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Old 07-04-2017, 10:04 AM   #1
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Fresh Water System Issue

Hi All, I have a plumbing issue that is mystifying the yard so thought I'd see if anyone here had any ideas.
My boat has 2 heads below and a kitchen sink in the main galley plus a few wash downs. The problem is that the fresh water pump runs continually.... sometimes.
It seems kind of random when it does it. At first the yard thought it was either the pressure sensor or the distance from the tank to the pump but this weekend I noticed something odd.
When the pump is running continually if you turn on the kitchen sink the water slows down to a trickle then a bunch of sputtering (air) and then the pressure kicks back up and once off the pump comes to a stop. That makes me think it's not the switch or pump location. I checked and it seems this only works on the kitchen faucet.

Does anyone have any ideas on what could be going on?
Air getting into the system somehow?

Thanks!
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:57 PM   #2
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I would check the suction to the pump. The pump is drawing in air some where between the pump suction and the water tank. It will run constantly because of the air, when it has a suction stream of water it can build up pressure and shut off at the pressure switch setting. Check the suction strainer for a bad gasket and other mechanical fittings in the suction line.
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by HiDHo View Post
I would check the suction to the pump. The pump is drawing in air some where between the pump suction and the water tank. It will run constantly because of the air, when it has a suction stream of water it can build up pressure and shut off at the pressure switch setting. Check the suction strainer for a bad gasket and other mechanical fittings in the suction line.
This is pretty basic and your description of opening the faucet and getting a slug of air out pretty well nails it. Did your yard check this first? Would be the first thing I checked before looking at pressure switch settings, etc.

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Old 07-04-2017, 01:16 PM   #4
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If the pump is a diaphragm pump, the diaphragm may have failed. When diaphragms become worn enough they start failing by developing a little pinhole air leak...that causes the pump to "burb" (which means the pressure switch is ok...it's turning the pump on when pressure drops, off as soon as it's back up). Over time as the pinhole gets larger, the pump runs more frequently and longer, till finally it runs continually. The cure may be a diaphragm kit, or a new pump.

All that only applies to diaphragm water pumps...if it's an impeller pump the impeller may have become so worn that the pump runs continually. Or it could be a problem with the accumulator if there is one in your system.
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:33 PM   #5
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look for a clogged filter screen between the tank and the pump
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:52 AM   #6
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Water level low in the tank?
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:19 AM   #7
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First question is what kind of pump is it?
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:25 AM   #8
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Some pumps will fight the accumulator if u have one. Try adusting pressure switch
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:14 AM   #9
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"I have a plumbing issue that is mystifying the yard,"

Sounds like a great time to find a better boat yard.
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:12 AM   #10
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Fresh Water System Issue

I need to revive this thread as we are having this exact issue and it is driving me NUTS!!!

We replaced the (FloJet) pump yesterday so it isnt the pressure switch. We dont see any leaks or loss of water. We arent sure if the intake side has a leak, we will check it today.

Would air on the pressure side do it? We have let it run and run. I released the air from the tank by accident. How do you put in and measure only TWO psi back into it?

Please help yall. This is driving me nuts!
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:54 AM   #11
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Did you release all of the air? Typically you want the accumulator tank to be about 2 psi below the cut in pressure of the switch. Also check the accumulator for water log. Is the pump/line primed back to the tank? Which FloJet?
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:39 AM   #12
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Did you release all of the air? Typically you want the accumulator tank to be about 2 psi below the cut in pressure of the switch. Also check the accumulator for water log. Is the pump/line primed back to the tank? Which FloJet?


Thanks George!

The pump is a 4405... I just found in the pumpís manual that it say NOT to use an accumulator tank. Well... thatís interesting.

So there is a bit of a back story. What is mounted in the boat (not in an easy place to get to mind you) is a FloJet 2840 system. It is a pre-plumbed deal with a pump and accumulator tank. The PO had replaced the pump with this 4405... it is NOT the pump the system came with! Still, with this pump and accumulator, the system appeared to work normally for 2+ years.

I did a impromptu vacuum test on the line from the water tank and it appeared to pass, but I havenít ruled it out yet. The problem is that it is intermittent. Sometimes it works and pressurizes normally, sometime it runs for many minutes.

So would the tank remaining inline but not pressurized be an issue? Would it not act like bypassing it completely? If not, how did the system work so well prior to all this?

Thanks again!
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:24 AM   #13
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My issue was the pump wasn’t mounted close enough to the tanks, apologies with not updating the solution.
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:28 AM   #14
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Fresh Water System Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthurc View Post
My issue was the pump wasnít mounted close enough to the tanks, apologies with not updating the solution.


No worries... ours is in its factory position which is about 12 feet from the tank outlet. Since that didnít change, I didnít consider it as a possible problem... and I still donít.

So we may have solved part of the issue by disconnecting the system and pressurizing the accumulator to 25psi. We had obviously misread the label on the tank and originally thought we needed 3 psi in the tank and not 3psi short of the cut-on pressure. However, since the pump is designed to NOT have an accumulator tank at all, the documentation does not show the cut-ON pressure anywhere (nor on the label on the pump note it). Therefore, we can only guess what the tank psi needs to be.

So with the noted 25psi now in the accumulator, the system runs a little differently. It does fully pressurize, but it takes about 45 seconds, whereas prior, it was only about 5 seconds. Could this be due to the need for MORE pressure in the accumulator? Is the presence of an accumulator detrimental to the system? If so, I canít see how. However, we are going to let it run like it is for a little while and then, perhaps, increase the tank pressure.

I have plans to call the factory tomorrow and see if they can provide any assistance.

DAMMIT :-(
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:39 AM   #15
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wow..I wouldn't trust many of the suggestions so far.

They were based on incomplete info...but typical for TF.

If your system now has a pump that recommends no accumulator...try bypassing the accumulator....as it was the first thing that came to my mind anyhow because of the intermittent issue. Just because something works for awhile still doesnt make it right and some accumulators fail in different ways...so a wildcard in this application.

When troubleshooting...always get rid of wildcards then known potential problems. After that, the number of variables is manageable and troubleshooting becomes easier.
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:42 AM   #16
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wow..I wouldnt trust many of the suggestions so far.

Tbey were based on incomeye info...but typical for TF.

If your system now has a pump that recommends no accumulator...try bypasding it as it was the first thing that came to my mind anyhow.

When troubleshooting...always get rid of wildcards then known potential problems. After that, tbe number of variables is manageable and troubleshooting becomes easier.


Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. But here is the issue. It used to work fine WITH the tank. So I see no reason it should not work again with one.
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:50 AM   #17
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Not true, if the accumulator has had some sort of failure...which ones with bladders become water bound...it could be a different story.

Why is bypassing an accumulaor hard? In many cases, it is a simple cap off, or a valve shut, or a nipple insertion...should be one of the easiest things doned on a boat with a few cheap parts at most.
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:54 PM   #18
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Fresh Water System Issue

True... the accumulator could be the issue, but I donít know that for sure at this point.

The tank CAN be removed, but it will be a PITA to do. Look up the FloJet 2840. It is a ďsystemĒ qith the pump and tank plumbed together on a steel bracket. Moreover, my boat plumbing is Pex. The pipes donít just bend around to a new location without the right fittings and extra tubing... and since they are 15mm fittings, neither Loweís, Home Cheap-O, nor West Marine carries them. Finally, it is on the outboard side of the starboard motor.

So while is CAN be done, it will be a permanent change, so I am going to wait until I talk to the manufacturer to confirm it needs doing. Heck, if I am going to do all that, I could move the pump to a more accessible location...which is on a list when I add a filter system, but Iíd rather make what I have work for now :-)
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:19 PM   #19
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The point behind having an accumulator tank is to allow longer rest times or less runs on the pump. I can't understand why the pump manufacturer doesn't want a tank unless it's so the pumps have a shorter life and get replaced more often. With a tank all the parts get less use, valves, motor, and diaphragm (if it's a diaphragm pump).
To find the cut in pressure, you need a pressure gauge in the line anywhere after the pump. Turn on a faucet and watch the pressure on the gauge where the pump starts.
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:31 PM   #20
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I just read the manual on a Flojet 4405. It does say do not use an accumulator tank. It also says a tank will interfere with the internal bypass valve. Therefore I would not do any more troubleshooting until the tank is removed. The manual says not to do it, so why try to figure out how to make it work with the tank?
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