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Air lock in fesh water system

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Post by Alan R Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:10 pm

Had a few moments getting frustrated with the built-in water pump on my Broadway 2013 FB after I let it run out.  tried all the usuals, opening taps starting at furthest etc. Pump just ran continuously and no water .  Left pump running for 5 mins, tried every hour - no joy. Ran the vehicle round the storage yard - nothing. Then had a brianwave. Got a wet/dry vacuum cleaner in workshop so stuffed that on the end of the shower hose to start with.  Water definitely gurgling but not enough. Went to nearest point - the kitchen, switched on the pump and tap and held the hoover nozzle hard up against the tap end. After about 3 mins. felt cold around the tap - checked, and hey presto water running again.  Syphoning by mouth didn't work so next time give the hoover a try !  Lesson learned. Don't drive with an empty tank.
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Post by Cath Dawson Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:01 pm

We had the same problem when we had filled our fresh water tank and then opened the taps to try to pump the water through.  The pump just ran continuously. We worked out that we need to open all the taps BEFORE filling the empty fresh water tank. Our theory is that filling with the taps open "pushes the airlock out".  Not very scientific.....  but seemed to do the trick. Will bear in mind the hoover method, though!
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Post by rgermain Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:30 pm

Many of us had this problem, in our views the only way forward is to fit a Shurflo, other makes are available, pump.

I can leave our van on the drive for a week and switch the pump on, nothing until I turn on a tap and bingo we have air free water flow. No priming, no operation of the pump due to pressure loss, never looked back.
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Post by Richard75 Sun Apr 10, 2022 1:43 pm

Having major air lock issues with all taps in the Pollensa! I don't think there was much pressure from any tap when I bought the van a couple of years back, so the water pump may well be knackered, but there was at least some water coming out! The shower head pressure was decent. Kitchen sink had poor pressure. Bathroom hot tap was decent but spluttery. Bathroom cold tap was just spluttery!

I've read all the tips on 'air lock' threads about driving down a bumpy road, filling the water with the taps open, etc.

One thing I've noticed is, when I turn the water pump on, there's insane gurgling until I open a cold tap and then it cuts out. If there are no taps or a hot tap open, it's gurgling away. Is this to be expected or does it suggest a problem? The van isn't hooked up so the water heater isn't on.
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Post by IanH Sun Apr 10, 2022 2:09 pm

All you say implies air somewhere in the system
Can you find a hose which will fit the spout of one of the taps?
If so, try sucking (it is water!) and see if you can get to a point where only water comes into your mouth, no air.
On the other hand your pump may be on its last legs!
Reading again, think new pump would be a better option, keep this one as a spare.
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Post by rogerblack Sun Apr 10, 2022 2:23 pm

If there's a 'leak' on the suction side of the pump, which the gurgling would seem to inidcate, it's hard to detect since instead of looking for wet carpets or whatever, it means air is getting in and causing the pump to struggle.  We had that which finally transpired to be a crack on the filter housing. 

We also at another time had a problem with the diaphragm in the pump leaking and found that the difference between a repair kit and a new pump was not much, so replaced the whoie thing. Also took the opportunity to move it from the board behind the driver's seat, which acted as an amplifier sound board; fitted the new one to the floor where it's nowhere near as noisy.

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Post by Richard75 Sun Apr 10, 2022 2:33 pm

Thanks Ian / Roger.

I'll see if the pipe I use to siphon my fish tank works on the bathroom mixer. I'm used to getting a mouthful of dodgy water from that :).

Do you know how much I'm looking at for a new pump?

With my minimal budget at the moment I'm trying to avoid major expenditure since I could go on with rust repairs / solar panel, etc., but you wonder whether it makes economic sense with a van of this age or whether I should just carry on getting a wash by carrying a 5l bottle of water in the van, heating some on the hob and filling the bathroom sink with that! A bit of a faff but cheaper than a new pump...
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Post by Paulmold Sun Apr 10, 2022 3:42 pm

New pump £50/60, secondhand off ebay £25/30. I bought an almost new one from ebay for £25.

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Post by Richard75 Sun Apr 10, 2022 3:43 pm

Thanks Paul - that's a lot cheaper than expected!
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