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Old 11-17-2021, 08:28 PM   #1
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Fresh Water Line Pressure

The previous owner of my new to me 1997 E250 Sportsmobile told me to leave the faucet in the "on" position and use the wall switch when I needed water. I'm a first time van owner on a huge learning curve. I filled the tank with water and did exactly that. The pump runs and water comes out of the faucet - great. However, I used sparingly and after 2 days, my tank was empty. There is zero water leaking inside thankfully! The petcock inside is closed. Does this sound like a pressurizing issue and this was his work around? Perhaps an exterior line leaking? Any suggestions on where I find the lines underneath? Here is a picture of the underside. Thanks much in advance!!!
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Old 11-18-2021, 12:36 AM   #2
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Thereís a small drain valve with a T-handle that is located on the underside usually right under the fill, if it was winterized, the valve might have been opened to drain
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Old 11-18-2021, 06:00 AM   #3
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Most obvious question starts with DO YOU see water accumulating under the van when the tank is full???
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Old 11-18-2021, 10:40 AM   #4
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I refilled and there was nothing under the van when it was warmer during the day, in the am next morning there was water below the van slowly running out underneath near the grey water pull handle. It seems like it's happening when it's cold outside. I climbed under, but didn't see where it's coming from and don't see any hoses or down spouts at all on that side. Honestly, it could be right in front of my face but unobvious to me.
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Old 11-18-2021, 11:25 AM   #5
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Not sure it has anything to do with colder or warmer temps, unless itís freezing then thawing. If youíre parked on a hill, water that is trickling out from a certain point can and will run along a frame rail, wiring, tubing or anything else before dropping to the ground, this can significantly throw off the actual point of exit. Make sure you are parked on a level surface to determine where the actual leak is.
When you turn on the pump, without opening any faucets, does the pump cycle on/off?
If it does, it indicates youíve either got a broken or cracked line allowing air into the closed pressurized loop or youíve got a valve or the small drain line open or worse case, your water tank is cracked. No visible signs of water inside?
Also check the back of the city fill connection, the plastic fitting where the water line attaches to can crack, sometimes hard to see.
If you turn on the pump and it cycles on/off with all faucets closed and tank full, you will more easily see where the water is exiting from. Get underneath with a good flashlight.
Iíd suggest you keep trying to find that little T-handle drain line and see if itís completely closed. This is hopefully the culprit
Looks like thisÖ..
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Old 11-18-2021, 10:16 PM   #6
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I leveled the van today. Filled the fresh water tank and put a piece of tape at the fill line so I can see if it leaks overnight. Expecting rain tonight. Flipped the switch with the faucets closed. Climbed under the van with a flashlight and did not see any leaks (I will look again tomorrow). The pump makes a revving type sound and does not turn off unless I flip the switch to off. Wasn't sure how long I should let leave the pump running like that, so only did this for about 5 minutes. No visible leaks inside around the tank. I did find the "T" (petcock) near the city water connection and it was turned to the off position. Tomorrow I will hook up the city water and leave the tank fill mechanism in the closed position, turn on the water and crawl under the van again with the flashlight. Maybe this will show me if lines are leaking.
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Old 11-19-2021, 05:41 AM   #7
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If the pump doesn’t go quiet and stop making a sound unless there is water demand (turn on faucet, open petcock for clearing/draining system, etc.) you have a leak and the system is not pressurizing.

A water line or fitting could be leaking from someplace other than the tank.

Have you looked at your water heater?
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Old 11-19-2021, 06:23 PM   #8
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A pump that does not shut off may also have excessive air in the line which prevents the line from pressurizing, or the pump pressure sensing switch could be toast, or the wiring at the pump may be set in a way to bypass the pressure switch.
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Old 11-19-2021, 10:29 PM   #9
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I had a cracked fitting that never leaked unless I was up in the hills. Had SMB look at it several times but they never found the problem. I never knew if it was an altitude or temperature issue but my pump would cycle on and stayed on when the fitting was leaking. What spun me was it never did it at home or at SMB. SMB did actually find it after pulling each fitting until they found the cracked one. But it never emptied my water tank because it was such a small leak.
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Old 11-20-2021, 02:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb View Post
I had a cracked fitting that never leaked unless I was up in the hills. Had SMB look at it several times but they never found the problem. I never knew if it was an altitude or temperature issue but my pump would cycle on and stayed on when the fitting was leaking. What spun me was it never did it at home or at SMB. SMB did actually find it after pulling each fitting until they found the cracked one. But it never emptied my water tank because it was such a small leak.
Exactly - an air leak that bleeds air pressure but not water and causes the pump to cycle. Pretty much have to go fitting by fitting. Soapy water dripped on a fitting will show bubbles at an air leak with the pump cycling.

The nice thing about most of the ShurFlo pumps is the pump parts and pressure switch are (were?) available. If the motor is good, then rebuild the pump chamber or replace the switch.

Notable is the pump location by SMB - I often find it (and other systems) to be inconveniently placed for servicing. It can be difficult to relocate a pump due to the plumbing fittings but if you can relocate, I would. I really do not understand the building of the rest of an interior around service needing parts/systems in way that requires significant cabinet/bench/panel removal. Sure, it may take ten years before service is needed but it will likely happen on a trip when it does!
Same thing happens on boats/yachts - mid voyage repairs.
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