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Old 04-24-2021, 07:18 PM   #1
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2015 30' FB FC Bunk
Ayer , Massachusetts
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Waterpump runs intermittently, then stopped

First time out this year, the pump would come on for a fraction of a second about every 10 minutes.

I figured it was a leak, I was dreading searching for it given the concealed areas of the trailer. This happened when I bought it, I found the leak at the water heater.

5 days later, it stopped. Not once it it do it again. Seems like too long for an air issue.

Any thoughts? Thank you.
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:21 PM   #2
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Waterpump runs intermittently, then stopped

System is loosing pressure somewhere if the pump kicks on momentarily every 10 minutes.....

No faucets dripping I assume?
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:31 PM   #3
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Water heater over pressure valve was leaking and finally reseated? Air in waterlines that was finally expelled?
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:33 PM   #4
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You found a leak. Exactly where was the leak?
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
System is loosing pressure somewhere if the pump kicks on momentarily every 10 minutes.....

No faucets dripping I assume?
It was losing pressure for 5 days, then it stopped...
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Old 04-25-2021, 12:28 AM   #6
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Could have been the pressure relief valve [PRV] at the top of the water heater, as suggested earlier. Mineral deposits can make the PRV's operation flaky and inconsistent IMO. Suggest replacing it with a new one, with the threads properly prepared with Teflon tape.

Please let us know what the old one looks like . . . there are usually some mineral "crust" deposits left behind by the leaking/evaporating water.

Happy Trails.
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Old 04-25-2021, 03:10 PM   #7
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If you were using the pump the whole time could have been a small piece of debris in the pump that finally cleared.
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Old 04-25-2021, 04:19 PM   #8
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Is the water in the hot water tank hot? We had an issue early on where the pump would briefly cycle on and off, usually during the night. I could never find a leak and we subsequently turned the pump off when not using it. I later concluded it could be the water cooling down over the evening (and contracting) leading to a slight drop in pressure causing the pump to cycle. I've since noted the cycling does not happen when the water is cold.
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Old 04-25-2021, 05:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cyclist View Post
Is the water in the hot water tank hot? We had an issue early on where the pump would briefly cycle on and off, usually during the night. I could never find a leak and we subsequently turned the pump off when not using it. I later concluded it could be the water cooling down over the evening (and contracting) leading to a slight drop in pressure causing the pump to cycle. I've since noted the cycling does not happen when the water is cold.
Interesting, but yes there was water in the HW tank the whole time. I also shut the pump off like you, but I was more concerned there was watering going where it shouldn't be going.
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Old 04-25-2021, 05:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ted S. View Post
It was losing pressure for 5 days, then it stopped...
Thank you OP for confirming that the leak stopped. Any chance the PRV had failed per Post #6 and healed itself?
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Old 04-25-2021, 06:52 PM   #11
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So the pump can also run intermittently if there is air in the line. I had this happen to me. I looked for leaks and found none. We went on a trip. Turned on pump. No problem.
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:59 PM   #12
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The water pump check valve feature could be leaking back. Put city water pressure on it, then close the city water off and wait a few minute and see if the system holds pressure. If you can't see or hear a leak it is probably a check valve, either the water pump or the city fill inlet check valve. Using a full time water filter when filling the fresh water tank or on city water will keep debris out of the check valves.
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Old 04-27-2021, 05:17 AM   #13
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When my water pump has done this, I check that the fresh water tank cap is tight, also the off/on handles in the shower, sink, etc.

If they are not all snug and “off”, enough air gets in to cause the tank to continue to try to pressurize.

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Old 04-27-2021, 09:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Thank you OP for confirming that the leak stopped. Any chance the PRV had failed per Post #6 and healed itself?
I don’t believe that is the issue, it was dry. It would be wet if it was failing, correct?
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Old 04-27-2021, 09:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by guskmg View Post
The water pump check valve feature could be leaking back. Put city water pressure on it, then close the city water off and wait a few minute and see if the system holds pressure. If you can't see or hear a leak it is probably a check valve, either the water pump or the city fill inlet check valve. Using a full time water filter when filling the fresh water tank or on city water will keep debris out of the check valves.
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You may be right. I think we connected to city water at the time the pump went silent. It remained silent as we moved on back to dry camping. We do use a water filter. Thank you, I’m going to look further into this.
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Old 04-29-2021, 03:00 AM   #16
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I don’t believe that is the issue, it was dry. It would be wet if it was failing, correct?
It might have been dry when you checked it, but earlier leaks could have left visible mineral deposits, especially around the main stem/shaft of the PRV. With the water pressure off, after opening an inside faucet to relieve all pressure in the water system, flip up the PRV handle, and look for mineral deposits where the shaft exits the main body of the valve. If the water in the heater is hot it is a good idea to wear gloves for this.
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Old 04-29-2021, 06:52 AM   #17
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Often the pumps do this when they have an internal leak in the diaphragm. Why it stopped is a mystery, but Murphy's corollary tells me that things don't fix themselves, it's just waiting for a bad time to fail.
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:35 PM   #18
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Often the pumps do this when they have an internal leak in the diaphragm. Why it stopped is a mystery, but Murphy's corollary tells me that things don't fix themselves, it's just waiting for a bad time to fail.
This is golden advice. Thank you.
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:23 AM   #19
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This happened to me. Many trips to the dealer to look for the leak. Finally, when the water pump started making terrible noises, they replaced it and both problems are solved.
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Old 05-02-2021, 11:12 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by leedav View Post
This happened to me. Many trips to the dealer to look for the leak. Finally, when the water pump started making terrible noises, they replaced it and both problems are solved.
I had the same intermittent pump activation on our 2019 25’ RBT FC. After checking all possible valves to be sure they were tight, thoroughly seeking any source of leaking piping, and flushing the hot water tank & confirming the PRV was not the problem, I decided to replace my pump.

It’s an easy job, except getting to the connecting plumbing. I decided to replace the original rigid pipes that were NOT installed as per the manufacturer’s specs in the manual that came with my FC. Specifically, the manual calls for 18” of flexible hose on both intake and output sides of the pump. It also specifies that rigid pipes not be adjacent to the mount, frame or other structures. The Airstream installation used only rigid pipes and these were tight against the wooden mount for the pump (see photo of original installation).

Installing a new pump and replacing rigid pipes with 18” flexible hoses solved the intermittent pumping AND quieted the pump immeasurably. I suspect it also helps the pump longevity to have less vibration against the hard framing material.

Just one of many premature replacement parts (2 hot water circuit boards, refer fan, antenna crank, black tank flush check valve, 2 vent fan gaskets, awning lights, to name a few) I have had to install on my two new Airstreams within the first year or so.
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