demand pump questions on 1986 bigfoot B19 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-04-2011, 01:54 PM   #1
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Name: Heide
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demand pump questions on 1986 bigfoot B19

hi, I am having a problem with my demand pump. I finally was able to get the time to unwinterize the trailer yesterday and the water pump does not seem to be working. The biggest wierd thing is that when I am plugged into the house it hums but doesnt pump, but when I am unplugged and running on the battery it seems to do nothing at all. This leads me to believe it might be electrical. I did remove the battery for the winter and stored it in the basement attached to a trickle charger and since I have put it back on the tongue, the panel shows it has a full charge so I am stumped.

I have only had this old friend one season and had a seasoned RV'r help with with the winterizing with the antifreeze so I there shouldnt be a problem with the lines. The pump worked just fine last fall to pull the antifreeeze in from the special line off the pump. I did try yesterday to pull in water from that connection to see if maybe the waterline from the big tank was blocked but it isnt pulling in from that line either. ANY ideas from anyone who knows about this stuff?? As a young family we had a Trillium for years but of course it didnt have a pump and we rarely even filled it with water as we cooked and hung out outside so we always had our large blue jugs! Now its just me and I wanted to be able to do this myself, 'I am woman, hear me roar" you know something like that, but I wasnt roaring yesterday...growling a bit maybe...hahaha

This newfangled..haha...water system worked just fine last summer, I dont drink from it but do run it though the toilet and kitchen sink, so its confusing to me what has happened. HELP!!!!!
Heide
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heide K View Post
hi, I am having a problem with my demand pump. I finally was able to get the time to unwinterize the trailer yesterday and the water pump does not seem to be working. The biggest wierd thing is that when I am plugged into the house it hums but doesnt pump, but when I am unplugged and running on the battery it seems to do nothing at all. This leads me to believe it might be electrical. I did remove the battery for the winter and stored it in the basement attached to a trickle charger and since I have put it back on the tongue, the panel shows it has a full charge so I am stumped.

I have only had this old friend one season and had a seasoned RV'r help with with the winterizing with the antifreeze so I there shouldnt be a problem with the lines. The pump worked just fine last fall to pull the antifreeeze in from the special line off the pump. I did try yesterday to pull in water from that connection to see if maybe the waterline from the big tank was blocked but it isnt pulling in from that line either. ANY ideas from anyone who knows about this stuff?? As a young family we had a Trillium for years but of course it didnt have a pump and we rarely even filled it with water as we cooked and hung out outside so we always had our large blue jugs! Now its just me and I wanted to be able to do this myself, 'I am woman, hear me roar" you know something like that, but I wasnt roaring yesterday...growling a bit maybe...hahaha

This newfangled..haha...water system worked just fine last summer, I dont drink from it but do run it though the toilet and kitchen sink, so its confusing to me what has happened. HELP!!!!!
Heide
This is going to sound strange, but it sounds as if the shaft on the pump may have rusted and seized. When power is applied the motor tries to run but it is stuck. There are two types of pumps , a wobble pump and an impeller pump, you don't say which you have. If the impeller broke, the motor would run but not move water.
From what I can tell from what you have said, I suggest taking a small to medium sized object [like a cresent wrench], turn on the pump and moderately strike the pump housing a few times with power ON. That is a firm tap,don't try to break it! Jarring a stuck pump may get it going again, If not, it must be disassembled or replaced.
This a free effort which has a chance to work, but a new pump is about $60-$75.
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:18 PM   #3
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Heide as Floyd indicated its sounds like the pump is stuck and I would try his suggestion first. I had a shower pump do the same thing recently hummed but no action - taking it apart and cleaning it up worked. Once you have it working when plugged in the problem of nothing happening when not plugged in is a bit odd lets hope Floyds suggestion fixes both problems. Cant think of why the pump would not do/sound the same either way - only thing I can think of as to why it did nothing while not plugged in is either the switch wasn't on or you may have a fuse from the converter for the pump thats gone (but not sure why it would work plugged in if thats the case) or your battery is near the end of its life and does not have the power to run the pump ..... hummmm After you have charged up the battery let it sit for a few hours and then run a light or something for a few minutes and take another reading - if its dropped a lot the battery may need replacing. Been there done that a few weeks ago as well. A battery is usually only good for about 4 years.
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:45 PM   #4
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Name: Heide
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Thanks Floyd, a little tough love with my rachet and it worked, not at first on battery power but then finally it sputtered and charged forward and began on house power. I ran it for a bit, opened the taps and flushed the toilet, clearing the antifreeze and then unplugged the trailer, crossed my fingers and it IS working on battery!! YEAH!! It does sound a bit rougher right now though, a bit louder than I remember from last year. Think that is ok?

I think like you suggested Carol, I may need to get a new a battery, it does seem to work and the panel shows it is well but I did clean the heads and tighten the leads this morning to see if that was the problem, and saw that was originally bought in the spring of '05 by the previous owner. I am excited again now, but I was a bit down yesterday as last year after I bought it the fridge stopped, smelled of amonia and I had to replace it before I headed out camping. I did that myself though which was quite rewarding. Then when I was out camping for the first time, I found a crack in one of the tires and decided to replace all four, double axle, so the cost of my trailer had already gone up. I was regretting giving the Trillium to my son...hahaha.

This was a great fix, and I will get a battery soon, but for the weekend I think I am OK!!! Thanks for the help!
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