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Old 12-26-2018, 03:36 PM   #1
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Puzzling Water Issue

Hi,

I am headed from northern Illinois tomorrow for Gulf Shores. We have a 2015 Silverback 33RL with no previous water pump issues.

Because our temperatures are warm enough to get away with it, I dewinterized and started putting water in it this morning. I just wanted to have 20-25 gallons on board to get me to Gulf State Park in three days or so. The procedure I use is adding water from external containers because there is no hose bib in the storage yard.

Done this many times. Water heater no longer bypassed. All valves in proper position. Lots of juice in the battery.

First ten gallons goes in fine, and water starts coming out the pressure relief valve on the water heater. OK, ten gallons in. But shortly thereafter, the pump tapers off and then completely stops pulling water from the external container.

Repeatedly fiddled with the city water valve, releasing pressure with it in both positions, and then trying the pump again. No joy -- pump seems maybe to draw a bit of water sometimes and then stop, and other times to not draw at all.

I can get moving tomorrow without figuring this out. But if anyone has any troubleshooting ideas, I would welcome them.

Thanks in advance.

Rich Phillips
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:05 PM   #2
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Your onboard pump, or even a jury-rigged portable, should never put out enough pressure to force open the pressure relief valve on the water heater.

Like the name of my favorite Chinese Restaurant, Sum Ting Wong.

Is the water heater relief valve in the open position as if someone opened it and it's handle is now stuck "Out"? Are you sure it's coming from the water heater pressure relief valve or perhaps the main tank overflow?

How are you pumping water in? Through a tank fill valve?

More info needed.
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:20 PM   #3
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Hi Titanmike,

I crack the heater relief valve until water comes out, then close it. It's closed now and the problem persists.

I pump in using the same setup I use to draw antifreeze in in the fall -- the plumbing Forest River supplied, which has always worked. And in fact which worked for the first ten gallons today. Then unaccountably it didn't.

I'm thinking clogged pump intake filter screen???

Rich
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:33 PM   #4
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Not 100% clear on what's going on here.... Your on board pump has a pressure switch in it so once the water heater fills and all the spigots are closed, the system pressurizes and cuts off which is exactly what it's designed to do... Once you open a spigot, which causes a pressure drop, it should kick on again.

If you are trying to use this same pump to suck water out of your containers to fill your fresh water tank, just like you use it for anti freeze, that's not going to work... It bypasses the fresh water tank so once the system is pressurized it will cut off..

Am I making any sense here or am I misunderstanding what you're trying to do??
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:34 PM   #5
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Trying to figure this out. You are using the on board water pump and using the antifreeze port to put water in, correct? How is city water connection linked to the fresh water tank? Can you back feed the tank? Only thing I have seen is a connection at the city connection and turn a valve to fill the fresh tank. Is yours different?
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:55 PM   #6
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Sounds like all you managed was to fill the water tank and all of your water lines by selecting the winterize mode on the valve selector. You have to switch it to tank fill to get water in the fresh tank. Not sure if your pump is set up for that. Usually, you would fill the tank from the spigot. Since you have no spigot, try putting it in tank fill using the pump to draw water out of the container.
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Old 12-26-2018, 05:00 PM   #7
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I don't think they fill feeding backwards, do they?
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Old 12-26-2018, 05:16 PM   #8
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The winterization valve connects either the FW tank outlet or the antifreeze draw hose to the inlet side of the water pump. It can not connect the antifreeze inlet line to the FW tank hose.
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Old 12-26-2018, 05:24 PM   #9
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That's what I thought. No way to fill the fresh water tank from the winterizing port. But, I could have been wrong.
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Old 12-26-2018, 05:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njfishing View Post
Not 100% clear on what's going on here.... Your on board pump has a pressure switch in it so once the water heater fills and all the spigots are closed, the system pressurizes and cuts off which is exactly what it's designed to do... Once you open a spigot, which causes a pressure drop, it should kick on again.

If you are trying to use this same pump to suck water out of your containers to fill your fresh water tank, just like you use it for anti freeze, that's not going to work... It bypasses the fresh water tank so once the system is pressurized it will cut off..

Am I making any sense here or am I misunderstanding what you're trying to do??
This^. Once you pushed all the air out and closed the relief valve the pump built up pressure and turned off, just like it's supposed too. The only way this type of filling the tank works is if you have an outside shower and run that hose into your gravity fill. This is what most do. Or rig some other hose from a faucet to the gravity fill port.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by richp View Post
Hi Titanmike,

I crack the heater relief valve until water comes out, then close it. It's closed now and the problem persists.

I pump in using the same setup I use to draw antifreeze in in the fall -- the plumbing Forest River supplied, which has always worked. And in fact which worked for the first ten gallons today. Then unaccountably it didn't.

I'm thinking clogged pump intake filter screen???

Rich
It's generally not recommended to open the pressure relief valve due to the possibility of exactly the problem you are having. If any foreign material that can accumulate in the water heater gets caught in the valve it will leak. Also, as valves age the seal hardens. It will be fine until disturbed either by an over-pressure or manually opening.

Your thinking the pump intake filter might be clogged is a good guess. Not a bad idea to clean them annually when de-winterizing anyway as when they do their job eventually they will fill up.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by SecretSquirrel View Post
This^. Once you pushed all the air out and closed the relief valve the pump built up pressure and turned off, just like it's supposed too. The only way this type of filling the tank works is if you have an outside shower and run that hose into your gravity fill. This is what most do. Or rig some other hose from a faucet to the gravity fill port.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:24 PM   #13
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Hi All,

Thanks for the ideas. I will explore further when I get to my destination. But I know pretty well what I did wrong.

As many times as I have filled my tanks this way, I skipped the step where I take the outside shower hose and connect it to the fresh water intake connection. Then put the auxiliary hose Forest River provides into the container, re-position two valves in the water center, turn on the outside faucet and pump into the tank that way.

Still puzzled why the water heater filled and then things stopped.

I consider it a learning experience, but wow, do I feel dumb....

Rich
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:30 PM   #14
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The water heater filled because you had the pressure relief open. The air could bleed out and the tank filled. When you closed the relief valve there was no where left for the water to go, pressure built up and the pump turned off. Just like in normal use.
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