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Old 12-10-2019, 06:36 PM   #1
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Macerator pump leak

I am experiencing a dripping of liquid when the either the black or gray tank valves are opened and prior to running the pump. This dripping continues after both valves are closed. When I first noticed this it was a slight drip. With each successive pumping the dripping becomes greater.

I have tighten every hose clamp I can find in the area of the macerator but this has not solved the issue. I am unable to gain a sufficient view of the area to determine the exact source of the leak.

I would appreciate any advice on how to deal with this issue.

Thanks John1048
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John1048 View Post
I am experiencing a dripping of liquid when the either the black or gray tank valves are opened and prior to running the pump. This dripping continues after both valves are closed. When I first noticed this it was a slight drip. With each successive pumping the dripping becomes greater.

I have tighten every hose clamp I can find in the area of the macerator but this has not solved the issue. I am unable to gain a sufficient view of the area to determine the exact source of the leak.

I would appreciate any advice on how to deal with this issue.

Thanks John1048

It would certainly help if you could describe the exact location of the leak. Is it at one of the dump valves, the macerator, etc? Until then, any advice is just speculation.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:23 AM   #3
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I had two leaks in that area that were recently repaired. First, the fitting in the hose reel was loose. I could see the problem if I pulled the dump hose out all the way and rotated the drum to the right place. Second, the macerator housing had a crack. We could see that the leak was near the hose fittings but in the housing itself.

I hope this helps. In any case, don't wait on the repairs, the mess only gets worse.
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Old 12-11-2019, 07:12 AM   #4
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If the leak is between the dump valves and the macerator I would guess it is the accordion hose connection to the macerator inlet. Airstream used a hose that is close to the right size, and fills the 'close' with a boat-load of silicon. Elsewhere on this forum a thread descries how to replace this hose with a fitting that allows manual dumping through a stinky-slinky. Key to this modification is a rubber reducer: Valterra F02-2104 Flexible Reducer Coupler-3" I think you can use this reducer too replace the accordion hose even if you choose not to install the manual dump fitting.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by John1048 View Post
I am experiencing a dripping of liquid when the either the black or gray tank valves are opened and prior to running the pump. This dripping continues after both valves are closed. When I first noticed this it was a slight drip. With each successive pumping the dripping becomes greater.

I have tighten every hose clamp I can find in the area of the macerator but this has not solved the issue. I am unable to gain a sufficient view of the area to determine the exact source of the leak.

I would appreciate any advice on how to deal with this issue.

Thanks John1048
Hi John1048,*

We're very sorry to learn about the issue you are having. Please send us a direct message with your contact information and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team. We look forward to helping you get this resolved.

You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at*customer_support@airstream.com*

Thank you.*
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:09 PM   #6
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Reply to location question

Being totally inexperienced in this, the best guess that I can make as to the location of the leak is at the macerator. There is no leak prior to opening either black or gray valves and then when either opens the dripping begins.

From crawling under the unit the liquid appears to be falling from the metal flange jutting from the frame that I believe the macerator pump rests upon. However this metal flange blocks my view of the hoses attaching to the macerator so at this stage I cannot determine if the dripping is coming from inlet or outlet side or the macerator body itself.

John1048
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Old 12-11-2019, 04:47 PM   #7
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Further update. After reading other threads on the forum which led me to view YouTube videos I crawled back under the unit with more idea of what to look for. My visual inspection would suggest that the leak is coming from the pump body where the inlet portion of the pump housing separates from the impeller housing. I saw nothing to suggest that the leak is coming from any hose connection. I understand from watching Shurflo service videos on YouTube that this assembly is held in place by four nuts on shafts with paper gaskets and a wear plate between the two pump body components. I cannot see the nuts at this point as I believe the large hose from the black tank covers over these.

Is there anyone out there that can confirm that these nuts are accessed by removing the black tank house? From other posts I am hopeful that tightening these nuts may resolve the problem. If not the pump may need to be rebuilt to renew gaskets or replaced entirely.

Thanks for any help or advice.
John1048
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:52 PM   #8
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Yes. The nuts and bolts holding the pump together are inside the suction hose.
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:54 PM   #9
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I installed a new macerator pump which immediately leaked from the pump housing. The manufacturer replaced it. There are seals in the pump that can go bad.
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Old 12-13-2019, 01:30 AM   #10
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My experience with this is that you cannot empty the pump completely and during freezing the water in the pump will expend the 4 long bolds in my case one broke. I replaced the complete macerater and installed the second outlet so I can get all the water out before freezing.
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Old 12-13-2019, 03:02 PM   #11
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Thank you for your assistance. What was the manufacturer and model number of the replacement macerator?

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Old 12-14-2019, 05:15 PM   #12
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It is a flojet model 18550000A by Xylem.
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:38 PM   #13
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Macerator leak update

I was able to remove the accordian hose that mates to the macerator pump housing. This allowed me to empty all fluid remaining in hose and let the unit sit overnight to determine if any fluid was leaking past the black or gray tank valves as was suggested by AS customer service.

As a result I am confident that no fluid is passing by these valves. With the macerator pump more exposed I was able to inspect visually more closely and found two points where I am experiencing leaking. The first is at one of the lower bolts that holds the stacked pump assembly together. The other is at the seal between where the first inlet component mates to the impeller housing. Tightening all bolts did not stop either of the two leaking points. If I loosened the leaking bolt I actually got a greater leak at that point.

I was surprised that even after about 18 hours there was still fluid leaking. The pump must hold quite a bit of fluid all times which should be cause for alarm in severe freezing conditions.

I have not tried to remove pump yet as I thought I would sleep on this for a while with my first impression is to replace the pump entirely as it is not a terribly expensive item ($154 on Walmart and Amazon).

Thanks for everyone's help.
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Old 12-16-2019, 08:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passin Thru View Post
I installed a new macerator pump which immediately leaked from the pump housing. The manufacturer replaced it. There are seals in the pump that can go bad.
This is exactly what is happening to mine. Warranty expired on it (only one year) so it is on me to replace it.

Right now it is just a drop, no major leak, and with now immediate travel plans, I will replace next year.
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Old 12-16-2019, 09:02 PM   #15
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Here is the gasket kit if you just want to replace those to stop the leak

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Here is the bolt kit:

https://www.amazon.com/Jabsco-Older-...HJJCDN8300FMKK


Or a complete overall to the pump

https://www.amazon.com/Jabsco-18598-...MCB0NZ33XPFGVV
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Old 12-17-2019, 11:01 AM   #16
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Is the FLOJET and Jabsco macerators the same

For PASSIN THRU, I clicked on your links and these parts are for a Jabsco macerator. My pump is a FLOJET Model # 18550300C. Are the two brand names actually the same pump body?
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Old 12-17-2019, 07:06 PM   #17
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I installed the gasket kit on my spare macerator so I know those work and match the gaskets taken out.

If you read the comments on the complete kit one person said it was a fit for the flojet. I personally have not used that kit.
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Old 12-30-2019, 06:21 PM   #18
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Macerator leak update

Received a new pump and installed same which resolved the problem of the leaking at the macerator pump. Best of all everything worked when put it all back together and I have all the skin on my knuckles that I began with nor am I missing any tools or have parts left over that I don't where they they came from (all things that normally occur when I take on projects like this).

I have all the members of this forum and AS Customer Support that offered guidance and advice to thank as before I attempted anything I was armed with sufficient accurate information so as not to to encounter the unexpected.]

So the take away from this exercise:

The leaking definitely came from failure of the paper seals between the pump stacked assembly of the component housing the blades and the pump body component housing the impeller. No amount of tightening the four bolts and nuts that join these components would stop the leaking. Inspection of the paper seals showed telltale traces of blue staining from the AquaChem I use in the black tank indicating a pathway. I have ordered new seals and intend to rebuild the old pump and keep as a spare.

So why did a pump in use for only about 2 1/2 years or 13,000 miles fail? I suspect I may have caused such. I grew frustrated by pumping my tanks to the point where I began to encounter surging or cavitation and then stopping only to go inside and see 5 to 10% remaining in either tank. So I started to experiment with pumping further into the surging or slugging and was able to achieve 0% on the display inside the van. However that is is when the leaking began as a slight dripping and then progressed. While there does not seem a way that I know of to definitively know for sure the cause of the seal failure I can assure all I will no longer pump these tanks after the first cessation of steady flow.

The other item I learned in all of this is the surprisingly large amount of fluid left in the macerator pump's body at all times that should cause concern about freezing in hard freeze conditions. But I would offer that the the manner in which the pump is mounted on a bracket that is suspended from the van's chassis frame would allow wrapping the entire pimp body in insulation materials that should offer some degree of protection.

Again, thanks to all who offered their guidance, advice and help. I truly appreciate this forum.

John1048
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John1048 View Post
For PASSIN THRU, I clicked on your links and these parts are for a Jabsco macerator. My pump is a FLOJET Model # 18550300C. Are the two brand names actually the same pump body?
Quote:
Originally Posted by John1048 View Post
Received a new pump and installed same which resolved the problem of the leaking at the macerator pump. Best of all everything worked when put it all back together and I have all the skin on my knuckles that I began with nor am I missing any tools or have parts left over that I don't where they they came from (all things that normally occur when I take on projects like this).

I have all the members of this forum and AS Customer Support that offered guidance and advice to thank as before I attempted anything I was armed with sufficient accurate information so as not to to encounter the unexpected.]

So the take away from this exercise:

The leaking definitely came from failure of the paper seals between the pump stacked assembly of the component housing the blades and the pump body component housing the impeller. No amount of tightening the four bolts and nuts that join these components would stop the leaking. Inspection of the paper seals showed telltale traces of blue staining from the AquaChem I use in the black tank indicating a pathway. I have ordered new seals and intend to rebuild the old pump and keep as a spare.

So why did a pump in use for only about 2 1/2 years or 13,000 miles fail? I suspect I may have caused such. I grew frustrated by pumping my tanks to the point where I began to encounter surging or cavitation and then stopping only to go inside and see 5 to 10% remaining in either tank. So I started to experiment with pumping further into the surging or slugging and was able to achieve 0% on the display inside the van. However that is is when the leaking began as a slight dripping and then progressed. While there does not seem a way that I know of to definitively know for sure the cause of the seal failure I can assure all I will no longer pump these tanks after the first cessation of steady flow.

The other item I learned in all of this is the surprisingly large amount of fluid left in the macerator pump's body at all times that should cause concern about freezing in hard freeze conditions. But I would offer that the the manner in which the pump is mounted on a bracket that is suspended from the van's chassis frame would allow wrapping the entire pimp body in insulation materials that should offer some degree of protection.

Again, thanks to all who offered their guidance, advice and help. I truly appreciate this forum.

John1048
John,

Where did you ordered the macerator from? Amazon only lists the FloJet 18550000A not the 18550300C
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:32 AM   #20
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John,

Where did you ordered the macerator from? Amazon only lists the FloJet 18550000A not the 18550300C
I replaced mine with the Flojet 18550000A 13 GPM RV Macerator Pump from Ama_on. I remember reading somewhere that it is interchangeable/ or a replacement for the 18550300C.

It's worked well for 2 years now!
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