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Old 07-02-2003, 05:20 PM   #1
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Can't seem to get H2O from faucets

Hi fellow Airstreamers:

My '78 31' rear twin with side bath has presented a problem that I have, as of now, been unable to resolve. I am unable to get any water flow from any faucet. I have tried city water with no luck and I have tried the internel pump system with the same dismal results. The pump seems to be operating and the diaphram seems intact. The fresh water tank is full of fresh water. When the pump switch is turned on the pump begins to operate. No water is drawn in and the screen strainer upstream of the pump is dry.

Turning off the pump system and attaching a fresh water hose to the trailer has no effect on the results. No water is flowing.

I have looked for some sort of shut-off valve with no luck. All valves that I can find I have made sure they were turned on, such as the hot water heater valves.

I have the manuals for the trailer and they are near worthless. It seems they ascribe to the 'less is more' theory of knowledge!

The trailer is not leaking H2O and there is none coming inside. With city water applied the pipe pressurizes and then just sits there, as if a valve were not yet turned on.

Any ideas . . .

Thanks for your time to read and respond in advance!

Take care,

Sean
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Old 07-02-2003, 05:26 PM   #2
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winterizing bypass?

Sean,

Some trailers have a winterizing system installed in-line between the pump and the tank. When you turn the valve, you shut off intake from the tank (and the city connector?) and transfer the pump opening to another permanently connected hose that you keep for the purpose of sucking anti-freeze out of a bottle.

You might check to see if you have such a valve installed somewhere. I can't think of any other reason that both the city line and the pump would be affected...

Please let us know what you figure out.

Roger
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Old 07-02-2003, 06:05 PM   #3
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I'm guessing you have copper plumbing.

I'd start at the aerators on the faucets. I have had two occasions where a load of grit went through the lines at my home and cloged every faucet to the point where it was as if the water had been shut off.

When that doesn't help, I'd start at the fresh water inlet at look downstream for the next available connector I could loosen, to try and isolate the problem. There is no point in worrying about the onboard freshwater system until you can get water from the city water supply.

Mark
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Old 07-02-2003, 06:18 PM   #4
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Sure sounds like areators to me, but there is an inline filter near the poump, also. The manual is somewhat unclear. It is a stainless screen in a cartridge.
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Old 07-02-2003, 07:35 PM   #5
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Sean,

no water from either system.................

Does the pump cycle on and then go off, or does it keep running?

Where is your water inlet? rear bumper or elsewhere?

Have you tried opening any of the drain line valves with city water pressure applied?

I cannot envision one thing that would be causing the water not to flow. The plumbing in a center bath trailer should allow some flow hot or cold from one source at least.

The only hint I see is the statemnt regarding the hot water heater valves. If you have a heater bypassall 3 valves should have the handles in the same position, regardless of the valve placement. If they are all horizontal then that is the normal use position, all vertical and that is bypass. This should only affect the water heater, but if the PO installed them and did not place them in the proper locations it could be the culprit.

I would apply city pressure, open a faucet and start turning all of the valves you can find one at a time and see if you start getting water.
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Old 07-02-2003, 09:01 PM   #6
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Hi Folks,

The pump runs continually; it never pressurizes. The stainless screen filter the book refers to is up-stream (in front of) the pump and it is dry! I noticed a cracked cap on the screen so that may be a cause of no draw; maybe a problem partially solved.

My city water inlet is located at the rear bumper. There is a ball valve about 5 feet after the inlet which appears to be a drain valve. With city pressure on the system, opening the ball valve releases a torrent of water from the drain just below the valve. However, nothing seems to be getting into the trailer. Tomorrow I'll get back and check the areator screens and similar areas.

I agree that the city water problem should be solved first, but water from any source sure would be encouraging.

Thanks for all of the ideas and please keep those cards and letters coming!

Sean
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Old 07-02-2003, 09:11 PM   #7
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Just keep working forward opening valves and see where your pressure stops.
If the vessel that contains the inlet screen is cracked that could be part of the pump issue, but is that not below the level of the water in the tank?

If it was cracked it should let water out unless the laws of gravity are not applicable in your unit.
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Old 07-02-2003, 10:14 PM   #8
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Hi -- thenewkid64

The laws of gravity and other astrophysical laws still apply even in the bauxite express!

My pump and the strainer are above the water tank so no gravitational forces nor atmospheric pressure are at work. The cracked screen cover is probably preventing a proper vacuum making the drawing up of water rather difficult.

Thanks,

Sean
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Old 07-02-2003, 10:23 PM   #9
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Sean,
Mine had the original PAR, now Jabsco strainer, and the clear part had a screw to hold it together. It was stripped so the "O" ring leaked air preventing full pressure buildup. I purchased a new strainer, same part number as the old, but with the clear part now a threaded screw on. That solved the problem.
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Old 07-02-2003, 10:28 PM   #10
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Hi Pick,

I think that may be the cause of the pump problem; vacuum leak. Where did you purchase your repair parts? If that solves the pump problem great!

However, I still have the city water problem . . .

Tomorrow: back in there with a vengence!!

Take care,

Sean
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Old 07-02-2003, 10:51 PM   #11
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Prior to an outing several weeks ago, I pumped antifreeze from my main water tank, water heater and lines into the greywater tank and some into the blackwater tank until the pump started spitting. I drove around 137 miles to the campsite for a 4 day fishing trip. When I arrived, I dumped both tanks but forgot the hot water tank. After hooking up to the water system, I realized I had not drained the HW tank so I turned the water off and pulled the plug. Pressure shot water everywhere and I smelled the smell of aluminum along with antifreeze. Sediment and a grey mixture came spilling out. I put just a little more water in and drained again. I then turned the water on, went back into the trailer and turned all faucets on. Kitchen sink drained the rest of the pink antifreeze out, the shower started running clear and while the rest of the antifreeze was running out of the rear bathroom sink it started spitting, air came out for 10 seconds then nothing would come out. I suspect a clogged aerator or a big chunk of scale is caught in the single faucet valve. It never dislodged over the 4 day period and I will probably get around to it this weekend.

Could it be that he has something in his main line?
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Old 08-11-2003, 07:56 PM   #12
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I have also solved my problems and some of this might be of help to others. What is in my system is first, the city water attachment point. Second, is the one-way check valve to prevent house pumped water from exiting the rear of the trailer! Next is a Watts pressure regulator (adjustable, came from the factory set at 45psi (mine did anyway)), and finally, an over pressure pop off valve (Watts brand as well). My overpressure valve decal has disintergrated so I can't tell you the pop off pressure. The PO of my trailer never has a screen at the city water entrance or any plug to seal the system. Bugs apparently started to make some sort of nest there and when city water was hooked up the water pushed the nesting material into the interior plumbing. This material eventually was stopped by the one-way valve, eventually causing the city water system to be inoperative.

The PO also seemed to have been using the internal tank and pump to provide his water. When I tried the system pump it turned on and ran ... and ran ... and ran. No H2O to the system. Discovered the water filter/strainer for the water entering the pump was cracked causing the pump to run on as it couldn't develop a vacuum to draw the water. Fixed that and discovered the pump worked fine except for the cracked bottom cover and side case, both of which leaked severly. This was probably due to poor winterization the year prior to my purchase. This was an estate sale so couldn't talk to PO!

I have cleaned up all of the valves, checked the pressure valve and added a whole house filter to the city water system. I have also replaced the original pump with a FloJet VSD pump. It's quiet and provides copious amounts of water (3.7 gpm). This pump requires no accumulator tank and, did I say, it is quiet!!!

The bottom line is with the industrial quality pressure regulator, proper filtration and high quality one way checkvalve the city water system is near bullet proof. Bring on that high pressure park flow!!!

Hope this is of some help,

Take care,

Sean
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