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Old 03-06-2013, 02:50 PM   #1
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Water Pump

I had to return from Florida where it was 80 degrees back to Tennessee where it is below freezing. Needless to say, I had to winterize rather quickly. I opened the low-point drains, opened the faucets, drained the tanks, then drained the hot water heater. I then blew out all of the lines from the fresh water input. I closed all the valves then turned the valve to bypass the water heater. I then poured six gallons of RV anti-freeze into the fresh water holding tank. I switched the water pump to the fresh water tank and turned on the pump. The pump ran but never would pump the anti-freeze. It was like it wasn't primed or maybe had a leak in the system. I checked that all valves were in the correct location and all drains were closed. Still no pumping. I then went to reading. The manual vaguely mentions that if the water heater is drained, the pump may be sucking air. Do I need to fill the hot water tank to prime the pump? Anyone ever have this problem? I believe the lines got blown out good and I put anti-freeze in the water heater (through the drain plug) and in the the drains and dump tanks, so I'm not worried about freezing, but I'm confused as to what could be wrong. I'll be needing the water pump come spring. All advice will be appreciated.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
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Probably should have used the winterization suction line in the water pump compartment. Maybe you have the valve selected to do that? That'd make the pump be suck on a dry, capped line.

If that's not it, I suspect 6 gallons of antifreeze may not be enough to reach the pump inlet in the tank. You could tip the motorhome, with the jacks, to the right to help the antifreeze reach the pump inlet. On my '04 31Y, you can see the 1/2" line to the pump in the compartment rear of the door. It's on the right rear side of the forward tank, behind the rearward edge of the steps.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:07 AM   #3
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Thanks, Tderonne, I also tried to use the winterization suction line, no suction there either. I'm sure I had the switch in the correct position for each method. I also have an '04 31Y - great coach! I'm going to add a couple of gallons more of anti-freeze to the tank and see if that makes a difference. I'm thinking it won't and that somehow the pump has come unprimed. Otherwise, maybe it is a seal? Can they become clogged?
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:55 AM   #4
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I was thinking yours was an '03. My memory...

Would also be good to verify that the city fill valve (in the sewage compartment) is in the right position. There's many threads of it being in the fill position and the pump just running and running.

One other idea. If the one of the check valves on the water heather is bad, you may be pumping it full of anti-freeze? Might pull the plug again (or is it still out?) and see if pink water runs out there.

I'm sure you'll figure it out.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:03 AM   #5
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You're doing something wrong (valve in wrong position) or something else. I can do my Itasca Meridian with about 2 gallons including washing machine and ice maker.

If you drain the water heater that's all you need to do. Then put in by-pass to save anti-freeze.

I drain the fresh water tank and put nothing in it. If you run your faucet until each one shows pink you're good. I put about 1/2 gallon in each holding tank to protect the valves.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:44 AM   #6
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Let us know the outcome....this has me puzzled...
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:56 AM   #7
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SIX gallons! Wow, that seems like a lot of antifreeze. We have never used more than two gallons to winterize everything including W/D.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:09 PM   #8
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Coincidentally, on the way home we also broke the spring on the toilet flush pedal return. I never put 2+2 together. On further investigation for the water pump problem, I found the pump was sucking air through the toilet seal. So, I replaced the return spring and now the pump works as it is supposed to. However, I used the winterization tube which required only two gallons of anti-freeze. Pump pressurized the system and there were no leaks. I also found the pump inlet tube in the holding tank. Six gallons does not reach the inlet tube, probably would have required another couple of gallons, at least. Of course, I drained the fresh water tank. Anyone want to buy six gallons of anti-freeze at half-price? The longer you own these monsters, the more you learn about them. I think I'm going to apply for an RV Technitions certificate. I'm just glad I can sleep tonight knowing that everything is winterized correctly. I haven't slept since this problem started. Now, if I could just get that fellow to come down a couple of thousand dollars on that lot in Florida I wouldn't have to worry about winterizing . . .
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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As far as I know,all Winnebago's have a winterization hookup with the water pump. YOU do not dump the anti-freeze in the fresh water tank! There is a pickup near the fresh water pump.Turn the valve to winterize and turn on the pump and it sucks the anti-freeze right out of the container. I am on my 3rd Winnebago.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:00 PM   #10
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I'm still puzzled how the pump can suck air through a toilet seal. Sounds like a major health risk to me. The suction line to the pump shouldn't go anywhere near the toilet.
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