How to eliminate air-lock?

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How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Cymro on Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:45 am

We're about to go away for a few nights in the Nuevo. I had earlier drained it all down for winter, and left all taps (including the shower) open. So I prepared the van ready to go away, including filling the freshwater tank to 50% or so, and turning off the taps. With the 12v on, I switched on the water pump. Which ran, and ran, and ran without any effect. No air from taps when I opened them - and no water. Normally, at first when the hot tank is being filled, the tap expels air. I didn't allow the pump to run for more than a few minutes at a time, but I kept trying. Eventually, I wondered whether I'd somehow created an airlock.

So how could I eliminate it? I tried to rock the van from side to side so that I could hear the water sloshing in the tank. I recalled from the Forum someone saying that in similar circumstances they'd driven the van and thereafter the pump worked. I didn't resort to that.

I tried the pump a few times more, and to my relief some air started to be pushed out of a tap. Eventually, all is working as it should. I assume - but am happy to be corrected - that the cause of the problem was an airlock.

Is there a way (a) of avoiding creating an airlock? and (b) is there a way of getting rid of an airlock (I didn't try blowing down the shower tube because my feeble effort would have been unlikely to have sorted the problem.) Any suggestions, please?

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Paramedic on Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:04 am

From empty, we first put approx 80 litres in via the Whale system before turning on the internal pump thereafter with only the kitchen sink HOT tap opened. This way we assume any air lock is avoided due to the heater tank firstly being purged of any air as it is filled.

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by -mojo- on Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:10 am

Edit - irrelevant - I didn't notice it was a 2015 van!


Last edited by -mojo- on Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Gromit on Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:36 am

Hi Cymro

The only certain way I know is to fit a Shurflo.

We had precisely the same very annoying problem every time we re-filled, until I became so fed up that I asked Mark at A/S to fit a Shurflo Trail King. Since then we have had not the slightest problem and the flow of water from the taps is both smoother and more forceful.

I didn't really want to spend the cash to replace a useless bit of kit that should never have been fitted in the first place, but I'm very glad I did. Apart from any other consideration, if the pump should pack up in the middle of France (which is very unlikely with a Shurflo!) I can easily buy another and it won't take more than half an hour to exchange it using only a screwdriver. Four fixing screws and two electrical connections, and it's done - made infinitely simpler because the pump is now readily accessible under the side bench.

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Gromit on Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:38 am

Paramedic wrote:From empty, we first put approx 80 litres in via the Whale system before turning on the internal pump thereafter with only the kitchen sink HOT tap opened. This way we assume any air lock is avoided due to the heater tank firstly being purged of any air as it is filled.
Hi Paramedic

It would be good if this were true, but I don't think it is.  scratch head

That's how I habitually fill up, but it didn't prevent the problems - see my post above this one.

What is more difficult to assess is why some folk have no problems, while others with identical vans have nothing but trouble???

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by AndyRoyd on Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:00 am

I think that Grommet has shares in shureflo? he advocates them so much.
I have the whale system but admittedly have not drained down until a couple of weeks ago, so far I have not had a problem and just turn on the hot water tap on and of quickly to get rid of airlocks.
If I do not have problems next month when I fill up for a few days away I will stick with the Whale, if not I may look at the shureflo but won't spend the extra money unless I really have to.

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Alf on Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:18 am

The easy way set your garden hose up open the tap on sink in motor home hold the garden hose up to the open kitchen tap try holding a dish cloth around to avoid splashing get your wife or helper to gently open hose tap allow the water to shove the airlock back to the tank

Hope this helps


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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by sylvester1954 on Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:50 am

Exactly the same problem as Cymro with our Kingham. When the water runs low (50% according to the control??)  the top up takes a long time to run through the system often with the pump straining throughout. Therefore we have stop -start -stop again to prevent the pump burning out.
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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Gromit on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:41 am

AndyRoyd wrote:I think that Grommet has shares in shureflo? he advocates them so much.
Wish I had Barry Whistle1 , but it's very simple. For far too many of us, they work whereas the submersible doesn't.

The Shurflo was fitted to caravans and motorhomes for very many years and it wasn't busted, so why do A/S and lots of others see the need to mend it??

You also said, " . . . so far I have not had a problem and just turn on the hot water tap on and of quickly to get rid of airlocks." 

Why should you have to go to that trouble? Again, with the Shurflo you simply don't get any airlocks.

If someone has a problem I can't let them suffer without suggesting a remedy - that's what ASOF is about.  smile!

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Hubert on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:12 pm

Cymro wrote: I recalled from the Forum someone saying that in similar circumstances they'd driven the van and thereafter the pump worked. I didn't resort to that.

Cymro
So far this has always worked for me, usually put about 25% in before travelling.

Although I do respect other's views on the subject, Kaspian had the same problem which was due to the pump impeller not being attached to the shaft resolved by fitting a new pump.

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Cymro on Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:32 pm

My grateful thanks to all of you who have replied (including one pm). I fear it's just a matter of time before I bite the bullet and cough up for a decent replacement pump - mounted conveniently for ease of unlikely future access. Suspect I'll follow your lead again, Gromit!

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Gromit on Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:01 pm

This is ours in situ Cymro.

As you see, it's easily accessible even though it's partly hidden by the storage unit, whose primary purpose is to cover and protect the scattering of wires and pipework.

Hope this clarifies it for you.



P.S. I don't like the auto dump valve (personal opinion only!) and it's a lump that's always in the way. Hence the manual "yellow lever" valve which is far smaller and easier to protect with the additional little box cover.

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Cymro on Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:52 am

Thanks very much for taking the trouble to post a photo, Gromit. I've taken the liberty of saving it, so that when eventually I ask Messrs AS to fit a Shurflo, I can show them your photo to remind them how I'd like it fitted.

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by inspiredron on Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:06 am

I had the same airlock when I refilled in April.  Cleared by using cold tap first but I did bathroom first as it is closest to the inlet, then cold at Kitchen (mine is an EK model), Still pumping (because air in boiler is very compressible!) so repeat with taps  turned to cold - Nearer first then Kitchen.  I don't think that I bothered with shower tap until the others were running freely on C&H. Took about 5 minutes but felt far longer.
Despite Dave's entreaties I have no desire for a Shurflo unless the submersible does fail, which I hope it won't.  But I do wish there was a floor hatch into the top of the tank. On my Hymer the submersible tap came off its pipe while my wifw was showering.  She was not amused - but it only took 5 minutes to fix as the tank was in a locker and it had two access caps, one for cleaning and getting to the plug on a chain for emptying and the other for the pump, feed pipe and pump power. A doddle for servicing!

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Maasai Warrior on Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:09 pm

I completely agree with everything that Dave has said, it’s a no brainer if your Whale pump is playing up.
As I have said before (wish we had shares in Shurflo!), we had our temperamental whale pump replaced by AS, with a Shurflo pump in June this year and we haven’t looked back, it’s completely reliable, so far! Thankfully the old Whale pump was removed and I have kept it. I intend to photograph it and post it on the forum to show the rust on the jubilee clip. (-not made of stainless steel!). Thank goodness it’s no longer in our freshwater tank, though we have never drunk from it. Like others we use a separate container with a small tap.

I now don’t have any anxious thoughts about the pump going t*ts up, when we go away in the van! As Dave said the ease of access to repair or replace also makes a huge difference.

Pete

P.S. If you do have a problem with airlocks in your Whale system, roll your vehicle backwards and forwards a few feet to slosh the water about in your freshwater tank. A tip from Mark at AS.
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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Gromit on Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:33 pm

inspiredron wrote:Despite Dave's entreaties I have no desire for a Shurflo unless the submersible does fail, which I hope it won't.  But I do wish there was a floor hatch into the top of the tank.
Not entreaties Ron. winks

I'm not trying to persuade anyone to do anything they don't want to do, but for those who are fed up with a persistent problem, or don't want to risk their submersible failing in the middle of a French holiday, fitting a Shurflo is the best solution I can suggest.

Thanks to Pete (Maasai Warrior) for confirming my conclusions and experiences, and specially to MoggyMinor who was (I think) the first to set about fixing the problem. (I have a copy of his DIY guide if anyone should want to replace the pump themselves.)


P.S. Ron - I entirely agree about the lack of a floor hatch and inspection cover in the tank. There would then be no anxieties about replacing a failed pump wherever you were when it gave up the ghost. It would be dead easy as you said.

The air lock problem is another matter.  Whistle1

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by greycaster on Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:14 am

If a shurflo is fitted do you have to remove the submersible pump or can it be left in situ.
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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Gromit on Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:31 pm

greycaster wrote:If a shurflo is fitted do you have to remove the submersible pump or can it be left in situ.
MoggyMinor1966 left his in the tank and used it as a pick up, and it was last reported as working perfectly in February of this year.

If you want to read lots more comments and suggestions from several members, start from here.
http://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t20296-water-pump#171359

I'll copy the very detailed account of what he did, then you'll be able to make a decision based on his first hand experience.

There's a lot of it, and others may be interested, so I'll put it in the "Factsheets" forum to keep it safe. (Link below)

http://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t23133-replacing-a-submersible-pump-with-a-shurflo#195863

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by greycaster Yesterday at 2:05 am

What is the correct model of shurflo pump to install as there seems to be a few.
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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by Paulmold Yesterday at 2:23 am

AS used to install the 16psi version before the time of submersibles. The 16psi is no longer available so the 20psi would be the one. Anything higher and you run the risk of joints being burst.

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Re: How to eliminate air-lock?

Post by rgermain Yesterday at 3:53 am

Has any one fitted a Shurflo to a 2015+ Warwick Duo, if so where was it fitted? Just might fit one myself, to save a trip to the factory.
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