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Old 04-25-2011, 03:54 PM   #1
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water pump issues

First time using our new trailer this weekend. Only a few kinks to work out. Biggest one is the water pump began constantly running and sucking air while the fresh water tank was still 1/3 full. The weekend was nearly over, so we just shut the pump off and drained the tank when we got home. Other than noticing there was probably 1/4 of a tank left when I drained it I haven't looked closer at anything. Any suggestions?

Also, is it normal that the water pump is so loud?
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:16 PM   #2
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Are you sure you got all of the air out of the hot water heater & all of the water lines. Someone posted that when you first fill the hot water heater with fresh water hold open the pop off valve until water runs out thus letting the air out of the tank. Yes water pumps are noisy - a good safety feature you then know if it is cycling when no one is drawing water - you have a leak!
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:20 PM   #3
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Another recent post was talking about how much water on average is left in the tank when it reads empty and stops pumping, several were stating they have measured the values of 5 or more gallons. This may be what's happening with yours.

Yes the pumps are fairly noisy, you can re-mount them on a strip of rubber or foam to dampen the vibration making it quiter. But like emptypockets states, to know when it is running is not always a bad thing.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:59 PM   #4
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there is a Shurflo silencing kit available. it's the hoses that make most of the noise, not the pump itself.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emptypockets View Post
Are you sure you got all of the air out of the hot water heater & all of the water lines. Someone posted that when you first fill the hot water heater with fresh water hold open the pop off valve until water runs out thus letting the air out of the tank. Yes water pumps are noisy - a good safety feature you then know if it is cycling when no one is drawing water - you have a leak!
I think so.... I held the hot water faucet open while filling the fresh water tank until water flowed.

The hot and cold water worked fine until the fresh water tank got low. Just thought they would be designed a little better to use all or most of the water before sucking air.

The noise isn't a big deal, just wanted to make sure something wasn't wrong with it.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:22 PM   #6
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My water pump suction hose happened to be on one end of the tank. After crawling under the trailer, and looking at the fresh water tank, I noticed it could bounce around when empty, and leaned the wrong way. I made some rubber strips, using a truck mudflap, put them between the plastic tank and the metal straps, and put a couple of extra on one end forcing the water to the suction end. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:09 AM   #7
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How large is your fresh tank? I have measured 6 gallons left in my 48 gallon tank. A reply on my thread mentioned that the hot water tank volume is part of the advertised fresh water tank volume, first I heard of that. I would expect some water left in the tank. My tank has a side port from which the pump tanks suction. Not many options except maybe tilting the tank. If you don't have a sealed underside, you can take a look and probably figure out what the situation is. I may end up replumbing the pump suction to the tank drain to get the last little bit of water.

About the pump noise, it will be noisier if the mounting is not solid. If this is a new trailer, the mounting may just be flimsy. A used trailer may have a pump that lost some feet or screws. The pumps have rubber isolators on the feet. They shouldn't be too tight, but not loose either. I have installed a 3/4" piece of plywood (12"x12") to help my flimsy installation and add mass to the base so the isolators could do their job. The water pump manuals have some good advice.

Good luck.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianjames View Post
Biggest one is the water pump began constantly running and sucking air while the fresh water tank was still 1/3 full.
As you have discovered, with the tank indicator system, the 1/3 light is a "not empty" light not an indicator of an amount. In fact, that amount may not even be usable depending on your feed hose location on the side of the tank. As you can see from these photos, you will start sucking air just about the time the 1/3 light goes out.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:40 AM   #9
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Loudness is a relative thing.....
My trailer has plastic waterlines that run from the pump
across the top of my water tank on their way to the
hot water heater and then the rest of the trailer.

One of these lines was laying on top of my water tank.
When the pump ran, it jumped up and down and drummed
on the water tank.
THAT was noisy!
A little further down stream this same line was
touching the wall between the pass thru storage
area and my wife's side of the bed

Do some investigation and see if you can simply cushion
this or that water line to keep it away from walls, tanks,
bulkheads etc.
Small investment in time can make a big difference.
You can get foam pipe insulation at big box home
supply stores. One piece cut up will be all you need.
You can use a towel or a rag in a pinch to stop any
drumming. Hold them in place with zip ties or just string.

Welcome to the world of RV camping!
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
As you have discovered, with the tank indicator system, the 1/3 light is a "not empty" light not an indicator of an amount. In fact, that amount may not even be usable depending on your feed hose location on the side of the tank. As you can see from these photos, you will start sucking air just about the time the 1/3 light goes out.
Thanks. I still haven't looked under there yet. The brochure says that the tank is 36 gallons, but that might include the water heater because the other two tanks are each listed at 30 gallons each.
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