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Old 05-19-2022, 09:45 AM   #1
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Fresh water Pump wont prime

2012 Itasca Suncruiser 37F. I replaced my fresh water pump yesterday. filled the tank 1/2 full and turned on the pump. It will pump with very low pressure and continues spitting air. I had a rv tech look at it and he thinks it may be the line from the tank getting air in the line somewhere. hooked to city water works fine with no leaks. The line coming out of the tank is behind the tank and not accessible without removing the tank Any ideas?
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Old 05-19-2022, 10:36 AM   #2
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The only time this happened to me it was the threaded hose connection at the pump inlet (it had loosened while driving and was allowing air into the system). That's something you've probably already checked a few times.
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Old 05-19-2022, 01:26 PM   #3
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Don't you just love it when you get a tech that has none of the qualities of a good tech?
Doesn't know and doesn't have the inspiration to find out.
Doesn't know and doesn't have perspiration to go look!

But since it is your problem, you likely have both inspiration and will to get the perspiration going!

One thing going in your favor is that your year model has excellent info to look where exactly the lines run and that can lead to spotting potential for air to get in or out.

Parts catalog here that will let you turn the RV any way you need to get the right look:
https://catalog3d.winnebagoind.com/menu/Parts.htm

But to get down to the really correct drawing and view, you will need to know the build date as there are two for your year and model! Early or late?

But before going to lots of trouble as it takes a learning curve to drive the interactive drawings, there are several easy checks that might get it done!

You likely have a valve which sets whetherwater from the hose goes into the tank or as normal and inside to the plumbing. This valve left in the "fill" position can do what you have.
There is also a small plastic disk at the hose inlet on many RV and it acts as a very simple check valve. It is a very light spring keeping the disk pressed against the rim of the fill port and you can see it when looking directly into the port. If it gets bumped some way and turned on side or broken in half, it makes and air leak, so a quick look at both of those can help.
Check the valve is to the "normal" positon,not left on fill and look in the hose connection , maybe push gently to see it flops back down to cover the hole? Remember it's thing plastic on a weak spring, so don't break it!

If the first trip after winter, check/review if you have a chance the suction tube used to get antifreeze into thesystem migh have the valve left partway open and the cap missing or leaking air?

The little plastic filter housing is easy to crack?

Yes, there can be a leak but it is true that lots of leaks that let air in will also let water out!

This is one of the builds but may not match yours exactly!
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Old 05-19-2022, 01:47 PM   #4
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Thanks Morich

Thanks. I have had an issue with that fill valve leaking into the fresh water tank while in the normal position. But hasn't done it in awhile. Ill check it out.
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Old 05-19-2022, 04:03 PM   #5
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Just as a check, you might look carefully at these two pictures and see if you can spot which build you have as there seems to be some minor changes in this area and it "might/could" make a difference in the waterflow, if not finding anything easy???

There may also be a sticker under or around the driver's seat with a date on it.

If it gets down to it, we can turn the drawings all around and follow the tubing all the way back to the tank ---- but it tends to make my eyes cross, if it can be avoided!
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Old 05-19-2022, 05:35 PM   #6
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Hi Dave,
I would suggest that you totally fill your fresh water tank and then try again.
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Old 05-20-2022, 08:47 AM   #7
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I'm just waiting this morning, so I did some playing with the drawings to show why I suggest the points to check that I have.
First I find it very hard to sort out the lines we need to look at when the drawing shows so much, so I did a little shaky handed artwork to clear much of the unneeded stuff, so we can see better. Excuse the "art", as I am not an artist!

For me, step one to understand is that the line from the tank comes off the bottom edge of the tank and then up and over before going to the pump eventually. So the pump has to be self priming and able to get enough suction on the line to draw water up and over!

If there is a place for air to get into the pump, it will never be able to draw enough suction to move the water up and over. Like drinking with a straw that has a hole in it?

Agreed, the pump "could" be bad but no reason to jump that far without testing the simple stuff first? So where can air get in before the pump?

One easy place is a cracked or loose filter at number one.

A second place is if we leave the suction tube at 2 uncapped and/ or the suction valve set to suck instead of draw water. One way to test the pump and that this tube ir right is to stick the suction tube in a bucket of water, set it to suck and see if the pump works by sucking the water!
Then remember to set the valve back and cap the tube!

If all is well up to this point, I would look carefully at the fresh water fill port as a prime suspect! If we don't see anything obvious like the valve left in fill rather than normal, there is a test if we have a few things on hand.

If air is getting in at the fill port, one way to stop it is to add a plug in the port. This "plug" can be an actual plug or it can also be as simple as hooking a hose to a faucet that is turned OFF and connect it to the port to stop any air flow.

If we get to this point and the pump still is getting air, then we do have to think there is a problem with the line from the tank but we need to do some thinking.
One big thing is that it is not likely to be the fitting where the line comes off the tank as that is down low and has water standing in it any time the tank has water and that makes it almost certain to flood the RV!
IF you are at that point, you have a real problem as the leak is in the line itself where it comes up and over the tank before going back down. Real bummer to fix that!
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Old 05-23-2022, 12:35 PM   #8
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Thanks Richard. Very appreciated. Has been bad weather but I am about to give those a try.
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Old 05-23-2022, 02:00 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone

I fixed it. As you have said Richard, sometimes the RV Techs dont have enough invested in YOUR rig. It appears it didnt have enough water in the tank, and the RV techs had one of my valves turned to winterize. It takes a long time to fill the tank to 1/3 and they did not spend that much time. I guess my normal/tank fill valve is not normal. lol But after switching the valve that they had turned to winterize and filling my tank adequately, all is good. I guess now I have a spare water pump. Thats never a bad thing. Again, thanks for all the help! And I did discover that I have an early build.
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Old 05-23-2022, 02:02 PM   #10
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Hi Dave,
Agreed. Mine will not self-prime unless my fresh water tank is full.
Glad you are back in business.
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