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Old 08-22-2011, 02:24 PM   #1
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Warranty Issue or Not?

The following is a brief synopsis of the issue that has occurred with the water pump in my Rockwood mini-lite 2306 that I purchased from RV Wholesalers. The unit is currently under warranty with Forest River.

On two occasions, I have experienced a failure of the water pump while camping. On both occasions, the freshwater tank held plenty of water. On the first occasion, the pump stopped working normally on the last day of a four day trip, making a low hum instead of the normal noise and wouldn't turn off even after the faucets were closed. I had to flip the control panel switch to make it stop. Obviously, I was worried that I could be damaging the wp by letting it run. At first, I thought I was out of water even though the gauge showed the tank to be one third full, but it took nearly five minutes to drain the fwt upon preparing to return home. Once home, I partially filled the fwt and checked the pump, and it worked normally, so I scratched my head and forgot about it.

On the second occasion, I filled the fwt tank upon arrival at the campground and bled air out of the pipes after setup. The pump worked fine at that point, but later that night, I heard a loud pop (like a cork from a champagne bottle) come from underneath the trailer while I was showering. My wife heard the same sound. I could not find anything amiss, saw no water leaking from underneath and thought nothing of it until the water pump began to fail again that night, the first night of a three day camping trip. Again, the pump went from the normal running sound to a low hum and water would only sputter out of the faucets. The only way to get the pump to stop was to switch it off at the panel. When I returned home, I partially filled the fwt and tested the pump, and this time it continued to malfunction. Time to contact the warranty folks.

As instructed by the dealer, I took the tt to a repair facility, but they found nothing wrong with the pump. Now I am out $153 to the repair shop. Forest River says it won't pay because the repair shop found nothing wrong. Clearly, there is a problem that needs to be solved, and I am left holding the bag on this bill. FR's response was to say the problem must have been caused by low pressure at the campground. That would make sense if I were hooked up to city water, but I wasn't on either occasion.

Does anyone have insight or experience with this problem, and am I out of line in believing that FR should do more than wash their hands of this problem and tell me that I am responsible for paying the bill? I'm just a tad frustrated now because I've had two camping trips marred by a malfunctioning wp and I get to pay $153 for my troubles.

As usual, thanks in advance for your comments.
Greg
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:10 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear it. Sounds to me like this could be a few items:

A Leak preventing it from building enough pressure to shut off (except you said you didn't see any water)

The inlet hose to the water pump is getting air somehow

There could be gunk in the pump causing it to have problems getting enough pressure to switch off. There is a diaphram in the pump that needs to be able to close effectively. I would think the repair shop would have checked this.

Just some guesses.

As for it being a warranty issue, were you able to replicate the problem with the WP at the service repair facility? They would need to document it for FR to cover it as a warranty item.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:53 PM   #3
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You could try video taping it next time with your smartphone. I did this once when the service department couldn't find the problem. The guy was able to see what I was referring to and we solved the problem.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:25 PM   #4
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I wonder if there is some junk in the fresh water tank, like a piece of plastic disk, from when they cut the holes for the fittings.

It could be floating around in the fresh water until the level got low enough to block the inlet to the pump. The pump could suck the disk over the inlet and that would reduce the output pressure to below the cut off pressure causing the pump to continue to run.

Once you shut off the pump, or add water, the disk would move away and act normally until the disk blocked the port again.

Can you see the tank outlet? You might need to drop the belly panel on one side to see the hoses and the tank. It might be the only way to figure this "head scratcher" out...
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:57 PM   #5
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great advice from the above posts. I agree air is getting into the system, does it always happen at the same water level in the tank? my tank was not installed level, the outlet was higher than the sensors. I thought I had water per the tank monitor but none was coming out, when I opened the tank drain several gallons would come out. (I hope that made sense)
after you find out what the problem is, and if it was something the repair shop should of found then I would dispute the bill.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:58 PM   #6
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im voting for the unit sucking air.
correct me if i am wrong but most pumps are designed to run continuous without water supply . in the event that the pump gets left on without water ?
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:30 PM   #7
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Pumps just have an on/off switch; a pressure switch (below the desired pressure "on" above the cut out pressure "off); and a thermal switch to kill the pump if it overheats.

No water means the pump will continue to run till it overheats or you turn it off.

Here is how my 5th wheel is plumbed. The yellow sensor wire is the first light above "empty" You can see that when the "empty light comes on there is still many gallons of water left.

The lower black fitting is the pump inlet hose. It will suck air when the water level hits the TOP of the fitting. (not the bottom). This traps about 5 gallons of fresh water in the tank. Draining that out with the lower drain tap takes quite a while when winterizing.

Note the fresh tank heating pad.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:52 PM   #8
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The problem could also be a loose electrical connection, and might explain the intermittant problem.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocus View Post
The problem could also be a loose electrical connection, and might explain the intermittent problem.
An intermittent or loose power or ground connection would cause the pump not to run; not run continuously as experienced.
No?

For it to stay running (electrically speaking) the cut out switch (internal to the pump) would have to stay "made" and you would have water pressure "to beat the band."

Hard to tell from Greg's OP, but it sounds like he got water pressure with the pump not shutting off in one instance and no water pressure (pump running) in two other instances.

These have to be two different issues, I think...

Water pressure; pump not shutting off = cut out switch.
No water pressure; pump not shutting off = lack of water suction at pump inlet. (No water available or air entering lines for any number of reasons.)
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:31 PM   #10
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Friend of mine------------

Friend of mine with a new Rockwood fifth wheel had the same problem. Two things could be wrong. First, (the pump as stated before) is sucking air. If your pump has a small strainer on the inlet side, check to see if there is any trash and make sure it is tight. Second, check all the inlet fittings to make sure they are tight. On the ones that has a compressed
clamp, see if you can twist the connection by slightly twisting the fitting.
And last try turning the adjustment screw 1/2 turn that adjust the pump pressure. If you have a connection for adding anti freeze, make sure the
the "CHECK VALVE" in the connection is closing. By doing this you can plug the antifreeze connection with a garden hose plug. If you are haveing the problem "DRY camping", you could have a bad check valve in the fresh water connection or trash caught in either one of the check valves. The check valves are located on the inlet side of the fresh water hose connections.

My friend found a air leak on the inlet side of the pump at the strainer and the threaded elbow.

Good luck.
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