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Old 03-18-2013, 05:57 PM   #15
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Same problem.

Dealer told me I needed the water level completely full, but that didn't help. They got it primed and advised they had found a lot of plastic shaving in the line.

Drained all the water during a ski trip to Tahoe to prevent water freezing in the lines. After I filled it back up it wouldn't prime.

Dealer walked me through checking the filter screen (most plastic shavings, but removing them didn't help)

I was able to get it primed by messing with the drain valves open and closed until it eventually primed. Overall I'm not thrilled with the performance of this units ability to 'self prime'.

Pressuring the tank as recommended in other posts may work great, but that's not really 'self priming' either.
Before giving up on self-priming, next time, try this…
Fill the fresh tank brim full. If it's full, the pump doesn't have to lift the water as far.
Open every faucet, about halfway between hot and cold, to let any trapped air between pump and faucets bleed out of the lines.
The pump will not prime if it's pumping against back-pressure created by trapped air.
Then turn on the pump. If water isn't running in about 30 seconds, shut off the pump to avoid damaging it.
If that doesn't work, then add air pressure to the freshwater tank and try again.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:38 PM   #16
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Good tip.

So just the 2 sinks, correct? You don't have to mess with the dump valves?
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:56 PM   #17
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Good tip.

So just the 2 sinks, correct? You don't have to mess with the dump valves?
Two sinks and the toilet. One foot on the toilet foot lever, partway, like you're filling the bowl.

I think you mean the low-point drains. But no, if the faucets are open, the low point drains shouldn't need to be open as well. Opening the low point drains does the same thing as opening the faucets, but the faucets are just easier; with the bathroom door open you can reach everything from right there near the pump switch.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:06 PM   #18
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The most common cause of the pump failing to prime is a loose filter bowl. Look at the pump and you will see a clear bowl with a metal strainer inside. The bowl unscrews to dump any trash inside and lets you clean the filter. Do this.
Check the rubber seal to be sure it is not cut or deformed. Put the bowl back on and see if it will prime. (try leaving on faucet open until water flows) Be sure that you do not have city water on. Be sure you have water in the fresh water tank.
As the pump runs, you should see water flowing in the filter bowl. If you get a mix or water and air then the filter bowl is not on correctly or the water inlet is either broken or not positioned at the bottom of the tank.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:21 PM   #19
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How far from the tank is the pump?
I frequently have to prime the pump in our coach. The water line including the inline strainer is only about 18" long.
Even when I open the faucets it won't prime. I use to disconnect the discharge hose at the pump, then run the pump until a little water comes out. Then it would be fine for days.
It seems to get an air bubble in the pump, especially after traveling with less than 3/4 tank.
I installed a 2 way valve (which is in a tee) in the discharge line of the pump. If you can picture the letter tee (upper case). The pump line is connected to one end of the top of the tee, the other end of the top of the tee is to the water supply line to the coach. The leg of the tee goes to a drain line.
When it won't prime, I just turn the handle on the tee until water goes out the drain line and the pump sounds like it is working. Then turn the handle back to the original position and everything is fine.
The pump is the original (39 years) so it may be on it's last days. But has been working fine once primed for over 3 years.
The biggest problem I have is the location of the pump. It's under the dinette seat. A minor inconvenience.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:00 AM   #20
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How far from the tank is the pump?
I frequently have to prime the pump in our coach. The water line including the inline strainer is only about 18" long.
In the Interstates we're discussing, the pump is directly above the fresh tank, at floor level under the galley.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:59 AM   #21
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You can't damage the pump by letting it run dry. It doesn't work that way. These little pumps actually move a flexible flap up and down and require no lubrication. They can run all day dry without damage. In fact, I did that once. However, I did replace the noisy stock pump for another quieter model that varies the flow based on the need rather than full on-off. I hated how loud the stock pump was.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:57 PM   #22
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Well, you can't make a comment like that and not tell us what better replacement you used.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:17 PM   #23
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Well, you can't make a comment like that and not tell us what better replacement you used.
Sorry about that. I replaced it with the Flojet R4515743A 3.7 GPM VSD pump. It hardly makes a sound since it isn't "full on" everytime you open the faucet. I also insulated it using some foam padding, to make it even quieter. This pump can be replaced without changing the fittings although I did make a slight change in how AS installed the original by cutting the inflow line, and using a threaded adapter, and then threading on a standard faucet hose, which is how they did the outflow side. This allowed me to move the pump over a bit for better placement, and use a bigger screen filter that came with it rather than the one that AS used. I can now very easily reach the screen filter by removing the lower drawer.

I hated how loud the original pump was. I felt everytime I got up to use the bathroom at night when boondocking and camping out, everyone within 100 yards of me knew it. Now, no one is the wiser.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:35 PM   #24
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HI replaced my pump with the new flojet as well, after 38 years the original one's
diaphragm was like rock. Used to be able to find these but could not now. Easy to replace. Hanging onto the old one hoping to find parts. PS it is nice with the new constant flow pump, no on off cycle.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:30 PM   #25
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My pump also stopped pumping after recent road trip. The tank was pretty low, so I filled it to the max and now pump works OK.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:11 PM   #26
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HI replaced my pump with the new flojet as well, after 38 years the original one's
diaphragm was like rock. Used to be able to find these but could not now. Easy to replace. Hanging onto the old one hoping to find parts. PS it is nice with the new constant flow pump, no on off cycle.
Since you're hanging onto the old one, you might try to restore it. Soak it in hot water, then rub glycerine onto it. Should soften it up at least a little bit, so that the old one could be useful as a spare.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:38 PM   #27
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Make sure the water heater is filled through city connection. Fill fresh tank full. Turn on pump(at least Flo-jet does this). Open faucet at galley first w/hot valve and should prime immmediately. Then open to cold side and repeat w/bath and shower faucets.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:22 PM   #28
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I am late on this discussion, but when I first got my 71 Caravel and replaced the PAR pump with a Flo Jet, it would not prime. All it would do is pump air. I tightened up every connection, checked the strainer and all that, still got air. I finally found that the original rubber intake hose was leaking air into it when the suction of the pump tried to pull water from the below floor tank. It did not leak water out, or even weep, but when the pump ran it pulled air right through that hose. Replaced the hose, and the thing always primed just fine after that. It was a real head scratcher though.
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