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Old 15-05-2013, 20:50   #1
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Troubleshooting air getting into fresh water pump?

Hi,

I have a Jabsco pump. I haven't had any fresh water issues in 5 years, but now - the first time I turned it on this spring - I'm seeing air bubbles in the clear filter on the side of the pump. The pump motor is running fine and manages to push a little stream through the faucet/tap. But it never turns off and appears to be drawing air from somewhere.

I do have an accumulator.

I've never had any issues with fresh water, and as such have no experiencing troubleshooting it. Was wondering if anyone had some basic things I should try first, or guesses as to most likely causes?

Confession - I didn't winterize it properly this year, so I may be the real problem
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Old 15-05-2013, 22:12   #2
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Re: Troubleshooting air getting into fresh water pump?

Pressurize the suction side with an air compressor hose and listen for air escaping. Where you hear the air escaping you can put soapy water on the area and look for bubbles to confirm your suspicion of where the air leak is located.
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Old 16-05-2013, 09:49   #3
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Re: Troubleshooting air getting into fresh water pump?

Thanks, that is a good tip.

I don't have access to a compressor right now, but I might have a friend with some good lungs.
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Old 16-05-2013, 10:05   #4
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Re: Troubleshooting air getting into fresh water pump?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtPluck View Post
Thanks, that is a good tip.

I don't have access to a compressor right now, but I might have a friend with some good lungs.
You could adapt a dinghy pump. You'll need to be able to close off the ends of the suction hoses, either valves at the tank end if fitted or remove hose from tank fitting and plug the end.

If you can, run a short section of hose from the pump suction to a bucket of water and see how the pump operates.
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Old 16-05-2013, 10:06   #5
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Re: Troubleshooting air getting into fresh water pump?

If you are in the bahamas it's not a winterizing problem... where are you? You DO have water in the tank right? ha ha. If you are in a cold area then any little crack in the suction side hose will allow it to pick up air. I had trouble with air in the system on one boat whenever it ran out of water, the solution was to never run low on water!
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Old 16-05-2013, 10:37   #6
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Re: Troubleshooting air getting into fresh water pump?

Sadly I am back in the North East - need to update my profile.

I do have water in the tank. I am dumb enough to not winterize properly, but not quite dumb enough to not check if I have water before running the pump

I'll probably start with connecting suction side of pump directly to bucket of water (with fresh hose) to establish if it's in the pump itself/filter or somewhere along the line to the tanks.

Then I'll put my dinghy pump or oil extractor hand pump into service and see if I hear any hissing.

Thanks for the tips.
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Old 16-05-2013, 10:43   #7
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Re: Troubleshooting air getting into fresh water pump?

Sorry, didnt mean to imply you are dumb! I remember having trouble only to find out I'm out of water and couldnt believe I went through all that water so fast! Is the water exit on the bottom part of your tank? If so, first step; take the hose of your pump and see that water gushes out, if it does, fasten the hose on the pump and take the hose off the "out" side of the pump and see how much comes out. In the process of removing bending hoses you might identify a leaky one as well. Basically just start at the tank and move toward the sink!
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Old 16-05-2013, 10:56   #8
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Re: Troubleshooting air getting into fresh water pump?

Hah, no worries, I am the one implying that I'm dumb, and I am, for not bothering to winterize properly.

I actually have two tanks. And the pump is managing to suck a dribble out of either tank. I am inferring from that that my problem is upstream of the valve that branches out to the tanks. (unless hoses to both tanks are cracked.)

I'm thinking now that my oil extractor thing might be a great test. I have a pump something like this:

6.5-Liter Hand Pump Oil Extractor - AutoSport Catalog

You pump it up and it holds pressure. If I lose pressure that should mean I have a leak in that part of the line. Might be an easier indicator than blowing with dinghy pump. Thinking out loud here.
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