Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-28-2010, 09:20 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
1973 29' Ambassador
El Paso , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Poor Water Pressure

I have a 1974 Airstream Ambassador with a rear bath. I have had problems with poor water pressure for sometime, additionally I have had leaks in the p-trap and pvc piping from the bath underneath the trailer. I've taken the trailer to several different shops and no one wanted to touch it. When I finally got someone to work on it they took the skin off of the back of the trailer and seemingly repaired all of the leaks, although there is a crack in my auxillary tank that they tried to "patch" but it still leaks, so I am not using it to hold water. The problem with the water pressure is that when I first turn the water on I get GREAT pressure for about 5 seconds, then it goes down to a drizzle, sometimes a complete stop. They checked the water pump and all the faucets. They found a lot of sediment and cleaned it out. Apparently they would let the water run and clean the sediment for about 1 hour. This problem with flow happens in both the bathroom and kitchen, the shower and even the toilet. While it was at the shop it seemed they had fixed the problem. The first time back at the trailer park and it started again IMMEDIATELY. Since it is happening in all water outlets the problem would have to be before the water is split. First off; has anyone experienced this before? Any ideas on fixing it? I think it may have something to do with the water heater. Maybe there is sediment in the heater itself that "plugs up" the outflow. There are no other filters in this system that I know of. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Dave
__________________

__________________
bdavolley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 10:40 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,806
Images: 12
The fact that you have pressure at first and it drops off vary quickly indicates a restriction in the supply line. Pressure will build to the limit of the supply over time even if only a few drops of water can pass the restriction at a time.

Is this problem with both the city and the pump? I would rather doubt it because they are attached to the piping at different locations.

If this is just a city water problem start with the hose and make sure it will flow water while not attached to the trailer. If OK check the inlet screen at the trailer connection. If OK see if you can remove the inlet connection from the trailer piping and test it outside the trailer. There is a regulator in that connection and it may be shot. If the regulator is OK reinstall it. At this point it would almost have to be a collapsed or kinked pipe and that problem would be before the first faucet in the system.

There is no way the hot water heater could effect the cold water side of your faucets.

The fact that you have initial flow says the screen at each faucet are clean and the problem has to be in the supply.
__________________

__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 12:28 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
 
1973 29' Ambassador
El Paso , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Thanks for the post. It happens with both city water and the pump. This phenomenon started happening while the trailer was in a trailer park and it hadn't been moved for months. I did move it to the shop to get fixed and the trailer/hose connection was replaced at that time. When they did the faucet screen cleanings the pressure was back up to normal and ran well for about 1/2 hour until we turned it off. I moved the trailer back to it's original place (about a 90 minute drive), set everything up and the problem started again. I have no idea what could be causing this, and seemingly, neither does the shop. Any other ideas would be helpful.
__________________
bdavolley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 01:24 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,806
Images: 12
The next thing to do is remove the regulator on the city connection, remove one of the cold water supplies to a faucet. Connect a hose to the water line where the regulator was and place it outside the trailer. Tie a bag over the end of the hose. Now back pressure the system with air at the connection you removed from the faucet. See what collects in the bag.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 02:12 PM   #5
1 Rivet Member
 
1973 29' Ambassador
El Paso , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Believe it or not, that was the first thing I did when this started happening and I didn't get much of anything. I may try it again though. The advice from the shop is to drain the water heater and see what sediment comes out. They say that it may effect the pressure on the cold side too. They said there are no reducers in the line and they checked everything thouroughly and the only thing left is the water heater. I am completely gobsmacked on this one. I think the easiest thing is to drain the water heater so I will do that first, see what happens and then try to "blow out" anything with the back pressure idea. Hopefully one of those ideas will work. Thanks again, I truly appreciate it.
__________________
bdavolley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2010, 02:54 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,806
Images: 12
You will find calcium deposited in the bottom of the hot water heater but unless there was a back pressure applied to the hot water side there is no way that can get into the cold side.

If you do drain the hot water heater get a 2 ft piece of 3/8 plastic tube and while the heater is draining insert the tube into the heater so it rests on the bottom of the heater. This will suck what ever is on the bottom of the tank and also drain the last 2 inches of water below the drain hole.

An interesting idea would be to introduce water directly back into the hot water heater through the drain and pressurize the system that way. If the faucets work at that point you will at least know the problem is between the heater and the input.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2010, 09:47 AM   #7
1 Rivet Member
 
1973 29' Ambassador
El Paso , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Good tip. I will probably try that. I was able to drain the water heater (without the tubing method) and not a lot came out. I started to look around the water heater and noticed the supply copper tubing was kinked (in 3 places). I understand why it was kinked, as they tried to mold it around the water heater, but what I don't understand is that it never gave me any problems before and I know I didn't kink it, so it must have been that way since I purchased the trailer. I haven't stored anything in that compartment and have maybe looked at it once since I bought the trailer. Very strange. Anyway, I unhooked the supply and turned on the water. The pressure was terrible. I thought maybe I found my culprit! I cut out the copper tubing and replaced it with plastic tubing, but there was still terrible pressure (although better than before) coming out of the copper and into the plastic. My water tank never filled and the water was on all night. This made me wonder, is there an air release valve in the tank? I would imagine that if I can't release the air in the tank, the tank won't fill, as there is nowhere for the air to go (and maybe that was the problem with the filling). If I can fill the tank I can check the pressure, and hopefully the work is done...for now. Thanks again for your help.
__________________
bdavolley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 06:47 PM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
1973 29' Ambassador
El Paso , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Ok, replaced the kinked copper tubing and......NOTHING! No water, period. I thought maybe it was the releasing of air in the hot water heater, but I left the faucet on, left the city water on and am not getting a drop. Any ideas?
__________________
bdavolley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 07:45 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,806
Images: 12
All right it is time to get serious. You have something in the piping system. If the system was ever opened for a period of time I would assume it is a mouse. Don't laugh that happens a lot more than people want to accept.

I would disconnect the cold water supply tube to the kitchen sink and make up a system to supply city water directly back to the system at that point. Some hose and a few hose clamps should do it.

Apply city pressure at this point and go to other faucets hot and cold, bathroom, toilet, shower and see where you have water flow. Keep in mind that the hot water faucets will get any water back through the hot water heater so don't expect water at the kitchen faucet as the first point you check.

If you get nothing through the cold side do the same on the hot water side of the kitchen sink. One way or the other we will begin to get an idea as to where the blockage is.

One other thought. Is there a diaphragm type pressure regulator just inside the city connection? While one would assume the failure mode of this type regulator would be OPEN FULL FLOW sometimes things don't fail as they are supposed to. If there is such a regulator tap into the system beyond it there first.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2010, 05:23 PM   #10
1 Rivet Member
 
1973 29' Ambassador
El Paso , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
This is going to change things. After working on the pipes some more today I decided to hook up the generator and run the water pump. I have not run the water pump in a while when I originally had problems with both water pump and city pressure. Voila, great pressure at all faucets and the shower. Still nothing from the city line. What now?
__________________
bdavolley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2010, 05:57 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,806
Images: 12
You have defined where the blockage is. Between the general piping of the trailer and the supply coming from the city hook up. I would cut the pipe just inside the city connection and see if the pump will push water out at that point. If so the city connection is the problem. If not you will have to work you way forward until you have water.

If your trailer is copper pipe cutting it is not a problem. Do it with a small close quarters tubing cutter, purchased at any Big Box, and reconnecting is easy with Sea Tech or Shark Bit fittings. Just make sure you cut at a point where the pipe is straight for a couple of inches and round at the point of the cut.

Any section you end up cutting out you can replace with plastic pipe, the fitting will work on both.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2010, 06:28 PM   #12
1 Rivet Member
 
1973 29' Ambassador
El Paso , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Defining is a good thing. I took off the city connection and turned on the water pump, nothing came out. Unfortunately there is a 90-degree angle to the rest of the pipework so I can't snake anything up there. I think I am going to have to remove the skin off of the bottom of the trailer to get to the pipes. Is that the right way to do it, or can I just cut the pipe it where it "pops out" and snake something up there to hopefully clear the blockage? Thanks for the help.
__________________
bdavolley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2010, 08:09 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,806
Images: 12
Not sure I would snake. You may open the line and never know what was in there. I think I would want to know.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2010, 09:45 AM   #14
1 Rivet Member
 
1973 29' Ambassador
El Paso , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
I followed the line late last night and discovered there had been prior work done. Hopefully I will be able to take apart the line and see what gives. I will keep you posted.
__________________

__________________
bdavolley is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
poor pressure pjude Fresh Water Systems 4 07-28-2010 02:15 PM
'71 overlander poor water pressure on waterpump. neokans Plumbing - Systems & Fixtures 2 02-28-2010 02:11 PM
Water Pressure Regulator & External Water Filter safarijim Off Topic Forum 7 02-01-2007 09:17 PM
water pressure or water pump? 59er Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 3 07-01-2005 05:45 PM
HELP - Poor Pedal Pressure swebster Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 10 10-28-2003 07:13 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.