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Old 09-28-2015, 08:57 AM   #1
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Water pump cycling

As I rarely use a direct water line hook up, I have my pump on almost all the time I am camped. This will cycle on for about a half to one second, about every three hours, occasionally more frequently. There are no leaks the dealer can find, I have searched this out myself and find none.

I was told to simply turn the pump off at night so the noise would not wake me up, but this does not seem to be a solution as the toilet requires water to flush.

Also, there is a small screw which can be adjusted on the pump. What does this do, and which direction increases or decreases the effect from adjusting the screw?

Thanks
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:02 AM   #2
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I had a similar problem last summer. Finally figured out that pressure was leaking back through the pump itself. Some really small leak that would cause the pump to kick on just for a second to repressurize.

The screw is to adjust the pressure switch inside the pump housing.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:29 AM   #3
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There are two possibilities and only two possibilities.

There is a small leak in the system or-

The check valves in the pump are not working as they should.

In absence of external leakage, the only fix is to replace the pump or to deal with the cycling.

In the old days the pump might have been repaired or rebuilt, not so in our modern disposable society.


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Old 09-28-2015, 08:58 PM   #4
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Depending on the pump you may be able to get new diaphragm for it, this is the part that pumps. The check valves are actually the diaphragm flaps themselves, and not separate check valves as you would imagine. If the diaphragm gets dirt in it it can cause slow back leakage and symptoms you describe . You can try cleaning yours first.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:27 PM   #5
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The water pump in my trailer acts exactly like yours - always has. Over a few hours, it will lose enough pressure for the pump to kick on for a second or two. No leaks that I've found. Some nights it doesn't kick on at all. We've gotten used to turning the pump off (as well as the water heater) when we go to bed, and flip it back on if you get up to use the bathroom, and on in the morning. I suppose a new pump, or rebuilding mine, might help the situation. If it were a new trailer, it would probably bother me more, too.
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:22 PM   #6
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A friend got a new to him Airstream, and put a new variable speed pump in it. It would cycle on and off every few minutes, but there were no leaks in the system.'

I took the pump apart and found a small curly cue of polly plastic under one of the pump's 4 valves. I removed it with a pair of tweezers and put it back together, and the problem was solved. I suspect something like that in this case too.
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Old 09-29-2015, 02:49 AM   #7
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As this has been a problem since new, I believe I will request the pump be replaced under warranty.




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Old 09-29-2015, 07:36 AM   #8
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Our pump has done the same thing for the last 10yrs, cycles on for 2-3sec every 5hrs or so.

We used to leave the pump on 24/7, 'til we woke up one night with a flooded bathroom floor.......cross threaded/split line connection.


The Classic has a pump switch in the B/room, (convenient for mid-night visits,) it now gets turned off a night, or when no ones in the trailer.

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Old 09-29-2015, 08:21 AM   #9
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This is looking for a problem where there is none! It is astounding that a simple rubber diaphragm can work that well....... one second every couple of hours.... are you kidding!? If I were the Airstream dealer I would laugh at any claim, but no doubt they'll fit another pump, and then the new one will likely do the same.

I really wouldn't let it worry me. That pump is fine. I suppose it should be a testimony to the general quality of the product that a non-issue can become an issue.

Robert is right, however, it is simple common sense to turn the pump off when not in use for extended periods.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:27 AM   #10
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I have a similar issue and was thinking of adding an in-line pressure tank like this one. Just haven't yet. Not a lot of room just aft of my pump before the hot/cold split.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:38 AM   #11
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The whole point of the constant pressure pumps is that you don't need a pressure tank. Before the newer pumps came along you had to have a tank for smooth water flow and to have a decent shower. I've had those tanks, and they are a pain.

Come on now folks! If you have a pump that cycles for a few seconds every hour (even), and if there is no leak other than within the pump itself, then there are no detrimental effects and nothing to correct. This is looking for something to solve when there is nothing requiring a solution.

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Old 09-29-2015, 09:40 AM   #12
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Best to be cautious and make sure there are no leaks since water, mildew and rot are all unwanted. When I was working on boats I would use a little food coloring to help find a leak...just don't use yellow!
If it is in the pump maybe cap or shut down the system near the pump to help prove or disprove. I believe that an accumulator tank is recommended as part of a well designed system (it can go almost anywhere & I mounted mine under the galley sink because of limited room in the '58 18' Traveler.
PS I do not believe that a cycling pump is "normal" ...we lived aboard a sailboat for almost 20 years...the freshwater system was left on all of the time unless we went away for a day or so....No Cycling from the Shurflow pump unless it needed repair or there was a leak.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punch View Post
The whole point of the constant pressure pumps is that you don't need a pressure tank. Before the newer pumps came along you had to have a tank for smooth water flow and to have a decent shower. I've had those tanks, and they are a pain.

Come on now folks! If you have a pump that cycles for a few seconds every hour (even), and if there is no leak other than within the pump itself, then there are no detrimental effects and nothing to correct. This is looking for something to solve when there is nothing requiring a solution.

Dear me!
In my case I was thinking of the accumulator so the pump wouldn't kick on every time I cracked a faucet. Thinking it would stop some of the cycling, including the problem the OP is having.
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:01 AM   #14
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A pump should NOT cycle at all, when no water is being drawn. If it does there is either an internal leak in the pump, which is not normal, or an external leak which is also not normal.

The pumps in both my trailers can be left on for days and weeks without use and never cycle. That is what is normal. If they do start to cycle, I know that there is an external leak and I then find it. A small internal leak causing the pump to cycle would mask that small external leak and the result would be water damage discovered sometime later.

So, you can laugh at me for not wanting the pump to cycle when no water is being used, but it is a very useful tool for real water leak detection.
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