Water Pump Query

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Water Pump Query

Post by Critch on Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:42 pm

I am having a problem with my water pump. I cannot get any water to flow from the shower & taps, but the toilet rinse is ok. According to the AS manual, the pump operates the shower/taps & toilet so am I right in assuming that the pump must be fine and the problem is an airlock? We have used the van for only one weekend and the taps were working on the first day, but I left the pump on overnight and the next morning there was no flow. Any ideas what to do? Thanks in advance. Alan
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by steamdrivenandy on Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:50 pm

Do you have a separate tank for the toilet flush? If so your manual is wrong and the toilet pump is in that tank and operates independently of the taps/shower system. 

If you don't have a separate tank for the loo then it will all work off one pump and one tank.

If it's the latter it would seem odd that the loo is receiving water when the rest isn't. I would've thought the pump would have enough oomph to overcome any airlock.
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by paul bullock on Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:51 pm

Hi Alan, the pump for the toilet is totally separate [im assuming you've got a separate flush tank] as I found out when our immersible pump failed last Sept ,thankfully we still had a loo!!    Regards      Paul
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by Critch on Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:07 pm

Thanks for the replies "steamdriveandy" & paul. I did think it seemed odd that the toilet works but not the taps. I have tried the method of removing airlocks as posted by "dutto" (?) but to no avail. I can hear the pump whirring when I switch them on but nothing comes through.
The troubleshooting guide suggests it could be the pressure switch. Is this a diy job to replace, or is it more likely to be the pump?
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by steamdrivenandy on Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:15 pm

Going back to first principles, are you sure you've plenty of water in the tank?

If you can hear the pump running that suggests that it works and therefore should be pumping water if there's some there to be pumped. 

Pressure switches don't usually cause the water to stop, rather they tend to allow the pump to run on after a tap has been closed and they can be adjusted to keep that to the minimum.

Other than that, without being there and seeing the gear it's difficult to know.

One thing though, keep the pump dry running of the pumpto the minimum, it doesn't do them any good.
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by Critch on Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:49 pm

I have filled the tank to overflowing and I could not believe how long it took - I was beginning to think I was going to see water running out of the doors! However, I take your point about dry running, I think that may have been my problem. When we took the van off for its first run I probably did not put enough water in and I had the heater on slow fan overnight. I was awoken with the sound of the pump under my head. Since then there has been no flow from the taps. So I suppose it is a new pump needed.
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by steamdrivenandy on Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:52 pm

Just a thought, is there a priming process for your pump? If it's run dry it may need repriming rather than replacing.
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by Critch on Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:54 pm

So, if the pressure switch should not fail the pump AND the pump does not operate the toilet - how much faith should I put in the AS manual instructions? Because that is two out of two they have got wrong!
just got your suggestion about priming - I will see what the manual says !!
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by meanchris on Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:12 pm

If the 1998 Excelsior setup is the same as our previous '95 Exec, (and it may not be of course, the seating isn't) the pump was under the front of the offside bench seat and was an oscillating diaphragm pump which are supposed to be OK to run dry.

You could find the pump and see what type it is, a picture will help us to diagnose.

There could be an air leak on the inlet side to the pump, preventing it from priming, or (heaven forbid) the pump is emptying the tank somewhere inside the van (presumably you'd have noticed water everywhere)

Our pump became difficult to initially prime and I found that there was a poor seal between the diecast metal pump motor body and the plastic pump housing. A thick plastic bag cut as a washer solved the problem temporarily in France, but I couldn't make the seal tight even by sanding the faces on a flat surface, as the motor body face had corrosion pitting.
We bought a complete new pump unit, without motor, and the pump then primed very quickly.

It's really a case of following the pipework to find out where the problem is, but it may not necessarily be a new pump.
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by Critch on Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:00 pm

I cannot find any reference to priming in the manual.  Took the seat cover off to look at the pump and there are no obvious signs for priming. The glass bowl filter, below the pump, is dry. When I switch the pump on it sounds and feels as though it is working, but no water flow. 
I have taken a picture, but how do I post it here?
The pump is a SHURflo 95-204-111 (AS manual says 20psi) pressure setting (on pump) says 16psi.

Thanks for your time on this subject - this is such a good site, so full of useful information. Lots of knowledgeable members willing to help newbies like myself.
Replacement of the pump, if necessary, looks as though it should be straight forward. Fingers crossed.
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by meanchris on Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:12 pm

The clear filter was prior to the pump inlet on our Exec, could it be that the filter seal is leaking air and preventing pump suction from lifting the water, this used to happen all the time with the identical filter on our Broads boat, people used to cross thread the filter.

I'm pretty sure that the 2095 204 pump is the same as our old one too, looking at google images.

EDIT: The 204 pump is self priming AFAIK, so there's either no water getting through the inlet hose or there's an air leak.
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by Critch on Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:18 pm

Thanks Meanchris. Yes the filter is on the inlet side of the pump. I took it all out today and removed the pump unit from the motor. I cannot figure out how to separate the diaphragm from the pump body to check condition of diaphragm, but cannot see anything obviously wrong. The filter had quite a few largish pieces of black plastic material in, which did not look good (no idea where that would be from - in the tank I suppose). 
After cleaning I reassembled & reinstalled it then tried running pump without the outlet pipe fitted. I could see some movement in the filter, but it did not fill with water. Which seems to agree with what you suggest that perhaps air is getting in. I suppose fitting a new filter would be a start. The new filter seem to be a different design, maybe they are better?!
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by meanchris on Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:37 pm

If it's the same as ours, then it has three separate diaphragms operated by an off centre cam on the motor spindle, I couldn't see much to go wrong with it to be honest.
The pressure switch just stops the pump when the system is pressurised, so if the pump's running then the switch is OK.

Picture of the three section diaphragm:

https://waterfedpole.com/shurflo-diaphram-kit.html

How about seeing whether you can suck water through from the tank to the filter inlet, and then from the filter outlet?
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by Critch on Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:21 pm

Thanks for your patience Meanchris. I attached a shower hose (same screwthread) to the pump outlet and sucked with all my might, but could not get water through. so then turned pump on and tried again and voila! We now have water!! 
Pump seems much noisier than before, but that could be because the seat base is still off so pump is uncovered. The water is a bit spluttery, as if air is getting in somewhere, but it is usable. 
I will probably still invest in a new filter.
Once again, thank you so much. A friend for life (whether you like it or not)!
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by meanchris on Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:25 pm

I don't think you can suck water through the pump, it's designed to keep its outlet side pressurised when it isn't running.

I meant to suck the water from the tank on the outlet of the filter to see whether you got water or air. hugegrins

I bet you need a rest now? rofl3
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by Critch on Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:43 pm

Well, I did not know I could not suck through the pump, but I knew you were suggesting to try the filter outlet. However, the dismantling of the filter from the pump was a pain first time around, so I was trying to avoid having to do it again. Thank goodness it was not possible - I thought my age was catching up on me. I used to be able to suck with the best of them.
You are right - time for a lie down.
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by salbo on Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:16 pm

How do I access the water pump on my 1999 Pescara?
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by George.. on Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:30 pm

Hi, just an aside to the pump query, we always switch our pump off when leaving the van and when we go to bed. The thought of a pipe coming loose or splitting or whatever and twenty gallons of water pouring into the van isn't a good thought. It can happen, we heard our pump start up once with no taps open and luckily found a faulty pipe.
George
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Re: Water Pump Query

Post by meanchris on Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:00 pm

Having just repaired our faulty pump, which had a slight drip from the leaky pressure switch, I was concerned when I was woken up at 5am by a short burst from the pump running.

I couldn't find any signs of any more leaks, but realised that we'd had the water heater on the night before and turned it off after washing and the washing up before going to bed. The water in the heater had then colled and contracted, thus reducing the pressure and tripping the pressure switch to boost it back up again.
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