcock valve on it... one way opens to the pump, the other drains it to the ground.

Keys.... I'll tell you a secret... they're almost all keyed the same. If I wasn't about to leave.. I'd make you one. PM me if there isn't someone around to help.

Those valves help you drain the system for winterization.... Do you have a hotwater tank bypass. If so, don't open it until you flush the pink stuff through the system.. or you will have a long flush through the hotwater tank to get rid of the stuff... it does come out, so don't worry if you don't have a bypass. Check those hoses... they may be the source of the soft floor. I replaced mine with clear plastic (with reinforcement plastic strands.. it looks clear with cross hatches in it) from Home Depot. I used new hoseclamps... easy as pie.

In the last pic, the big brass thing is your overpressure valve, saving the system from high city water pressure. Don't have to do a thing to it.
Have fun!
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
New gaskets, or good gaskets, should have a high degree of bounce back to it. If yours are original, the window gaskets will all be flattened. The entrance door and access door gaskets would no longer be a pure triangle. The sewer vent pipe cover gaskets will be badly cracked, that you can easily see once you remove one of those covers that are held in place with 4 sheet metal screws.
Results:
Window and access door gaskets - not necessarily flattened but riddled with cracks around the outer lip.

Door gasket - looks to be in good shape...still has form and spring back.

Sewer vent pipe cover gaskets - badly cracked and deteriorated as are the vent covers.

So how do I replace all the gaskets? I predict the answer to be rip off the old, clean it up, and reinstall the new.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:48 AM   #10
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You may find that you need a new pump... those diaphrams in the PAR do wear out.... mine did.

I can't tell if your fresh tank has a stopcock valve on it... one way opens to the pump, the other drains it to the ground.

Keys.... I'll tell you a secret... they're almost all keyed the same. If I wasn't about to leave.. I'd make you one. PM me if there isn't someone around to help.

Those valves help you drain the system for winterization.... Do you have a hotwater tank bypass. If so, don't open it until you flush the pink stuff through the system.. or you will have a long flush through the hotwater tank to get rid of the stuff... it does come out, so don't worry if you don't have a bypass. Check those hoses... they may be the source of the soft floor. I replaced mine with clear plastic (with reinforcement plastic strands.. it looks clear with cross hatches in it) from Home Depot. I used new hoseclamps... easy as pie.

In the last pic, the big brass thing is your overpressure valve, saving the system from high city water pressure. Don't have to do a thing to it.
Yes, it is a PAR. There's no reason to believe it's not orginal. How do I know if it's no good? It makes noise when I put power to it.

I just have that one elbow coming out of the tank and leading to the pump and then another petcock about mid-span that drains to the ground.

I saw someone selling water fill keys....either Inland or ODM.

I don't know if I have a hot-water bypass valve. Can't I just unscrew the bowl and dump the antifreeze?...or is the bowl not detachable.

Yeah, those black hoses look a little suspicious and I was planning on replacing them. I'll put a check valve in front of the pump as Andy recommended.

I was hoping someone would tell me what that big brass thing was...thanks.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:26 AM   #11
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Upper right photo shows a pressure regulator and a pop off valve (with the rubber hose attached). There should also be a check valve in that string to keep the pumped water from draining out the city inlet when you are not on city water. That antifreeze will make the water taste bad until you rinse the system thoroughly. Take the screw that holds the clear plastic cylinder out and the plastic comes off. I would turn the whole thing so the plastic is up and the screw is where you can get at it. New screens and O rings are available. Heck, the whole thing is not a real expensive part.
The quickest way to locate the drains is from under the trailer. Look for hoses hanging down below the belly pan. You have at least one drain valve in the lower left photo.
Get the water system fixed, fill the pipes from city water (easier that way), close off the city water and turn off all the fixtures. Turn on the pump. If it runs when you open a faucet and pumping stops when you close the faucet, the pump is working. If the pump doesn't stop or cycles with the faucets closed you may have a leak in the water lines. If the pump doesn't stop and you are pretty sure there are no leaks, the pressure switch in the pump is shot. These pumps are not expensive (about $75 - 80) so it is easier to replace than to mess with fixing it.
I suggest you blow the lines out with compressed air when you winterize rather than putting antifreeze in. Take your time and be thorough enough to purge the lines several times so you get the water out. Antifreeze in the drains to protect the P traps.
I had a locksmith make a key for the water door, then duplicate all the keys for safety.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Duff23 View Post
Results:
Window and access door gaskets - not necessarily flattened but riddled with cracks around the outer lip.

Door gasket - looks to be in good shape...still has form and spring back.

Sewer vent pipe cover gaskets - badly cracked and deteriorated as are the vent covers.

So how do I replace all the gaskets? I predict the answer to be rip off the old, clean it up, and reinstall the new.
The cracks in the window gaskets tell you that they are the original, and, long shot. If you going to change gaskets, change them all, so that you obtain maximum protection for the interior of the trailer. Any gasket thats 32 years old, is long gone.

Replacing the gaskets is simple.

1. Remove the window.
2. Place the window on a table that is cushioned with a blanket.
3. Tear off, or cut off the old gasket.
4. Put a wire wheel into an electric drill and burnish off the remainder on the gasket.
5. Have someone hold the window while your doing the burnishing.
6. Install the gaskets using super weatherstrip adhesive, "ONLY." Apply the adhesive to the gasket, and the window sash. Let it dry to the touch for about 10 minutes.
7. We have switched to a "D" shaped gasket instead of the double flared gasket, since tests clearly showed it be be superior. Everyone so far, has liked it. Not bad having sold over 10,000 feet of it so far this year.
8. The gasket seam is at the bottom of the window.
9. The corners of the front and rear windows can be made with a small radius bend. It is not necessary or recommended, that you mitre those cprners.
10. Reinstall the windows.
11. After a few hours, open the windows and flood the new gaskets with silicone spray.
12. Close the windows for a few days.
13. Open the windows and wipe off the surplus silicone spray.
14. Apply a small film of silicone spray to all the gaskets, every year.
15. It is absolutely mandatory, when applying the gaskets, that you stop after every three windows, and enjoy a real cold beer. That's the reward for a job well done.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:31 AM   #13
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7. We have switched to a "D" shaped gasket instead of the double flared gasket, since tests clearly showed it be be superior. Everyone so far, has liked it. Not bad having sold over 10,000 feet of it so far this year.
When did you change gasket styles? I purchased mine from you in June and I was shipped the double flare type. I guess it was my ignorance.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:36 AM   #14
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Duff,
Are you making any headway with all this???

The orientation of the clear plastic filter basket does not matter (up, down , or sideways). But there is an "IN" and "OUT" indicator arrow on the assembly somewhere. So if you totally remove / replace the filter, just pay attention to the water flow direction and the little arrow on the filter.

Did you locate the city water hook up? I would start there and pressurize the system from the city water hook up and then look for leaks and make sure that all air is purged from the system (let the water run from all faucets, shower, and toilet until all air is purged). While under city water presure you should be able to tell if the check valve in the water pump is functioning. If the pink anti-freeze in the clear filter basket disappears and is replaced with clear water then I would say that water IS backflowing through your pump and into the potable water tank, if it remains pink I would say that the pump check valve is wokring OK. Then I would get your potable water door open and fill it (you may be able to access the door from the inside of the trailer and remove the lock until you get a new key). Disconnect from the city water, turn your pump on. As mentioned in an earlier post if it is performing correctly, it should run until the system is pressurized and only come back on when the pressure drops below its set point.

You may also want to sanitize the potable water tank with a chlorine bleach solution. There are plenty of threads and advice on that. Just search the forum or do a Google search for RV tank sanitation. You should let the solution sit in the tank and the lines for a while. There should be a valve underneath the trailer for draining the potable water tank to get the yucky bleach taste out of the tank.

Sorry for the long reply. I hope it helps instead of confuses.
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