Stupid Things to do in an RV # 387

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Well-known member
Aug 19, 2006
This week I was using my onboard water pump to supplement the water pressure at an RV park that had low park pressure.? I wasn't paying attention to how much of my own FW I was using and the FW tank ran dry in less than a day.?

After refilling the tank, I turned my pump back on and it ran continuously -- it would not prime.? It took me about an hour to find where the pump was hidden.? It was behind a screwed-down panel under the kitchen sink.?

I sat there and looked at the pump with my brain out-of-gear, wondering what the trick was to get it to prime.? I noticed there were some blue finger-grip things on either side of the pump that I thought were valves.? Perhaps operating one of these was the key??

Here is where I learned a very key lesson the hard way -- NEVER OPERATE ANYTHING WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT THAT THING IS GOING TO DO.? I pulled one of the blue things out to the side and water started SPEWING out of it.? Worst of all, I couldn't get it to go back in and stop, even with the pump turned off.? Paniced, I ran out the door, around the RV, and cut off the park water supply.? By then, the water is out from under the cabinets, standing about a quarter-inch deep on the vinyl flooring, and seeping into the bordering carpeting.

Long story short -- what I pulled out was a quick-disconnect for the piping on the high-pressure side of the pump.? When I finally realized what it was and how it worked, I still couldn't get it back together without it dripping under pressure.? I think I must have slightly dinged the o-ring seal in my earlier panic.? I ended up swapping it with the o-ring on the low-pressure side, and it did finally seal.?

At least by that time I had managed to salvage our trip.? For the previous hour it looked like we were going to have to pack up and head for home.? ?:'(?

As I sat there looking at the pump and the mess, my brain finally engaged and I saw what should have been obvious.? The pump cannot prime itself by pumping air from the dry inlet against the park pressure on the other side of the pump.? I cut the park supply, opened a faucet, and then turned the pump on.? It primed in less than 15 seconds.
Several good lessons there, thanks for sharing your experience.

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