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Pump Runs But No Pressure/Water

2022 T@B CSS. I’ve read up on troubleshooting pump/water problems, but nothing has worked in my attempt to get the system pressurized and working.

When I dewinterized last week, I sanitised by drawing a bleach solution (far too strong because I followed the NuCamp video) from a bucket through a hose (a pretty long one) into the fresh water tank. After flushing and flipping the Alde bypass, I had hot and cold water. But the pump came on for a second every 10 or 15 seconds once the system was pressurized.  I hoped this would sort itself out.

At the campground I refilled the fresh water tank. At first, things worked, but the pump seemed to keep running. Later, however, there was no pressure and no water coming from the fixtures. (I know the tank level lights are inexact, but they showed the tank full). 

I ran the pump with a fixture open to see if I could push air out of the system. No dice.

I filled a short hose with water and tried to manually blow it into the system to remove air. I wasn’t able to blow the water in through the Nautilus. 

I removed and inspected the filter cap and cleaned the screen. 

I tried to suck water into the system (through a short hose) as I did when I dewinterized. The pump ran but there was no suction, just  - a sloshing sound from the area of the fresh water tank. 

Loosened the filter cap and the pump input and output fittings and ran the pump, but no water came out. 

Connected to city water, the system works fine.

There is no water leaking anywhere and I’ve checked as many of the fittings as I can find to make sure nothing’s loose.

At this point, I’m stumped. This is only the second season I’ve used the plumbing and it worked well last year, although I used it very little. Thanks for any advice!

2022 T@B 320 CSS

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    MuttonChopsMuttonChops Member Posts: 1,635
    Not a Solution, but you might try one more Trick.

    With Nautilus set for Dry Camping,
    Remove inlet side hose from pump,
    Blow air into hose (tank).
    This might clear a clog if the inlet hose is indeed clogged.

    '18 320 Spitched axle, 3020HE; PNW based
    TV: '17 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, GM Brake Controller
    Adventures:  52   Nights:  329  Towing Miles 41,900+
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    BaylissBayliss Member Posts: 1,328
    edited June 6
    @Greenhil, I agree with the suggestion made by @MuttonChops.  The only additional suggestion I would add in that regard is that before you blow air through the hose, examine the interior of the hose for any type of blockage.  If you can easily reach and unscrew both ends of that inlet hose, you can then visually check the length of the hose interior and flush it out with water before reattaching the hose and blowing air back into the fresh water tank.

    My 2019 T@B 320 S Boondock Lite does not include the Nautilus system, but I encountered the same "no pressure/water" issue, which was very similar to what you have encountered.  It was caused by caulking and plastic shavings in the water line (having occurred during the manufacturing process.)  There have been a few similar reports in the past.  Here's my post regarding my experience:

    No fresh water —Resolved! - Page 2 (vanillacommunity.com)

    I believe I ultimately resolved the lack of pressure/water by disconnecting the water line at the fresh water holding tank connection and blowing out the line with compressed air.  I also tested the operation of the water pump using a bucket of water for the pump to draw water from (to simulate drawing water from the holding tank.)  There is some discussion about doing that on the first page of the above discussion thread, so you should read the entire discussion.

    Also, remove and clean the pump's filter screen.  Easy to do (it just screws off.)  It can collect debris and restrict the flow of water.  Sometimes, air can get introduced there if it is loose, but don't over-tighten it when replacing it. 

    Here are a couple more discussions that may be helpful:

    Plastic shavings in waterline and screen before pump (vanillacommunity.com)

    Super Unhappy Right Now 9:30 pm EDT July 9 TAB 400 (vanillacommunity.com)

    And, one more discussion thread for you.  It has to do with winterizing trailers with the Nautilus system, but reading through it may give you some ideas with troubleshooting your current issue:  

    Nautilus Suction Remedy (vanillacommunity.com)
    2019 T@B 320 S Boondock Lite2007 Toyota Tundra 4x4
    (Alde: 3020; Refrig: Isotherm Cruise 65 Eleg; Battery: BB 100Ah LiFePo4; Solar: Renogy 100Ah Suitcase; Victron BMV-712; Pwr Cntr: PD-4135KW2B; EMS: PI-HW30C)
    Greg & Marlene (Tucson, AZ)


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    GreenhilGreenhil Member Posts: 29
    Bayliss said:
    @Greenhil, I agree with the suggestion made by @MuttonChops.  The only additional suggestion I would add in that regard is that before you blow air through the hose, examine the interior of the hose for any type of blockage.  If you can easily reach and unscrew both ends of that inlet hose, you can then visually check the length of the hose interior and flush it out with water before reattaching the hose and blowing air back into the fresh water tank…

    Thank you for taking the time to post this info. I’d already explored some of these threads (there are so many pump/water discussions!) but a couple are new and may help. I’m also wondering whether I burned out the pump by using a long (25’) hose to siphon when I dewinterized.
    2022 T@B 320 CSS
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    BaylissBayliss Member Posts: 1,328
    @Greenhil, the best way to check whether the pump is OK is to test it with a bucket of water.  I am not familiar enough with the Nautilus system, so I can't help with the best way to go about doing that.  You will probably need a short length of hose to pull water into the pump inlet, and then something like another bucket for the water to be expelled into from the pump outlet.

    It sounds like you have done all the usual troubleshooting (checking plumbing fittings, looking for visible leaks, etc.), so I am running out of suggestions.  I have read discussions that mentioned the Nautilus valves being set incorrectly, which created problems.  Again, I can't help with that, but maybe someone else will chime in on whether that could be a factor.
    2019 T@B 320 S Boondock Lite2007 Toyota Tundra 4x4
    (Alde: 3020; Refrig: Isotherm Cruise 65 Eleg; Battery: BB 100Ah LiFePo4; Solar: Renogy 100Ah Suitcase; Victron BMV-712; Pwr Cntr: PD-4135KW2B; EMS: PI-HW30C)
    Greg & Marlene (Tucson, AZ)


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    GreenhilGreenhil Member Posts: 29
    Bayliss said:
    @Greenhil, the best way to check whether the pump is OK is to test it with a bucket of water.  I am not familiar enough with the Nautilus system, so I can't help with the best way to go about doing that.  You will probably need a short length of hose to pull water into the pump inlet, and then something like another bucket for the water to be expelled into from the pump outlet.

    It sounds like you have done all the usual troubleshooting (checking plumbing fittings, looking for visible leaks, etc.), so I am running out of suggestions.  I have read discussions that mentioned the Nautilus valves being set incorrectly, which created problems.  Again, I can't help with that, but maybe someone else will chime in on whether that could be a factor.
    Thanks. I did this by simply connecting the short input hose where it goes into the Nautilus and putting it in a small container of water, then disconnecting the output of the pump and putting another container under it. The pump did draw the water through, but I’ve also read that This doesn’t necessarily rule out a pump problem, i.e., it could be a “weak pump”. At this point I feel I’ve tried every remedy at least twice, including what NuCamp suggested.
    2022 T@B 320 CSS
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    MuttonChopsMuttonChops Member Posts: 1,635
    Greenhil said:
    . . . by simply connecting the short input hose where it goes into the Nautilus and putting it in a small container of water,
          then disconnecting the output of the pump and putting another container under it.
    The pump did draw the water through, . . .

    Okay, maybe it is time to start over . . . First with a beverage of your choice . . .
    Then
        - - reset the Nautilus for CIty Water, attach city water to fully force any air pockets out.
        - - on my rig the Alde HW tank always causes air pocket problems.
        - - First one-by-one run all cold water faucets until you have a smooth flow
        - - next run the sink hot faucet
        - - raise and lever the tongue jack (just like helping Alde glycol air pockets to clear)
        - - with tongue Up/Down run sink hot faucet a good period of time.
    During this process hopefully you will observe additional pockets of air in the water flow. {the Adle HW Tank}

    After that, return Nautilus to Dry Camp Mode and run the Pump.
    I've run my pump for longggg periods of time with no damage.
    If you don't have normal operation - - - Every few minutes while the Pump is Running quickly open/close the sink cold faucet - - - within 5-10 minutes you should have normal pump and pressure operation.

    If all the above still results in no normal operation.
    Might be time to consider taking the Pump Apart.
    '18 320 Spitched axle, 3020HE; PNW based
    TV: '17 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, GM Brake Controller
    Adventures:  52   Nights:  329  Towing Miles 41,900+
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    GreenhilGreenhil Member Posts: 29
    Greenhil said:
    . . . by simply connecting the short input hose where it goes into the Nautilus and putting it in a small container of water,
          then disconnecting the output of the pump and putting another container under it.
    The pump did draw the water through, . . .

    Okay, maybe it is time to start over . . . First with a beverage of your choice . . .
    If all the above still results in no normal operation….
    Might be time to consider taking the Pump Apart.
    Thanks. I’ve pretty much done these things, but I’m not opposed to starting over. In fact today I drained everything as if to winterize and started the dewinterizing process with the siphon/sanitize step. That’s pretty much the last time the pump worked properly. However this time no suction. For posterity and future reference, here is NuCamp’s suggestion after I described all I’d done:

    “The only thing I would want to doublecheck is when you connected to city water, did you run water through all the fixtures? Both hot and cold water sides. Even an airlock in one spot could prevent the pump from working. So running city water through every fixture can help push out any air. Typically, after doing this the pump will then prime and produce water.”

    This didn’t work for me. 

    Finally, to your point about taking the pump apart, that’s what the manufacturer suggested when I wrote to them earlier today (they responded an hour later!). If it helps anyone, this is the disassembly/inspection process:

    “pull off the front housing that is attached by the 8 screws. Below that is the valve assembly which is black and has four rubber cups pressed in the back of it. If there is any debris on or around the valve assembly the pump will not prime. Also you can look at the check valve. When you remove that front housing, flip it over and the check valve is spring loaded in the middle. Sometimes they can get stuck so simply pushing on it with your finger can free it and it should push in, then pop back into place.”

    I’ll try this over the weekend. 
    2022 T@B 320 CSS
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    MuttonChopsMuttonChops Member Posts: 1,635
    @Greenhil ;
    If you have not already found them - - - Most Shurflo pump model datasheets are on the web.

    The attached PDF is for the 4008 Series that my rig has.
    Document includes an expanded parts view . . . not great detail, still helpful.
    '18 320 Spitched axle, 3020HE; PNW based
    TV: '17 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, GM Brake Controller
    Adventures:  52   Nights:  329  Towing Miles 41,900+
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    BaylissBayliss Member Posts: 1,328
    @Greenhil, Pentair's recommendation to charge/pressurize the water lines using the city water connection is something I was going to suggest, but it sounded like you had already done that.  I have always found it helpful to do that before filling the fresh water tank.  That also fills the Alde hot water tank without pulling water from the fresh water tank.

    I do not disagree with disassembling the pump, mainly because it helps to rule out a blocked pump.  However, from what you have described, it seems like the pump is operating properly.  What stands out to me is your observation that "the pump came on for a second every 10 or 15 seconds once the system was pressurized."  The cycling "on" and "off" is usually indicative of a leak and/or loose connection in the plumbing system.  It could be behind a wall, such as a shower connection, which makes it hard to find.

    Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in getting it resolved.  I will be following this discussion, because plumbing (and electrical) issues can be very discouraging.  Each owner's experience is a learning opportunity for others.  BUT, I have confidence that you will ultimately get it figured out. 
    2019 T@B 320 S Boondock Lite2007 Toyota Tundra 4x4
    (Alde: 3020; Refrig: Isotherm Cruise 65 Eleg; Battery: BB 100Ah LiFePo4; Solar: Renogy 100Ah Suitcase; Victron BMV-712; Pwr Cntr: PD-4135KW2B; EMS: PI-HW30C)
    Greg & Marlene (Tucson, AZ)


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    GreenhilGreenhil Member Posts: 29
    Thanks, Bayless. In my 2022 320 CSS, shower plumbing is behind the panel you remove to get to the glycol tank, so I can see it pretty well. Granted, not all the plumbing is visible, but almost all seems to be. I’ve been pretty vigilant monitoring for leaks during this process. Like you I wondered if the intermittent pump is an indication of a leak, but I find none. Maybe a sign of a weak pump? 
    2022 T@B 320 CSS
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    BridgerSunsetBridgerSunset Member Posts: 94
    Sure sounds to me like the check valve isn't working right.   Will be curious to hear what you find upon disassembly.  Good luck!
    2021 T@B 400 Boondock  - Chev Silverado 3500HD 6.6L - Toyota 4Runner 4.0L
    SW Montana USA


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    GreenhilGreenhil Member Posts: 29
    Sure sounds to me like the check valve isn't working right.   Will be curious to hear what you find upon disassembly.  Good luck!
    Took the pump apart. No debris inside but I found the check valve wasn’t seated right. Got it situated so it springs back. Hopes high, I reassembled the pump, did all the priming/purging steps I’ve been doing and it still didn’t work. Disassembled the pump again to make sure the check valve was good, which it was. I think I’ve reached the point where I’m convinced the pump is bad. 
    2022 T@B 320 CSS
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    BaylissBayliss Member Posts: 1,328
    edited June 8
    @Greenhil, you are doing all the appropriate troubleshooting, so I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I will offer a few more things I would try if I were in your shoes (thank goodness, I am not............been there, done that!)

    Take a close look at all the connections in close proximity to the Nautilus system.  There could be a very minor (unnoticeable) leak, which is allowing air into the water line.  For example, see the following discussion:

         Small leak in one of the hoses in the area of the alde (vanillacommunity.com)

    Check your shower faucet/hose - - - confirm it is not open.  (This may not apply, because I think you may have the hand-held hose that works as a bathroom sink faucet and shower sprayer.  If so, then I am guessing you only press down on the spray handle for water to flow.  Again, I am not familiar with how that design operates, but I assume that you do not have to open a separate faucet valve.)

    1.  I am assuming your fresh water tank is full (or full enough to operate the pump.)  Are you able to drain your fresh water tank without any problem?  If you have not tried draining it (because you are too busy trying to get water to flow through the plumbing lines), give that a try just to see if helps.  Let it run for a few minutes.

    2.  Stick a thin probe (e.g., weed whacker line) into the fresh water overflow tube to confirm that there is nothing blocking the tube.

    3.  Open and drain your hot and cold low-point water drain valves for two or three minutes to assist in forcing air out of the water lines. 

    4.  Check the Alde pressure relief valve (yellow flapper) for a leak.  If nothing is visible, open and close the flapper a few times.  Maybe it is somehow slightly opening when you are trying to pull water from the fresh water tank.  (NOTE:  I do not know how recently you used the Alde hot water heater, but if you have, you need to open the pressure relief valve occasionally (i.e., every 10 days, or sooner, depending on your usage) to relieve the pressure and create an air cushion in the hot water tank.)

    5.  If you have an outside shower, check it to confirm that the hot and cold faucet knobs are fully closed.

    6.  Re-check all your Nautilus valve settings to confirm they are correctly oriented for camping.  Specifically, the "bypass" valve.

    EACH TIME AFTER YOU TRY 1, 3, and 4 ABOVE, run the water pump and see if anything changes.  Try running both the hot and cold-water lines, both at the kitchen sink and shower.  (I presume you have a cassette toilet, correct?)

    If you have not already done so, search for "pressure switch" (for the water pump) and review those discussion regarding adjusting the switch.  Additionally, you can check YouTube for videos describing how to do the adjustment.  Occasionally, that has solved water pressure problems.
    2019 T@B 320 S Boondock Lite2007 Toyota Tundra 4x4
    (Alde: 3020; Refrig: Isotherm Cruise 65 Eleg; Battery: BB 100Ah LiFePo4; Solar: Renogy 100Ah Suitcase; Victron BMV-712; Pwr Cntr: PD-4135KW2B; EMS: PI-HW30C)
    Greg & Marlene (Tucson, AZ)


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    GreenhilGreenhil Member Posts: 29
    edited June 10
    Bayliss - thanks very much for the detailed step by step! I printed it out and went through the steps: 
    1. I’ve twice drained the fresh water tank.
    2. I stuck a zip tie into the drain tube as part of dewinterizing, but this time I got under the camper and blew into the tube. No blockage.
    3. Opened the low point drains as suggested.
    4. Alde pressure relief valve looks good, opened it for 10 seconds or so to relieve pressure.
    5&6. Shower and Nautilus good (checked many times prior). 
    Ran the pump, as suggested, after each step. 
    My understanding of the pressure switch is it governs how much the pump runs. But not whether it runs. To adjust it, the pump has to be removed, which I did. At that point I figured the ultimate test was to jury rig a way to see if the pump would pull water from a jug, eliminating all the complexities and issues involving the plumbing system. The result: the pump runs but doesn’t do anything. For extra measure I adjusted the pressure switch in both directions, but it made no difference.


    2022 T@B 320 CSS
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    BaylissBayliss Member Posts: 1,328
    edited June 10
    @Greenhil, thanks for the follow-up to let us know how things went.  Sounds like your June 8th conclusion (replace the pump) is what the doctor ordered.  After all your hard work, replacing the pump should be a piece of cake.  Hopefully, we'll get an "all is well" message from you once the replacement has been completed.  Keeping my fingers crossed for you.
    2019 T@B 320 S Boondock Lite2007 Toyota Tundra 4x4
    (Alde: 3020; Refrig: Isotherm Cruise 65 Eleg; Battery: BB 100Ah LiFePo4; Solar: Renogy 100Ah Suitcase; Victron BMV-712; Pwr Cntr: PD-4135KW2B; EMS: PI-HW30C)
    Greg & Marlene (Tucson, AZ)


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    GreenhilGreenhil Member Posts: 29
    Just to close the circle on this conversation: I had contacted Pentair, the makers of the Shurflo pump. After following their advice to disassemble the pump, inspect the check valve and check for dirt, I still had no success. I got back to them and, while the pump was out of warranty, they did send me a replacement pump head kit at no charge. It came in a few days and it solved my problem! Thanks for all the advice posted here and to Pentair, which was very quick to respond to my queries. The troubleshooting process was an education in the workings of my T@B’s plumbing system.
    2022 T@B 320 CSS
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    BaylissBayliss Member Posts: 1,328
    Thanks for the update, @Greenhil.  It is always helpful to know the end result.  Kudos to Pentair for standing behind their product.
    2019 T@B 320 S Boondock Lite2007 Toyota Tundra 4x4
    (Alde: 3020; Refrig: Isotherm Cruise 65 Eleg; Battery: BB 100Ah LiFePo4; Solar: Renogy 100Ah Suitcase; Victron BMV-712; Pwr Cntr: PD-4135KW2B; EMS: PI-HW30C)
    Greg & Marlene (Tucson, AZ)


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