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Old 07-07-2020, 07:41 PM   #1
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Drainage issues

Hey all

I just received and installed a new water pump in my sunline t1700. For the past two weeks Iíve been using the shower taking bird baths with no drainage issues whatsoever. Now that Iím using a water pump the tub is having drainage issues. Itís clearly only an issue when using the water pump. This is now the third brand new water pump Iíve installed. Any idea why this is? Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2020, 12:29 PM   #2
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Hi,

Something may be a misunderstanding or you have 2 problems at the same time.

The "water pump" (assuming the onboard fresh water pump in the camper) supplies pressurized water from the fresh tank in the camper to come out of the faucets and toilet. Is this the water pump you are referring to?

But you mentioned
Quote:
Now that Iím using a water pump the tub is having drainage issues. Itís clearly only an issue when using the water pump. This is now the third brand new water pump Iíve installed.
The fresh water pump should not be affecting the draining of the shower/tub. The drain system is totally separate from the fresh water supply the water pump is in. But, you said not you have gone through 3 new water pumps.

It sounds like you have 2 separate problems going on. A water pump problem and a shower/tub draining problem.

Tell us more about the 3 new pumps, what failed on the first 2? The motor won't run, the pump won't pump etc?

The draining issue, normally the camper drains can handle all the water that comes out of the faucet. It can drain faster then water can come in, but again everything needs to be working right. Like you do not have any partly clogged drain pipes to slow down drain water and that the gray water holding tank roof vent is not plugged to allow water to enter into the gray tank properly as air is vented out through the roof.

Tell us more about the draining issue. If you have a real drain issue, as a test just pouring water down the drain from a 5 gallon bucket should show there is a draining/backup issue as water may back up and not drain very fast. Granted the 5 gallon bucket can supply more water in an instant then the drains can handle, but if you pour the water close to the speed water come out of the faucet, the drains should not back up.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-08-2020, 12:48 PM   #3
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Hello

Yes, this onboard pump is the pump I am referring to. This is now the third pump Iíve installed. The first pump leaked terribly and the second pump worked perfectly fine for the first three days and then the motor stopped working completely. I say it seems to be an issue with the pump because Iíve been using the tub the entire time, both when a pump has been installed and when there there was no water pump usage at all and there is only a draining issue when a water pump is used. The past two weeks Iíve been using the tub (without a water pump installed) with no issues at all. Now that a new pump is installed, the tub continues to clog every time it is used. I could double check the gray water holding tank roof vent for safe measure though. Is this easy to access?
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Old 07-08-2020, 01:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiaraTaomi View Post
Hello

Yes, this onboard pump is the pump I am referring to. This is now the third pump I’ve installed. The first pump leaked terribly and the second pump worked perfectly fine for the first three days and then the motor stopped working completely.


I say it seems to be an issue with the pump because I’ve been using the tub the entire time, both when a pump has been installed and when there there was no water pump usage at all and there is only a draining issue when a water pump is used. The past two weeks I’ve been using the tub (without a water pump installed) with no issues at all. Now that a new pump is installed, the tub continues to clog every time it is used.

I could double check the gray water holding tank roof vent for safe measure though. Is this easy to access?

OK, thanks for the extra info, that helps. You do have 2 operate issues, it just may be that when the water pump is working, it is supplying more water then the drains can handle because the drains are not working correctly.

Lets take each by itself. The pump, what brand and model have you been buying? Do you have link to getting it online? They should not be failing that fast. Can you post a few pictures of the pump mounting and the piping going to and from the pump? That can help us see what you may be up against.

The drains, this sounds like you have something partly clogged up. What year is your camper? How long have you owned it and been using the water system?

By the model, this is not a new camper and it may have had several owners before you. The actual drain pipe from the shower to the gray water tank may be 3/4 plugged and only letting a small amount of water through. Most of the Sunlines have an 1 1/2" drain pipe on the shower. Worst would be a 1 1/4" but both are big holes compared to a standard fresh water pump.

Somewhere in your camper there should be an access cover to get to the shower pipe trap directly under the shower drain that you see inside the shower. This access cover held on with 4 small screws moves around pending the floor plan. Sometimes it is in the next room and you reach through the wall to get to the pipe trap. Other times the access panel is under the camper directly under the shower drain. It may be a small cover screwed on or taped on pending the year. Or what the last owner did when they put it back on.

That pipe trap is a common place a clog can start. By getting into the access cover, you can unscrew the pipe trap, take it out and clean it. If you have never done one of these before, even in a house, let me know I have pics of doing this on a camper to help show you. Getting into the available space and getting the large pipe fitting to unscrew can be a problem sometimes.

Most camper drain baskets inside the camper shower have a small basket of sorts in the bottom of it so you cannot have something fall into the drain. Or to clean the drain from the top. You need to take the trap off under the strainer basket and then clean it. The trap is a likely suspect assuming the strainer basket is clear. Check and clean the basket if if is not clear.

The gray tank vent pipe up on the roof of the camper is another suspect if insects have created a nest over the end of the pipe. Or tank scum inside the gray tank sealed over the pipe in the tank. Your camper may have a metal vent cover if it is an older camper. The newer ones have a metal cover. To get to the pipe, the cover has to come off and the sealant removed and new fresh sealant put back on when installing. I say, leave that vent check until after you clean/check the pipe trap and only go here is the trap is shown by inspection to be totally clean and you still have draining issues.

Here is another question, if you run the kitchen or bath sink using the water pump, do those drains back up? It is the same water pump, but a different drain and venting system. If the bath and kitchen sink drain OK, that is another reason to not have to check the roof vent on the gray tank just yet. If they back up too, then we need to know that and ask some more questions.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-08-2020, 04:39 PM   #5
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The link to the water pump I currently have is

https://www.amazon.com/SEAFLO-Pressu.../dp/B01CQ7DD0S

I was previously using a shurflo but it leaked terribly. My camper is a 1995 T1700. Iíve just recently purchased it in the last couple of months. And Iíve been using the water system off and on since then. It has indeed had several owners. Iíve unscrewed the pipe directly under the shower and have cleaned it several times. Iím not sure what you mean by pipe trap. Directly under the pipe leading to the shower drain there is sort of a mesh in the floor. Is this what you are referring to? Pictures would be very helpful. While using both the kitchen and bath sink they both drain fine but back up in the tub and furthermore, the smell is quite terrible. Iíve attached photos of the water pump, roof vent and piping under the tub. Some of these photos may be challenging to see but access is limited.
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Old 07-08-2020, 04:41 PM   #6
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Old 07-08-2020, 04:49 PM   #7
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Looking at these photos makes me now wonder if I have the water pump installed backwards?
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Old 07-10-2020, 10:17 AM   #8
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Hi Siara,

Great pics! This really helps.

The water pump, that is a different brand then I have seen before, but I do not see any issues with it that would be causing your tub draining problem. I still feel you have 2 separate issues.

On the pump, you mentioned you think you have the pump hooked up backwards. There is for sure a "inlet" and "discharge port" on the pump. Most times they have an arrow molded in the pump, or a sticker etc to show which direction the water flow is supposed to go. The inlet is the pump suction port that goes to the fresh tank.

This is the product sheet from Seaflo and I can see the direction arrow molded in the pump in this pic. The discharge port is to the right in that pic. https://seaflousa.com/wp-content/upl...2-Series-1.pdf

Most pumps positive displacement pumps will not pump water hooked up backwards and this brand does not look any different. If water is flowing out of the faucets, the pump is hooked up right as far as the inlet and the discharge.

Also, thanks for that link. These seem to be more in the marine world and I will investigate that brand more as it looks like a good variable speed pump.

The pump you picked is a 3 gallon a minute pump. That is the right size for a camper. You really do not need one any larger, that one will drain the fresh tank fast enough.

To the shower drain issues,

I see you were able to take the cover off the tank vent. And I am assuming that is the "gray water" tank vent and not the black tank vent. Is that correct? There should be 2 on the roof.


Someone has replaced that tank vent cap along the way. It is not the original that Sunline would of used but I see nothing wrong with the cap. Something you can try is to put a long rod or broom handle down the pipe to make sure the pipe is not clogged over at the connection to the tank. Scum buildup of over the vent pipe hole can happen. You do not have to jam it hard, but the broom handle/rod/ stick would stop when it hit the bottom of the tank. Once you know you hit the bottom of the tank, then you know the pipe is clear. Just make sure the stick is long enough to reach the bottom of the tank and still have some sticking out the roof. You do not want the stick to fall in and can't get it out.

Using a mirror and a flash like to look down the hole from the side you can maybe see down the pipe to the bottom of the camper. Or if if have a small camera to look down the hole.

Next is the pipe trap.

This pic (which is upside down) shows the pipe trap or part of it. The U shape fitting that goes down below the floor line and then back up is the trap.


I cannot see the other end of the trap where it attaches to the tub drain fitting. And I'm not sure if there is access to take a pic. If there is, please post one.

That U shaped fitting, is that the pipe you took apart and cleaned?

And you said this. This has me thinking about this and there is a key point to talk about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiaraTaomi View Post
I’ve unscrewed the pipe directly under the shower and have cleaned it several times.

I’m not sure what you mean by pipe trap.

Directly under the pipe leading to the shower drain there is sort of a mesh in the floor. Is this what you are referring to?

Pictures would be very helpful. While using both the kitchen and bath sink they both drain fine but back up in the tub and furthermore, the smell is quite terrible.
You may be cleaning out the pipe trap, which is good but we need to confirm that is what you are cleaning out.

Here is a U tube I found on line that talks about what a drain trap is and how it works. While this is on a house, the shower tarp works the same way.
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