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Old 12-21-2016, 05:04 PM   #1
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Name: Charles E
Trailer: Looking for a Casita
Texas
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Casita - water from fresh water tank

I just got my Casita and have not had to use the fresh water tank. I water in it and I run on the pump but I can't get it to pump the water. What am I missing?

Thanks
Charles
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:27 PM   #2
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Howdy Charles, you didn't say the age of your trailer. A couple things come to mind; loose couplings/fittings, a crack in a line, clogged filter at the pump or enough water in the tank for pickup/suction. It doesn't take much of an air leak for that to happen. Have you tried hooking up to the city water to check for possible leaks ?
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:36 PM   #3
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Does your Casita have a water heater bypass valve ?.
If the valve is set to the non bypass position you may be filling up your water heater. It takes 6 gallons: of water to fill the water heater.
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Old 12-22-2016, 04:00 AM   #4
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All of the above, so start at the source....Turn pump Off...crack (loosen) union on out side of Pump and Turn Pump On.... any water?
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Old 12-22-2016, 10:27 AM   #5
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Thanks

All great responses. I will take action on these and see what happens. My Casita is a 2009 and the HWH valve is in the vertical position.
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Old 12-22-2016, 12:16 PM   #6
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All good suggestions. One of them will likely work. Also, as the pump ages the impeller may not seal well and may not be able to maintain sufficient pressure.
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Old 12-22-2016, 01:24 PM   #7
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I believe that the Casita water pump is a diaphragm pump and not an impeller pump . The diaphragm can crack , tear or develop holes with usage and age . The pump will not work properly with a bad Diaphragm. I would check for other sources for your problem before tearing the pump apart. Luckily the Diaphragm is not expensive or difficult to replace . If it is a bad impeller you may have too much head space between the impeller and the housing.
If both the housing and impeller are worn , it would probably be cheaper to replace the whole pump.
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:17 PM   #8
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I had the same issue last spring when we started using the trailer following the winter layoff. The pump would run but it did not pressurize the plumbing. I suspected any and or all of the things that folks have listed here.

In the event, I opened the pump and found everything in great shape; the diaphragm was sturdy and flexible with no cracks or signs of wear. The filter strainer on the suction line was clean. I reassembled everything and it then worked fine.

I suspect that the diaphragm just needed to be loosened up after sitting for some six months or so. It occurred to me that I might have done better by just letting it run for a couple of minutes to get it loosened up and operable.

Has anyone else had this sort of experience? Having the pump not work and simply curing it by running the pump a minute or two?

I hope this is not hijacking the thread; I don't know if this is the same circumstances that Charles has had, but thought my experience might be relevant.
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Old 12-23-2016, 08:18 AM   #9
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One other simple thing to try before tearing into your plumbing. Fill water tank half full. Connect trailer to city water and open all faucets. With city water running, turn on pump and let it run while city water is running. After a few minutes of this the pump may prime and work as normal. Once it primes you should have no other problems unless it sits without use for an extended period(months) I've recommended this to a number of folks and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but it's worth a try. I think the flowing city water may create a vacuum back toward the pump, helping it to prime.
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Chapman View Post
One other simple thing to try before tearing into your plumbing. Fill water tank half full. Connect trailer to city water and open all faucets. With city water running, turn on pump and let it run while city water is running. After a few minutes of this the pump may prime and work as normal. Once it primes you should have no other problems unless it sits without use for an extended period(months) I've recommended this to a number of folks and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but it's worth a try. I think the flowing city water may create a vacuum back toward the pump, helping it to prime.
Your proposed solution doesn't hold water, (no pun intended.) If you have "city water" pressure present, the pump will not come on, (unless you have ridiculously low city pressure,) because the pump operates, (cycles,) on and off via the demand on the pressure switch at the pump when it is energized. If you have a trapped air pocket at the pump, the pump will not purge it because city water pressure has crammed the air up to the front of the pump, with nowhere for it to go. As far as the water coming from the on-board tank goes, there is a check valve in the line between the tank and the water pump. This is necessary to prevent "city water" from back-flowing through the diaphragm pump into your on-board water tank causing it to overfill and continue to do so.
You can either use the "city water" supply, or you can use the on board tank supply with the pump. Both won't work simultaneously.
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Old 12-23-2016, 10:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Your proposed solution doesn't hold water, (no pun intended.) If you have "city water" pressure present, the pump will not come on, (unless you have ridiculously low city pressure,) because the pump operates, (cycles,) on and off via the demand on the pressure switch at the pump when it is energized. If you have a trapped air pocket at the pump, the pump will not purge it because city water pressure has crammed the air up to the front of the pump, with nowhere for it to go. As far as the water coming from the on-board tank goes, there is a check valve in the line between the tank and the water pump. This is necessary to prevent "city water" from back-flowing through the diaphragm pump into your on-board water tank causing it to overfill and continue to do so.
You can either use the "city water" supply, or you can use the on board tank supply with the pump. Both won't work simultaneously.
I have to agree with Greg . Trying to prime / flood / purge your pump by using the city water connection will only work if the pumps check valve is defective . A bad check valve may help you purge your pump but remember to shut off the water when your onboard water tank overflows.

Most pumps don't pump because of leaks on the suction side of the pump or trapped air in the lines or pump.
The suction side of your pump needs to be flooded !
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Old 12-23-2016, 10:52 AM   #12
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Here's a link to a page that has the manual for my pump, a FloJet 3526-144. The file is too large to post as an attachment here. You need to click on the downloads tab on the linked page. If you have difficulty getting the PDF from the FloJet link, send me a PM and I can email it to you.

https://goo.gl/viLZzn

I think this pump has been used in all the Casita trailers as the Casita A to Z guide doesn't list any others and they normally note when factory equipment has changed over the years. At any rate, this is the pump I found in my 2012 FD.

Agreed, connecting to the City water connection will normally put enough pressure on the discharge side of the pump to cause the pump's pressure switch to remain off, unless the City supply pressure is abnormally low. On edit: But Jerry did say in Post #9 to open all the faucets, so that could drop the pressure enough so that the pump does run.

From the pump diagram, and my recollection, the check valve is integral to the diaphragm. It's Item 3 on the exploded view on page 3 of 4. I removed the board near the floor at the back of the dining area and also checked under the seat on tank side. The only device between the tank and the pump suction connection on mine was the strainer. As mentioned, everything appeared to be in good shape with no evidence of debris, wear or deterioration.

In any event, I am thinking that if I have this sort of trouble again (pump runs but fails to pressurize system) I will probably run it longer and perhaps try tapping it a bit before I go to the trouble of taking it apart. Maybe I'll even try to run it every couple of months as preventive maintenance (I leave the system charged with water since our winters are mild here).
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Old 12-23-2016, 03:45 PM   #13
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Trailer: 2002 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe
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Agree that the pump won't run against city water pressure, and won't argue the point, but the water pump Will run in conjunction with city water with the water running from an open faucet(s). Try it and see. I know for a Fact that that remedy has worked four times. Once on an almost new Casita. This fix isn't mine, and it didn't fall from the sky. It was posted on Casita Forum years ago. We were with a couple on the Utah tour back in 09 that couldn't get their water pump to work. We searched the forum, found the post, tried it, and it worked.
Will it work every time? Of course not. But it's worth a try before tearing into plumbing in my opinion. Merry Christmas, Ya'll...
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Old 12-24-2016, 12:15 PM   #14
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Name: Charles E
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Thanks again

I will give some of this a try as soon as I finish with Christmas. Thanks to each of you for your suggestions.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:29 PM   #15
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Name: Charles E
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I love anything that fixes itself

As Steve Dunham said my Casita pump is a diaphragm pump. My buddy and I (mostly the buddy) opened up the pump, pressed around on the diaphragm part for a bit and then reconnected everything and it worked.

Hmmm, not sure what we did. I did clean out the screen filter but I don't think there was enough particle matter there to stop it from working.

The previous owner hardly used the Casita so maybe it got dried out or stuck or something.

Anyway, thanks to all who replied.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charleserwin View Post
As Steve Dunham said my Casita pump is a diaphragm pump. My buddy and I (mostly the buddy) opened up the pump, pressed around on the diaphragm part for a bit and then reconnected everything and it worked.

Hmmm, not sure what we did. I did clean out the screen filter but I don't think there was enough particle matter there to stop it from working.

The previous owner hardly used the Casita so maybe it got dried out or stuck or something.

Anyway, thanks to all who replied.
Charles,

Thanks for the posting. That was basically my experience, (minus the buddy doing the work ).

Maybe I'll consider adding a smidgen of cod liver oil to the water tank to keep the pump diaphragm lubricated.

Or not.
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Old 12-29-2016, 07:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
I had the same issue last spring when we started using the trailer following the winter layoff. The pump would run but it did not pressurize the plumbing. I suspected any and or all of the things that folks have listed here.

In the event, I opened the pump and found everything in great shape; the diaphragm was sturdy and flexible with no cracks or signs of wear. The filter strainer on the suction line was clean. I reassembled everything and it then worked fine.

I suspect that the diaphragm just needed to be loosened up after sitting for some six months or so. It occurred to me that I might have done better by just letting it run for a couple of minutes to get it loosened up and operable.

Has anyone else had this sort of experience? Having the pump not work and simply curing it by running the pump a minute or two?

I hope this is not hijacking the thread; I don't know if this is the same circumstances that Charles has had, but thought my experience might be relevant.
Hi Mike. YES - when I had my Casita a had a few time when the pump didn't prime. While I didn't try a few minutes non stop, I did turn it off and on 3-4 times and it suddenly primed. I don't know why, but it always seemed to work with a little bit if fiddling!
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:00 PM   #18
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My understanding is that this is common for Casitas, at least it was for ours. There is a check valve that gets stuck when you are on city water. It may also have to do with priming.

The solution is to open the lowest valve (some say suck on the shower hose) to encourage the water to flow. Since we had an 2009 FD and no outside shower, the lowest valve was the tiolet. We would simply step on the lever until we heard the tone of the pump change and in a couple of seconds, water would start to flow. I did this numerous times and it always worked.

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Old 12-30-2016, 02:44 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Dave Fish View Post
My understanding is that this is common for Casitas, at least it was for ours. There is a check valve that gets stuck when you are on city water. It may also have to do with priming.
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Not sure I would say it's common just for Casitas......how many makers of water pumps are there ? Guess I've been lucky all these years with different rigs. Only had it not pump once and it turned out to be a loose hose at the pump inlet sucking air. The city water inlet check valve has nothing to do with the pump. It's a backflow preventer so water doesn't flow back into the city water system for possible contamination. Pretty much code every where on buildings. Of course, now that I've said this, mine probably won't prime now . I'll try your fix first.
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Fish View Post
My understanding is that this is common for Casitas, at least it was for ours. There is a check valve that gets stuck when you are on city water. It may also have to do with priming.

The solution is to open the lowest valve (some say suck on the shower hose) to encourage the water to flow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
The city water inlet check valve has nothing to do with the pump. It's a backflow preventer so water doesn't flow back into the city water system for possible contamination.
Hey Dave and Dave! I'd like to solve the puzzle! (Maybe )

Water in the trailer's plumbing can be pressurized by either 1) the pump or 2) connecting to what is commonly referred to as the "city water" connection. Mind you, this "city-water" connection can actually be connected to non-municipal water systems, such as the Rest-Your-Bunzawhile trailer park's water system.

Pressurized water in the trailer's plumbing will press against and close not one but two check valves. (Check valves are valves that only allow flow in one direction.) One of these valves is integrated into the water pump's diaphragm, and the other is located at the "city water" inlet. The check valve in the pump prevents pressurized water from draining back into the on-board gravity water tank. The other prevents pressurized water from entering the "city water" system.

Pressurized water in the trailer plumbing can contribute to making these valves stick, at least the one in the pump; I don't actually know how the check valve in the "city-water" inlet is configured. In my case, while I have never connected my trailer to the city water connection, I have been parking the trailer for extended periods with the plumbing pressurized; I have never made a point of opening a faucet and draining off the residual pressure when I return from a trip. So, the pressurized water presses against the check valves for months at a time as I have a very tight system with no leaks. (Don't try this where you have "actual winter" folks!)

I think what we are getting out of this is that the pump check valves tend to stick closed and need a little "encouragement" to open. Jerry also mentioned this in post #9:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Chapman View Post
I think the flowing city water may create a vacuum back toward the pump, helping it to prime.
Several folks have mentioned letting the pump run a bit. That's clearly got some promise as it has worked several times. However, I think Dave Fish's idea of creating a source of suction is most excellent. This would "pull" open the sticky check valve in the pump.

The other thing I get out of this is that I should be opening a faucet and draining off the residual pressure when I park the trailer. This will prevent pressurized water from pressing on the check valves for long periods. The check valve seats in the pump are "rubbery", so I can see that having these valves pressurized for long periods will encourage them to stick.

Thanks to all for posting their experiences. I sort of kick myself here as I work with and specify pumps for different applications in municipal water systems. On the other hand, I have to allow that these trailers, their equipment and the operating conditions are all new to me. Bottom line, it's been great for me to learn from others here on the forum.
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