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Old 12-06-2009, 03:52 PM   #1
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1972 23' Safari
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Water Pump Operation?

I am attempting to winterize my trailer today. When I went to use my water pump, no luck. So my question is... does there have to be more than a couple gallons of fluid (anti-freeze) in the fresh tank for the water pump to operate? The pump worked a few months ago when I had the tank full of water. I have the original pump from 72.

-Scott
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:12 PM   #2
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water pump operations

Check and make sure you are taped into the intake side of the pump and not the out put side. Make up a short peace of hose 2 to 3 feet long and fasten it the intake or fresh water tank side and place the other end of the hose into you winterizing solution and turn on the pump. If the pump is working it will pump the solution out of the container and into your lines. Open up a faucet in the bath and in the kitchen and allow the water to run until your solution comes out. Don't forget to drain your hot water heater.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:28 PM   #3
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I am confused by your reply, let me rephrase my question.

How full does the fresh water tank need to be for the water pump to operate?
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:32 PM   #4
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On my 75 TW the last few gallons in the tank will not pump out as well. If I were to winterize (which I don't), I would use the hose in the container method. The PO of my trailer installed a valve just for that between the tank and the pump.

On edit: I need about 5 gallons for the pump to operate correctly.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:38 PM   #5
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No antirfreeze in fresh H20 tank ...

I think what he was telling you is that you don't need any water in the tank for the pump to operate. But if there in no liquid coming into the pump, it likely will burn up after a not-too-long period of operation.

Standard way to winterize is NOT to put antifreeze in fresh water tank, but to drain it, and to drain all drainable lines. Then as dghhas says, attach a tube to input side of water pump, put tube into bottle of RV antifreeze, turn on pump and let it pump antifreeze through all your water lines, fittings, sprayers, etc.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:42 PM   #6
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My '70 Safari had the original Par diaphragm pump in it. If that's what your is, it's possible that it may need a re-build. Fortunately, they're infinitely rebuild-able if you can still find a parts kit.

Roger
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:01 PM   #7
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Waterpump & Antifreeze

I just winterized my 65 Safari and had the same problem. I have a new pump and it would not prime with only 2 gals. in the tank. I then put 6 gals. in tank and everything went well. Only problem I have is that I have no bypass on the vintage hot water tank so I used a few more gals as 6 went into the water heater. I was able to buy two cases of rv antifreeze at Lowes on sale for 2.85 per gal. So for less than $30.00 I have every part of our baby protected. I consider this a small price to pay. Can't wait for summer.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:16 PM   #8
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Perhaps I am missing whats going on here, but it sounds like you are trying to winterize the trailer by putting antifreeze in the fresh water tank and pumping it through the system. That is now how it is done. You need a two way valve in line with the water pump input so you can switch the input to a hose which you put into the bottle of anti-freeze. If I am not understanding correctly then never mind.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:31 PM   #9
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A two-way valve isn't needed if you are able to remove the supply line coming from the fresh water tank to the pump and replace it with a short piece of hose. You then plunk the other end of the hose into your jug of antifreeze and turn on the pump.

Of course, the extra valve can make it more simple and elegant.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:33 PM   #10
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The original question was about whether the water pump had died. The newer pumps are supposed to be able to run dry, but I don't know whether the older ones can. It may not be good for a pump to run dry, but if it's working, it will try to pump. Check the fuse, see if current is coming to the pump with a voltmeter. Pumps always worked before the time when they don't.

There are bypass kits available for the pump which allow you to pump antifreeze into the lines. You don't have to put antifreeze into the tank unless you have no bypass and want to pump antifreeze. Some antifreeze leaves a taste that is hard to get rid of, some doesn't. Flush and sanitize in the spring to get rid of the taste. Airstream will tell you to just blow out the lines with a compressor and only put antifreeze in the traps. Put a few cups in the grey and black tanks and some in the toilet.

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Old 12-06-2009, 06:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Airstream will tell you to just blow out the lines with a compressor and only put antifreeze in the traps. Put a few cups in the grey and black tanks and some in the toilet.

Gene
Thanks exactly what they do, Gene. I had them winterize my TT when I was there this past week, and was surprised to see that there was no antifeeze put into the lines only into the P traps and the toilet bowl.

I was also surprised to see that my tech left the air compressor going for at least 10 minutes to blow the lines as clear as possible.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Thanks exactly what they do, Gene. I had them winterize my TT when I was there this past week, and was surprised to see that there was no antifeeze put into the lines only into the P traps and the toilet bowl.

I was also surprised to see that my tech left the air compressor going for at least 10 minutes to blow the lines as clear as possible.
That is what I did this year. It is my first year of winterizing. I have always had heat in my previous trailers. This one is too big for the driveway. I hope I got every little drop out.
Ken
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:13 PM   #13
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Is there some kind of problem that can be caused by putting 3 or 4 gallons of anti freeze in the fresh water tank and then pumping it through the system? I have been doing this for years now and come spring will flush the tank out 3 or 4 times and get on with life........Would be nice to know if in the long run am causing damage.....Thanks......Dennis
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:47 PM   #14
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Dennis,

IMHO, no harm other than the waste of antifreeze.

That tank is easily drained. If there is no water in it, what is there to freeze?
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
Dennis, That tank is easily drained.
There is no direct drain for the fresh water tank on my 1976 31' Sovereign. There are 2 drain valves to drain the water lines, but this will not drain the tank. The only way to drain it is with the pump, which gets most of the water out

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Old 12-07-2009, 03:35 PM   #16
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What a difference a tap makes

Quote:
Originally Posted by adonh View Post
There is no direct drain for the fresh water tank on my 1976 31' Sovereign. There are 2 drain valves to drain the water lines, but this will not drain the tank. The only way to drain it is with the pump, which gets most of the water out

Don
Well Don, there we have a difference to the older ones: my '74 has three drain valves in the hole in the floor beneath the sink (beside the furnace). One is hot water "low point" drain, the other is cold water "low point" drain, and the third one is the fresh water tank.

It drains directly to the ground below the TT.

Anyway, "most" of the water in a tank will not freeze and expand enough to damage anything, will it? I can't see how...
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:08 PM   #17
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question - is the pump operating like it wants to pump, or is it not doing anything, like the fuse is blown?
If the pump is working than you need the fluid to hit the supply line, better to disconnect the input side hose from the tank and use a line to attach in it's place to drop right into each gallon to effectivly pump the fluid through the lines. You will use a lot less fluid.
some people pump it through their hot water tank ergo 6 gallons or ten to fill and the smell left in the system is a pain when using in the summer, hot showers smell funky.
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:13 PM   #18
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The 72 has a filter in line with the pick-up from the bottom of the holding tank. If the filter seal (looks like a rubber O-ring) is cracked or broken it will suck air. Check and be sure that's OK. There are also 6 valves in this system. Be sure they are all lined up in the right position. I never had much luck getting good water pressure unless I had about 1/4 tank of water or the trailer was tilted.
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:57 PM   #19
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Let me make one more suggestion. My 1975 had the orginal pump in it when I got the trailer from my Dad, he told me that the pump would not always come on because the pressure relay switch had a mind of it own, his fix was to take a hammer handle and give it a lick. Well after being all soaped up and ready to for water it had other ideas. That was the last time that happend. It is not a big job to replace that pump with a new pump. Hose fittings match up, wiring is the same and the new one works every time I need water. I'm not sure what a new pump cost today but it shouldn't be over a hundred dollars. It is worth that to know that I will have water when I need water.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:31 PM   #20
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1972 23' Safari
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I want to thank everyone for their helpful information. I will very sheepishly announce my mistake and admit I didn't look at the fuse the first time with a flash light (it is in the bathroom closet). I must of burt it when replacing the radio that was wired and installed by the previous owner. Thanks again for all the replies, my new knowledge about the plumbing will no doubt be beneficial in the future.
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