Originally Posted by D.M.D.
I would try to return it first.....if not, it is simple to pull apart. Remove screws in top, and pull top off. It can be difficult, but it will remove. The piston assembly needs to be removed, and can be stubborn, but just lift out. Underneath, you will find a leather washer that creates the suction. It's held on with a large fender washer and a screw. Note how the parts are put together and in what order. I had to clean out the tube, clean off the washer and remove any small debris inside. I put everything back together, and all works well. My vacuum release valve rotted out, and you can't buy spare parts. I just work around it. Good Luck!
Thank you. That is just exactly the information that I was looking for!
Which is kind of ironic, because I went down today and carefully did the checks that Sunnie000 (post # 2) recommended. Everything seemed to be OK so far as I could tell, so I used it to change oil in the starboard engine and it worked like a charm. So obviously cockpit error on my part somewhere along the line. I still am glad to have your info for down the line, though. Thanks.