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Old 05-18-2015, 10:46 PM   #1
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2002 19' Bambi
Colorado Springs , Colorado
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Wondering about water flow - what should we see?

We bought our 19' Bambi last fall and only took it out once in the fall without needing to use the "plumbing". This spring we got it out and started through learning about the "plumbing" by filling the fresh water tank, checking all the valves and started the water pump - we heard the pump but there was no water at any of the valves. Since the unit was 13 years old I just ordered a new pump to match the existing pump, installed, refilled the fresh water tank, turned on the pump and found water pour out of the hot water tank.

After replacing the hot water tank with an identical model from Atwood I repeated the steps to fill the fresh water, turned on the pump and I could hear it filling the hot water tank. I opened the faucets to let the air out and I heard a lot of air then sputtering and then finally a very low flow of water from the shower, the lav and the kitchen sink. I turned them on one at a time to try and get the air out of the lines.

I was never more than a small stream from any one. I have checked the the faucets for debris in the heads and those are clean.

Is this all we will get from each of the plumbing faucets? We are concerned about having water to shower. Before we take it to get checked I was hoping someone here would be able to educate me.


Ron & Michelle Elstun
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:18 AM   #2
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There should be a flow almost as strong as at home. Does the new pump build pressure and shut off normally? Is the pressure low after pump shuts off immediately after turning on faucet...or does it have good flow for a few seconds, then taper off?

Did PO install a winterizing kit before the pump....and is it fully in the open or "use" position?

Is there normal full pressure while hooked to city water?


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Old 05-19-2015, 07:05 AM   #3
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I hope you saved the old pump and water heater.

There is probably more of a chance that the old pump is ok, than there is that water heater is ok.

There are some good uses for a spare water pump. And the old water heater would be good for parts.

I worry that you may have figuratively bought a new mandolin because the old one was out of tune. ( sorry….dumb mandolin joke )

Wow…it's hard to diagnose without being there and doing some tests.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:23 AM   #4
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Try hooking up city water to test the plumbing, that will tell you if the problem is in the pipes or in the pump.

We had problems with our water system, the hose from the tank to the pump was so old it was sucking air and loosing prime. $10 at the hardware store fixed us up
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:19 PM   #5
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Hook up a hose to the water pump inlet. Drop it in large container of water. Turn on your pump and see if the system will pressurize. If not, you need to look for open drain valve and/or faucets in the plumbing. If it does pressurize your fresh water intake line must be at fault. Make sure you have the tank full of water.
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:32 PM   #6
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Assuming that all your testing was done with just the fresh water tank / pump system, if you have not done so, you might double check that water isn't flowing backwards out of your city water inlet out onto the ground. There is a normally a check valve in the system at the city water int connection and if it is defective you will lose most of your pump pressure pushing water out there!

Also, depending on your trailer model, you might have an external valve located somewhere near your site water inlet as well. if it has been left open you would lose pump pressure by water exiting the system that way too.

Just something to check if you have not already done so.

As well, your trailer should have low point drain valves someplace under the trailer, onion the hot water piping and one on the cold. If either - or both - of these were left open, you would of course lose pressure also.

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Old 05-20-2015, 10:51 AM   #7
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Do you have an outside faucet / shower? If the outside water valve(s) are left open, even though no water is flowing (the handheld valve is off), pressure inside can be greatly reduced.
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:55 PM   #8
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2002 19' Bambi
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Thank you for the tips. I know the pump is working and the water heater is producing hot water, just a low flow. Going to try again tonight - starting with the city water and see if "Thumper" has time to think about this issue - Ron

Ron & Michelle Elstun
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:17 PM   #9
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2002 19' Bambi
Colorado Springs , Colorado
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Just back from our first three night stay in Rocky Mountain National Park, Moraine Park Campground. Water flow was good and the we were pleased. There are no hook-ups in this campground, so we ran off the fresh water tank only.

Thank you again for the tips in this thread - we really appreciate the Airstream Forum members....Ron

Ron & Michelle Elstun
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:09 PM   #10
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Each of your faucets will have a strainer at the outlet end. Remove yours and you will likely see it's plugged with debris. Clean and re-install ( or get new ones ). I've had the same problem a few times and this fixes it for me. The bath shower head may be cleanable too or simple to replace.

Roger in NJ

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