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Old 12-12-2010, 10:19 PM   #1
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water pump

I left Charleston, SC at 60 degrees and arrived in Stone Mountain, GA five hours later and at 30 degrees. The problem is that the '72 had been emerged in 32 and below pretty much all day, with the wind a blowin'.

City water was frozen. I suspect an exposed brass fitting at the connector.

I switched to the holding tank and turned on the pump which runs constantly,
and which seems to be pumping AIR along with the h20. Dinky pressure and lots of air at the faucets.

Any help here aside from a new pump? We won't be above freezing again until later in the week.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:10 PM   #2
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Make sure you have water in the tank and at the inlet to the pump. Make sure you have a good piece of hose on the inlet (if it is old and rotten you could be pulling air) and if you have an inline filter check to see if it's clean. If so the next step is to disconnect the discharge line from the pump; turn the pump on. If you get water out, then shut the pump off reconnect the discharge line; open a faucet and turn the pump on. If it works you're good to go; IF NOT WRITE BACK. 32 degrees is not cold enough to freeze anything up in your trailer. The wind blowing makes it seem colder to you (wind chill factor) but it won't affect the water freezing. If it is possible: Keep some kind of heat going. If it gets down to 26 or lower and you can't keep it at least above 30; I would empty all of the tanks and blow out the water lines. 26 or colder will freeze lines solid. If it gets below 20 it may cause damage. It's funny how that works; it isn't the line freezing that breaks it. It happens when the lines start to warm up and the ice expands.
Unless you have heaters on your grey and/or black water tanks, empty them first. since they are exposed to the elements from the bottom.
If your trailer is like my old '74 the fresh water tank is above the floor inside the trailer. so it is a little safer.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:07 PM   #3
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Almost all the copper has been replaced with the new plastic stuff. The hoses from the tank are black rubber and do not look terrific, clamps, etc. No water really at the pump inlet. Air only on the discharge side, and I can hear air bubbling from the tank through its inlet pipe when the pump is on. If this part of the system needs to be airtight, I doubt the hoses and connections I see are completely that. Or is there a breach at the tank, out of sight?

14 degrees below tonight. I made and installed a very nice city water supply hose assembly with heat cable, foam rubber and duct tape. Although WAY too late. I wrapped the loose ends of the cable around both the supply faucet and the inlet assembly. Those are covered with insulation also. Water is good at the supply. But still frozen solid at the trailer inlet.

I have hope that it will thaw out tomorrow with the heat tape assist. Tu hi 34. Wed lo/hi 22/39. Warm weather after that.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:41 PM   #4
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It sounds like you have an air lock in the pump. I'm assuming since the city water line is frozen that you are trying to use water from the fresh water tank. Did you follow the procedure I wrote above? If you don't want to winterize; put some water in the tank, then make sure you have water at the inlet of the pump. Disconnect the discharge hose and turn on the pump. If you get a good flow of water, turn off the pump, reconnect the hose, open a faucet and turn on the pump. If the lines are not frozen you should get water at the faucet. If the lines are frozen and the pump is putting out water, unless you have a leak somewhere the pump should build up pressure and shut off.
Are you able to keep the inside of the trailer warm?
Are you connected to shore power?
Did you switch from city water to house water?
If you have a heavy duty hair dryer you may be able to thaw things out.
WOW! 14 below! I didn't think it ever got that cold there.
Hope it's not too late for the black and grey water tanks.
If the tanks are not full but have something in them, I would go buy 10 gallons of RV anti freeze and dump 5 gallons in each tank. I know it could cost like $50.00 but it's a lot cheaper than replacing the tanks.
Even that may not be enough at this point.
Good Luck
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:54 PM   #5
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If fresh water at the city supply line then use a hair dryer to defrost the inlet (pressure regulator) at the trailer.

The water line from the fresh water tank to the water pump must be air tight or you will mostly pump air.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:43 PM   #6
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Whoops. I meant 14 low. (My girlfriend spent some time in Russia recently where it was averaging 14 BELOW) Plenty warm and happy on shore power and adequate propane. Just no H2O.

Yes, I followed your procedure and and am nearly certain that pump needs to be re-plumbed.

Thank you.

John
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:26 PM   #7
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Finally thawed out. Will be above freezing for a while. I am planning for the next freeze though, and trying to determine whether or not I want to invest in the "nofreezehose" over my homemade version which has already cooked one hose.

I will also look into the cost of replumbing my fresh water tank.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:43 PM   #8
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Hi, I never experienced this, but I have heard that if you remove your fresh water hose and don't cap off the inlet, you will get airy water to your faucets.
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:45 AM   #9
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Airy Water

I don't think it's necessary to cap off the inlet to the pump when you disconnect the hose. Have you tried what I suggested?
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheel1972 View Post
I left Charleston, SC
First mistake..
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielB
First mistake..
Copy that.
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