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Old 11-08-2016, 08:18   #1
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Shurflo 4901-4202 pump firmware??

Shurflo 4901-4202 pump firmware??

My 4gpm, 4-diaphragm, pump cycles for no apparent reason. The original pressure switch was bad based on the backflow I got when pressurized. The new switch changed the frequency and duration of the runs, but it still cycles for no apparent reason:

We have a large accumulator, and a substantial amount of water has to pass before it drops pressure enough to kick the pressure switch. So, if there were a leak, it would be substantial in the amount of water it would display on looking...

But we find no such leak (or any at all, for that matter).

So, I call Shurflo. The rep tells me that smacks of firmware; one of the reasons they discontinued this pump 4-5 years ago is that the firmware started to fail.

Firmware??? I just replaced the switch. No, it's in the BASE (the part you screw to the bulkhead or shelf) - despite there being no electrical connection between the base and the pump body, on which body (he called it the bottom; I guess he expects a horizontal mount) it mounts, sez he.

And the firmware 'remembers' what it's been doing, and continues to do that; in my case, due to the leakdown, is that it cycles often - if it's a firmware problem - that it's "remembering".

The solution, rep sez, if there is any hope, is to physically disconnect the wires from power; a breaker isn't sufficient - it still has a micro-amp draw if there is a physical connection (WTF??). Otherwise, even if we were to send the pump to them, there's nothing he could do about it (base obsolete? I didn't ask the question, as he was addressing the firmware issue). The parts PDF shows, but does not identify as a part number, the base. Seems to me that this would be a replacement item if there's something which controls the pump.

A google search for firmware and Shurflo pumps came up dry, so if there is such a thing, it's well hidden.

Has anyone else heard of "firmware" in a Shurflo pump? Or had our issue and solved it?

Thanks.

L8R

Skip
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Old 11-08-2016, 08:43   #2
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Re: Shurflo 4901-4202 pump firmware??

I don't know about all that firmware stuff but when a pump turns itself on and off like that I always suspect a leak. Since you don't see any water coming out anywhere the water has to be leaking back through the pump to the water tank.
You mentioned changing the switch because of back flow. The switch doesn't prevent back flow, the valves do.

Change the valves in the pump or replace the pump.

Some years ago ShurFlo made a variable speed pump. That pump did have some sort of computer in it. If that is what you have, just replace it.
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Old 11-08-2016, 08:59   #3
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Re: Shurflo 4901-4202 pump firmware??

I just looked up your pump. It's a conventional pump with a mechanical switch.
No software or firmware involved.
Here is a link to the parts list http://legacy.shurflo.com/pdf/Marine...-4901-4202.pdf

Number 3 in the parts drawing is what you need to change.

If you decide to replace the pump, consider a ShurFlo Aqua King II. It will allow you to eliminate the accumulator tank and free up some space.
SHURflo Extreme Smart Sensor 4.0 Fresh Water Pump 12VDC 4901-0211 / New Mfg# 4148-153-E75
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:01   #4
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Re: Shurflo 4901-4202 pump firmware??

Thanks for that note.

To the second one, that's the PDF I have. And the accumulator is in an engine room space not well suited to anything else (in the turn of the bilge, under a shelf, in the engine room). So, a smart switch isn't needed.

My initial conversation with Surflo, before I got the new switch, was that there was a check valve (which could not be serviced) in the pressure switch.

As I was getting leakback into the supply line, that made sense.

If it IS a firmware issue, rep sez it's a paperweight. I hate to throw parts money after a dead pump (with a great motor).

This has never displayed any form of speed difference; I could see that on a washdown or similar pump, but specs on this one don't mention anything other than 4gpm.

So, perhaps I am getting the quality of US customer support as seems to be worsening, and have someone who doesn't really know the product. However, there was no hesitation on the part of the rep immediately after I told him the product number, so I suspect he was either blowing smoke from the beginning or knew it well.

I'm going to call a different office and hope that their prompts don't put tech support into a forwarded single number, where I might get the same person
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:19   #5
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Re: Shurflo 4901-4202 pump firmware??

Call them back, ask to speak to some one else, this guy is a nut.
Voltage present when CB opened ought to have been an indicator
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:28   #6
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Re: Shurflo 4901-4202 pump firmware??

Yah. Called the CA office, got Mel, who offered to have me call him back directly to let him know what happened.

His (and others here and there) opinion was that there was a bit of debris in the valves; in the valve segment seen in http://legacy.shurflo.com/pdf/Marine...-4901-4202.pdf there are inlet and outlet valves which I can rotate by hand; do it, he sez. Also wash with soapy water. Both designed to remove any small particles.

When I took off the pressure switch, I found a tiny speck of something under it; maybe a grain of sand, or maybe a tiny paint speck which somehow managed to get sucked up after flowing into our tank during rainwater catching, or something. So, perhaps...

But my next step is to take off the pump, again, take it apart, get the valve segment (#3 in the blowup) and wash it after, looking at it under high magnification before and after. With any luck something will be obvious.

But I am beyond irritated that I was told there was a check valve which failed, and could not be serviced, in the pressure switch by one rep, and Mel has never heard of ANY firmware in Shurflo, and denies there being a check valve, other than the valves which pump the water in.

Bleah.
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:35   #7
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Re: Shurflo 4901-4202 pump firmware??

There are no check valves in a pressure switch.

Your original switch was working fine. It turned the pump on when the pressure dropped and turned the pump off when the pressure went up.

The guy must have been referring to the #3 check valve assembly. Take the pump apart, look for something stuck in one of the check valves holding it open. Even a small bit of dirt can cause the pump to cycle.

If you don't find anything, replace the valve assembly or buy a new pump.
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:42   #8
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Re: Shurflo 4901-4202 pump firmware??

I see Mel beat me to it. That's the right answer.
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Old 12-08-2016, 14:30   #9
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Re: Shurflo 4901-4202 pump firmware??

So, I'm doing followup with him every time I try. There's often a phone tag game in progress as I miss his call, and he's on another. But we persist, and...

It gets better. I'll post a separate "In Praise of..." note, too, but...

I call him back. He sez I need a new valve kit, and he has one there.

"I'll send that out to you, no charge. Oh, yah, maybe a drive kit, too, if I have one here. This is an obsolete pump and the day will come when you won't be able to get parts for it. I wouldn't want you to be stranded."

Thank you Mel!!


That sorta makes up for the $50 bux I blew on an unneeded pressure switch based on the assertion of a tech rep's assigning a pressure drop to the switch (when it's just the intake valves which prevent backflow), and the wild goose chase the other guy initiated with his firmware story.

I've found that speaking directly with the manufacturer pays great dividends...
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