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hanschristian.org • View topic - Fresh water pump & flow

Fresh water pump & flow

Moderators: warmrain, mimoza

Fresh water pump & flow

Postby rick_bradshaw » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:30 pm

The situation is that we have just installed a Shurflo, Extreme Series, Smart Sensor, 4.0 fresh water pump (9 amps) without an accumulator tank. This replaces the old 3.0 Shurflo Aqua King Standard pump (5 amps) with an accumulator tank. This replaced the Par pump that was belt driven, also with an accumulator tank.

The oldest pump did well but spare parts were becoming an issue. The diaphragm was the problem. The 3.0 gpm did okay, although maybe a bit under powered, until we put in the charcoal filter inline with the cold water side. The hose to and from the filter is smaller than the ½” ID of the rest of the hose. It is part of the filter mechanics and there is not an option for a larger (i. e., ½” ID) hose/filter attachments. As far as the charcoal filter goes, it is either in or out of the system. I could take it out and see shat happens but I don’t think it is the real problem.

The “hot” water does -not- go through the charcoal filter and it is also slow. Just about the same small stream. To make matters worse, putting on both hot and cold doesn’t improve the flow. The stream in the head when both are on in there just about halves with one nearly non-existent.

The pump itself took a good while to come up to prime. I was thinking there was a problem with the pump itself until I finally saw water in the strainer before the pump. I had all the hot and cold faucets turned on to get the air out. There has never been a good stream.

Now, I’m beginning to suspect the copper pipe in the water system although before I changed out the old faucet (original) we had a good stream. Ditto the filter. Yet the hot doesn’t go through the filter so that must not be the problem. This is a pump that does -not- “require” an accumulator tank and I do not have it in line but is still in place but not connected. -Nothing- seems to be leaking water or air.

Power isn’t the problem. Turned on the shore power charger to ensure that was not a problem and have a good charge. The wiring isn’t the problem. I installed new #10 AWG for a round trip of about 25.5 ft. A bit over the 3% loss but the chart I’m using is for SAE wire and that is about 10% less wire than AWG. So, while I may be a bit long still, it’s not much and, as I understand it, should have no effect on power.

Anyone have another thought about why we don’t have a good stream of water in our fresh water system? I’m not anxious to replace the copper fresh water pipe. I’m simply at a loss as to why there is a small stream of water, especially on the hot water side. That should be full stream even if the cold is half stream.

Oh yes. Happy Easter tomorrow.
Rick

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Postby rick_bradshaw » Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:27 am

Next I'm going to try taking the pump out of lline with the filter and the rest of the boat and just seeing how much flow I get straight out of the pump; tank to strainer to pump and out. If I see a full stream from a 1/2" ID hose coming out, I have to presume that it is something between the pump and the taps. In that case, I think I have to "look" at the copper pipe as a possible culprit. If it is half stream then it has to be the pump or the vertical lift (max 6') and it is certainly no more than about 4 to 5 ft.

Anyone know how to clean out the copper pipe if that comes to be the problem?
Rick

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Postby bruadair » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:17 am

Hi Rick,

We have the exact same pump as you do and no accumulator tank. We don't have a filter as you do, is your filter in line before the water pump or after the water pump? I think filters perform better if they are installed downstream from the water pump.

Something that happens to us once every year or two is that the water coming out of the faucet begins to trickle such as you are describing. We found that by removing the little screen at the tip of the faucet and cleaning it the normal water flow returns. I'm not sure how to describe it but it's the part at the end of the faucet where the water comes out, you unscrew it and usually there is a small plastic screen there? That usually resolves our issue when it happens.

I'm not sure how the copper tubing would cause a reduction in flow unless it was plugged with something.

Just got another idea... is it possible that a pick up tube from one of the tanks could be plugged or something plugging one of the tank valves? Maybe you could disconnect the hose that goes to the pump and blow back towards the tanks. If something is lodged maybe it'll blow out (of course back into the tank).

Let us know what you find, just in case my turn is next.
D&D
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Postby Great_Aardvark » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:14 pm

Guys,
I have the 5 GPM version and also have some of the same issues. I had to replace the original due to it died. When I turn on the galley faucets (which are new) they just give a trickle. When I turn on the head sink or shower they spit for a bit but then seem fine (these are original). When the faucets were all closed after a while the pump lost prime and began to run. I put in a check valve between the tank and the pump. Now all faucets are slow and just spit. I have checked all connections and have super tighten them to no avail. Plumping is not rocket science but this quite frustrating. I am intending to replace all of the pipe with hoses since this is the only thing I can think of that could be the issue. I all of the several boats I have owned and the many new pumps I have had to replace I never had a flow problem. I hate to replace the piping because it is much neater but don't know what else. After hearing you two I suspect this could be the issue. The time I have spent on this is causing me to fall behind on the total restoration.

Tony
Tony
Said Rat "If you believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing, half so worth doing as - simply messing around in boats!"
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Postby rick_bradshaw » Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:25 pm

Damon & Tony,

First, Damon, I've looked at the screen in the galley faucet and ran the pump without it. Not much, if any, change.

The filter is after the pump. It "should" only have an effect on the galley cold water side. That is the only place it is connected.

I'll keep the idea of blowing backwards in mind. I have check valves in line just above both tanks so would need to take them out of the system first.

Tony,

Misery loves company they say. I was beginning to think we were the only ones to have this issue. Also, it's good to know that a more powerful pump isn't the issue either. Might have to put back our more energy efficient 3.0 GPM when this is all done.

Our fresh water hand pump doesn't seem to be effected at all by whatever is happening. Not harder to pump and a full flow. Of course, that is only in the galley but it does give some indication that the problem might be from the manifold towards the fixtures rather than down towards the tank. That might rule out something in the tank.

Water here is warm and we ave been in very warm water for a year or more. "Something" might have started growing in the coper pipe. However, we're not the only ones in warm water and others have been there longer without issue. So don't think that is the issue either.

Our galley fixtures were replaced about a year or two ago. Haven't been able to find something we like for the head sink. (Looking for a combined hot and cold that will fit in the marble hole on one side and a manual that will fit in the hole on the other side and both should look like they "belong" there and with the rest of the boat and yet not block the "medicine cabinet" access.) So for us, the age or type of fixture doesn't seem to matter.

I took yesterday "off" so will be doing the tests today and will post the results. Hopefully it will be something very easy to fix. Anyone else out there with this problem or who has solved this problem. There must be some other solution than replacing the copper pipe with reinforced hose. There must be.

Tony, just had an idea. what condition is your water heater in? Working? Inop but plumbed in? Any rust inside? Could the issue be a rusted out water heater depositing rust in the copper pipe? That might only suggest a solution with the hot water side though. Our heater doesn't work except for the heat exchanger but is inline.
Rick

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Postby sv_bruadair » Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:03 pm

Rick,

Have you turned on all the faucets to purge the air out of the system. Anytime we run our tanks dry and get air into the system the flow is week until we purge all the air out of the lines.

We've never had a problem like you and Tony are mentioning where it's persistent so I can't help much except to throw some ideas out there. We also don't have check valves in our system so don't know if that reduced flow or not. Can you try running the system without the check valves? Mind if I ask why to have the check valves in place anyway? With a system that has no leaks the water should not drain back into the tank, I think this would happen only if there's a lead in the system some place that would allow air into the water line. We keep our pump on 24/7 and have no check valves and never have lost a prime.

Rick, do you think you're getting air into the system? Try turning off the valve for the manual water pump and see how the water pressure is. We keep the valve off to the manual pump and if I remember correctly it's because air was getting into the water system through it. We haven't opened the manual pump valve in about five years except to test the pump once or twice a year.
Damon and David
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Postby rick_bradshaw » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:12 pm

Tests completed. At present, it seems that I can paraphrase an old newspaper cartoon character named "Pogo": I have met the enemy and he is us (or me in this instance). I really hate it when that happens! :oops:

I "remembered" putting that filter in the cold water side and only for the galley pressure faucet. When I went to take it out of the system all together to test, I found it in the entire system so that each and every drop of pressureized water was going through that filter. Called the filter company and found that unlike what, in this case, we, remembered or could find in paperwork, the filter has less than optimal flow. This filter will now either come out, be utilized in another way/place, or go away. If it comes out, we will likely replace it with a charcoal filter on the order of what is available at the local ferriteria or Home Depot. Another boat we know has one and the filters are 1) less expensive, 2) have good flow, and 3) last 6 months or more. Don't know what the specs are but will look first before I do anything else.

Tony, don't know if what I found will help you or not. Hopefully, if you trace everything down you will find "something" in the system that doesn't really belong there at all or where it is installed and it will solve your problem.

Damon, the check valves came at another fresh water trouble time. Our boat came to us without a ball valve in the manual pump line. Since the pump was corroded inside (took dry ice and a propane torch to get it apart after it took a special socket (somewhat modified) and a thin but quite strong Mexican boat yard worker to get it broke loose and off the counter top) I didn't think too much about it. That is until I got it working and then had problems. Between the pressure pump and the manual pump I was unable to keep prime for the pressure pump. So, figuring the previous owner had not had a problem and it must be "me", I added the check valves. It was after that I noticed that there was no ball valve to close off the manual pump line and the pressure pump was getting air there. The ball valve above the manifold solved that problem but I just left the check valves inline. Doesn't hurt anything. (Famous last words!) Most of our problems have been caused by the previous owner. This one with the flow though is my own "darned" fault.

Now, what have I done to make the inline strainer that screws into the pump not stop at any point other than that which extends outside the pump fore and aft footprint and keeps the under galley shelf from seating? Must be something I did.
Rick

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Postby Great_Aardvark » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:32 am

All,
One thing I think maybe part of the problem is the check valve. Steve when you took yours out I believe you say you now have pressure. The following is my series of events.

Replaced pump and installed new "Y" valve (see attached === Pressure good in shower and head fixtures also after purging the lines to from head the pump has prime but after awhile looses it and starts running
When "Y" valve was installed installed a direct pickup from the water tank to the manual pump ===pressure same as above
Replaced galley faucet === same as above
Replaced water heater === same as above
Installed check valve and replace same type "Y" valve just different mounting === all facucets spit and pump runs constantly.

So what I am going to do is get rid of the check valve which should at least let me run the head fixtures so I can shower. After using it turn it off so it does not lose prime. After I get it back to the original proble I will start with getting the galley to work then attack the prime.

I will post pictures Thursday showing the galley faucets and the manual bypass. I also have faucets for the head that match the galley (got the info from this forum) may help you with you head faucets.

Tony
Tony
Said Rat "If you believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing, half so worth doing as - simply messing around in boats!"
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Forgot the "Y" valve picture

Postby Great_Aardvark » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:40 am

Here is the "Y" valve picture.

Tony
Tony
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Postby rick_bradshaw » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:21 am

Tony,

I don't see the "Y" valve pic. It's not displayed. Is it a format that the site will accept?

1. Don't think the check valve is the culprit but I could be wrong. I still have ours installed just after the water tanks (both) and everything is fine except we now use more water with the extra presure.

2. Is there any chance the manual pump shares any part of the pressure system? We have a manifold where it is shared. If so, it needs a valve there to shut it off. Our boat came to us without a valve and problems with the manual pump and that part of the system. If it helps, I could get post a pic of our manifold with the valves.

3. Not seeing the "Y" valve, my guess is that this might be the issue. Perhaps there is a bad seat in one direction or the other or both? Why do you need a "Y" valve? In what way is it used?

4. There are very few parts of the system that are not copper pipe. Have you checked all the hose connections to the pipe and any splice connections? A connection that is too tight might cut the hose and be your problem too.

5. Your 5 gallons per minute pump goes up to, I think, 65 psi. Any chance this high pressure has blown out any of the pressure fittings in the copper system just a bit? After the prime is lost, have you tried to trace the entire system for wetness?

Hope some parts of this help. BTW, before you started on this, did the system work or was there maybe a problem that the old pump was masking?
Rick

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Postby Great_Aardvark » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:14 am

Rick,
The picture did not take but hopefully with this post it will.

I have taken the manual and run a hose from it directly into its own pickup in the forward tank.

The "Y" valve is used to select either the forward or aft tank for the pressurized water system. This simplifies the water selection a lot. Instead of changing tow valves I turn one. Also I have it mounted where it is easier to get to.

I did have the problems with the constant running and low pressure in the galley.

I think you recommendation to recheck everything is a good one. I will let you know what I find.

Tony
Tony
Said Rat "If you believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing, half so worth doing as - simply messing around in boats!"
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Postby remetau » Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:13 pm

We had a problem with our hot water flow at the beginning of the year. It turned out that there was some lime build-up from the hot water tank stuck in the pipe fittings coming out of the tank. I removed the small chunk of lime and it started working fine.
Don & Diana
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Postby Great_Aardvark » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:18 am

Rick,
I don't know why the picture did not post but I did get it posted before. Go to the HC33 section and there is a post from me named "Y" Valve Replacement. The picture shows the valve but I have only the froward tank hooked for now due to the aft is contaminated so left it unhooked so as to not select it by mistake. All that has to be done is move the valve from one position to another. Nice and quick.
Tony
Tony
Said Rat "If you believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing, half so worth doing as - simply messing around in boats!"
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Postby mimoza » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:44 am

Tony,
You have to click "Add an attachment"
Then "Browse" for the attachment. (Some browser dialogs follow, "OK" or "Open")
Make sure the path appears in the Filename box.
Then click the "Add attachment" button next to the File Comment box.

Sound like one step too many? I agree, but if you skip the last "Add attachment" you get nothing.
Cap'n Bri
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Postby Great_Aardvark » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:00 pm

did not work. So just go to the other post where it did work..
Tony
Said Rat "If you believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing, half so worth doing as - simply messing around in boats!"
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