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dwdlt
07-26-2020, 10:10 AM
I’m having some real strange issues with fresh water system on my trailer, so reaching out for some help. I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I tried searching and found similar threads, but nothing meeting all conditions of my issue.

I have a 2016 Keystone Laredo 314re. Here is the issue: When I hooked up to city water this year, I turned on the kitchen faucet to cold, and lines pressurized and I got water pressure. I switched over to hot, and it took forever but finally got air out and then some intermittent pressure…. Now, at this point, the alarm at the door starts going off…..

Also, when I fill the fresh water tank, and turn on the pump, it runs continuously, and I barely get water pressure on cold side and pretty much none on hot side…after about 90 seconds, the same alarm mentioned above goes off….

Some history: Last year, I had a pump go bad, and I changed out the pump. I installed a filter and winterization kit. Also, changed out the faucet in the kitchen. Everything worked perfect the rest of the year….Trailer has been sitting, and this weekend is the first time I pulled it out of the garage and hooked water to it….

My thought process: With the pump running continuously using the holding tank, it would either mean a bad check valve and she is sucking air, or a leak in the system….Since I get pressure on cold water side, I’m thinking I am getting water from the tank to the pump…I only get air and a few spurts of water on hot water side…. Same thing when switched to city water. So,….I’m thinking leak on hot water side…… As for the alarm going off, all I can think of is that the leak may be hitting some wiring somewhere….Just unsure on that….

Before I remove the underbelly, I wanted to reach out and see if anybody has had any issue like, and if so, what did you do?

JRTJH
07-26-2020, 10:29 AM
It sounds like the water heater has not yet completely filled, (the pump keeps running and only a little spurt out of the hot water faucet and reduced pressure from the cold faucet)...

The alarm by the door, if it's connected to the 12 volt system, would alarm if the battery voltage drops below a specific voltage, usually around 10 VDC or so... That's a signal to the user that the input voltage is too low and the safety device can't function.... So, I'd suspect that when you're using the water pump for an extended time (3 or 4 minutes) you're drawing down your "barely charged battery" too low and the alarm is telling you the battery is discharged....

Another "potential issue" is that the "winterization valve" used to draw antifreeze into the water pump may be leaking air. If so, you'll not be able to draw water without inducing air on the pump inlet side. I'd cycle that winterization valve on/off a couple of times. If your pump is a FloJet pump with the blue "push lock connectors" then make sure the fittings are properly inserted FULLY into the pump and the blue locking collars are completely locked on the fitting flange.

Does the system do the same things on city water ???

dwdlt
07-26-2020, 10:36 AM
John,

Thanks for the reply. I just went out and checked the battery with a meter, and it is dead as a door nail...So, that explains the alarm. Original battery, so probably due to be changed out.

When I had it hooked up to city water, I had very good pressure from cold water side, and at the kitchen faucet, I had begun to get pressure and flow from hot water side. Then, the alarm went off again.

Make since what you are saying about the winterization valve.

dwdlt
07-26-2020, 10:39 AM
On other thing I'll mention, just to ensure that i don't miss anything, is that I did change the electrical element in the hot water heater last year. But, after doing so, it worked fine.

JRTJH
07-26-2020, 11:09 AM
If the problem occurs both on city water and on pump, my bet would be the bypass (winterizing) valve behind the water heater. But, with what you're describing, I'd suspect that there's an air leak on the inlet side of the water pump...

The electric heating element in the water heater has no interconnection with the water pressure flow at the faucets, so if it isn't leaking, it isn't a part of the problem or the solution....

That "alarm" should not be sounding if you're on shore power. If it does, then the detector in the alarm has "aged out" (usually around 5 years but can be much sooner if there's been a lot of smoke or LPG exposure)....

flybouy
07-26-2020, 11:29 AM
Couple of thoughts, did you close the low point drains? Close the fresh water tank drain?

The water heater can take several minutes to fill. You need to bleed ALL the air out of the water lines before the pump can satisfy the pressure switch and shut off. Air can be compressed, water cannot. When purging the system make sure all bypass valves are turned back to a "normal" position and open ALL faucets including bathroom sink and tub, flushing the toilet until a steady stream of water flows and open any outdoor faucets including outdoor kitchen and outdoor shower if so equipped.

dwdlt
07-26-2020, 11:52 AM
If the problem occurs both on city water and on pump, my bet would be the bypass (winterizing) valve behind the water heater. But, with what you're describing, I'd suspect that there's an air leak on the inlet side of the water pump...

The electric heating element in the water heater has no interconnection with the water pressure flow at the faucets, so if it isn't leaking, it isn't a part of the problem or the solution....

That "alarm" should not be sounding if you're on shore power. If it does, then the detector in the alarm has "aged out" (usually around 5 years but can be much sooner if there's been a lot of smoke or LPG exposure)....


yep, I think you are right. Here is what I found so far: Checked the battery, and it had less than 8volts. Went to pull it out, and positive cable broke off in my hand. Changed out the battery and the terminal ends just now. Looking at winterization valve, the cap on the top where the winterization house would connect was loose. Also, inlet line was not tight at all...all my fault I guess. Fixing that now, and hoping that corrects the problem. More to follow

dwdlt
07-26-2020, 11:54 AM
Couple of thoughts, did you close the low point drains? Close the fresh water tank drain?

The water heater can take several minutes to fill. You need to bleed ALL the air out of the water lines before the pump can satisfy the pressure switch and shut off. Air can be compressed, water cannot. When purging the system make sure all bypass valves are turned back to a "normal" position and open ALL faucets including bathroom sink and tub, flushing the toilet until a steady stream of water flows and open any outdoor faucets including outdoor kitchen and outdoor shower if so equipped.

Sounds good. thanks for the reply. I'm getting ready to try again shortly. i did find loose line and cap on winterization valve loose. Correcting it all now.

dwdlt
07-26-2020, 11:58 AM
If the problem occurs both on city water and on pump, my bet would be the bypass (winterizing) valve behind the water heater. But, with what you're describing, I'd suspect that there's an air leak on the inlet side of the water pump...

The electric heating element in the water heater has no interconnection with the water pressure flow at the faucets, so if it isn't leaking, it isn't a part of the problem or the solution....

That "alarm" should not be sounding if you're on shore power. If it does, then the detector in the alarm has "aged out" (usually around 5 years but can be much sooner if there's been a lot of smoke or LPG exposure)....

I agree with you on the detector. Trailer is a 2016, but that does not mean they didn't pull an older detector off the shelf. I'll be replacing that as well. Thanks for the info.

Dale

dwdlt
07-26-2020, 04:12 PM
Update: I bought new battery and changed that out. (alarm is not going off now) Also, I hooked up to city water and was able to pressurize and get hot water heater/all lines filled. So, I have water at all locations.

But, when I switch to fresh water tank, the pump still just keep running....However, I do have good water pressure with no spurting from both cold and hot.... I inspected and I do not see any water leaks anywhere. (tank was half full) I cleaned the screen in the inline filter on the pump, and I made sure all connection were tight and not leaking...At this point, I'm thinking pressure switch on the pump....And, I'm about ready to just call it and take it in to have it fixed....

chuckster57
07-26-2020, 04:41 PM
When you purged the lines, did you remember to do the toilet and outside shower?

JRTJH
07-26-2020, 07:02 PM
I'd guess that it's the water pump diaphragm and/or the pressure switch in the pump head. Quite often a piece of trash will get stuck in the pump diaphragm and cause it to cavitate (pump without building pressure). Often times, you can disassemble the pump head (pay attention to how it comes apart so you can reverse the order to reassemble it) clean the diaphragm and reassemble. If it works, it's an easy fix and saved you $50. If it doesn't work, just buy another "similar pump for $50 and since you've already removed it to clean the pump head, you'll know exactly how to replace the old pump with the new one...

You may also have some "freeze damage" or corrosion in the pump pressure switch that's preventing it from working properly. In that case, a new pump is much less "hassle" than trying to special order a pump head for an old pump. Just spend the bucks and get a new one. Save the old one for "spare parts" and you'll never need them. Throw it away and you'll need a fitting tomorrow.... Murphy is alive and well....

I wouldn't "drag it in for service" if you can remove and replace the pump. First, they're going to charge you $100-150 an hour in shop labor rates and mark up the new pump at least 50%, so you're looking at $300 or so for a repair bill on a $50 pump.

Second, this time of year, they'll have your trailer "in the shop" for at least a week or two. Lots of things can get torn up as they move trailers around the lot and who knows how many "vandals" creep around those trailers in the dark when the RV dealership guard dog is sleeping.....

PS: If you just put a new battery in the trailer, either completely disconnect it or remove it and take it home if you're leaving your trailer at a dealership for service. It'll be completely dead in a week or so, damaging your brand new battery and starting its life on bad terms... Protect it from discharging while sitting in a dealer's lot.

dwdlt
07-27-2020, 02:32 PM
Update: FIXED!!! After work tonight, I went out and got back at it. I inspected around the pump again to make sure all lines were tight, and...even though the inlet line to the inlet side of the pump was tight, I could still spin the line....At that point, something caught my eye. It was the small rubber grommet that should have been installed in the coupler. I guess it fell out while I was putting in that pain in the neck winterization valve.

I took that coupler apart, put in the grommet, tightened everything up, and she works just fine. I did have to adjust the pressure switch a little. But, I now have pressure, no air, and the pump comes on as it should when a sink or valve is opened, and goes off when closed....

I guess I made "another" goober mistake....At least I now understand the system better than I did before.

MarkEHansen
07-28-2020, 03:44 AM
Thanks so much for providing the solution!

GaryUT
07-28-2020, 08:17 AM
Glad you fixed the problem.


In the future when filling the water heater open the pressure release valve on the heater and then run the pump or turn on city water until water comes out the release valve and then close the valve. This will cut down on the amount of air that gets into the hot water lines.


Gary

skids
07-28-2020, 08:36 AM
Glad you fixed the problem.


In the future when filling the water heater open the pressure release valve on the heater and then run the pump or turn on city water until water comes out the release valve and then close the valve. This will cut down on the amount of air that gets into the hot water lines.


Gary

I think the pressure release valve from Keystone is a little cheesy. I choose to open the kitchen faucet when filling the HW tank (usually).

Can someone tell me if using the pressure release valve expels too much air? I have heard that the air pocket is needed to reduce water hammer...

hankpage
07-28-2020, 09:30 AM
I think the pressure release valve from Keystone is a little cheesy. I choose to open the kitchen faucet when filling the HW tank (usually).

Can someone tell me if using the pressure release valve expels too much air? I have heard that the air pocket is needed to reduce water hammer...

If you read the heaters manual they say not to vent with the T/P valve. The heater is designed to leave an air cushion for expansion of hot liquid. DO NOT VENT FROM THE T/P VALVE!

JRTJH
07-28-2020, 09:35 AM
I think the pressure release valve from Keystone is a little cheesy. I choose to open the kitchen faucet when filling the HW tank (usually).

Can someone tell me if using the pressure release valve expels too much air? I have heard that the air pocket is needed to reduce water hammer...

The pressure relief valve is not installed by Keystone. It's an integral part of the water heater and is installed by by the water heater manufacturer in both the Suburban water heaters and the Atwood water heaters.

Both of the owners manuals for Suburban and Atwood water heaters include specific instructions for "establishing and re-establishing" the air gap. It's not only a means to allow for expansion of tank contents during heating, it prevents leakage at the pressure relief valve and helps "soften the shock of opening/closing faucet valves, protecting the fresh water plumbing system from unnecessary rapid pressure changes.

dwdlt
07-28-2020, 02:22 PM
Glad you fixed the problem.


In the future when filling the water heater open the pressure release valve on the heater and then run the pump or turn on city water until water comes out the release valve and then close the valve. This will cut down on the amount of air that gets into the hot water lines.


Gary

Good advice! Thank you, and i'll do that next time

dwdlt
07-28-2020, 02:24 PM
Thank to all who replied and helped me out on this issue. Hopefully I can help somebody else and pass it on sort a speak.

v/r

Dale

GaryUT
07-28-2020, 05:56 PM
If you read the heaters manual they say not to vent with the T/P valve. The heater is designed to leave an air cushion for expansion of hot liquid. DO NOT VENT FROM THE T/P VALVE!

The pressure relief valve is not on the very top of the tank, the needed air pocket will form ABOVE the relief valve. This is from the Suburban manual on how to establish the air pocket in the tank:

To replenish this air pocket:

1.Turn off water heater.
2.Turn off cold water supply line.
3.Open a faucet in the RV.4.Pull out on the handle of the Pressure Relief (P & T) Valve and allow water to flow from the valve until it stops.
5.Release handle on P & T Valve - it should snap closed.
6.Close faucet and turn on cold water supply;

As the tank fills, the air pocket will develop.Repeat this procedure as often as needed to reduce the frequency of the weeping.

So filling the tank until water starts to come out the valve will leave the air pocket.



Gary