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View Full Version : SOLVED: Water Pump Issue or Clogged Supply Line?



chasdvorak
10-07-2013, 10:09 AM
Water Pump Issue….please excuse the long post.

I ran into a problem this week with my fresh water supply system. I added some water to the tank (1/4 tank per the indicator) for use during a parking lot overnight while en route to the Iowa Rally. When I flipped the switch in the coach I could not hear the pump operating and was unable to draw water. Once at the rally, I removed the panel and checked the voltage….I must have had a loose connection or bad ground because the pump started to work.

I then noticed that the supply hose before the pump started to collapse, so I shut down the pump to prevent overheating. I unscrewed the supply hose to the pump and attempted to suck up some water (much nicer than trying to siphon fuel) with no success. I believe I must have a kink or obstruction in the tank supply line because I am not able to manually draw water. I flipped the winterizing valve to the winterizing position and the pump worked fine, so the pump appears to be working with no clogs in the filter.

I also noticed that my fresh water tank drain is loose and positioned at a 45 degree angle. Prior to this trip, it was firmly mounted and at a 90 degree angle to the corroplast. I haven't seen any bulges, but I am concerned that the fresh water tank may have shifted.

A little history….I have a 2009 BH 3580RL that has an issue with extremely hot water bleeding through cold side when there is no pressure on the water system from the city supply or fresh water tank. I can open any cold water supply, including the toilet and extremely hot water will flow for 4-5 minutes. Any other coach will dribble water for a few seconds, but mine runs at a daily decent flow. If I try this trick before heating up the water I don't get the siphon effect.

My coach is definitely haunted...... I've stumped HL techs at 3 national rallies and several local techs including the guys at the Wisconsin rally. We've checked the plumbing of the lines, replaced by-pass valves and replaced the top check valve on the water heater to no avail. We also checked for excessive hot water temperature and it is normal with no activation of the high pressure relief valve. The HL techs just replaced the by-pass valves at the Goshen rally and I noticed that the fresh water supply hose is tight with very little slack, but I never checked the fresh water function at that time. This weird situation is usually not a problem since the system works fine if it is connected to the city supply or pressurized by the fresh water pump. I'm just wondering if these problems may be related.

So here are my questions:



I think I need to remove or at least drop the corroplast to check the fresh water tank supply line. Do I have to completely remove the bottom corroplast liner. Any suggestions about working with the liner?




Can I get a replacement hose at Home Depot or Lowes? What type or size?




Are there any in line check valves, components, or connectors that I should be aware of?




Any suggestions for splicing or replacing the supply hose if needed? I have the lex crimps and crimping tool but can I use hose clamps. I'm not sure if the pex crimps work with the soft hose, but the hoses are pex crimped to the by-pass valves.




Any suggestions for removing pex crimps. I used to wrestle them off with an old pair of pliers, but thought there must be a tool or easier method.


Thanks for reading this post…

Chuck Dvorak

danemayer
10-07-2013, 10:28 AM
Hi Chuck,

It's hard to imagine a connection between the hot water issue and the fresh tank issue. The only possibility I can think of is that the water pump internal check valve is allowing backwards water flow into the fresh tank. It seems unlikely that this would siphon hot water out of the heater, but if it did, that would introduce hot water into the common pluming. But there are 2 obvious problems with this line of reasoning. 1) it wouldn't produce more than a few seconds of hot water, and 2) the fresh tank gauge would show full and you'd probably have water leaking from the underbelly.

If this is a Suburban water heater, I'd suggest purging the hot water from the cold lines and running it on propane for a while to see if the problem goes away, in which case it's probably the 110V thermostat/ECO assembly. Another thing to try would be to add a check valve to the hot water inlet - low percentage, but you're running out of things to try.

As to the kink or restriction in the pump supply line, before going into the rear section of the coroplast, take out the screws in the front section. You can drop the rear-off-doorside corner of the front piece of coroplast and inspect the six feet of water line closest to the pump. Use an impact wrench on the coroplast mounting screws to avoid damaging them. You'll also find it much easier.

If you have to go into the rear section of the coroplast, you may want to cut 3 sides of a rectangle and bend it down to gain access. Then tape it back with Gorilla Tape or wide Roof Flashing Tape from Home Depot/Lowes. I find the flashing tape does a better job. Unless your coroplast is mounted differently from mine, without cutting somewhere, it's pretty hard to drop it enough to do more than maybe get a peek.

I usually just cut the hose next to the old crimp ring and replace fitting and ring. Pex hose is available at Home Depot/Lowes in various lengths. If it's reinforced braided hose, that's probably also available most anywhere. I think in both cases they're 1/2". I'd stick to the Pex crimp rings. Hose clamps can be problematic.

brianharrison
10-07-2013, 12:54 PM
Good advice from Dan (as always). I did troubleshoot a crimped supply line on an old trailer and found it was actually a plugged line from debris in the tank (manufacturing stuff from the tank factory, we guessed). I ended up plumbing the pump backwards, connecting the supply line to the discharge and pumping back into the tank (we used the winterization hose on the suction). It cleared the line.

Brian

chasdvorak
10-07-2013, 08:59 PM
Thanks Dan and Brian,

I'm going to try and get out this week to take a look under the corroplast. I will follow Dan's advice and remove the section below the pump to see if I can spot the problem. I'm also planning on cutting the corroplast to see what happened with the fresh tank drain, which appears to be working properly but is loose and at a weird angle. If I don't see a problem, I'll try to blow out the supply line per Brian 's advice.

Chuck

chasdvorak
10-11-2013, 11:14 AM
PROBLEM SOLVED

OK, so I followed Dan's advice and partially dropped the corroplast to trace the fresh water supply line. I was able to visually inspect or feel almost all of the line and did not locate any type of kink or problem. The drain line appeared to be a T splice in the supply line that was simply inserted through a slit in the corroplast. I cut the corroplast to allow the drain line to sit at a 90 degree angle and then added some Gorrilla tape to hold it in place. I also touched up some of the access areas in my corroplast that were added when I had the Level-Up installed several years ago. They initially used Duck Tape which started to fray so I replaced it with Gorrilla tape. The Gorrilla tape is a must have for any rig IMHO along with my faithful can of WD40.

I was going to try and reverse the flow of the pump to blast out the line in case it was blocked with debris as suggested by Brian when I started to study the web of hosing behind the UDC. I took out my iPad and started to look at some diagrams and manuals from the Heartland Users Guides and there it was.....the hoses were plumbed improperly when the techs replaced my winterization valves at the Goshen Rally. Was I upset.....ABSOLUTELY NOT. Those guys always perform a ton of work and extras at the rallies and it just shows that even pros can make an occasional error. At the time, they offered to test the system and I waved them off because I didn't want to miss a pot luck meal so it was really my bad.

I switched the hoses by moving the suction side of the pump to the lowest center position of the valve and connected the antifreeze hose to the upper right position (when looking from the back side of the UDC). I felt confident that it would work properly but a quick test showed that the pump barely worked. I loosened the output connection of the pump and heard a gush I'd air followed by a good stream of water. I tightened all the connection, double and triple checked it again and my problem was solved. The pump operated as designed and once again we are in the "Happy Camper" status.

Lessons learned again....

-If you own a camper and take it on the road....things are going to rattle loose that will require maintenance.

-Anyone can make a mistake so never turn down an opportunity to test your repair.

-The Heartland Owners Group provides an amazing amount of support through the forum, rallies and in this case the manuals/guides. I've printed out or copied several of the guides to my smartphone and tablet and they are very helpful.

Safe Travels,

Chuck