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Old 11-08-2016, 06:07 PM   #1
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Water Pump won't suck from fresh water tank

Have a 2011 Blue Ridge 3600. Until now have always been connected to water source directly. This year filled fresh water tank and tried to use pump. Water was minimal, sputters and then nothing. Check valve on hose connection appears to be fine, checked connections and they are tight, cleaned filter, tried replacing pump--nothing worked and could not find any air leaks. Pump works perfectly to winterize. Not sure what else to try -- any suggestions/ideas? Let voice mail and sent email directly to Forest River, but never heard back from them. Hoping the Forum can help.

Jerry from Nebraska
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:16 PM   #2
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Hi Jerry,

Did you flip the valve from the winterization mode to tank mode?

Good luck,
Don
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:21 PM   #3
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Tank pickup or hose between pump and tank! Doyou have a valve/Winterizing between the tank and pump? Is it turned the correct way? Youroo! !
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:27 PM   #4
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Yes. I also tried to pump fresh water out of a gallon jug to prime the pump and switch to normal run to see if that worked. It didn't. It sputtered and then nothing. Has great water pressure when I pumped out of the gallon jug. Double/triple checked that there was water isn't the fresh water tank. It took 40 minutes to drain it all out when I winterized so I'm sure I had plenty in it.
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:27 PM   #5
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I have had a pump prime issues in the past make sure the tank is full or near full. Also make sure the pump is not sucking air from the screen strainer.
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:47 PM   #6
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The tank was full, and I cleaned the screen strainer. But thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:49 PM   #7
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There is a low point drain plug, but I don't see a valve there. I did check the plugs though.
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Old 11-09-2016, 07:53 AM   #8
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I have one of those camco add on winterizing kits. I find that. if I do not wrap the threads of the 1/2" port where the short hose threads on I get enough of a vacuum leak that the pump does not suck from the tank. This is even with the valve not in the winterizing position and the cap on the port. Wrap the cap and good suction.
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:35 AM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestion..will double check that.
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:54 AM   #10
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On my Wildcat MAXX the pump will not pump water if the fresh water tank fill cap is not sealed TOTALLY TIGHT! I even replaced my pump before I realized this was the case. I finally found out the issue by taking a towel and stuffing one end of it into the fresh water filler tube. Sure enough, with the tube totally plugged with the towel end, the pump worked fine. Took towel out, placed plastic cap back on filler tube---- pump would not pump water! So---I cut a thin piece of rubber to make a gasket for inside the filler cap and now it works perfectly, ALL THE TIME!
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:54 AM   #11
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It sure sounds like the suction hose from the tank to the pump is kinked, cracked or broken or the port where the suction hose connects to the tank has a problem.

You have ruled out the pump by being able to draw from the winterizing port.
So short of something being internally wrong with the winterizing selector valve (handle turns but does not change the valve position internally) or there really wasn't water in the fresh water tank, (although you said it was full) you are going to have to do some investigating from the pump to the fresh water tank.

A quick check might be (if the fresh tank is still full) pull the suction line from the pump, turn the winterizing bypass valve to feed from the tank and blow in it.
You should be able to blow bubbles back into the fresh water tank and possibly hear them. (maybe remove the fresh water fill cap and have someone listen there too and also to be sure you are able to bleed air out)

If you can blow air but not hear bubbles, something is broken or cracked between the pump and tank. If you can't blow through it you likely have a kink, the winterizing selector valve is bad or something is plugged.
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Old 11-09-2016, 10:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSchleder View Post
On my Wildcat MAXX the pump will not pump water if the fresh water tank fill cap is not sealed TOTALLY TIGHT! I even replaced my pump before I realize this was the case. I finally found out the issue by taking a towel and stuffing one end of it into the fresh water filler tube. sure enough, with the tube totally plugged with the towel, the pump worked fine. Too towel out, placed plastic cap back on filler tube---- pump would not pump water! I cut a thin piece of rubber to make a gasket for the filler cap and now it works fine, ALL THE TIME!
RSchleder,
I believe you and I may have discussed this before.
I am not doubting what you are saying you did.

But I will say, what you are describing makes absolutely no sense in how a fresh water system works. The fresh water tank is not a pressurized system on the suction side. In fact it HAS to get air into the system as you use water from the tank or a vacuum would occur and suck the sides of the tank in until the pump could no longer overcome the vacuum.

Adding air to the tank (during depletion of the of the liquid by the pump) is usually done with a vent line near the fill cap (mine are right next to each other) or sometimes a vent hose is inside somewhere. Because of the vent process I just described, sealing the fill cap would serve no purpose other than keep water from sloshing out the cap if the tank was filled fully.

I am truly baffled if what you say happens, really happens.
I have no idea whatsoever why sealing the fresh water fill cap would make the pump work??? I sure would love to examine your system.
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Old 11-09-2016, 11:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
RSchleder,
I believe you and I may have discussed this before.
I am not doubting what you are saying you did.

But I will say, what you are describing makes absolutely no sense in how a fresh water system works. The fresh water tank is not a pressurized system on the suction side. In fact it HAS to get air into the system as you use water from the tank or a vacuum would occur and suck the sides of the tank in until the pump could no longer overcome the vacuum.

Adding air to the tank (during depletion of the of the liquid by the pump) is usually done with a vent line near the fill cap (mine are right next to each other) or sometimes a vent hose is inside somewhere. Because of the vent process I just described, sealing the fill cap would serve no purpose other than keep water from sloshing out the cap if the tank was filled fully

I am truly baffled if what you say happens, really happens.
I have no idea whatsoever why sealing the fresh water fill cap would make the pump work??? I sure would love to examine your system.

Iowa is a very friendly place and I would appreciate your visit, you are always welcome. I've owned 12 RV's, built several street rods and classic cars so I do have some knowledge of mechanical/electrical items. Believe me, this one's a major mystery to me also.
Could I be losing my prime on my pump and by plugging the tank fill I'm allowing the pump to re-prime? Sure beats me as I worked on the dang pump for 30 minutes trying to get it to pump and no luck until I plugged the fill with the end of the towel. I must say, I did this while at home before I winterized so I have no actual camping experience with the "new" rubber washer I installed! Looking back, this seems to have also been the case a year ago when I replaced the pump and the new pump didn't function any different than the original until I re-positioned the plastic fill cap then all worked fine as I winterized my unit
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Old 11-09-2016, 11:12 AM   #14
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Thanks for the suggestion. We'll try it. At this point, we'll try anything--it's got us stumped
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Old 11-09-2016, 01:42 PM   #15
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Could it be an O-Ring?

I had a similar problem....
When I winterized my unit, an o-ring must have fallen out. Come spring time when I fired everything back up I had a hell of a time trying to get the water pump to draw water properly. Without that tiny little .19 cent o-ring the connection just won't seal properly and air will eventually leak in.

That's all I have for you....
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Old 11-09-2016, 03:35 PM   #16
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Can you tell me where the "O" ring was? Cause that's a possibility, but not sure where it was
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Old 11-09-2016, 10:29 PM   #17
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If you figure out what it is, please post. This year, i filled up the fresh water tank and couldn't get the pump to pump water. I had used it two years ago and it worked fine, but, after that and for 6 months while we used it as a temp house we were on city water last year. Figured this year, I should chlorine the tank and pump it just in case we used it this summer. It didn't work. I could hear the motor run, but, with the full tank of water, nothing came out and the motor just kept running. Since the tank is below the pump, I figured it may either be a priming issue or bad pump head. Didn't have time to track it down and, again, this year we were on city hookups the whole time we camped. Am going to tackle the problem in the spring when I have more time and weather is warmer, so, if you find out something it may be a big help. At least the tank was chloritized and drained with the drain valve. Thanks!
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Old 11-09-2016, 10:33 PM   #18
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If we figure it out, I'll post it. Have had some good suggestions...so will be checking them all. But can't do it now until spring. We've already winterized.
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Old 11-09-2016, 10:39 PM   #19
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I'll definitely "stay tuned"! See you in the spring.
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:54 PM   #20
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Open one of your faucet valves at sinks/tub/Shower or flush toilet. This is an air lock in line. If this does not work, possibly a 3way valve is faulty.
Good Luck


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