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Old 03-15-2012, 02:28 PM   #1
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Pump is pumping, but!

I finally got my water heater working the way it is suppose too. Hot showers are going to be so nice.
Now to the problem. My fresh water system works fine hooked up to city supply. When I disconnect and try to use the water from tank at first it works fine and then begins to spit and sputter and blow out air. The PO switched over to a Sureflow pump. I have let it run for a while hoping to clear the air out of the lines several times with no change and the pump is not shutting off when the valve is closed. Also the tank seems too built up a lot of vacuum pressure when the filler cap is tight. Is this normal? It makes no difference if the cap is on or off the tap still spits and sputters.
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:04 PM   #2
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Where is the pump located?

Sounds like it is not getting water from the tank. Perhaps it needs to be primed, that is, fed some water to the intake side.

Also, there may be a filter on the inlet side of the pump that is plugged up.
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:07 PM   #3
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Also make sure that the hose connections between the water tank and the inlet side of the pump are tight enough. (Do be careful at the connection to the tank, of course, if it's old brittle plastic.) One of those connections could be tight enough to prevent leaks but loose enough to allow air into the line when the pump is operating.
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:13 PM   #4
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My '70 Caravel got a new pump, but had the problem you found. After a lot of head scratching, I found that the input hose was leaking, and that under suction, would pull air right through the hose, but at rest the hose did NOT leak water out! Interesting, huh? Anyway, I replaced the intake hose and all was cured. Another rig I had had a crack in the intake filter, and it also sucked in air when the pump ran, but did not leak when it was off. So, maybe one of those two things may be happening to you.
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:39 PM   #5
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You DO have a full tank of white water? Just asking.

YES, I really did meet a noob who didn't know he had to ADD water periodically.

Paula
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:17 PM   #6
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Paula, I just had one of those duaaaa (sp) moments, just kidding, tank is full.
Other suggestions, I will recheck all the lines and the prime situation.
This weekend will have full hookups but I plan on doing some boondocking this summer and would like to get all the systems working off the grid.
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:54 PM   #7
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Michael you say that the tanks builds up a lot of vacuum pressure when used. Correct me if I'm wrong but the original system was a pressurized system IE: you added compressed air to the tank to pressurize it and force the water through the supply lines. If it has been converted to an electric demand pump then the tank must be vented to the atmosphere for the pump to work properly. All demand systems have the supply tank vented to the outside. If you draw water out the fresh air must displace the water or you will indeed create a vacuum. Try running the pump with the vent cap open and see what happens.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:23 PM   #8
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I am going to assume that the old pressure tank is still in the system and it has a fitting on it like that on a tire to enable one to pressurize the tank. Now you have a pump that draws water from the tank. In order to prevent a vacuum on the tank. Try taking the valve core out of the air charge fitting. This will provide the vent. If you find that water spits out of the new vent you just created slip a piece of plastic tubing or hose over the vent. If the tubings open end is high enough, water will not spit out. I would think 12" of tubing or hose would be enough. They do make vent devices for just such a thing but it may be over kill for you situation.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:50 PM   #9
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Update: I fixed the problem today. While doing some deep cleaning in out of the way little areas I found a small pump in line with the water hose hidden behind the water tank. It looks like the type you would use in an aquarium to circulate water. It was not working. I removed it and connected the hoses back together. Low and behold I now have plenty of water pressure and the water is flowing just fine. No more high vacuum issues with the water tank. I can only assume that some previous owner put the pump there trying raise the water pressure.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:41 PM   #10
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What an odd modification someone had made, great sleuthing work to find it!
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFScheck View Post
What an odd modification someone had made, great sleuthing work to find it!
Just blind luck I found it. There was no reason to think that someone would do something like that.
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