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Old 29-03-2020, 08:52   #1
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Freshwater Pump Help!!!

Hi all, so we're stuck here on lockdown, when my Jabsco freshwater pump decides to crap out. It had been fading for a while, the accumulator tank needing pumping more often. Finally, no matter what you did, the pump would cycle on off on off every half-second or 1 second and pumped water, but obvs it was time to do something.

I got in a new accumulator tank just before lockdown, installed it. No change in the rapid cycling.

I luckily found a brand new jabsco pump of the same type in our spares, so I installed it. STILL CYCLING EVERY SECOND or even faster! Also, the green light indicating the freshwater pump being on stayed lit on the 24v panel, even when I turned the faucet off and the pump was silent. The old pump did not do this.

Here is a pic of the install. New pump, new accumulator. The install was a straight drop in, I had to connect two wires, that's it. Now I'm looking at this thing with the spring.... what is it?? It's attached directly to the accumulator tank and the power goes to it, but why the spring? The pressure regulator on these pumps is on the end of it under the blue cap.... could this be the issue?

What other thing should I be looking at? I have shore water for the moment, but I really need to fix this pump issue. Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old 29-03-2020, 08:56   #2
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

The spring thing sure looks like a pressure switch to me!
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Old 29-03-2020, 08:58   #3
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

That thing with the wires going to it is the pressure switch that is used turn the pump on and off, it’s one that is normally used for house water wells and is very robust and able to carry a great amount of current.
There will be a nut on top of a lever that has a spring under it, that adjusts the pressure that the pump turns on and off at, it’s just one setting.
You May can adjust that and get some relief for now, but it sounds like the pressure switch is broken.
The good news is it’s not a boat part, any home improvement store ought to have one, where they have the well pumps and tanks etc.
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Old 29-03-2020, 09:00   #4
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

I identified it just now as the pressure switch too... But would it cause that cycling symptom? Absolutely nothing is open on lock down so this might be a challenge....

I wonder if it's possible that the extremely hard water calcified something inside, and if I can clean it? The water here ruins boilers so...?
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Old 29-03-2020, 09:09   #5
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

They are usually made by square D and have a plastic cover on it.
I’d try adjusting the nut in the middle of the spring just to see if that helps, screwing it in increases pressure, out reduces it.
There also would be contact points that are easy to see, it may be that they are burnt and if so then filing them with Emory cloth or your Wife’s fingernail file will work temporarily, I say temporarily as they have a coating on them that resists arc burning, and once it’s worn off filing points is a temp fix.

This is an exceedingly simple caveman type per switch, which is good cause if it were electronic and digital, you couldn’t do anything, these switches have been around unchanged at least since I was a little boy in the early 60’s.
I wouldn’t “upgrade” to something better as in my opinion they are almost bullet proof.
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Old 29-03-2020, 09:11   #6
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

Worst case screw the nut down, that should keep the pump on and you will have to use the CB for when you want water, that should be a two person job as you don’t want to dead head the pump Which you would do if left running and no facet open.

But since you have endless water, perhaps open the facet, then turn the pump on, leave facet open and turn off pump.
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Old 29-03-2020, 09:43   #7
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

To me you have a tiny leak somewhere downstream of the accumulator and it is not holding. How many faucets? Do you have an accumulator fitting at the top? Is it tight? Do you have a T feeting? I'd eliminate one line by replacing the T with a straight connecetor, check the operation, then the same with the other.
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Old 29-03-2020, 09:58   #8
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

Might be crazy but could it just be interference between the 2 pressure switches being set too close to each other causing weird cycling?

I see the pressure switch A64pilot is talking about. The Jabsco has its own pressure switch inside the head too that cuts off at 40psi.

Maybe the settings of both aren't far enough apart to prevent interfering?
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Old 29-03-2020, 09:59   #9
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

Yeah sounds like a pressure switch issue to me too. Try adjusting it first as described below.

The one you have now is a PT5, readily available online for from 20-40 euro.

Or any standard well pressure switch will work as well as long as it's rated for the amps and can be screwed onto the fitting...
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Old 29-03-2020, 10:11   #10
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

And Chotu has a point.

I don't know how your system is configured, but on a standard well system with an accumulator tank, there is only one pressure switch, which controls when the pump turns on or off, according to the pressure in the system.

Depending on the configuration, it certainly seems having two pressure switches could cause problems.

You might try disabling one or the other to see if either improves or solves the problem.
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Old 29-03-2020, 10:12   #11
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

IF that pressure-activated pump is cycling off and on, there is a leak in the system that causes the pressure to drop and the pump to come on. The fact that you have shut all the taps does not mean there is not a leak at a pipe juncture or tap connection. There are invisible without pulling things apart or opening things up. I found a maddening one after listening to the pump cycle off/on every half hour one night. In winterizing my boat, I had taken off the handle to the shower washdown on the transom while pumping compressed air through to clear out the lines for winter and the "o" ring in the handle fell out. I only figured it out after seeing the water dribbling across the swim platform.

But--if you are currently hooked up to shore water, your pressure pump should be off as the shore water provides its own pressure. Is the circuit breaker switch on the panel bad?
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Old 29-03-2020, 10:26   #12
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

Good advices, but in case there is confusion, the pump does not cycle or come on when turned off, as if there was a leak or loss of pressure. It turns on when I open the faucet, and immediately cycles quickly over and over pumping water fine out of the tap. Usual behavior was nothing for a good 10 seconds as the accumulator dispensed, then pump on for 10 seconds refilling it, then shut off again as the water kept flowing....
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Old 29-03-2020, 10:36   #13
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

So you have a water filter after the pump? If so check to see that it’s not clogged, just remove the element and see if the pump operation is dIfferent
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Old 29-03-2020, 10:41   #14
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

Many boats not meant to spend long times in Marina’s aren’t made for direct connection to Marina water, we just fill our tanks when they are low, I’d assume an Amel doesn’t connect directly to shore water.

Surely his pump has no pressure switch, or the external switch would make no sense.
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Old 29-03-2020, 10:53   #15
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Re: Freshwater Pump Help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Many boats not meant to spend long times in Marina’s aren’t made for direct connection to Marina water, we just fill our tanks when they are low, I’d assume an Amel doesn’t connect directly to shore water.

Surely his pump has no pressure switch, or the external switch would make no sense.
Don't know what pump was there before, but the 82600-0394 pump shown in the picture has a built in pressure switch factory set at 10 psi on and 25 psi off.

As for manufacturer's speccing decisions 'making sense', I'll leave that to your own experience...though I agree with your implication that they should.
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