Water system - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-14-2006, 12:20 PM   #1
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Recently purchased 1993 BIGFOOT 17 and have gone through water systems. Have questions for any of you experienced out there with system, and can explain it to me. I am surprised no schematics came with RV from manufaturer.
When you connect to house water, (I bought a 40psi regulator) does this bypass the water tanks and lines?
The shurflo water pump does not cycle off. Checked for leaks and couldnt find any.
Does this water pump have to be on when using water, and CONNECTED to house water?
Water heater appears to work, however in the shower and sink it runs warm/cold/warm.
I have already cut and added an elbow where the exterior water fill made a 90 degree turn, and restricted the flow. Now Fixed.
I also added an elbow to the inline clear tubing coming from the water pump so that IT was not restricted. (Poor designs which I solved the same way previously in my boat.)
Water pressure seems very low, however I cannot compare without seeing another BIGFOOT or similar system. There is also the stuttering in system which I think is air in the line. I let it run for a long time and it does not seem to have cleared. Any help and advice appreciated.
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Old 01-14-2006, 03:36 PM   #2
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Q - When you connect to house water does this bypass the water tanks and lines?
A - The water will not fill the fresh water tank but will use the same water lines.

Q - The shurflo water pump does not cycle off. Checked for leaks and couldnt find any.
A- If you are not connected to house water and you have water in the fresh water tank when you turn on the water pump it should pressurize the system and shut off. If it does not in this situation than your pressure switch might be bad. Make sure all your water faucets are closed during this test.

Q - Does this water pump have to be on when using water, and CONNECTED to house water?
A - When hooked to outside water the water pump should be off. The system is pressurized by the house water pressure.

Q - Water heater appears to work, however in the shower and sink it runs warm/cold/warm.
A - Not exactly sure this is answer to your problem but since water heater is only 6 gallon if you try to take shower like at home it will run out of hot water real fast. Typcally you will take military type shower, water only running to get wet or rinse off, not running constantly.

Q - I also added an elbow to the inline clear tubing coming from the water pump so that IT was not restricted. (Poor designs which I solved the same way previously in my boat.)
Water pressure seems very low, however I cannot compare without seeing another BIGFOOT or similar system. There is also the stuttering in system which I think is air in the line. I let it run for a long time and it does not seem to have cleared. Any help and advice appreciated.
A - Not much help here, clean out your strainer/filter in-line before water pump and check to see if any filters installed by owner, they could be clogged. Your water pressure will only be as good as what is going into the trailer.
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Old 01-15-2006, 08:43 AM   #3
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thanks kent for the info.
I will trace and try to find any inline filters that may be blocked. This morning I turned on the pump, it ran for a few minutes, then cycled off. A few minutes later it started up again and did not shut down. This would lead me to believe that once pressure has built up...a leak starts somewhere. I wonder if I should take the pump out and test it somehow?
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:30 AM   #4
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Jef, this is from a Shur Flow Brochure:

PLUMBING
● SHURflo recommends at least 1ft. [.3 M] of " [13mm] I.D. flexible high pressure tubing to both ports. Ideally the pumps ports/strainer should not be connected to plastic or rigid pipe. The pump's normal oscillation may transmit through rigid plumbing causing noise, and possibly loosen or crack components.
● Installation of a 50 mesh strainer (SHURflo P/N 170) is recommended to prevent foreign debris from entering the pump.
● SHURflo swivel barb fittings provide easy removal if maintenance or access is required.
The fittings are designed with a "taper-seal", creating a water tight connection when handtightened.
Never use Teflon tape or sealing compounds on threads. Sealer may enter the pump causing a failure. Failure due to foreign debris is not covered under warranty.
Always secure barb tubing connections with properly sized stainless steel clamps to
prevent leaks.
● Rapid cycling may be caused by excessive back pressure created by one or more of the
following within a plumbing system:
Water filters not on separate feed lines.
Flow restrictors in faucets and shower heads.
Small I.D. lines. Pipe/tubing should be at least " [13mm] I.D. for main lines.
Restrictive fittings and connections (elbows, "T's", feeder lines to faucets, etc.)
SWITCH SHUT-OFF
Restrictions in a plumbing system may cause the pump to rapid cycle (ON/OFF within 2 sec.) during low flow demands. Cycling should be minimized to prevent pulsating flow, and to achieve maximum pump life.
To determine if adjustment is necessary, turn a faucet ON to lower than average flow of water.
The pump should cycle, but its "OFF time" must be 2 sec. or longer. If the cycling is correct, leave well enough alone. If the pump is cycling rapidly increase the setting by turning the screw clockwise (1 turn MAX.) until the pump operates for 1 sec. with at least 2 sec. "OFF time". If cycling cannot be minimized consider removing plumbing restrictions or simply install a SHURflo Accumulator.
TROUBLESHOOTING
Vibration induced by road condition can cause plumbing or pump hardware to loosen. Check for system components that are loose. Many symptoms can be resolved by simply tightening the hardware. Check the following items along with other particulars of your system.
PUMP WILL NOT START/ BLOWS CIRCUIT:
Electrical connections, fuse or breaker, main switch, and ground connection.
● Is the motor hot? Thermal breaker may have triggered; it will reset when cool.
● Is voltage present at the switch? Bypass the pressure switch. Does the pump operate?
● Charging System for correct voltage (10%) and good ground.
● For an open or grounded circuit, or motor; or improperly sized wire.
● For seized or locked diaphragm assembly (water frozen?).
WILL NOT PRIME/SPUTTERS: (No discharge/Motor runs)
● Is the strainer clogged with debris?
● Is there water in the tank, or has air collected in the hot water heater?
● Is the inlet tubing/plumbing sucking in air at plumbing connections (vacuum leak)?
● Is inlet/outlet plumbing severely restricted or kinked?
● Proper voltage with the pump operating (10%).
● For debris in pump inlet/outlet valves or swollen/dry valves.
● Pump housing for cracks or loose drive assembly screws.

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Old 01-15-2006, 05:20 PM   #5
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Every RV that I have seen uses the same basic plumbing system as the one in my Scamp (the exception is very old RV's that have pressurized fresh water tanks). It may help you to read the section of my Scamp's owners manual concerning the water system. The URL to my web site is listed below; once there, click on "owners manual".

Without actually seeing your trailer, I would guess that you have a lot of air trapped in your water system. You may also have a "fill valve" that allows you to easily fill your fresh water tank while hooked up to city water. What this amounts to is a water pump bypass, and if the valve is left open the water pump will run forever and little useable water will flow out the various fixtures.

Good Luck, and please keep us posted!

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 01-15-2006, 06:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
You may also have a "fill valve" that allows you to easily fill your fresh water tank while hooked up to city water. What this amounts to is a water pump bypass,
Ooh! That sounds like a neat mod!
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Old 01-17-2006, 02:27 PM   #7
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I think it's already been covered that you shouldn't have your pump on if you are connected to city water. This may have also been covered and I missed it. If so, just ignore it.

Your pump is designed to pull water out of the holding tank and push it through the lines. If your tank is empty or low, then your pump will cavitate as it sucks air into the pump. Once it does this, it may take a bit to get it reprimed so that it will work properly. If you are hooked up to city water AND you have water in your tank, then the pump should not run. If the tank is close to empty then it might.

Having said all that, I did have a small leak on the outflow fitting of my pump once. IT was an easy fix.

The best way to check your pump is to fill your holding tank and disconnect the city water. Then you can do a true test of your system. It may even be a leaky valve in your toilet (if you have one). Remember, you may have to get all the air out of your pump before it settles down and works properly.
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