Water Pump: Why Isn't It Pumping?

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RJake1

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Jul 24, 2006
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Here's my sad tale:  In prep for winterizing, yesterday I opened all faucets and drained the water out of fresh water tank.  This, of course, used the water pump.  I opened the kitchen, bath, and shower faucets.  After leaving the RV for about 20 mins all the water was drained.  I shut off the pump.

Fast forward to today:  I bought 6 gals of RV anti-freeze (for the water system) and poured it into the fresh water tank.  Turned on water pump (battery power).  Heard the pump running, and running, and running, but it never shut off.  I opened faucet nothing came out.  I shut pump off.  Total time elapsed with pump running about 15 mins.

Couple of points/questions:  1)  Pump was running off battery only.  Is that strong enough?  Should I have started the generator?  2)  I do NOT have a bypass system.  3)  I had noticed a couple of weeks ago that no rinse water was running into toilet when it flushed.  This started with a weakened flow of rinse water, then progressed to nothing after a week or so.

Any suggestions?  I want to winterize the water lines.  What potential harm if I just leave the faucets open all winter and don't run antifreeze through the lines? 

Thanks.
 

Woody

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Try this:
Close off all faucets except the one farthest from the pump. Turn on the pump and let it run until antifreeze comes out of this faucet. You should hear air being expelled from the line. If this works then turn that faucet off and turn on the next farthest one, etc. Make sure to run antifreeze into the toilet so that the flush valve is protected.
If you still don't get any antifreeze to the faucets you can protect your system by using an air compressor through the city water connection to blow the lines out. Make sure to do this several times since some water will run back each time into the lowest spot.

Woody
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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Don't forget to shut the valve for the water off.  It should be located near the water pump it's self.  I did that stupid stunt at Quartzite last year.  DAve straighened me out on that when I went Brain dead again  yet or whatever.  LOL
 

Jim Dick

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You may not have enough antifreeze in the tank. It may take several more gallons to get to where the feeder line is located. That's why I always suggest using the input side of the pump to winterize. It also may be that there is air in the line and hasn't been expelled yet. Sometimes it takes quite a while. If you can see your fresh water tank try to determine if the antifreeze is above the input line.
 

Karl

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The water pump, by itself, will probably not drain the system completely. It will only pump until the water tank is near empty, but will do nothing to remove the water from the low points in the system. There should be one or more small drain valves; one at the water tank, another near the water heater (maybe), others at various places. You'll need to search them out. If there's not enough antifreeze in the water tank, the pump will not prime. Add enough water to the antifreeze already in the tank so the outlet is covered (I believe a 50/50 solution is recommended), and it should prime after a few minutes. Your water heater should have a bypass valve which isolates it from the rest of the system. Make sure it is in the bypass position, as you don't want antifreeze in the HW heater. Use it's own drain to remove all water from it.
 

RJake1

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Jul 24, 2006
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I don't even know where the water heater is.  LOL.  How do I find it?
 

Jim Dick

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RJake1 said:
I don't even know where the water heater is.  LOL.  How do I find it?

The water heater will be located on an outside wall of the coach. There will be an access door with louvers that opens revealing the drain plug, over pressure/over temperature valve and the electronics and gas valve equipment. Somewhere there inside the coach there may be a bypass valve for winterization. If you tell us what type of rig you have perhaps someone will know exactly where everything is located.
 

RJake1

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Jul 24, 2006
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Thanks.  I know where that louvered door is (can't open it unless the awning is extened) but the water heater would be located under my bed based on position of louvered door.  I will check it out.
 

Karl

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I know where that louvered door is (can't open it unless the awning is extened)
Something doesn't sound right. There shouldn't be anything covering the access panels for the water heater, furnace(s), or anything else that needs to exhaust hot gases. The fridge is an exception - it vents through the roof, but it too has a panel that needs to be uncovered. The water heater access is usually about 1' x 1' and secured by a metal loop that you pull and twist to release. Take some pictures and post them here - we'll tell you which is which.
 

RJake1

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Jul 24, 2006
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I found the water heater access door and indeed the awning rail blocks it from opening unless the awning is extended. 

Anyway, I started the generator figuring that might assist the water pump (had been running battery only), opened just the cold water faucet in kitchen sink (opened all the way), and ran pump for at least 20 mins.  Nothing.

I checked fresh water tank and the level of antifreeze is above the lines that feed into the water pump.

This is weird.  It worked fine when i ran all the fresh water out of it through the spigots using the pump.  Now I can't even get a drip to run through.

I am stumped (admittedly an easy thing to accomplish).

Since I ran all the water out of the lines what harm if I don't winterize?
 

Jeff

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RJake1 said:
I am stumped (admittedly an easy thing to accomplish).

Since I ran all the water out of the lines what harm if I don't winterize?

Jake:

You lost the prime on your pump and on some RV's it takes a special knack to reprime it. If you have an outside shower head it is probably the lowest outlet on your unit. I would shut off all other facets except that and try again.

When your pump lost its prime you still had lots of water in your system, including some in the pump. You must blow it out with air  if you can't use the pump to fill it with antifreze. As Jim suggested  hooking a line to the pump inlet and running it into a bottle of anitfreeze it proabablyt the best.

If you haven't used air before DO NOT use full flow on a 150PSI system and make sure at least one facet is always open while the air is flowing.
 

Shayne

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How about the shut off valve down near the water pump  That switches from City Water to stored water and visc versa.
 

johns10

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Dec 9, 2006
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nevada
You should have two low level water drain lines somewhere under your rv. One for cold side and one for hot. Open the cold side slightly and attempt to pump water. As said before you should hear air escaping prior to the release of water. Not a good idea to let water pump run for such long periods without water flow. Overheats the pump and could burn up the motor. Being a low point drain may help. If not, forget the winterizing and move to Nevada, Arizona or California. Ha! Ha! Bad joke. Good luck. I have the same problem every time I drain my system. Just a matter of getting the darn things primed. Takes alot of messing around till you get the right combination.
 
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