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Old 11-03-2019, 02:17 PM   #1
mikec557
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Water Pump cycles, but no leak?

When it rains, it pours. While I am mid trouble shooting a water heater issue, this comes along...

We sprang a slow drip from the hot water supply line coming from the water heater to the main T-connection that then feeds hot water everywhere else in the camper (2018/2019 Reflection 29RS). It's no surprise, it's the flex-hose line that goes into the plastic-T. I could go on about why the H3LL they'd use flex hose, but let's skip that for now. I cut out the T and fixed that. There's no drip and it is bone dry to the touch and paper towel test.

After finding the problem and before tackling that fix, we turned the water pressure off and on, and off, and on, outside at the campground spigot until I could get to the problem. That's when we decided we would fill the fresh water tank and use the 12v pump for our water needs because it was easier to turn the water pressure off and on as we needed. That's what brought to light the newest problem.

The water pump burps on for a couple seconds either, every 2 minutes, or every hour or two. You would think a leak would be consistent, but it doesn't seem to be. Regardless, my question is this:

I have visually felt, touched, and paper towel tested every connection, and length of pipe/hose, from the Nautilus-1 to the "T" I repaired, to the connections from there that leads to the toilet, and to the bathroom sink, and the back of the shower control valves (which is where the last leak occurred). I have also tested the kitchen sink faucet down to the floor. I cannot find a leak anywhere.

I think the leak could be somewhere between the T I repaired and where the water lines come up from under the kitchen sink about 5-6 feet away, or at a cold water line that runs to the back of the camper where there is a cold water push-on hose connector. The issue is that all of these areas of concern are unreachable and unseeable, except possibly by removing the entire coroplast from the bottom of the camper. Literally, if I can see it, I have touched it looking for a leak and I can't find a leak anywhere. Yet the water pump cycles. And I am SURE there are connectors hidden under the floor. And worse, I'll bet they are on top of the gray and or black tanks rather than under the tanks where I could get to by removing the coroplast.

Any ideas on what else to check, of methods to check short of removing the coroplast? Any war stories that may help me diagnose this?

Thanks in advance
Mike
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:49 PM   #2
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First question that comes to mind is have you used the pump in the recent past? If so, any issues? The pump itself could be bleeding off water back into the pump. Have you checked the hot water tank safety valve? They can often develop a Drip that will bleed of pressure as well.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:00 PM   #3
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We had an issue the first few times we dry-camped. Every couple of hours the pump would cycle for 1-2 seconds. Another time wife was giving the munchkin a bath, and I was running water in outside kitchen . When we both stopped using water, the pump would cycle every 5-10 seconds. I shut it down, accessed the pump and found debris in the intake. When we got home I bought and installed an in-line filter screen. We caught a little more debris after that and then nothing since and no pump cycling issues.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:05 PM   #4
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You need to make sure ALL the fresh water lines have been bled of air, including the O/S shower. The nautilus system requires that the 4 knobs be set in the proper position to operate the water pump.

I would go through and run every faucet and the toilet to be sure all air is out of the system.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:17 PM   #5
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If, after you've bled all the air out of the lines, the pump still cycles, I'd consider the pump diaphragm (in the pump head) as the most probable cause. Pressure will "bleed through the pump head" if there's even a single bit of debris in any of the roller cavities. You can take it apart and clean it. PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT GOES WHERE !!! or you can buy a new pump (assuming it's a FloJet pump) for around $50. A new pump head is nearly the same price and I'd guess that if the pump has not been regularly used, there's some "dry cracks and loss of flexibility" in the pump diaphragm.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:53 PM   #6
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If I remember right, Grand design uses ShureFlo.
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Old 11-03-2019, 04:56 PM   #7
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Thank you to all of you. Those are all great ideas I didn't think of. I'll check each one of them tomorrow.

I would love for this to be a pump related issue instead of in the hidden bowels of the beast.

By the way, we don't use the pump very often. In fact the last time was probably two months ago, and two months again before that. Except for that we're always on hookups.

I'll let you know what I find.

Mike
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:50 PM   #8
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Good luck and appreciate your reporting back with you're findings as it will help others with the similar issues.
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Old 11-04-2019, 05:10 AM   #9
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Did you put the fresh water fill valve back to normal?
Mine if I left the valve to the fill position it would cycle the pump every few minutes.
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 77cruiser View Post
Did you put the fresh water fill valve back to normal?
Mine if I left the valve to the fill position it would cycle the pump every few minutes.
Mine does this as well. It cycles anywhere from every few minutes to a half an hour in the fill position. Not sure why?
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:13 AM   #11
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The pump diaphragm

All of these comments brings up my question:


With no water sitting in the lines and on the pump diaphragm, does this cause long-term damage to the pump diaphragm? Seldom do we use the fresh water holding tank and pump system unless we are in a campground for an extended stay. We keep three heavy duty recycled juice jugs full of water next to the toilet to flush the toilet. That said, with no water sitting in the lines and on the pump diaphragm, does this mean we are causing long-term damage to the pump diaphragm? Yes, chasing water line links while on vacation is a PITA.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:52 AM   #12
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Update

Sorry for the delay in updating this thread.

Technically the problem remains unresolved. But the pump cycling has gone from every few minutes to every couple hours or even longer interval.

We were at an RV Park in Peoria AZ when the problem came up. But we were looking for a house to buy in Sun City West at the time and that was very time consuming. We made an offer and began the process and at the same time moved over to Indio CA which had been planned long ago.

Too late to make a long story short... We're still in Indio and the house in AZ closes tomorrow.

The pump burping is infrequent enough that we just keep turning water pressure on and off as we need it. I've decided to buy the replacement pump head rather than a whole new pump. $25 instead of $75, and I'm not sure it's the solution to the problem but it's a place to start.

Need to make a run, without the rv, to Texas to get what little we kept when we sold our last house a year and a half ago. That will probably push the pump repair into early December.

I'll report back at that time.

Thank you for all suggestions and info.

Mike
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:32 AM   #13
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I have to ask a question. The Reflection owners I have talked to have repeatedly told me about how excellent the quality and service is on Grand Design products. I've even been told that Grand Design will send mobile repair techs to brand specific rallies to work any issues owners bring up when there. Have you asked Grand Design to look into or repair the problem? What are your experiences with Reflection quality and service?
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:42 AM   #14
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I have to ask a question. The Reflection owners I have talked to have repeatedly told me about how excellent the quality and service is on Grand Design products. I've even been told that Grand Design will send mobile repair techs to brand specific rallies to work any issues owners bring up when there. Have you asked Grand Design to look into or repair the problem? What are your experiences with Reflection quality and service?
To answer your first question is easy, no I have not asked GD about it, for a couple of reasons.

But let me try to answer your second question. When I had a problem worth contacting them over, they have been great to work with. In general the 3 issues were this: wheel bearing/axle failure, refrigerator turning off every 2-3 days, and the toilet vacuum breaker leaking/shooting water.

Keep in mind, we are full timing. We bought it new in 9/2018 in Nampa ID. I think none of our failures should have happened. So as far as superior quality goes, that's a falsehood. They use the same parts and equipment as every other manufacturer. As for their build quality, I would say again, no better than any other manufacturer.

What they do have going for them is pretty good customer service.

As for a mobile tech, I used a mobile tech 2x rather than take it to a dealer. Each time GD made clear they will not pay the truck charge (in our case, $85 for each event) but they do pay for the repair. One time it was for a recall fix and I paid the rv tech and they reimbursed me. The other time it was a Dometic warranty problem on the fridge and Dometic paid the labor direct to the rv tech and I paid the rv tech $85 for the trip/truck charge. In both cases I decided it was worth $85 to me to NOT take my rig to a dealer and lose it for some unknown length of time.

As for the Rallies across the country that are manufacturer specific, if you attend they will fix whatever is wrong, even if you are out of warranty. Whether they bring their own techs or hire local rv techs, I don't know.

The axle failure happened a week after we bought, 25 miles past Price UT (pop 10k?) on a road out into the abyss. We were stuck in Price for a week. GD got Dexter axle involved and they sent 2 new axles and we had Les Schwab Tire Center install them. We paid Les Schwab and GD sent us a reimbursement check a week later. Short back story... There was an unaffiliated rv sales and service center in Price. But we full time and you've read the stories of how long a dealer will keep your rig for repairs. We weren't going to move into a motel. A truck service took off the bad wheel on the side of the road and we limped it back to Price on 3 wheels. LS patched it so we could go to the local rv park and wait for new axles to arrive. The event and repair crossed over a weekend, otherwise it probably would not have taken a week. Les Schwab's bill for the total job was $599. GD did not make a noise about the cost. I scanned the receipt and emailed it to them. They mailed us a check.

Later The fridge kept shutting off every 2-3 days. We'd come back to the rv and it's simply off. It was running on 120v and did not switch to gas, and no error light. Just off. Cycle the on/off button and it started right up. Turned out to be the circuit board. Contacted GD, who put us in touch with Dometic who said take it to a dealer or use an RV tech, but they won't pay the $85 truck charge.

You can see the pattern, I chose to pay an RV tech. Dometic sent a new board to RV tech and wanted the old one back. That took 8 days and 2 trips but the rv tech charges only 1 truck charge.

Who knew there was a vacuum breaker on the back of our toilets? The closest rv dealer is 75 miles from where we're camping. So is a Camping World. The complete multi part kit is only $22. We drive 150 miles round trip to Camping World and did the job ourselves. Scan the receipt and email it to GD and they mail us a check.

When you full time you have to choose when to fix it yourself and when you need to involve the manufacturer. Grand Design has been good about the repairs, but, better quality and workmanship? I don't think so.

By comparison, we had a new Keystone Cougar half-ton tow behind for almost a year, nothing ever went wrong with it. I think it's a complete luck of the draw.

BTW, the the thermal fuse on the refrigerator went out 7 months later. I bought a batch of those on Amazon. Now the water heater only works on electricity not gas... made by, you guessed it Dometic. I didn't bother to call them. I don't want another one of their boards. I bought a Dinosaur Electronics board which did ignite it, but then the thermal fuse has a broken wire. Maybe I broke it or maybe it was that way. Mind you, it's not burned out because if you wiggle the wire the gas will again work. But I can't tell if the loose wire connection is the thermal fuse that's bad or the thermostat it plugs into, because it wiggles at the same time. I have both on order from Amazon. Meanwhile we heat the water tank with the 120v side.

Oh yeah, then there's the case of the burping water pump. We full time, so I'll solve the problem.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure they're not superior quality.

Thanks for your interest. It let me vent a little.

Mike
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:29 PM   #15
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I had a similar problem after my first year of storage. The water pump would cycle every 15 minutes or so for 1-2 seconds. It is a Shurflo. Mine turned out to be a bad check valve on the pump. Shurflo sent me a new check valve, but all I did was stretch the spring some and that solved my problem.

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Old 11-18-2019, 06:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Eric363 View Post
I had a similar problem after my first year of storage. The water pump would cycle every 15 minutes or so for 1-2 seconds. It is a Shurflo. Mine turned out to be a bad check valve on the pump. Shurflo sent me a new check valve, but all I did was stretch the spring some and that solved my problem.

Eric
Interesting. What did you have to do to get to that spring? Did you remove the pump head from the motor? I thought I would disconnect the 2 water lines and the 12v and bring it out of the pass through so I could more easily examine it and work on it.

Thanks
Mike
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:58 PM   #17
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My shurflo pump is a 4008. Remove the 3 screws by the 2 red wires to remove the check valve. They sent the check valve, but I just stretched the spring a little.
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Old 11-19-2019, 03:17 PM   #18
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Interesting. What did you have to do to get to that spring? Did you remove the pump head from the motor? I thought I would disconnect the 2 water lines and the 12v and bring it out of the pass through so I could more easily examine it and work on it.

Thanks
Mike
Here's a link to a little video I did of my Shurflo 4008 pump when I pulled it apart to check it out after I had an issue with a leaking check valve.

https://youtu.be/k7ZprBu_ACs
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