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Author Topic: Water pump ideas.  (Read 4239 times)
Chaz
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« on: September 01, 2009, 07:46:16 AM »

Hey guys,
  I am taking my "baby" to Auburn this Thursday for the Car Auction they have there yearly. It's older than Barrett-Jackson but basically the same.
  Anyway, I go past a place called Ickes RV Surplus and was going to see if he had any water pumps i can pick up. I have a Shurflo 2.8 gallon, 45 psi pump but, even I, at 50 years old now, can pee harder than that.
 
  I know we chatted about this some time earlier but would another pump of the same size, connected in ?series/parallel? be a good fix?? Or.............HuhHuh I got this pump from him so I assume he may have another one.

I have to say, altho a few of you guys really like the big buck electronic units, I don't have the "cake" for that right now. So I was wondering how to make do with what I got without too much more expense.

Also, I bought an Oxygenics shower head that is supposed to be the hot ticket for saving water and still giving you a good shower but it seems as tho it doesn't like the pump pressure or something. It only trickles out. Hmmmmm........

Anyway, what do you think?Huh?
Thanx again!!
    Chaz

  p.s. By the way, if any of you are in the area of Northern Indiana and like/love cars, etc. The Auburn auction is WAY worth seeing.
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 08:20:08 AM »

Others can better answer the series/parallel question, although I think it would have to be parallel.  As long as pipe sizes were sufficient, that would increase the gpm.

What I wanted to mention is that it might just be your pump isn't working well or have a flow restriction somewhere in the line.  I have the same pump you do and it gives us good flow and pressure to one fixture at a time.  If I try to run water at two fixtures simultaneously, that is quite a different story.

On the flow restriction line of thought, what size lines do you have?  Especially regarding the line from the tank to the pump.  How long is the line from the tank to the pump and is the pump level with the bottom of the tank or is it above the tank?  (on my installation the pump is level with the bottom of the tank, so gravity helps out)
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 08:21:04 AM »

Chaz,

Is it just the shower head that has the trickle or everywhere?

I found the best little shower head.  I was walking around Walmart and found this little shower head in there tiny plumbing section.  Small chrome nozzle with a little wire flip handle that shuts off the water supply.  I am not generally a big fan of these, but the reduced orifice and spray pattern really made it feel like a high pressure shower and the nozzle shut off was nice for conserving water when dry camping.

Check it out.

Cliff
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 08:31:55 AM »

Thanx guys. I will check that all out. But putting the pump at the bottom of the tank seems to make sense. Too bad I don't have the room for it.  Angry

The other fixtures "seem" to be ok, at least it's not just a trickle.

I think I'm stuck with the shower head I bought, and, it is supposed to save 70% of the water - so they say. I was thinking it might be culprit as it may need more pressure to operate.

Thanx again,
    Chaz
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009, 08:34:53 AM »

Chaz,

Pull the shower head off and remove the water saver orifice and then try it.

There also maybe something stuck in the orifice.....its a small hole.

I also plumbed my pump down low.

Cliff
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2009, 08:37:43 AM »

Chaz,

When you stop at Ickes', you might check and see if he has an accumulator tank. That would help.

Mounting the pump low is good too......those pumps push better than they pull
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2009, 10:52:33 AM »

Chaz,

The way to save shower water is to have the shower head on a flex hose with a shutoff.  I would use an awful lot more water if I couldn't apply the water to the area of my bod I was rinsing.  I don't think there is an alternative.

With the on off feature you control the time the water is on and you control the rate with the shower knobs.  Don't get stuck with a "miser shower" as they use a re-stricter or very tiny head holes.  The water in an RV is full of solid crap for reasons I don't understand.  All of my aerator heads on my faucets plug up daily...it seems and a low volume shower would suffer the same fate.

Put your shower head in your house where it can run on 90psi as per design.

I had your pump for many years and it was adequate for single faucet use.  I lived alone in the RV at that time.

The second pump gets plumbed into the system in parallel to the  first pump.  Each has a check valve function so when one fails the other functions as a hot spare.  Both will not run at the same time till the first can't maintain more than 35 pounds or so....in the spec sheet as turn on pressure.  I never had an accumulator cause they only reduce the pulses in the plumbing and don't generate more flow for more than a few seconds at best.

My plumbing is 3/8Th's copper tubing and at the joints it is a little more restricted.  My runs are 15 feet and I have not a bit of problem with flow or pressure.  My hot runs a little slower than my cold, as expected.

HTH,

John
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2009, 07:17:23 PM »

Thanx guys.
 Unfortunately I can't mount my pump low, so I guess the best is to use two. I will check out the orifice Cliff. But why do they need to be so dang small??

I tried to find a new knob set-up at Lowes and HD today but no luck. Nothing with knob holes 4" on center. I called Ickes and they have them. I hope they have better than the cheap little plastic deal I have. I'd like to change but there are already 4" on center holes in the wall.

I do have the shut off valve as well John. I use it, but hate it.  Angry  I thought I was done with "Navy Showers" when I got out of the Navy. But at least i have a shower.  Wink  I also want to do some sort of creative plumbing sending the initial cold water from the hot side back to the tank. Should be interesting.  Roll Eyes

  Thanx again dudes,
    Chaz
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2009, 06:25:10 AM »

Chaz,

You need to add a small tank to give you the pressure while the pump is doing its job, I also think the pipe size needs to be checked, mine goes into the water tank using 1" pipe comes out of the tank with 1/2" then as the pipes go up to each faucet and shower its 3/8". I see now why my buddy who did the conversion did to increase the pressure.

John
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2009, 07:29:49 AM »

It is especially important to use a larger size line between the fresh water tank and the pump. As wild bob said, these little pumps push better than they pull.  So you want to make it as easy as possible for them to get the water.  On mine I've got 1/2" CPVC throughout.  (copper is great, but not within my budget)

If I was setting up to support use of more than one fixture at a time then I would go with 3/4" or 1" from the tank to the pumps and have dual pumps and an accumulator tank.

The accumulator tank's most obvious benefit is it stops the "pulsing" effect.  But I believe it can also improve pump life.  I've read in a few posts that the part of these pumps most prone to failure is the internal switch that turns the pump on and off.  When running less than full flow the pump turns off and on repeatedly (the pulsing) thus increasing the wear on the switch.  With an accumulator tank, the pump cycles on and off much less often.
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2009, 09:56:52 AM »

Don't buy an RV type accumulator tank unless space is at a premium!  Lowes and Menards along with Farm and Fleet places carry small 4 to 6 gallon accumulators for wells that are about $40 if you have the room.  (I seem to recall Home Depot not having them.)
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2009, 10:32:53 PM »

I use two of the Shurflo Whisper Quiet pumps with standard on/off pressure switch-of which the factory rep said the standard on/off switches are as reliable as a truck.  Compared to the variable speed sensors that are finicky to any dirt or voltage spikes. I haven't had any problems with my two Shurflos in 14 years and they just about turn on and off at the same time.  They are plumbed in parallel-so I can use one for one faucet and both on when I want to run the kitchen sink and have someone shower at the same time.  Works well.

Chaz- Like someone else said-use the shower head with a shut off with 6ft hose.  You'll save more water with a shut off, rather then trying to make a low flow head work on low pressure.  I like the one we bought from CW- it has good water flow for rinsing off with only 45 psi.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2009, 05:01:52 AM »

One source of junk in water lines in RV's in general is from the hot water heater if you have one that features  an anode, and you've ever used RV antifreeze to winterize.  RV antifreeze causes the anode to disintegrate, and the resulting mess is almost impossible to clean out.

Brian
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2009, 10:50:25 AM »


I found the best little shower head.  I was walking around Walmart and found this little shower head in there tiny plumbing section.  Small chrome nozzle with a little wire flip handle that shuts off the water supply.  I am not generally a big fan of these, but the reduced orifice and spray pattern really made it feel like a high pressure shower and the nozzle shut off was nice for conserving water when dry camping.

Cliff

I found one like Cliff is using, at the local HD store.

The variable flow head has turned my already great shower, into a perfect shower.

HTH

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« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2009, 07:43:58 AM »

HeyGuys,
  Well, I'm back from the auction. I came back early, mainly because of my "camping neighbor". A 5th wheeler that has a loud contractors generator sitting outside his trailer.
  Actually, that is why I pulled in by him and faced my bus the wrong way so our generators could face each other. I figured it would be better to be by someone who has the same noisy equiptment. Birds of a feather, I guess.  Wink  I hate to bother people.
  Anyway, figuring we could both tolerate each other I adhered to common campground courtesy and only used mine to charge my batteries. He ran all day. No problem.
  Then at night, I thought 9:00 would be a good "quiet time"....... Not him.
   9:30 I went to take a shower figuring by the time I was out he would be shut down....... Not to be.
  I went to bed thinking he would turn it off soon........Ha. Silly me. I rolled around and was finally sleeping - I think - and at about 11:30 my CO2 detector goes off!!!!!!!!!!   Mind you, I am COMPLETELY shut down............ but his gen is still running. So I figure that is the culprit and I go out and move it so as to hopefully not get the fumes. Seemed to work.
  12:30......still can't get back to sleep so I go out and shut the noisy s.o.b. off. (I also put the switch back in the "ON" position so maybe he'll think it ran out of fuel.) And finally go back to sleep, being throughly P.O.ed.
  Next morning, 6:30 I wake up and it's on again. Damn. I was planning on enjoying a little more sleep and relax time as I really need it. Not to be. So I got up and went about my day and enjoyed the cars and other vehicles and some good talk with other bus fans and came home early so a to not have to deal with inconsiderate neighbors. I did mention it to the guy at the gate when I left and he seemed concerned, but, who knows.
  It might have been interesting to stay in another spot and see what the guy in the "BIG beautiful Prevost" that pulled in next to me, on the other side, would feel about it, but if I was pulling stakes, I was hitting the road. It would not be worth the 50 bucks to camp in another spot to find out. By the way, that is dry camping, in an open rough hilly field.

  Anyway, 'nuff o' that.

  I did stop by Ickes Surplus and, as my girlfriend says, "shopped".  Grin Grin Grin Love it!! I got another pump and plan on doing the parrallel thing. A few other trinkets and ideas also.
  BUT, I did find out what my water pressure problem was........... color me dumb............ The previous owner had one of the cut off valves on the shower hose but it wasn't a knob. It twisted and looked like part of the handle and I never noticed it. Duh... So the new hand held works fine.  Roll Eyes  (bonehead, I know)
  But I still have two issues to fix:
  1) When the pump cycles on and off, so does the hot and cold temp coming out of the shower head. Kind of sux, ya know.
  2) Also, when the pump comes on and off, so does the radio. I know we have discussed this before, I'm just not sure what to do yet. Think the second pump would hurt or help this?

  So anyway, thanx for listening. By the way, I seen one other GMC (4104??) an MCI from No. Ohio who's owner is a great guy, a couple Eagles and a buttload of "Pretty Prevosts". The two gorgeous Flxible's, also from No. Ohio (the MCI owner knew them) weren't there this year. They are really cool pieces.

   later guys,
      Chaz
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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2009, 10:49:21 AM »

Chaz, add an accumulator tank to help the issues with the pump turning on and off.  About $40 at major home improvement stores.
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2009, 07:11:23 PM »



     Chaz,

   There is some good info from  Fred Hobe, from "BUS CONVERSION CENTRAL, page 3.  He states that if you go to HD and look for a pump Flotec Model

  FPOF 300AC. It's 120 V  2 AMP draw, enough pressure as a home shower.  Hope this will be of some help!

 

   Steve 5B...
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« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2009, 08:31:55 AM »

Quote from: Chaz
when the pump comes on and off, so does the radio. I know we have discussed this before, I'm just not sure what to do yet. Think the second pump would hurt or help this?
Chaz

Might get ya a second channel Grin !
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« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2009, 09:13:02 AM »

Well, I finally have time to start putting a few things I bought on my bus: Pathmaker solenoid setup - Thanx Utah - and the second water pump.
  Here is a question for the water pump situation: Since I now have 2 identical water pumps, could I solve the "hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold shower situation, when the pump cycles, if I use one pump for hot and one for cold?? Just curious.
I know a couple of you have mentioned accumulator tanks but in interest of space saving and spending more "cake" I was just thinking of using the second pump. Do you see any problems with doing it that way? Or is there another way to rectify that issue using 2 pumps? I'm not against using the "tank", just that I was trying to use what I already have.

Thanx again,
   Chaz
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« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2009, 10:22:24 AM »

Not quite sure how you would plumb the 2nd pump for hot water? The cold water supply going into the water heater is alreay pressurized by your "cold water" pump and I would not try pumping hot water through one of the RV water pumps.  "our way" is 2 water puimps connected in parallel suppling the entire system.  We normaly run 1 pump and turn on the 2nd pump when using the shower.  Works for us, YMMV.  Jack
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« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2009, 10:26:55 AM »

Chaz,

I went back and read your original post.  You have a blockage somewhere or your pump is shot and needs rebuilt.  A single pump should do it and also should have more flow than your 50 year old.....  I recently put water in a system that has not been run in a while.  Both the kitchen and bath and shower are stopped up with tons of crap.  I think you have the same situation.

Look in the input to your pump.  There may be a screen in there and if so it will be plugged.

With the clean input line hooked up and the output disconnected, run the pump.  You should have enuf pressure and flow to shoot the water "over" the bus.  If not, take your pump apart and see if your check valves are plugged open.  The pump should build pressure quickly and you should have a hard time stopping the flow with your finger.  Secondly, you should get a couple gallons of flow per minute, min.  Try to blow thru the pump in the reverse direction and make sure the check is working.

If you check out the pump then go to the next faucet and turn on the cold.  It should flow at the same rate as the pump did.  If not, remove the little aerator from the faucet and try again.  Remove your shower head and back flush and soak it in CLR for a few minutes.  Make sure the toilet flow is equal to the faucet flow.  The junk that seems to materialize in the water system can come in some hefty chunks that can block anything.

I worry that you don't know positively that your pump is the culprit.  Don't install the extra pump anywhere other than in parallel to the original.  A separate pump in cold and hot is never done that I know of.

Good luck,

John
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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2009, 12:30:29 PM »

I hate to "beat a dead horse" here, but I'm still contemplating putting my second pump in my bus and use it to pump water from the tank to the hot H20 heater. Does anyone know any specifics why this wouldn't work?? The hot, cold, hot, cold, thing is bugging me.
Now granted, I'm not the "slickest slide on the playground" but, it seems to me that if I would have the hot and cold equally pressurized, seperately, the hot would not be as affected. Giving the closest path for the water to flow - the path of least resistance -  to the cold water seems to by why I get the cycles of cold water. Does that make sense??
Like I said, "not the slickest slide on the playground" but it seems to make sense. BUT,  I don't really want to go to all the work of doing it if someone "knows" that it won't work. If not, I'm all about experimenting.  Grin Grin Grin

Can ya help me out here?
    Chaz
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« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2009, 01:02:25 PM »

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« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2009, 01:11:28 PM »

Chaz,

I don't think any are saying "you can't accomplish that".  They are arguing that it isn't needed and probably won't solve your problem as you seem to be trying to treat a symptom of a problem.  But, it will relieve some or all of the symptom and will not "hurt" anything and that is a "fix" to most people.

First: Install a tee at the input of your existing pump.  Second:  Remove and cap the input to your water heater.  Third: Connect the output of your added pump to your water heater input that you previously removed.  Fourth:  Connect the switched power source for your original single pump to both pumps.  If you have a small fuse in line with the power you should connected into the circuit "before" that fuse and the new pump should be appropriately fused.  You should measure the voltage at the pump when the pump is actuated and that reading should not be more than a volt less than the voltage at the battery.

Nice to see you back, Dallas.

Good luck with this, Chaz.  You aren't going to hurt anything and it is, in fact, an adventure.  I don't have an accumul;ator and I don't have your symptom.  D is rt, u hve a blkge in the hot line. (Don't read this part Dallas) Roll Eyes Grin Grin Grin Grin

John
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« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2009, 07:27:29 PM »

John and Dallas have said it better than I. I have one pump and it works great. I have also had to clean the screens (Thought my pump was bad, but nope). The accumulator would probably fix your hot/cold problem.
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« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2009, 03:48:55 AM »

I got tired of the 12 volt pumps and not enough pressure, so i installed a 120 volt that runs off the inverter.No more issues. I also use a small pressure tank. I use a retricted shower head with shut-off button so as not to waste water. Marc
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« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2009, 04:54:09 AM »

One advantage of the Flojet pump I have is the large filter housing with window so one can see if the screen is getting clogged.
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« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2009, 08:35:06 AM »

What I think will happen if you plumb the two pumps to feed cold and hot water separately is that the hot water tank will act as a sort of accumulator, and it's pump will cycle pressure out of synch with the cold water pump.  This will about garantee that you will varying mis-matched pressure at the shower head, and the mix will vary in temperature even worse than it does now.  I think that the reason the temperature varies now is that when the pump starts up and increases pressure, there is a lag through the hot side (greater volume in the tank, so cold water sees the pressure increase a bit before hot does.  What I am shopping for is a continuous flow variable speed pump that keeps constant pressure all the time, and that doesn't cycle.  I seem to recall reading that idea on the side of a pump box a little while ago.

My current pump cycles constantly, so I suspect a bad pressure switch, but it is also a bargain basement shurflow that doesn't have enough capacity, so rather than trying to fix it, I'm going to go for an upgrade. 

Brian
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Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
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1978 Lola T440 Formula Ford
1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
Fred Mc
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« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2009, 09:00:51 AM »

I'm not making a recomendation but only giving my experience as we have a well system at home with an accumulator tank.

On our water system the accumulator tank has water in it (of course) but is also pressurized with air (some newer tanks have an air bladder that performs the same function).Therefore the pump doesn't come on every time you open a tap as the air pressure forces water out of the tank. The water pump only recharges the tank when the pressure drops below 40 psi. The tank is 50 gallons. When the tank has to be re-pressurized with air (approx. every year) the pump WILL come on every time you open a tap. This is hard on pumps and our deep well pump cost $800.

On our bus the pump activates every time you turn on a tap and it doesn't cycle on and off but rather runs continuously when a tap is on. I did install a 1 gallon accumulator tank at one time but it didn't seem to make any difference. It seems to me that for greater pressure the pumps should be installed in series but for greater flow should be installed parallel. Or perhaps split the pumps for hot and cold.

On a related note I have a Paloma hot water heater(no tank) which heats according to  water pressure. When I had a water saver shower head it just about drove us crazy(not to mention scalding/freezing us) until I figured out that the shower head reduced the flow thereby increasing the back pressure telling the water heater to shut off. This was fixed(after years of my wife cursing it)
 by removing the water saver restrictor.

Hope this helps.

Fred Mc.
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Len Silva
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« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2009, 10:55:22 AM »

Fred,

If you installed an accumulator and didn't notice any difference, I would suspect two things.

1.  The accumulator wasn't properly charged or

2.  The check valve has failed, causing the accumulated water to return to the tank.

I can go into my coach after it has been sitting for several weeks unused and get a couple of flushes or wash my hands without the pump even starting.
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