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Old 05-30-2009, 04:49 PM   #1
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Posts: 6
Water Pump Operations Sanity Check

Newbie warning (proud new owner of a Rockwoods Signature Ultralite 8315BSS as of 4/23/2009)...

Well, not so new that I wasn't able to swap out a failed water pump today, but then it got me still wondering. (pretty proud of myself as a DIY disaster).

At our location (which we are "parked" for the summer), the City Water pressure is horrible. For a couple weeks, I had simply started filling the fresh water tank and running detached from City except to help flush out the black water tanks. (the pump then went bad). I've gotten conflicting advice on whether the water pump provides any support for City Water pressure or as I'm assuming from the hoses I see (and afraid of the ones I may not see) that the pump is only there to pump from the fresh water tank. My pump will go on (with the switch on) whether I am connected to city or fresh.

So...I want the "Best Practices of Pump Operation" from the learned crowd here.

1) Do I stay connected to City all the time and only turn the pump on for showers? Seems kind of a pain in the *ss, but will do it.
2) Do I disconnect the City water and use the fresh water tank leaving pump on for all use? This was working out pretty well except for the constant refilling of the fresh water tanks.
3) Do I leave City connected with pump on and let it run under the assumption that it is actually helping boost the city water pressure and/or drawing fresh water in parallel to augment the city water? This is what I really think is going on, but not sure.

As I've seen and respected many wonderful responses from those of you more experienced and infinitely more handy, I look forward to the results.

Best regards and good weather to you all...

Kyle Gershman

currently parked in Van Buren, MO to support wife's new career as a National Park Service Ranger (Law Enforcement) at the Ozark National Scenic Riverways while I drive back and forth to St. Louis for work weekly to "pay the bills".

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Old 05-30-2009, 04:59 PM   #2
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Location: Enumclaw, WA
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In short the water pump should not pump if connected to city water. If it is then there is more than likely something wrong. Having the pump turned on while connected to city water will have no effect on pressure (again because it should not be pumping) The pump only comes on when it senses an open faucet (low pressure) even on a city water connection with low pressure I wouldn't think that it could be lower than 2 or 3 gpm which is about the high output of your pump, so, the pump should never run while connected to city water. Does it seem like you have enough pressure on the city water when the hose isn't conencted to the trailer? If so the check valve on the city water inlet may not be opening all the way and cutting down on your pressure. An incorectly routed or pinched tube in the trailer coming from the inlet valve could also be a cause of the problem. I just have a hard time believing that you would see a city water pressure be lower than 2 gpm (most have to be at least 10gpm by regulations).

"I can fix it, and if I can't fix it, I can fix it so no one can fix it!"
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:04 PM   #3
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Unhappy Troubleshooting for that?

What do I do to troubleshoot that??? I haven't seen water coming out of the City Water when disconnected and fresh water is in operation, e.g. bad check valve.

Thanks for confirming at least one suspicion about pump for fresh water only!
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
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Oh...forgot to answer one of your questions...I have a hose that I hookup to City Water to wash the rig, the cars, etc. I have a garden sprayer on the end and it is very lame so I wonder if the City Water is actually pretty low. I'm also at the top of a hill on the higher side of town...perhaps I'm just too high up for the presssure to build up (or so I've been told).
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:54 PM   #5
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The only way to know for sure is to put a pressure gauge on the city water line. If it reads below 30 psi, then you may have a bad pressure regulator on your city water line. The post from NWJEEPER speaks of gallons per minute, which has to do with flow, not pressure. (If you take the nozzle off a garden hose and let the water run, at the open end you have good flow, but zero pressure). You are concerned with pressure measured in PSI, and a gauge is the only way to tell. If I was renting that site, and a gauge said the pressure was low, I would expect them to repair the problem.
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:03 PM   #6
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It's kind of an either/or situation. The city water inlet tees into the pump discharge. If you have your pump turned on then whichever has the higher perssure take over. for example; if the city water at your inlet is 35 psi and the pump pressure switch is set to come on at 40 psi then what will happen is that when the pressure falls below 40 psi at the pump the pump kicks on keeping the check valve closedat the city water inlet and supplying the RV with water from the tank only. Now lets say that the city bumps up the pressure to 45 psi then the pump will see more than 40 psi and therefore never kick on so the city water is now supplying the water to the RV. The only way they might share the duty is if both were almost exactly the same pressure and then because of the deadband in the pump switch they would switch back and forth and not really share.

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