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Old 07-09-2014, 12:33 AM   #1
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Water Regulator failure? User error?

We went camping this weekend and had some major plumbing issues crop up. We have an appointment for service but that won't be for another month and a half.

When we arrived at our campsite we hooked up to the city water during set-up. We use a Valterra water pressure regulator attached to our freshwater hose at the spigot. Within minutes, my daughter needed to use the potty. I went in after to flush for her. The flap opened, contents drained, but no water was flowing. I mashed the pedal again and water shot out of the toilet. We disconnected from the city line and used our freshwater tank afterwards. All seemed well, but on the second day we noticed that the water pump was running briefly every 2-3 hours. Found some water, not much, in the cabinet with the water pump but could not tell where exactly it was coming from. All lines seemed dry, just water puddled on the floor...for all I know, it could be from the AC or refrigerator, both of which are leaky unto themselves. Anyway, to prevent further problems, we drained the freshwater tank and spent the rest of the weekend flushing with a bucket of water and using the washroom facilities of the campground.

I don't know what to make of this. I am worried that the plumbing is ruined but at least we are still under warranty. Any thoughts on what might have caused this chain of events? My first thought was that we hooked up without the regulator, but hubby says it was on properly. Next thought was maybe the water pump had been on when it should have been off (when using city water) but that's just a stab in the dark. Then, perhaps the regulator failed, how does one determine that without sacrificing the plumbing?
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:58 AM   #2
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You have not ruined your plumbing. It is a new trailer, little things like this happen. Mine had a leak in the cold water filter to the kitchen sink. Dealer fixed it immediately under warrantee.

There is already a water pressure regulator in the AS, the external one you have used only wound up protecting the hose itself, so again, you did nothing wrong.

I can't guess from here the exact problem, but your dealer should be able to fix it without you having to wait a month and a half. You paid a very substantial price for the trailer, and should be able to use it now, not have to wait. Call them and be firm, you need a repair now not later.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:58 AM   #3
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Hi, your trailer already has a built in water pressure regulator so in most cases, you don't need another one. Camp grounds with high water pressure usually let you know so you can use another pressure regulator to prevent blowing up your fresh water hose. From what you said, I would guess that your water hose was full of air and this created things not to work and then slam with force. For the sake of dirt, I always turn on the water spigot until water flows out the end of my hose before connecting it to my trailer. [just a guess, I wasn't there]
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
I can't guess from here the exact problem, but your dealer should be able to fix it without you having to wait a month and a half. You paid a very substantial price for the trailer, and should be able to use it now, not have to wait. Call them and be firm, you need a repair now not later.
Their dealer likely has many other customers, all who spent a substantial price for their rig, all who want their problem solved just as badly.
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:37 AM   #5
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Something you can try is to see if the fittings are tight on the water pump. Simply grab the screw on fitting, and try to turn it. If it turns easily, it is loose, and tighten it like you would the hose on the campground spigot to tighten it.
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:35 AM   #6
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Just taking a stab, but water shooting out of the toilet is a "normal" thing. When one connects to a city water source, there is always air in the hose and this causes a bit of spurting and spitting of water when first opening the faucets and flushing the toilet.

The pump is a little less likely to cause the spurting, because it builds up pressure more slowly than opening the valve on the city water supply.

I try to remember to bleed the pressure off slowly at each faucet after connecting to a water supply, so no one gets a surprise.


As for the puddle of water at the pump, yes the source of that needs to be located.


Regards,

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Old 07-09-2014, 06:51 AM   #7
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It does sound like air in the lines which had to clear.

As for the leak, the water heater is designed to have an air bubble in the top to absorb expansion pressure as it heats up. This air bubble can be absorbed over time or lost for other reasons. If it is not present, higher pressures can mount in the plumbing than the system fittings/valves can hold.

Here is a procedure to restore the air bubble in the hot water heater from Airstream customer service:

http://wbcci.org/general-information...-february-2013

The water pump should not recycle every few hours if no water is used; that indicates a leak in the system. The above procedure may resolve the problem. If not look further to locate the leak.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:00 AM   #8
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Another source for a puddle by the pump is the strainer on the inlet. There is a cap on the strainer that could be loose. Mine was loose from the factory causing just such a puddle.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:14 AM   #9
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Yay air in the line!

Ok, so the toilet explosion sounds like air in the line was the culprit. That is a big relief. I think bleeding the lines warrants a place on the set-up checklist. User error - yay!

On the other hand, it sounds like the puddle near the water pump is an unrelated problem. I would like to get it serviced faster and need to speak with hubby about it again to see how the conversation went down - perhaps I need to call myself.

In the meantime the leak could be caused by loose fittings, loose strainer, or loss of air bubble in the hot water heater? I'll check under the kitchen sink also, I stopped the leak hunt when I saw water at the pump.

Thank you for all the input.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:49 AM   #10
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In all likelihood, the water at the pump is a leak, so start with that. If that doesn't fix it, start checking other places. As you noticed, using the water pump is an excellent method to find those leaks. Note, since it isn't running often, it's not a HUGE leak, probably just a slight drip somewhere.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:04 AM   #11
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What have you found out?
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:26 AM   #12
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Tightened connections

Got under the cabinet and tightened all the connections. Not sure if any were loose enough to cause the leak, but we will see. Per my hubby, he passed on an earlier service date due to a scheduling conflict.
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