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Low water pressure when hooked up

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Doneworking

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Low water pressure when hooked up
« on: April 30, 2017, 10:23:31 am »
We seldom camp where hookups are available but when we do we still use the pump and water supply from our fresh tank, refilling it as needed with the campground water.  Why?  Because we don't have very good pressure if we are hooked up directly to the campground water supply.

Now, I have checked out just about everything.  I have a water pressure gauge I carry that has a female hose connection attached.  I can check water pressure at the source, at the end of the hose after the water supply has gone through my regulator and hose, etc.  Water pressure is 40 psi at the end of my hose, exactly as it should be.  The pressure of the water coming out in the sinks in our 2013 PC 2350 is about 1/3rd of the pressure with our pump and is essentially not usable for showering, etc.  

I have checked the filter screen in the input connection on the PC.  As a matter of fact, the original back flow check valve failed and I replaced that with a new input connection and a new check valve.  They work perfectly.   I have removed the bed and accessed the plumbing underneath.  I have checked for kinks in the plumbing lines, crimps, everything on every pipe that is accessible.  No problems.  

The only conclusion I can come up with is that the supply line is crimped or impeded somewhere behind the wall between the hose input connection and the accessible/viewable plumbing.   Please remember the pressure is low at all outlets:  both sinks, toilet, shower, and outside shower....every outlet.   SO....the problem must be in the main supply line somewhere and I have just about given up.  I don't intend to tear out the shower walls to try to find it!

Does anyone have any thought or has anyone experienced a similar problem?    I assume the plumbing routing will differ from model to model.  

The whole system works perfectly fine with the water pump.

Paul
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 10:26:29 am by Doneworking »

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ron-n-toni

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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2017, 11:04:08 am »
Probably the water switch. Had the same problem.  PC installed a new switch and now all is well.

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Doneworking

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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2017, 12:41:03 pm »
Water switch?   Do you mean a valve that allows you to switch from outside source usage to filling the tank?  If so, I don't think my unit has such a valve control.  I am familiar with them because I had them on other coaches over the years.   If I have one, I don't have a clue where it is located and it is not readily visible.  

Does anyone else have a 2013 (or perhaps a year or two earlier) model 2350 and do you have such a valve?

EDITED:  just found a youtube where Earl demonstrates the referenced valve and refers to it as "new for 2014".  My PC is a 2013, so no such valve.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10mJ0OOFZAU

Paul
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 12:45:51 pm by Doneworking »

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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2017, 12:50:59 pm »
Paul --
You are correct - you don't have the kant leak valve. I'm trying to remember - is there a check valve in the line, that is stuck? Can you pull a new line through the wall using the existing, ike replacing a wire? Just food for thought -- maybe Tom Hanlon or Ron have an idea.

Jack

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TomHanlon

Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2017, 02:36:58 pm »
Paul at this point you should call Kermit at the factory. He may have an idea about your problem. Yes I see you purchased it used, but Kermit stands behind all PC regardless of how many people have owned it.  Is the pressure restricted for both the cold and hot water?

Have you tried hooking it up to the spicket without the pressure regulator? The water system can handle up to 100 psi without any problems. If there is anything in the line, this might blow it to one of the facets and the others should work after that. I would use the bathroom sink first as this is the easiest to take apart on the 2350. This is what I would do, but if you are not confortable doing it, wait until you talk to Kermit.

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2017, 05:25:55 pm »
Paul at this point you should call Kermit at the factory. He may have an idea about your problem. Yes I see you purchased it used, but Kermit stands behind all PC regardless of how many people have owned it.  Is the pressure restricted for both the cold and hot water?

Have you tried hooking it up to the spicket without the pressure regulator? The water system can handle up to 100 psi without any problems. If there is anything in the line, this might blow it to one of the facets and the others should work after that. I would use the bathroom sink first as this is the easiest to take apart on the 2350. This is what I would do, but if you are not comfortable doing it, wait until you talk to Kermit.
I agree with Tom on all accounts.

Your symptom sounds like the check valve located at the city water inlet is faulty.  There may also be something foreign in the line.  Like Tom suggests, increasing the pressure could dislodge any object, and using the cold water line under the 2350 bathroom sink is a very easy connection to open and allow debris to discharge.

I have not tried it, but you might be able to hook a garden hose directly to that fitting under the bathroom sink.  It would make for an interesting experiment.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 07:29:06 pm by ron.dittmer »
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Doneworking

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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2017, 05:44:09 pm »
Jack, there is a check valve for back flow built into the inlet which mounts on the outside of the PC and provides the female hose connection.  I replaced it and tested it before I installed it.  The replacement was necessitated by that valve leaking and allowing water to drip out when the hose was disconnected.   No problem there.  

Tom, yep this baby was only owned for eleven months prior to our purchasing it coming up on four years ago.  Since we boondock 95% of the time this problem is not a constant irritant but I would like to fix it.  Your approach was the same as mine:  blow that baby out with a little more pressure.   We have 80 psi of water pressure here at our home (like I mentioned I have a water pressure gauge with a female hose connection input).  I hooked it up, opened the sink in the bathroom fully and  then turned on the water so as not to "jerk" the piping when pressurized.  I got a little more pressure but not much more.  To me, that indicates a kink or some kind of obstruction.

Jack, I don't think I can fish along that line because it probably  makes a 90 degree turn behind the corner of the shower wall and my fish might puncture something or nick some of the wires that trace in that direction.  

I may call the factory as suggested.   Yes, the great thing about a PC is the responsiveness of the folks long after the sale.  This rig going on five years old (hard for me to believe but time marches on) but I suspect nothing has really changed in the routing in that time period.   I may also watch the videos on the PC site where they show a build on the model.  Maybe I can get a better indication of the routing.  As a last resort, I could reroute the supply line under the unit and insulate it with pipe insulation but that is not a very good alternative fix.  Some future owner may be braver than yours truly and camp out a lot in freezing weather.  Low pressure is better than frozen pipe.

On the positive side this is a great excuse to buy some PEX tools (cheer)

Paul

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2017, 07:23:44 pm »
Paul,

I can't imagine any of the plumbing developing a kink in the line.  It sure sounds like something is dislodged in the line somewhere.

I am not sure if you had tried this, and not sure if it is even possible.  But can you remove the check valve at the city water connection, cap it off with a garden hose with in-line ball valve shut-off, pressurize the system with the on-board pump, then release the pressure quickly to see if a floating obstruction flies out?  Who knows, maybe a pebble will fly out.  Collect what shoots out into a bucket to see it you find something.

A 99 cent in-line shut off ball valve like this would provide a fast-blast of release.


After reading about Two Hams In A Can's crazy story about massive amounts of calcium deposits in their fresh water system, maybe you have a similar problem.  Maybe you have a big chunk of calcium in the line causing the problem and my suggestion might just pop it out.  If you find that to be the case, maybe you'll want to run a solution of CLR through your fresh water system to dissolve a build-up of calcium.

I am no authority here, just throwing out ideas.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 07:59:04 am by ron.dittmer »
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WillLloyd

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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2017, 05:57:47 am »
Are you using a regulator?  Try without it.  We get these same symptoms with our regulator.  I need to remember to throw it away....

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Doneworking

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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2017, 08:08:23 am »
No, its not the regulator.  As I mentioned in a reply to Tom above, I have already tried what he suggested and that is a full force feed.  My house pressure is 80 psi and that is twice the pressure that most rv hose regulators allow (40psi).  

I think I will pull out the bed and support structure again and put back pressure on it as has been suggested by a couple of posters.  Ron, I think I will use air at first shot to avoid a mess with water.  I will remove the check valve, of course, and then put a 100 psi air pressure on the piping and see if anything comes out.  

I don't think it is calcium or anything like that or it should be visible also on the faucet screens at the sinks and they are spotless.   Besides, I flush our system after every trip and don't leave water in the system.   I learned a lot about calcium in the home we previously lived in for twenty years.  It was an acreage on the edge of town with a water well and the water was full of lime and calcium.  That stuff can shut plumbing down rather quickly if not filtered or treated.   Believe me, I know!  

Thanks for all the suggestions.  I will back flush with air and or water on the supply plumbing and see what happens and report. Again, on the pump all is just fine.

It actually looks like we can put the boats away and enjoy a week of normal sun shiny days so this is a good week to figure this out. 

Paul
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 08:10:00 am by Doneworking »

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2017, 08:17:54 am »
Paul,

It sounds like you have a good plan of attack.  I hope you find the culprit.

Ron
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JackD

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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2017, 02:49:13 pm »
I like the air idea, Paul ...and lets hope a lot of stuff blows out!!! :)
Jack

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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2017, 06:26:55 am »
Kinks are possible. We have a 2013 2552. The plumbing is a combination of flexible tubing (like PEX) and metal connectors. However, you specifically mentioned the pressure is low on the outside shower. I'm pretty sure on the 2552 that the shore water connection inlet is a couple of feet from the outside shower outlet... at least for the cold water line. I don't know how the plumbing is run but if the inlet taps straight to that outlet then continues on around the coach, then your issue is within the first few feet of the system, which would include the inlet valve. Since they use the metal connectors, the flexible tubing should not have to turn hard corners so kinking is less likely, especially in that initial space. From the 2350 floor plan, it looks like you should have three taps within feet of the inlet: the outside shower, the bathroom sink and the bathroom shower. These should all be on straight runs of tubing so I'd pull that inlet valve first and check it. Once the valve is out, see if you can eyeball those first few inches of tubing. My brain says you should be dealing with a metal elbow pipe but it's possible the flex tubing was pulled tight right at the junction which would reduce the flow. This is all random guessing and speculation. Kermit is definitely your best bet. He can diagnose things over the phone and tell you exactly where to look or what to do to narrow down the possible issues.

Good luck. Please keep us posted on what you find out.
John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2017, 04:28:16 pm »
UPDATE

2 Frazzled got me on track!!  I checked the tubing and connections from the fill connection up to the outside shower head.  No problems found.  The shower puts our a more reasonable amount of pressure than either sink.  The shower in the bath puts out fairly decent pressure.  The plumbing for the outside shower, the shore input and the lines to the bathroom sink can easily be traced in the cabinet under the sink by removing a panel.  

This morning, our home water pressure was 90 psi. It was mid morning and the pressure was higher than our normal 80 pounds.  I rechecked the inlet backflow check valve, my hose regulator (reduced the 90 psi to 45 psi) and rechecked the water flow at the sinks. it still is a lower flow than it should be in my opinion.  

Then, I recalled when we moved into this house years ago, the shower head put out a lower flow than we wanted.  I remember I took the thing apart and redrilled the hole in the end of it slightly larger and got more water flow.  So, thinking about that, I removed the end of the kitchen faucet (the part that has the flow aerator and screen).  Inside there is a small plastic disc that has a hole in the center 1/8 inch in diameter.  That reduces water flow and stops surging.   Well, both of mine in the sinks now have a disc enlarged to 3/16 diameter because that is the size bit I used to drill it out larger.  

The result was a significant increase in water flow at the sinks.  Now, as to the shower, I never use the outside shower.  Never have used it.  The shower head in the bathroom was replaced when we first got this rig with a sink sprayer like this https://www.amazon.com/LDR-501-6200-Sprayer-Replacement/dp/B000I1AQWI

That is an old Class B trick.  They are instant on and off and don't drip like most shower heads.  Class Bs can have pretty small tanks and these things can save a lot of water when boondocking because they don't drip.  I modified it slightly by taking it apart and drilled the water passage way a little larger.  

Now, I think we can do just fine hooked up to water, although the water flow  when on the pump is still a little greater than when using shore water.  

Problem solved!  Now, on to a few other things prior to going on trip for a couple of weeks.

Thanks for everyone's input.


Paul
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 04:33:26 pm by Doneworking »

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donc13

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Re: Low water pressure when hooked up
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2017, 02:19:25 pm »
We seldom camp where hookups are available but when we do we still use the pump and water supply from our fresh tank, refilling it as needed with the campground water.  Why?  Because we don't have very good pressure if we are hooked up directly to the campground water supply.

Now, I have checked out just about everything.  I have a water pressure gauge I carry that has a female hose connection attached.  I can check water pressure at the source, at the end of the hose after the water supply has gone through my regulator and hose, etc.  Water pressure is 40 psi at the end of my hose, exactly as it should be.  The pressure of the water coming out in the sinks in our 2013 PC 2350 is about 1/3rd of the pressure with our pump and is essentially not usable for showering, etc.  

I have checked the filter screen in the input connection on the PC.  As a matter of fact, the original back flow check valve failed and I replaced that with a new input connection and a new check valve.  They work perfectly.   I have removed the bed and accessed the plumbing underneath.  I have checked for kinks in the plumbing lines, crimps, everything on every pipe that is accessible.  No problems.  

The only conclusion I can come up with is that the supply line is crimped or impeded somewhere behind the wall between the hose input connection and the accessible/viewable plumbing.   Please remember the pressure is low at all outlets:  both sinks, toilet, shower, and outside shower....every outlet.   SO....the problem must be in the main supply line somewhere and I have just about given up.  I don't intend to tear out the shower walls to try to find it!

Does anyone have any thought or has anyone experienced a similar problem?    I assume the plumbing routing will differ from model to model.  

The whole system works perfectly fine with the water pump.

Paul

Paul,
Do you always use a pressure regulator?  When I use one, the volume always lowers quite a bit.   The typical in-line pressure regulator restricts flow quite a bit.   I switched to a "full flow" regulator and haven't seen a problem since.

https://www.amazon.com/Valterra-A01-1117VP-Lead-Free-Adjustable-Regulator/dp/B003YJLAIK/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1494616687&sr=8-6&keywords=rv+water+pressure+regulator
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Don and Patti