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Old 11-17-2014, 06:42 AM   #1
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Wierd Water Pump Problem?

Odd thing happened with my 2012 EB the other day. I was getting ready to move and went outside to disconnect everything when I noticed that there was a lot of water on the ground. A quick glance showed water dripping heavily out of the white tank inlet. I opened the door and found water coming out of the overflow hole. I immediately turned off my water supply hose and in a moment or two the dripping stopped. Being in a hurry I went ahead with hooking up as usual.

As I was driving I thought the whole thing over and wondered if I'd inadvertently left my water pump on. When I arrived I checked and sure enough the pump was turned on.

I understand how the pump pulls water out of the white tank, but why would having the pump ON let water into the fresh tank... seems counter to logic. Plus I never heard the pump running. I do notice it sounds louder than normal when it runs now. Ideas?

Also how urgent are repairs going to be? Can I wait for it to warm up or do I head to the shop? Right now it's cold - freeze coming on soon, so I've left the water hose off and have been using the water in the tank with no problems. Normally in Virginia the freezing weather only lasts for a week or two maximum, so I plan to load the fresh tank about every three to five days, and drain my gray tank/black only when needed.

Thanks for any help, Paula
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Old 11-17-2014, 06:59 AM   #2
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I would guess your AS is this way? On our Avion, there is a valve I can open when connected to a water source that will allow me to fill the water tank. If that was to be left open, it would do what you are describing.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:34 AM   #3
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Paula, unless a PO installed the valve PaulnGina talks about, I don't think you'll find it. I am unaware of any newer AS that has one. However your pump has an internal check valve which, when operating properly, prevents city water pressure from back-filling the tank through the pump. If you remove your pump and disassemble the head, you will find the valve. It may just have some debris in it. If so, clean and re-install it. There are rebuild kits for most brands of pumps, which gives you all the rubber and wear parts in the head. As new as yours is though, it really shouldn't need rebuilding.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:34 AM   #4
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This has only been covered here on other threads a dozen or so times. The check valve in the water pump has failed and water is going back through the pump and into the fresh water tank when you're hooked up to city water. The fix is a new pump. If you let this go for any length of time you may get hard water deposits on the side of the trailer.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:37 AM   #5
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Oh, to answer your other questions, You could just let the city water fill the tank (which it has) shut off the hydrant and use the pump and tank water to serve your needs. Repeat until you can get it fixed at your convenience.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:37 AM   #6
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Paula, More than likely there is some foreign matter in the pump, which is essentially several check valves, allowing water to flow backwards thru the pump. There is a screen filter between the water tank and the pump that is supposed to prevent that from happening, but sometimes stuff gets thru it. I would suggest you clean that filter, and continue using the pump and the tank water, and usually whatever is in the pump will be washed out. Other wise, the pump needs to be taken apart and cleaned. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:47 AM   #7
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One problem with using the pump with a faulty check valve: Water will still flow backwards when the pump shuts off, and that will cause a loss of pressure in the lines. Which will trigger the pump to come on until pressure builds, at which time the pump will shut off and let water drain back into the tank…

The best solution— until you can replace the pump— is to always shut off the faulty pump when you aren't using water, so that the pump doesn't run any more than necessary. Then turn the pump on a minute or so before you need water, so that it can build pressure again before you open a faucet.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:01 AM   #8
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I just had to replace the old, original pump in our '66 Safari. Two things I was delighted to find out about the new Surflo.

1. Not expensive. The local RV place is usually overpriced, and even they just charged me $100 for a pump. (Needed it quickly because the old one quit during winterization with a cold front and freeze due.) Prices from Vintage Trailer and Andy were better, but the overnight shipping would have wiped that out.

2. Easy to connect and disconnect if I ever need another new one. The pump conversion took a couple of hours because I had to re-route the lines a bit, but now that it's done a pump swap will be easy--two screw-on connectors for the water and two push-on connectors for the 12v.

You might take a good look at your present pump and see if it's that easy to change it. Could be a do-it-yourself project.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:37 AM   #9
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What Pro said, you just need to use it like a demand pump....like on my first pop-up. On for water....off for no water.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:01 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of the advice. Normally I'm hooked to city water, but I did go boondocking for about 3 days. Just forgot to turn the pump back off. Weather is supposed to warm up a bit by the weekend. Guess my Saturday is planned.

I've seen the pump replaced and other than working in a black hole, under a tiny closet it isn't all that difficult. MUST have all tools present to do the job well and quickly. Knee pads are my friend!

Paula
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:12 PM   #11
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Paula, check the price on your pump model. I don't think you'll find it's a $100 pump, but rather a variable speed, "smart" pump. Not sure what they used in 2012...my OEM one was a Flowjet....hated it. Replaced with a shurflo variable speed.

However, like I said before, it is much cheaper to get a "head kit" and install in your existing pump, whichever it is. I would only replace a pump if: 1) the pump motor is bad, won't run; or 2) it loses it's mind, if it is a variable speed pump. My Flojet lost it's brains and a module for it was too $$$$, so I made it a single speed transfer pump for my boondocking 40 gal transfer bladder.

The Shurflow has been flawless for four years now.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:21 PM   #12
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Paula,

I really think the pump in your '12 model trailer is too new to be bad and needing replacement. I would definitely try running that tank of water thru it in an effort to clear the check valves before replacing it. Good luck.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:57 PM   #13
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paula, if memory serves me well, i think you already had that pump replaced. it might be a good idea to get a water sample to see if there is debris in the tank. some plastic shavings could keep the check valve from closing.
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Old 11-17-2014, 04:34 PM   #14
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paula, if memory serves me well, i think you already had that pump replaced. it might be a good idea to get a water sample to see if there is debris in the tank. some plastic shavings could keep the check valve from closing.
You my dear have a good memory. Could you spare me a couple of brain cells?

I fulltime, so I rather expect stuff to wear out a bit faster than those who only take their trailers out three months of the year. This is a bit too much though. Both of my most used campgrounds have well water that's hard and yellow. I can overdose on iron just by drinking it. (Not saying that rare earth magnets now stick to my tummy but...) I just ordered a small water softener just so I don't have to use so much Barkeeper's Friend to keep the rust stains out of the shower and toilet bowl.

I will try to backflush the water pump and reinstall it first, then either rebuild or replace.

-------------------------------

Unrelated topic: So manual in hand I tried to use my convection microwave in Convection mode. The test menu was pumpkin pie - an old recipe that makes a rich custardy pie. Not a resounding success.

A basic secret to all pies that are to be cooked in an electric oven is to overheat the oven, put the pie down on the bottom of the oven for 10 minutes - so that the CRUST cooks and doesn't turn into a glutenous/gelatinous snot textured mess - then move the pie to the lowest rack and reduce the temperature until done. The problem is the way convection works... you don't have to heat the oven itself. So, actually did good with pie #2. Simply put a cast iron griddle on the range and heated that sucker then plopped the pie on it til it started to smell good. Finished satisfactorily in the oven.

Next test - cast iron dutch oven. Need a pie lifter of some kind to remove the pie and plop a trivet in the bottom to prevent burning the crust. Now to go and bend up a coat hanger or two.

Paula
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Old 11-18-2014, 06:47 AM   #15
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I just ordered a small water softener just so I don't have to use so much Barkeeper's Friend to keep the rust stains out of the shower and toilet bowl.
Since the stains are yellow, not rust-colored, the contaminant is probably not iron. Or rather, not entirely iron. It could be caused by "iron bacteria" a relatively harmless microorganism that is not treated by a water softener.

The best solution to remove iron bacteria is chlorination. The sanitizing treatment that you periodically do to your freshwater system will kill iron bacteria, but that doesn't help to treat your drinking water. Trace amounts of chlorine (less than 4.0 ppm in the form of pure chlorine or chloramine, 0.8 ppm in the form or chlorine dioxide) is considered safe to drink, and as long as there is any detectable chlorine in the water, iron bacteria will be killed. At the very least, before you leave the campgrounds that have iron bacteria in the well water, sanitize your freshwater system to make sure you're not carrying any iron bacteria to the next campground!

Since you already have the water softener, there is another treatment for iron bacteria, slightly less effective than drinking chlorinated water. The water softener will help, but only if it's hooked up in series with a granular activated carbon pre-filter. In other words, use a large carbon filter and the softener, with the water going through the carbon filter first. But still sanitize your system before moving to the next campground.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:34 AM   #16
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Since the stains are yellow, not rust-colored, the contaminant is probably not iron. Or rather, not entirely iron. It could be caused by "iron bacteria" a relatively harmless microorganism that is not treated by a water softener.

The best solution to remove iron bacteria is chlorination. The sanitizing treatment that you periodically do to your freshwater system will kill iron bacteria, but that doesn't help to treat your drinking water. Trace amounts of chlorine (less than 4.0 ppm in the form of pure chlorine or chloramine, 0.8 ppm in the form or chlorine dioxide) is considered safe to drink, and as long as there is any detectable chlorine in the water, iron bacteria will be killed. At the very least, before you leave the campgrounds that have iron bacteria in the well water, sanitize your freshwater system to make sure you're not carrying any iron bacteria to the next campground!

Since you already have the water softener, there is another treatment for iron bacteria, slightly less effective than drinking chlorinated water. The water softener will help, but only if it's hooked up in series with a granular activated carbon pre-filter. In other words, use a large carbon filter and the softener, with the water going through the carbon filter first. But still sanitize your system before moving to the next campground.
I misspoke, the water is off color (yellowish) but the stains are pure rust orange/red and only the oxalic? acid in Zud or Barkeepers Friend will cut through them. Virginia Beach CITY water is very nice, but get a well and the toilet bowl will look like it's having a period within a week or two. No bowl cleaner made gets it looking good, and don't even look inside the tank. Before I found "Zud" years ago, a friend and I had a contest to try to get the bowl back to white. We actually thought the rusty stain had etched through the porcelain glaze. Ever try to clean a toilet bowl with Brillo? Bleach? Comet? five standard toilet bowl cleaners? Sprinkled the Zud in and started yelling - the stains just started fading almost immediately!
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:55 AM   #17
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Paula, I definitely recommend the softener. It really cuts down on the white spotting, and best of all, drastically reduces the fouling of the faucet outlet openings and white in the nooks and crannies for the fixtures. But, in relying on my fathers rural well iron issue from years past, I don't think a softener will help with the iron staining. I believe you'll need an iron filter for that. I haven't researched if any compact RV suitable units are out there...there may be.

This is the softener I got. There are a bunch out there, but this one was desirable for me as it fits in a standard "sewer hose tube" mounted under the AS. I installed a 46" one so that I could also store a PVc filter and softener stand I made in there. I did beef up the mounting of the tube, as the whole loaded tube weighs 13#s.

Water Softener | Amerisoft-Compact PortaGold 200 In-Line Mobile Water Softener: SmallSpacesAppliances.com

Performance has been great.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:02 AM   #18
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Here's a manganese greensand filter that will definitely remove the iron…
Iron Removal Filter
Manganese greensand is the best filter medium for removing iron, and this is probably the smallest filter I've found of that type.

If you get one, put it in the system after the carbon filter (if you use one on your hose) and before the water softener.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:07 AM   #19
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Here's a thread where I was putting the stowage together:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ase-99619.html

It has worked out fine for 3 years and about 12,000 miles so far with no sign of trying to fall off.

EDITed the above post....some of my numbers were off...memory sucks!
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