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Old 08-25-2010, 10:13 PM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Pump Operation Questions

Today I was offloading the on board fresh water from holding tank I had put Clorox in to clean it up in our 76 Sovereign . Water has been stored in it for two years sitting up. Water comes out clean with no residue I can detect.

Water pump turns on and runs maybe 3 minutes and shuts off even with water running full time but takes a while. Turned on water and ran it a little and pump started up again, ran a short while and shut off.

Rig has been sitting up several years.

I see water running through a round device with what appears to be stainless steel screen inside. It gets half way up the clear lens while running. Has a sticker on it that says PAR. Anyone know what PAR means?

The on board water filter has been bypassed and has no cartridge filter in it.

Basically how long should it take to pressure up the water system with the onboard pump assuming nothing is turned on?

When pump shuts off how long should it hold the pressure if no faucets are opened?

I am assuming if it holds the pressure then the pressure switch is OK?
And the pump is OK?

Water seems to circulate and run fine kitchen sink, to Thetford, basin etc using on board tank.

I just ordered a new voltage converter today for it and was thinking the pump would be replaced next but it seems to work?????

Then again this is only AS I have ever been in and I don't know what to expect from a older unit. I had three burst copper lines and one CPVC that had a four inch crack in pipe. A PO had it replumbed in rear compartment years ago. I patched the CPVC with Waterweld and Marinetex. Replaced the fill line for the Thetford with 3/8" Tygon tubing run to the original 3/8 copper pipe I cut off just past the valve and the Tygon snugged right up.

Used high pressure heater hose to repair the 3/4" copper line and holding fine.

Down the road I plan on redoing entire system with PEX.
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:37 PM   #2
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PAR is the name of the Pump. I'm not sure of the history, but they are now made by Jabsco.

The time it takes to pressurize the system depends on many things. All the lines and the water heater need to be filled before it can be pressurized. I open a faucet furthest way to bleed all the air out of the system. I then go to each faucet and open them one at a time until air stop coming out. It can take a couple of minutes to bleed all the air from the trailer.

Once the system is pressurized and the pump stops, it should stay off until a faucet is opened.

It sounds like yours is working correctly.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:32 PM   #3
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1978 31' Excella 500
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The clear canister with the screen you are describing is the filter for the water pump.
It is just a mesh filter to make sure any large debris doesn't get into the pump.
There is a screw in the top of the clear canister which allows you to remove it and the screen for cleaning.
Sounds like your pump and water system are working fine. It can sometimes take several minutes for the system to pressurize so the pump will shut off, especially if there is any air in the lines.
Once pressurized it should not come on until a faucet is opened. If it does it is losing pressure somewhere or still has air in the lines somewhere.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:40 AM   #4
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Thanks much guys. Initially I was thinking I was going to need a pump or switch as it would not cut off at all but then again I did not take into consideration air trapped in a line somewhere which makes perfect sense.

When I pull the stove to replace the power converter I will be able to see more. Best I can tell the converter has broken away from the wall and is just laying there. It won't charge the on board battery and the fuses check out good with a probe light. Thusly when I was on the road for 1700 miles last couple of weeks I had to take a charger with me to keep it up.

I still have a fair amount of work to do to get it going.

Thanks again for inputs.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:12 AM   #5
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It is possible that the water heater is full of air and acting as a sort of holding tank. Did you open a hot water faucet to bleed the air out?
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:15 PM   #6
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Just a comment, but the "high pressure heater hose" you mentioned is probably not certified for plumbing use. It may leach cancer-causing chemicals, similar to garden hose (besides possibly adding an undesirable taste to the water) and, as it ages, sluff off little chunks of rubber into the line. I think most hardware stores have clear tubing that is certified for plumbing, and you may want to think about replacing this at some point in time.

Just a comment from a person who is not a plumber.
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:49 AM   #7
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Yes on both points. After yesterday's submission I went back out and ran the hot water side in the head and it spit and sputtered and then went solid. Yesterday I pressured it up and let it sit for six hours, went back and turned on pump and it did not come on. Last night about 9 I turned it on again and it ran about three seconds and cut off.

The rubber line is only about 2" long at this point. Since the water had been in holding tank for two years we did not drink any on our trip but carried about six gallons of drinking water from home and let the clorox do its thing for a couple of weeks. Also carried drinking water.


I replaced the 3/8" copper going to throne with Tygon and it works perfectly. The new Thetford hand flush has a little seapage from threads as it is very hard to get teflon tape around the threads so while at plumbing shop yesterday I got a tube of paste teflon I will redo that with. Still we cut the valve off under counter going to head when not "in use" as a double safety scenario.

The plan is to replumb the whole thing with PEX. Stopped at plumbing shop yesterday and they told me for about 200 bucks I could get the tool, connections and a hundred feet of 1/2" red and blue for about $200.00. If I can get a short section of 3/4" PEX I might replace the 3/4 with 3/4 but can't see getting a hundred feet of 3/4" when I will only use 30 feet max but at this point I may go ahead and get it and run a water line somewhere else at home.

They told me the joints are still prone to failure from freezing so I will have to wrap them with Armaflex to protect them. But will still have extra tubing run in preparation for that failure.

There is a slight driping on the drain valves. A PO had installed CPVC in back end with extra faucet at inlet point. He used the plastic CPVC in line cut offs and they will not completely cut off.
When I go back I will have cut offs that are ball valves from brass/stainless.

I was thinking there is a small space under sink I could mount a small bladderpressure tank like on the well system and set it up 40 lbs. Only problem is I have never seen a small pressure tank.
Anyone know why this won't work or where I might get one?
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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I would replumb using Pex, but would only use 1/2" and 3/8" Pex. It is available in 5 and 10 ft lengths at Lowes and in 20 ft lengths at most plumbing supply places. 3/4" is overkill. I would have used all 3/8 except for the main supply line from the water pump, but there are just not many 3/8 fittings and shut off valves available in this size.

Lowes has a simple crimp tool available for $25 that will allow you to crimp 3/8, 1/2 and 3/4 fittings with a 10 vise grip. It is not as easy to use as the regular crimp tools but it works in tight quarters which is necessary when working on trailers.

A small plastic pressure tank is available from most all rv suppliers.

Happy plumbing,
Dan
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:12 PM   #9
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Checked PEX out at Home Depot tonight and it seems they have everything needed to reduce 1/2" PEX to the supply lines for bathroom and kitchen sink and some nifty brass ball valves as well.
It would appear it will run me about 200.00 to replumb with all the special Pex fittings etc.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:25 PM   #10
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Hi, this is the tool I bought for changing my bathroom faucet.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:48 AM   #11
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yep that is the tool that HD has and I assume Lowe's has. Now I need to find a small pressure tank I guess.
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