Hello Guest

Macerator pump leak and door strut failure

  • 29 Replies
  • 5802 Views
*

Doneworking

  • ******
  • 309
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: September 2013
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2013
  • Slide: Yes
  • Location: Oklahoma City
Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« on: August 25, 2015, 08:58:32 pm »
Today was the day to work on the macerator.   At the end of a three week trip two weeks ago, the pump started leaking whether running or not when the valves were open.  I closed both gray and black valves after dumping in Amarillo, Texas and drove on home to Oklahoma City (about 260 miles).   I got the rig out of storage today and took a look.   It was leaking at the connection where  the pump  bayonets to the black discharge line.  I removed the pump and checked it out, halfway guessing the housing was cracked.   No cracks.   I took out the flat ring and o ring seals, cleaned them and their seats and re-installed the pump.  Still leaking.

Now, this is a pretty simple setup.  The pump simply twists onto its receiver and leaks are prevented by the two rings.  What could be wrong?  Well, here is what it was:

     The pump is secured with its bayonet fitting and is supported by a U shaped support which is bolted through  the bottom of the storage area for the Sani Com system. Other models may differ from my 2350 in specifics of where the pump is located.   I noticed that the pump was not really in line with the black sewer pipe that fed into it.  When installed, the pump was pulled upward by the U support about a half an inch, putting strain on the mounting at the bayonet.  Over the three years since the rig was made (purchased in September 2012) that stress created by the misalignment had caused a small amount of distortion in the pump and the excess and uneven compression caused the o ring to no longer seal properly.  

The solution was to lower one end of the U support  a half inch by using a longer bolt and spacer to allow the pump to align.   Since the pump is only about 12 inches long, a half inch upward pull on one end is significant.   The installation manual for the pump indicates that the end should be secured in a way to support it with some flexibility.   It is a long way from a little flexibility to being essentially bent upward a half inch and rigidly installed.   No leaks now.  I filled both tanks and dumped them using the pump and all is well.   When something doesn't fit, forcing it to do so can result in a heck of a mess and problem sometime later for the owner.  

Also today, I fixed one of the struts that hold up the back storage area access door (where we store our hoses and the power cords on all PCs).  It had come loose from the door and all three screws had popped out.  No wonder.  When it was installed the bracket at the base of the strut was installed to a support that apparently had missed a screw or rivet and was flexing.   Who ever had installed it at the factory must have known of the problem because there were two sets of three holes, the sets being about 3/4 inch apart.  At first if it doesn't work, just move it over!   Glad Boeing doesn't do that building planes :beg

I reinforced the strut bracket mounting so it would not flex, re-installed the strut in the proper location.   I replaced the screws on both struts where they mount to the door with screws both slightly longer and with a larger diameter to decrease pressure on the mounting.   One size screw just doesn't cut it everywhere a screw is used :'(

I report both of these repairs to my fellow owners so that if you have these problems you can  profit from my experience.  If the macerator leaks, check the alignment.   You might also check your two struts to make sure they are properly secured.  

Phoenix Cruisers clearly enjoy a built quality much higher than most Class C motor homes.   But regardless of that, just a simple error or "hurry up" on the production line can cause a real pain in the fanny for the owner sometime in the future.   A couple of minutes saved is a couple of hours spent by the purchaser repairing a problem that should never had occurred.  

Paul

 
« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 09:01:53 pm by Doneworking »

*

Pax

Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2015, 05:59:01 am »
Thanks for that info!  Always good to know what others have encountered.  I'll be checking my pump and struts a bit more carefully now.  (Oh, and congrats on your 100th post!)  ;)

    - Mike

*

Denny & Barb

  • ******
  • 318
  • Medicine Bow, Wy.
    • View Profile
    • Weather at my home
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: 4-08-2012
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2012
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: cafe
  • ExtColor: cafe
  • Location: Wisc. (Wittenberg.. N. Central)
Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2015, 07:54:46 am »
Thanks Paul for your findings on these two problem areas.  I also re-installed the struts last winter when in Arizona. Will also check my pumps alignment.  Posts like yours is why I try and check this forum on most days.

Denny
Your Word our Lord is a light to my feet and a lantern to my path...  Ps 119

*

Doneworking

  • ******
  • 309
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: September 2013
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2013
  • Slide: Yes
  • Location: Oklahoma City
Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2015, 04:01:29 pm »
Thanks, Denny.  I find this forum to be most helpful to me.  Every brand and every model has specific quirks and tendencies it seems.  We need to share them so we can be prepared or perhaps avoid a problem.

My best example to date was the posts a couple of months ago about the darn refrigerator doors falling off!   I read the posts, ordered the support kit from Amazon and went on a long trip boondocking far off from civilization and cell phone service.  Now, wouldn't that have been a real hoot to have the door fall off thirty miles from civilization?  Those posts probably saved me some real agony.  When I examined the design of the door hinge on the refrig, I was shocked.  When I researched it further and found out it had been a known problem by the refrigerator manufacturer for years I was more shocked.   Such is life in the world of 2015. 

By the way, the O ring in the macerator is simply a 3" ID standard sized ring.   I went to four stores to buy a couple to replace the existing one and have an extra.  Tractor Supply, Lowes, Home Depot and a large Ace Hardware.  None sold O rings except plumbing rings for household plumbing repairs.   I was shocked.   The reason, one guy told me was because "most people don't repair things anymore, they just replace them".   That was a sad indictment of contemporary attitudes, but true I guess.  Now, I am going online and buy a couple to have for the future.  I just lubricated the existing ring and replaced it.

Paul

*

JOVIC

  • ***
  • 13
  • Ready for Fun
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: 8/3/2015
  • Model: 2910
  • ModelYear: 2015
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Toast w/ Cherry Cabinets & Floor
  • ExtColor: Desert Sand
  • Location: Montana
Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2015, 05:57:21 pm »
I checked the grinder pump and door strut alignments and all appears well but while inspecting the grinder pump I noticed the small clear plastic bypass line had a KINK completely closeing off the bypass. The tubing appears to be too long so I removed it, cut a short piece off reinstalled it and when testing it a small leak showed up. At first I thought I may have punctured the pump discharge hose but upon closer inspection I discovered the leak was on the small thread of one of the 90 deg elbow fittings in the bypass line. I removed the bypass line once again, retightened the fitting reassembled and all appears to be well again.  Anybody else ever had an issue the bypass line?
Just one more thing to be mindful of when working around the grinder pump.
I am new to this forum but enjoy the wealth of information as well as the knowledge of the participants. I look forward to each session.  2o2
John
JDF
Happy & Safe Motoring!

*

Doneworking

  • ******
  • 309
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: September 2013
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2013
  • Slide: Yes
  • Location: Oklahoma City
Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2015, 07:54:50 pm »
John, I forgot to mention that in my original post.  Yep.  Mine had a crimp in it also.  Assuming they are all cut to the same length, I would be surprised if everyone didn't have or will have that problem. 

Paul

*

JOVIC

  • ***
  • 13
  • Ready for Fun
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: 8/3/2015
  • Model: 2910
  • ModelYear: 2015
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Toast w/ Cherry Cabinets & Floor
  • ExtColor: Desert Sand
  • Location: Montana
Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2015, 08:44:19 pm »
One more Sanicon question.  Does anyone know how to empty the discharge hose when done emptying tanks. I have watched the video but have not seen this addressed. I have tried several things but can't break the vacuum on the hose and have to stow while it is full.  Is there a magic technique to empty the hose? Anyone else experience this and how did you overcome it?
John
JDF
Happy & Safe Motoring!

*

Bruce

Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2015, 12:05:27 am »
John,
Here's my experience with emptying the hose:
I find the macerator hose a little slow to drain when the pump is off, but I've never had to stow it full of water.  I make sure that there is a small gap between the dump receptacle and the end of the hose so that air can get in to break any vacuum in the hose and then start lifting the hose starting at the storage compartment and walking it up to the dump (shaking the hose a little as I go).  Usually take three or four times doing this before the hose is practically empty.  Then I cap the end of the hose and don't worry about the small amount still in the hose--it's almost clear gray water at that point.
That's what I do.  Hope this helps.
--Bruce

*

JOVIC

  • ***
  • 13
  • Ready for Fun
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: 8/3/2015
  • Model: 2910
  • ModelYear: 2015
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Toast w/ Cherry Cabinets & Floor
  • ExtColor: Desert Sand
  • Location: Montana
Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2015, 01:06:35 am »
Bruce,
Thank you for the reply. I will give your suggestion a try. I have actually let the open end dangle over the open inlet without success but have not tried shaking it. I have also tried to empty the hose with both valves open after dumping the tanks hoping that would break the vacuum.
John  5:)
JDF
Happy & Safe Motoring!

*

2 Frazzled

  • *******
  • 1076
    • View Profile
    • Spirit of the Woods
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: May 2013
  • Model: 2552
  • ModelYear: 2013
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Sunlit & Cherry
  • ExtColor: Sunlit
  • Location: On the road full time (prev. Maryland)
Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2015, 05:50:38 am »
I'm not understanding the vacuum. We do the hose walk and wiggle thing to empty the last bit of liquid but have never noticed any type of vacuum.
John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
Travel Blog: Spiritofthewoods.net

*

TomHanlon

Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2015, 06:54:04 am »
I modified my system and posted it under http://www.phoenixusarv.com/community/index.php/topic,465.msg2708.html#msg2708
It works great but just don't forget to close the valve afterwards or the next time you use the sani-con you will get a surprise.

*

palmettorose

  • ***
  • 24
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: February 21, 2015
  • Model: 2910
  • ModelYear: 2015
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Desert Sand
  • ExtColor: Desert Sand
  • Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2015, 08:22:12 am »
John
I noticed just yesterday that I have a kink in the clear bypass hose. What exactly is the hose for? I am not mechanically inclined, but assume that removing the hose and shortening it is no big deal?

Mike

*

Bruce

Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2015, 10:38:39 am »
An analogy of the vacuum on the drain hose is like what happens to liquid in a straw when you put your finger over one end and the liquid no longer flows out of the other end.  You break the vacuum by letting some air into the system.

*

JOVIC

  • ***
  • 13
  • Ready for Fun
    • View Profile
  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: New
  • PurchDate: 8/3/2015
  • Model: 2910
  • ModelYear: 2015
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: Toast w/ Cherry Cabinets & Floor
  • ExtColor: Desert Sand
  • Location: Montana
Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2015, 11:51:52 am »
Hi Mike,
That short piece of clear plastic tubing is to bypass grey water into the black tank by gravity. You might use this feature when you are dry camping and you run out of capacity in the gray tank with no place to dump so you can let the grey water feed over into the black tank through the little hose to you give you more time to use  your grey tank before dumping. I have not used this feature but in looking at my own bypass it would not have worked anyway due to the kink.
I think Sanicon can provide directions on the best use of this function.
Hope this helps.  :help
John
JDF
Happy & Safe Motoring!

*

TomHanlon

Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2015, 12:56:42 pm »
My understanding is the hose just bypasses the pump. If you open the gray valve with the hose connected to the sewer hole the gray will just run out and bypassing the pump. This will keep the gray tank from filling up with out running the pump. You can leave it this way for days if you are staying in one place.

To equalize the two tanks, just open the gray valve and then the black tank. The pump has nothing to do with this procedure. Or you can hook up a 3" hose to the back hole, open the valve by it and open the gray valve.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 01:02:08 pm by TomHanlon »