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Old 03-28-2012, 10:30 AM   #43
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Dealer responded saying that the pump might be bad. Pump runs but doesn’t prime.

Thanks for the help but looks like a trip to the dealer.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:59 AM   #44
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Dealer responded saying that the pump might be bad. Pump runs but doesn’t prime.

Thanks for the help but looks like a trip to the dealer.
Dumb question (though really there are no dumb questions, only dumb people asking them): Is there water in the freshwater tank? If there's not, then the pump never will self-prime. There are two places that you can add fresh water to the RV: The first is a black plastic fitting to which the water hose will screw tightly. If you connect to this one, you are NOT filling your freshwater tank, you're bypassing it! The owner's manual doesn't tell you this. I found out the hard way. Fill the freshwater tank at the other filler, under the chromed cover (located just to the rear of the black plastic fitting).

A caveat: If the pump runs but doesn't prime, then do NOT run it for more than about 15 seconds before shutting it back off! Otherwise you could burn up the rubber impeller, which is repairable but probably not under your warranty. The impeller relies upon water running through the pump for its lubrication.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:00 AM   #45
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Dealer responded saying that the pump might be bad. Pump runs but doesn’t prime.

Thanks for the help but looks like a trip to the dealer.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:03 AM   #46
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Not so fast on the trip to the dealer! My camper had the same problem after coming out of winter storage. The pump would run but wouldn't prime. A call to AS tech support led me to the following solution.

With everything set up for operation as described above and with a water faucet open (so the pump is running), put an air hose (with a blower nozzle) in the freshwater fill port. Wrap a rag around the hose where it enters the port (to allow some pressure to build) and give it some air. On mine it took several tries to get the pump to prime.

By the way, you don't have to worry about running these pumps dry like you did with the older impeller type pumps.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:13 AM   #47
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Thanks for the responses. Yes the water tank is full. I applied a suction to the faucet and sucked water and air. It still wouldn't prime. Something is open allowing air. Still looking.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:32 PM   #48
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Pressureize the system like I said. It worked for me after several hours of frustration.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:33 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist

In order to put your freshwater system into service, there are several steps:
1 - Remove the curb-side cup holder by the rear sofa, and close the two low-point drains. One or both may be hidden under electrical wiring bundles.
2 - Remove the bottom drawer under the sink and close the two low-point drains. While you've got the drawer out, make sure the inlet and outlet lines for the freshwater pump are firmly connected. Leave the drawer out for now.
3 - While we're on the subject of valves, make sure the valve behind the toilet is open as well.
3 - Open the streetside access panel at the rear and make sure the water heater drain plug is installed.
4 - Under the RV on the street side, at the rear of the freshwater tank, make sure the drain plug is firmly installed.
You should now be ready to pressurize your system.
Decide if you're using municipal water or onboard water.
5A - If municipal water, when you connect the water hose to the street-side fitting, that provides water to all of your faucets, the toilet, and the water heater, but NOT to yuor freshwater tank. You also do not need the freshwater pump, and can't even activate it; the pressure provided by municipal water keeps the pressure switch for the pump from coming on.
5B - If you're using onboard water, then you have to stick your hose into the gravity-fill port on the curbside, located right below the municipal water hookup. Fill the tank until it just overflows onto the ground. Go inside and turn on the pump. Leave the switch in the "on" position.
From this point, all the steps are once again the same for both municipal and onboard water.
6 - Open one faucet, with the lever all the way over to "hot." When water flows from the faucet in a steady stream without spurting air, the water heater is full. You can now turn on your water heater.
7 - Open the other faucet on hot to bleed air out of it.
8 - Then turn both faucets all the way over to cold, to bleed air from the cold side.
9 - Also flush your toilet once, allowing the bowl to fill about halfway before pressing the foot pedal the rest of the way to drain the bowl. This bleeds air out of the toilet line.
That's it. System is full, pressurized, and ready to use. Now it's time to check for leaks. That's why we left the drawer out, so you can check for leaks around the pump. When you're satisfied that the system isn't leaking, put the drawer back in, and you're done. Next time you use your RV, you'll be able to skip steps 1 through 4, and jump straight to Step 5, at least until the next time you winterize.
Nicely written. Even I can follow this.
Tnx: Dennis
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:18 AM   #50
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You're absolutely right, it is in the manual, though not neatly compiled. The information is scattered throughout the Plumbing section, and there is no convenient riser diagram like in the trailer manuals to show where the valves are.

Plus, I forgot one step when writing out the procedure (see, that's why checklists are so handy!):
Sometime before Step 6, you also have to open the street-side rear door and reach under the sofa to make sure the water heater bypass is in the open position (closed bypasses the heater). As with the drain valves, once this is open, you won't have to worry about it again until you winterize or until someone pulls maintenance oon the water heater.
And that water heater bypass valve is a bitch to reach. I found it helps to move the bed forward some to open up some space to get your arm in to reach the valve. It took me a while to even locate the darn thing.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:42 AM   #51
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Is open defined by the valve handle aligned with the pipe? If so all valves are in that position.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:04 AM   #52
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Is open defined by the valve handle aligned with the pipe? If so all valves are in that position.
That is your problem right there. Yes, open is the handle in line with the tubing in all cases.

Low point drains (4, two each under the galley drawers and under the curb-side cup holder) must be CLOSED.
Any other valves must be OPEN.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:53 AM   #53
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I will close all valves and check it out.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:29 AM   #54
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I will close all valves and check it out.
Not all valves, just the four low-point drain valves. The valve for the water heater bypass needs to still be open; so does the valve behind the toilet.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:59 PM   #55
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A caveat: If the pump runs but doesn't prime, then do NOT run it for more than about 15 seconds before shutting it back off! Otherwise you could burn up the rubber impeller, which is repairable but probably not under your warranty. The impeller relies upon water running through the pump for its lubrication.
Airstream uses ShurFlo (or similar) fresh water pumps as does any decent quality RV builder. These pumps do NOT have an impeller and you can run them dry with no problem. Direclty from the ShurFlo website, emphasis mine:

• Quiet Performance
• Runs dry without damage
• Self Priming
• Built-in Check Valve
• Easy Installation
• Enclosed Motor
• Thermally Protected
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:56 AM   #56
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Airstream uses ShurFlo (or similar) fresh water pumps as does any decent quality RV builder. These pumps do NOT have an impeller and you can run them dry with no problem.
I stand corrected. Thank you. It's a Flojet (not ShurFlo) diaphram pump, not a centrifugal pump as I had thought.

Still, it's not a good idea to run it dry. You can't burn up an impeller, but any electric pump relies in part on the water flowing through it to cool the pump. "Thermally protected" means that it will blow a fuse before it overheats if you run it dry. That's infinitely preferable to damaging the pump, but still an annoyance.
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