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Author Topic: Another Shurflo pump bites the dust  (Read 7092 times)
WEC4104
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« on: October 14, 2008, 04:14:36 PM »

Regular readers will recall that a week or two ago Nick mentioned he had two of his Shurflo water pumps fail on him. Fortunately it turned out okay, as he called the factory they agreed to replace them with a newer design, even though they were out of warranty.

Within that thread, I posted a comment and mentioned that I had a Shurflo (smaller model) that was working fine for me.  Shouldn't have done that.  Late last night I hit the switch to turn on the water pump and.... nothing.  Drat.

During daylight today I went poking around. Gave the pump a little whack,... nothing.  Checked the in-line 15 amp fuse, hmmmm, the fuse was blown.  Why would that be?  Wiring wasn't touched, had been working fine, no heavy pump usage, Huh??    So I quickly replaced the fuse. The pump switch was still turned on, so as soon as I shoved the fuse in I heard it run for a fraction of a second and quit.  I know it couldn't have brought the water pressure up that quickly so I suspected I blew the second fuse. Pulled the fuse, and it was fine.  Put it back in and heard nothing this time.

Based mostly on what Nick had mentioned, I grabbed my trusty adjustable wrench and gave the pump a little rap.  The pump immediately came to life and started humming.  Working fine right now, but I expect I am headed down the same path as Nick and will have to swap it out.

I am only about a year into the 3 year warranty, so at least in that regard I should be in good shape. I had the pump for about 4 months before I installed it, and I have mostly been camping in places with pressurized water available, so the pump has seen very little use.  I would estimate it has only pumped between 100 and 200 gallons, and it is already failing.  Guess Shurflo will be getting a call from me shortly.
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boogiethecat
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 04:57:07 PM »

Yup, send it in regardless.  If it failed once, it will fail again when you least want it to!!
Surflo is very good about replacements
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008, 06:52:27 PM »

Hi Wayne,

Sorry to hear your water shortcommings.. Grin  Sorry man, I just went through the same!

Give them a call and get it done!  Before your left out to dry.

Good Luck
Nick-
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2008, 11:14:49 PM »

About Shurflo pump....has a switch within the pump housing. A few times, I had to clean pressure switch contacts. Common problems are:
1)   Cycling too many times per hands washing or dish rising because of too small surge tank or no surge tank. The 2 gallon is better. Factory recommends version is 24oz surge tank is too small.
2)   Install a home type water pump pressure switch into an 2 gallon tank to avoid shock pressure pulses. By pass the OEM pressure switch. These ac pressure switches is much bigger contact points than OEM switch. It is adjustable for cut off and cut in. Cost about $20.
3)   The fewer cycle starts, the longer switch life and along with remote switch location the better.
4)   Remember, every time the pump starts, it draw almost twice the running current. So to avoid waste energy from battery is to reduce the cycling per day.
5)   DC motor come with brushes that can hang up (quit) due to dampness inside of the motor.
6)   Never put in larger fuse then factory suggested to avoid fire from hot motor.

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald

P.S. Has anyone done the above? Please report your finding, if you will. Thank you.
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2008, 11:31:05 PM »

I think we're talking about the newer surflo pumps that are electronically driven and have a solid state pressure sensor. At least that's the style I have that failed...
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2008, 12:46:28 AM »

I think we're talking about the newer surflo pumps that are electronically driven and have a solid state pressure sensor. At least that's the style I have that failed...
About solid state pressure switch is the more reasons it can go bad. They don't like voltage spike. So it maybe in beta version until all the bugs are corrected from the factory. You can or should be able to by-pass the solid state switch as well the older version.

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald
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WEC4104
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2008, 05:17:10 AM »

The pump is a Shurflo Smart Sensor 4.0, which is the newer electronic transducer style with the variable speed pump. It is the little brother of the Smart Sensor 5.7 that Nick had issues with. From what I have seen, Shurflo made a design change to correct a flaw and the new ones can be differentiated by an adjustment screw that is on the outside.  I'm guessing I'll see the same on the replacement 4.0 gpm unit.   I have to catch a flight out of town this afternoon, so I'll deal with it when I return.

Also, I have no surge tank, and could find no reference in the pump installation instructions that talks about or recommends one.  I still can't believe it has started giving me problems this early in it's life. I'll bet it's total run time is under a half hour. It is mounted in a dry protected area and has never seen temps outside of the 40-99F range.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 08:19:02 AM by WEC4104 » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2008, 06:22:25 AM »

I don't know for sure about the Shurflo, but I know the similiar Flojet Sensor VSD recommends against using a accumulator tank due to the design of the pump.  The Flojet comes on every time there is any demand for water, but it is very quiet.  I might still reinstall my accumulator tank as the Flojet takes a second or two to come up to pressure.

I bought the Flojet simply because it does 24 volt.  I did buy a spare, but hope to never use it.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2008, 08:09:13 AM »

belfert and WEC4104....now I learn something that I didn't know…thank you! You have a new version of water pump that don't require surge tank because of the variable speed feature. So combination of cycling and running time is the problem to its solid state design.

My opinion is the more automatic feature, the more chances of break-down due solid state circuit design that it need more field testing by customers.

The remedy is to keep replace it till it corrected or factory recall with new instruction.

All my suggestion is for the simple pressure switch of either mechanical or solid state.

Or go back to the more reliable version.

BTW I am a strong believer in solid state version world but only if it been proven better than the old mechanical system. Not just pump but anything.

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald
Every day, I learn new things.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 12:14:22 PM by Sojourner » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2008, 08:35:01 AM »

I am not aware of any issues with the Flojet, but the Shurflo seems to have issues.  Maybe the new version is finally fixed.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2008, 08:43:48 AM »

belfert...is Flojet variable speed?

Thanks, Gerald
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2008, 08:57:26 AM »

Were and what model of surflow should I purchase for a spare? Who has the best prices for this Model?

Thanks

John
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belfert
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2008, 12:53:04 PM »

Yes, the model Flojet I have is variable speed.  I have the Flojet Sensor VSD 3.7 GPM model.  They also make a 4.5 GPM model.

I didn't realize until now that the 3.7 GPM model only has 35 PSI instead of the 40 PSI on the 4.5 GPM model.  My original reason for getting the 3.7 GPM was to hopefully save on water, but I realized later that the shower probably has a flow restrictor anyhow.  (I camp with large groups of friends who may not be as disciplined about savng water as I am.)
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2008, 02:44:59 PM »


.............  (I camp with large groups of friends who may not be as disciplined about savng water as I am.).............

I lived with navy showers for a couple of years.  A couple of timer circuits and electric valves you can force the issue on your guests.

Just warn them ahead of time that the water will come on for about 45 seconds then shut off for one minute, then will come back on for another minute.
good and clean for less than 10 gallons.

At least they won't have the Sargent-at-arms standing there with a stop watch.
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2008, 03:37:01 PM »

Getting off topic, but water use actually has not been an issue on either trip this year even with 9 guys on one trip.  We still had 25 gallons of 105 gallons remaining after 3 1/2 days in the desert.

I am sure as heck not going to force the issue with water shutoffs and such.  I would sooner spend the time and effort to make bigger fresh and waste water tanks if anything.

Edited so the last sentence actually makes sense and to make it say what I intended!
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 05:01:27 PM by belfert » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2008, 05:08:28 PM »

I was wrong on my Flojet pumps.  I was winterizing this evening and noticed my pump is the 4.5 GPM version, not the 3.7 GPM version I thought I was purchasing.  My spare is also 4.5 GPM.

I don't know if I got confused between the Shurflo and Flojet variable speed pumps or what.  The Shurflo has the 4.0 GPM as the smaller unit.
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« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2008, 05:15:29 PM »

I have had 3 of the smart pumps replaced and they have not giving me any grief at all. The last one one ,on the first trip out the water pressure was all over the place I called shurflo and they sent me a big chrome tank (FREE) to cut in to the line it works very well. And more chrome is good
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2008, 07:23:11 PM »

One of the above posts suggest that accumulators are hard on pumps.  I guess I would be a bit surprised that that is the case.  I am not sure how an accumulator would affect the pump.  It still sees pressure all of the time whether there is an accumulator or not.  Indeed, I would think the accumulator might keep the pump from seeing any significant spikes in pressure when a faucet is closed. 

AquaHot is very clear that you must put an accumulator in the water system.  I suspect the issue is increased pressure as the water temperature in increased.  I would think a normal water heater might have the same affect.

Jim
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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2008, 08:13:25 PM »

One of the above posts suggest that accumulators are hard on pumps.  I guess I would be a bit surprised that that is the case.  I am not sure how an accumulator would affect the pump.  It still sees pressure all of the time whether there is an accumulator or not.  Indeed, I would think the accumulator might keep the pump from seeing any significant spikes in pressure when a faucet is closed. 

AquaHot is very clear that you must put an accumulator in the water system.  I suspect the issue is increased pressure as the water temperature in increased.  I would think a normal water heater might have the same affect.

Jim

About accumulator to reduce pressure spikes is what it design for. Shurflo has a optional 2 gallon chrome tank available. My suggestion for larger tank such as 2 gallon tank or larger being not only act as a accumulator but a storage tank like we have in home with pump. It will allow longer time delay between cut-in to cut-out pump cycling. In other word, just when you turn water faucet while in high pressure mode...it will not pump until about 10% water is removed to lower psi.
My point is if these DC pump for RV are less reliable then home type system, then install small storage/surge tank to lower pump problem as well less power waste via fewer pump cycling.

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald
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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2008, 08:52:39 PM »

In 1990 I ripped the fresh water tanks out of my Winnie.  They were round, 5 feet long and weighed 100 pounds each.  It was an old system that used a little air compressor to push water around. Nice theory but I couldn't carry much water because the tanks were round and had to fit under my twin beds.  I replaced that system with plastic tanks and a Sureflow....3.7 GPM sounds right.  I full timed for three years and have taken extended trips to Fla. from Pa. with my Dad in the winter before he passed.  I have no accumulator.  That pump has not even hiccuped in all that time.  The spare pump I purchased is still in the box it came in and is still snuggled up close to the Sureflo that is in the system.  I have never heard of a Sureflo failing but then I live a sheltered life and I typically associate with people that are in the "old mechanical" income range and we rarely see anything "solid state" except my $3,000 computer system. Shocked

So if and when I buy a Prevost I will surely take my Sureflows with me. Wink

WOW! Cool

John
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« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2008, 10:13:10 PM »

I like the Sureflow, not that I haven't had issues. With the Sureflow you can bypass the switch, run two wires up stairs to twist togather and always have a shower or whatever, even if the switch dies. The price has gone up but they are still under $100 at CW and individual repair parts are also available. I carry 230 gal and have showered as many as 17 people a day for weeks. I have a spare when I need it and sometimes do, but I feel I get fair service from these units.
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