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Old 03-17-2023, 02:36 PM   #1
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Water pump problem - need help

Having bad luck with water pumps. Our pump crapped out on our fall trip - the motor went bad (what are the odds) and I replaced it, new pump worked fine for the rest of the trip. Trailer has been in storage, winterized with air blowout of the lines as I have done every year with no problems. Just brought the trailer home to load up for a big trip and the pump runs but sounds strange - the pulsing sound is much quieter than normal and water flow very low. I tried removing the plastic filter cover and adding water in case it needed priming, no luck with that. When it's running I can see water being drawn up in the line from the fresh tank (full). I was able, despite the low pressure, to eventually get the hot water heater filled.

In addition to the very low flow and abnormal sound from the pump, it will not turn off, keeps running when faucets are off. I have tried adjusting the hex screw on the top of the pump - no matter how far I turn it, pump will still not turn off.

Has anyone ever had this problem? Any ideas for something else I can try? I do have a replacement pump on order which should be here tonight, but I'd much rather spend tomorrow packing the trailer than replacing the water pump....again.
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Old 03-17-2023, 05:15 PM   #2
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With apology to the person who originally posted this here who I failed to note by name, this may be of interest (it describes a situation where adjustment will not allow the pump to shut off). Nope, I've no idea if this even applies to your specific pump, just offering from my archive FWIW with hope.

Hope y'all get it all sorted and packed for your planned Monday departure and proceed to Have Fun, David!

Wishing y'all the best on another venture West, Happy Camping!
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Old 03-17-2023, 05:40 PM   #3
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Thanks Alan. I remember going through those procedures with my old pump, removing both screws and reinstalling (turned out to be a bad motor on the old pump). I haven't messed with the bypass adjustment on the new pump since it has worked perfectly since installation, did try adjusting the pressure adjustment screw with no success. I'll go try adjusting the bypass screw, nothing to lose at this point.

As a side note, when I went out to the trailer after lunch the pump seemed to be working and sounding normal for a moment or two....then as I was rejoicing it reverted to the original problem, much quieter pulsing and would not cut off. So I am still puzzled as to what the problem could be.
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Old 03-17-2023, 05:40 PM   #4
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Did you clean the pump filter when you took the plastic cap off? This solved my problem when the pump wouldn’t shut off.
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Old 03-17-2023, 05:45 PM   #5
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Did you clean the pump filter when you took the plastic cap off? This solved my problem when the pump wouldnít shut off.
Didn't clean it because it looked pristine....and was working fine when the trailer was last used. But good point, I will take it out and clean it again just to be sure. And I suppose just to confirm that the filter is not the issue I could remove it and run the pump briefly without it to see if that made a difference.
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Old 03-17-2023, 06:51 PM   #6
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Update - cleaned filter, even removed and tried without it - no change. Tried adjusting both the pressure screw and cutoff adjustment screw - no change.

When the pump is on it makes a much softer sound than normal, pumps with very low flow, and will not shut off when the faucet is closed. When I turn off the pump switch, I can see the water draining down out of the clear tube that feeds up from the fresh water tank and then this tube is empty. Is that normal? When I turn the pump on, it draws water from the fresh tank up that tube, so I don't know if it's normal for it to empty when the pump is off or if this is an indication that the pump is not maintaining suction - I would have thought that in normal operation the tube coming up from the pump would always have water in it but I've never checked that before.
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Old 03-17-2023, 07:30 PM   #7
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David,

I had a similar problem last year when de-winterizing. What worked for me (YMMV) is to twist the pump inlet screen filter so it in below the inlet line, then remove the cap and fill it with water, and then turn the pump on. I had to repeat this process 3-4 times till the pump had discharged air out of the pump head. Although the pump is a positive discharge pump style and should self prime, ours did not.

2 cents

edit - the lack of the pump turning off maybe that there is air in the line and no back pressure in the line.

--Steve
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Old 03-17-2023, 08:21 PM   #8
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Hi,

One more thing that might be the problem.

Once my pump stopped working, it was the check valve in the pump. It keeps city water pressure from flowing through to your fresh tank.

I removed the pump, took it apart to find the check valve. It just needed to be unstuck to let pumped water to enter your fresh water piping again. That was 6 years ago, I haven't had a reoccurrence.

Hope you can get this thing fixed quickly!

Edit: just reread your post, you get low flow. I think I got no flow, so it might not be your issue.
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Old 03-17-2023, 08:25 PM   #9
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It sounds like a suction issue. I would check the suction line for a creak and that all the fitting are tight. Check that the top of the pump is not creaked. If you live where it freezes it Ďs possible water was trapped and froze and creak something.

If you still have the old pump try switching the head.

If itís on the pressure side youíll see water somewhere, where itĒs not suppose to be.
I know it doesnít Sound right that the pump would keep running with a suction issue, but Iíve had it happen more then once.
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Old 03-18-2023, 01:58 PM   #10
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Well, this is disappointing. I just replaced the water pump and I still have the same problem. Pump seems to be pumping at lower than normal volume and will not shut off despite adjustments to both hex screws.

I have tried drawing water through the winterizing T-valve tube and it doesn't change anything. When drawing from the fresh water tank, after the pump is turned off the water drains back down through the clear tube that goes through the floor to the fresh tank - I'm guessing this is not normal, that the inlet tube should stay full when the system is pressurized with the pump operating normally.

This leads me to think that there must be a tiny vacuum leak in the intake line to the pump - either the T-valve fitting, the plastic 90 degree elbow fitting, or the filter housing. The clear plastic filter cover looks good on close examination. When the pump is on and a water is flowing, I can see water bouncing around in the clear plastic filter housing - is this normal or should it fill completely with water during normal operation?

Tearing my last few hairs out now (chemo has taken all but a few). Plumbing has never been my strong suit, and I have never worked with Pex fittings - looks like the only thing left to try is replacing the fittings in the intake line.

I have cancer and this was likely to be our last big trip - now I am a day from departure and it is looking like we are dead in the water. Seems like my options are to try ordering Pex tools and fittings or see if I can find a mobile RV repair guy and delay the beginning of our trip.

Any suggestions?
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Old 03-18-2023, 02:10 PM   #11
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I'm sorry to hear it's not fixed. But please don't let this stop you from going on your trip. It won't be convenient, for certain. But you could act like a tent camper and use jug water. Fill the fresh water tank and the using the drain, fill jugs as needed. Honestly people camped for years before all the luxuries we now have and it shouldn't keep you from enjoying your trip.


Good luck
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Old 03-18-2023, 03:00 PM   #12
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David,

Have you tried to find a leak by using a leak detection solution (e.g., https://www.homedepot.com/p/Oatey-8-...2092/100151681). If the plumbing has a leak, it will pull in the solution and any potential leak may be apparent.

Edit - another option is to use the winterizing tee. Change the position of the tee, raise the end of the open tube higher than the pump head, and fill the tube with water. Then turn on the pump to see if the pump will suck in the water once the air is displaced.
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Old 03-18-2023, 03:02 PM   #13
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David,

Have you tried to find a leak by using a leak detection solution (e.g., https://www.homedepot.com/p/Oatey-8-...2092/100151681). If the plumbing has a leak, it will pull in the solution and any potential leak may be apparent.
Not yet, may run over to HD and get some.
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Old 03-18-2023, 03:11 PM   #14
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Make sure the water tank's air vent above the fill cap is not clogged.
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Old 03-18-2023, 03:20 PM   #15
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Update - cleaned filter, even removed and tried without it - no change. Tried adjusting both the pressure screw and cutoff adjustment screw - no change.

When the pump is on it makes a much softer sound than normal, pumps with very low flow, and will not shut off when the faucet is closed. When I turn off the pump switch, I can see the water draining down out of the clear tube that feeds up from the fresh water tank and then this tube is empty. Is that normal? When I turn the pump on, it draws water from the fresh tank up that tube, so I don't know if it's normal for it to empty when the pump is off or if this is an indication that the pump is not maintaining suction - I would have thought that in normal operation the tube coming up from the pump would always have water in it but I've never checked that before.
I would carefully open the pump head and check if there is a piece of calcium or something else stuck in one of the flapper valves inside. That would allow for the draining back thing you mentioned. Also put your thumb over the winterizing suction line and see if it is letting air into your system from a valve that is not seating properly. This type of pump has a hard time pushing air through and any leak or drain back is too much. You could try opening the over pressure valve on the hot water tank to see if there is any air left there and then try running with all faucets on both hot and cold to get the air out. But it seems like your pump is losing prime and /or sucking air on the intake side. Good luck and sorry about the Cancer....
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Old 03-18-2023, 05:28 PM   #16
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Once again forum members are the best! Lots of great suggestions, thanks everyone. It is narrowed down to a vacuum leak in the intake line from the fresh tank to the pump. Possible culprits are the winterizing T-valve fitting, a 90 degree elbow, or the filter basket. I don't have a spare filter basket and couldn't find one readily available with the fitting needed, there are several variations. So forum member Centex came to the rescue - he is not taking his 5.0 out soon so he removed the entire plumbing line with all those items from his trailer and is bringing it over tomorrow, along with his Pex tool, fittings, and know-how and we should be back in business and still be able to head out on our big trip to Utah on Monday. I'll post an update tomorrow confirming that everything is working again.
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Old 03-18-2023, 09:31 PM   #17
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Donít buy a tool.
You can get away with using alligator clamps and a socket wrench. On the inlet side you are not working with pressure trying to separate fittings but sucking. (That sounds terrible) youíre just trying to Stop air leaks and those are easier.

I agree take off the pump head and see if there is some
Debris under one of the flapper gaskets.

Good luck
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Old 03-18-2023, 09:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
Once again forum members are the best! Lots of great suggestions, thanks everyone …So forum member Centex came to the rescue - he is not taking his 5.0 out soon so he removed the entire plumbing line with all those items from his trailer and is bringing it over tomorrow, along with his Pex tool, fittings, and know-how and we should be back in business and still be able to head out on our big trip to Utah on Monday. I'll post an update tomorrow confirming that everything is working again.
Respectful tip of the cap to Centex! Truly a favorite on this forum.

Here’s hoping the pump issue gets resolved and you have a great trip, David. You’re another favorite on the forum too!
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Old 03-18-2023, 10:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post

So forum member Centex came to the rescue - he is not taking his 5.0 out soon so he removed the entire plumbing line with all those items from his trailer and is bringing it over tomorrow, along with his Pex tool, fittings, and know-how and we should be back in business and still be able to head out on our big trip to Utah on Monday.


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Old 03-19-2023, 06:28 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
Once again forum members are the best! Lots of great suggestions, thanks everyone. It is narrowed down to a vacuum leak in the intake line from the fresh tank to the pump. Possible culprits are the winterizing T-valve fitting, a 90 degree elbow, or the filter basket. I don't have a spare filter basket and couldn't find one readily available with the fitting needed, there are several variations. So forum member Centex came to the rescue - he is not taking his 5.0 out soon so he removed the entire plumbing line with all those items from his trailer and is bringing it over tomorrow, along with his Pex tool, fittings, and know-how and we should be back in business and still be able to head out on our big trip to Utah on Monday. I'll post an update tomorrow confirming that everything is working again.
When we can't quite capture how describe the actions of a person like Centex like this we simply say call them "Good People".

Well Done!
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