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Accumulator Tank

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Accumulator Tank
« on: March 13, 2019, 07:29:47 am »
Not wanting to hi-jack a previous thread, I am starting this one.

I have the exact, stainless steel accumulator tank as in the picture Ron posted in another thread.  I had it installed by PC during my build.  I am not sure if it is working properly and will address this when I head to Elkhart for some minor warranty work and questions. 

When I first turn on the water pump, it seems to run for a long time, maybe a minute, before shutting down.  I have not experienced this in my previous motorhomes.  When the water is turned on, it is my opinion that the pump is excessively noisy...vibrating.  The tank is under the DS bed, the pump is under the PS bed.  I have had thoughts of having it removed.  I received no user information and a google search has resulted in nothing. 

Is this normal?  Should the pump not run smoothly and build proper pressure in 15-20 seconds?

Cheers  :)(:

Barry T

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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 02:44:30 pm »
Hi Barry,

The reason for the excessive noise is because of where Phoenix installed the tank in relation to the pump.  They officially did nothing wrong.  It's only that you gained half of the benefit with their installation.  They likely installed the tank so far from the pump because there was no room to mount the pump and tank together.  The tank needs to be very close to the pump to eliminate most of the pump noise.  Using a flexible hose between pump and tank eliminates the vibration that apparently in your case is getting amplified through the hard plastic PEX plumbing between the two.  The flexible hose is the same kind you would use to hook up a toilet or faucet at home.  I prefer the stainless steel braided type.

My installation shown is odd but it works.  It is extremely difficult to see, but I have a flexible stainless steel braided line between the pump and tank.  The vibration created by the pump is cancelled away through the flexible line and also from the heavy tank.  The hard plastic PEX plumbing after the tank feeding the entire motor home, does not get vibrated.


Concerning pump-run-time.  With any accumulator tank, when you run the water and the pump kicks on, the pump is pretty much keeping up with the demand.  If you turn off the water at the time the pump kicks on, the pump will run roughly 20 seconds.  Keep in-mind that I never timed how long it takes for my pump to fill up the accumulator tank if it has been 100% deleted.

When the accumulator tank is 100% empty (at zero plumbing pressure) there has to be a certain PSI inside the tank.  If my memory serves me well, it is between 17-20 PSI.  It should be set to the same pressure that the pump turns on at, whatever that is.  It could be that Phoenix did not set the tank pressure properly, or the air valve is not tight and it lost pressure.  The valve is the same as a car tire, located on the opposite side of the pipe fitting, under a plastic cap.  In my case, under the blue plastic cap on top.

I should re-take the pictures with my Samsung phone.  That picture dates back to 2008, taken with real old digital technology.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 03:36:32 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 03:17:43 pm »
Actually the accumulator tank can be about anywhere in the system. It creates a reservoir to maintain the water pressure to keep the pump from turning on as frequently as it would otherwise. Less pump running...less pump noise.

The noise in general from the pump itself can be reduced by reducing the vibration impacts. This can be done by using the flex hose on the output or by putting rubber feet or a rubber mat under the pump.

Unfortunately in our 2552 they placed the pump almost directly behind the screen allowing maximum noise to get out. No mitigation of the vibration was made and everything is packed in very tight making change hard.

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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2019, 03:23:12 pm »
I installed one myself, 2 gallon, for 50 buck including fittings. I positioned it right above the pump itself by strapping it horizontally to a one by four. I have a 2552 with the twin beds so I donít know if itís the same as the 2910 but if it has twin beds the tank can be within 2 feet of the pump. Now when I first installed it I had vibration noise so I installed a piece of rubber between the tank and the mounting board and that cured it. Like Ron mentioned having a flexible hose between the tank and the pump is important in lessoning vibration as well.

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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 07:54:33 pm »
Would it be proper to assume that the larger the tank the better? Or will a smaller one do as well...

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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 08:43:15 pm »
I have no experience with a smaller tank.  I can say that our 2 gallon tank "feels right" to both of us.  I would not get anything larger.
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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2019, 07:47:57 am »
Hi Barry,

The reason for the excessive noise is because of where Phoenix installed the tank in relation to the pump.  They officially did nothing wrong.  It's only that you gained half of the benefit with their installation.  They likely installed the tank so far from the pump because there was no room to mount the pump and tank together.  The tank needs to be very close to the pump to eliminate most of the pump noise.  Using a flexible hose between pump and tank eliminates the vibration that apparently in your case is getting amplified through the hard plastic PEX plumbing between the two.  The flexible hose is the same kind you would use to hook up a toilet or faucet at home.  I prefer the stainless steel braided type.

My installation shown is odd but it works.  It is extremely difficult to see, but I have a flexible stainless steel braided line between the pump and tank.  The vibration created by the pump is cancelled away through the flexible line and also from the heavy tank.  The hard plastic PEX plumbing after the tank feeding the entire motor home, does not get vibrated.


Concerning pump-run-time.  With any accumulator tank, when you run the water and the pump kicks on, the pump is pretty much keeping up with the demand.  If you turn off the water at the time the pump kicks on, the pump will run roughly 20 seconds.  Keep in-mind that I never timed how long it takes for my pump to fill up the accumulator tank if it has been 100% deleted.

When the accumulator tank is 100% empty (at zero plumbing pressure) there has to be a certain PSI inside the tank.  If my memory serves me well, it is between 17-20 PSI.  It should be set to the same pressure that the pump turns on at, whatever that is.  It could be that Phoenix did not set the tank pressure properly, or the air valve is not tight and it lost pressure.  The valve is the same as a car tire, located on the opposite side of the pipe fitting, under a plastic cap.  In my case, under the blue plastic cap on top.

I should re-take the pictures with my Samsung phone.  That picture dates back to 2008, taken with real old digital technology.

Thanks Ron,  tymote

I have no qualm with Phoenix, but was a little disappointed with the pump noise.  All my motorhome water pumps have had the same noise; I was hoping the accumulator tank would lessen the noise.  I am happy that the pump works!  Before I installed the Oxygenics shower head, we would use the pump for showers.  The pump delivered a strong, consistent water pressure.  The tank takes up a bit of storage and I suppose I could always have it removed.  It's on my short punch list.  Another thing, on my last motorhome, the pump was located outside in the wet bay.  Since the pump is literally under a bed, it's possible that I notice it more.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  The cost of the accumulator tank was "minimal".

Cheers  :)(:

Barry T

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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2019, 11:21:00 am »
First of all, I have never had an accumulator pump.   That being said, I did buy one a few years ago but never got a "round tuit".   I got a little concerned when I read on the information that came with the pump that an accumulator was not needed or recommended. 

So-my question is: (1) should I install the accumulator?   (2)What benefits do they really provide?  (3)What are the disadvantages, if any?   (4) How does an accumulator function when you pump the pink stuff into the lines and the water tank for winterizing?  Does it fill with pinkie? 

Please educate me.

As to the noise coming from the pump, I have eliminated that to a degree by covering the PEX plumbing in that area with this:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Frost-King-3-4-in-x-6-ft-Foam-Plumbing-Tubular-Pipe-Insulation/1060005

Unfortunately, on our PC2350 the bed has to be removed to really get to all the pump to really work on stuff.  It can be accessed through a removeable plate in the exterior storage area, but only in a limited way.  SO, I have to take the bedding out and remove all that heavy strand board that is used for a base to the bed.  The pump is installed incorrectly IMO.  It is connected directly to the water tank with PEX and PEX leads directly from the output.   I really need to isolate it with flex tubing to cut down more on the racket.   

Paul

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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2019, 11:51:07 am »
I agree that covering the PEX plumbing with the pre-fab foam insulation tube could offer significant noise reduction.

I also wonder if you connected a length of stainless steel braided line between pump and PEX, spiral it around as shown, place thin carpet padding in-between the layers, just might make it as quiet as ours.  We have to be silent to hear our pump running.

The pump vibrates so badly that when connected directly to the hard PEX, it vibrates the PEX throughout the entire house.  Dampening the vibration right at the pump using a length of stainless steel braided flex may offer the solution.

Coil the braided line like this, then place thin carpet padding in between the layers.  It's worth a try, certainly a very cheap and easy experiment.  Find the braided line with the right fittings at your local home improvement center.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 12:15:13 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2019, 12:09:33 pm »


So-my question is: (1) should I install the accumulator?   (2)What benefits do they really provide?  (3)What are the disadvantages, if any?   (4) How does an accumulator function when you pump the pink stuff into the lines and the water tank for winterizing?  Does it fill with pinkie? 

Please educate me.
 

Paul

Ok!   :-D

https://www.jabscoshop.com/files/Accumulator%20and%20Expansion%20Tank%20Instructions%20ZPWL4%20doc595.pdf


Winterization is covered also near the bottom of the document. (Its written in the King's English, a calorifier is a water heater).

I also have a 2350, and will remove the bed for this mod. I did not think of that, Thanks for the hinttymote  (Despite Ron D's generous description, I barely fit in the side compartment.  :lol )

I am assuming the accumulator will act like an expansion tank also, and stop my water heater from dribbling out the pressure relief when it heats. Presently we open the hot water a moment to relieve the pressure, but I prefer not to expose the system to this overpressure condition.

You said you have one, but DIY solutions are there also that may fit an RV better.
http://www.modmyrv.com/2009/06/10/rv-diy-water-accumulator


I did find a few references that said an accumulator should not be used with variable flow/pressure pumps. The DIY link above says its OK.  (WH)  I have a regular pump, so its not a concern to me.

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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 12:21:15 pm »
I also have a 2350, and will remove the bed for this mod. I did not think of that, Thanks for the hinttymote  (Despite Ron D's generous description, I barely fit in the side compartment.  :lol )
Oh that is funny.  I assumed everyone knew to remove the bed platform to access the work area.  I am no contortionist myself.  You will find yourself working from the top and also through the side.

You need to make your own decision on this next point.  I was worried about damaging or disturbing everything from stuff tossed into the compartment and being thrashed around while driving, so I made a protective shroud from wood as shown.
 11 years and 35,000 miles since the installation and I have not yet removed the cover.

Mounting the pump on top of the nice $140 stainless steel tank with pump-mount, I think there is less of a concern given the pump would be mounted up near the ceiling instead of mine mounted on the floor.  Note the plastics and wires right where damage could easily occur.








« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 12:53:50 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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bftownes

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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2019, 03:45:17 pm »
First of all, I have never had an accumulator pump.   That being said, I did buy one a few years ago but never got a "round tuit".   I got a little concerned when I read on the information that came with the pump that an accumulator was not needed or recommended. 

So-my question is: (1) should I install the accumulator?   (2)What benefits do they really provide?  (3)What are the disadvantages, if any?   (4) How does an accumulator function when you pump the pink stuff into the lines and the water tank for winterizing?  Does it fill with pinkie? 

Please educate me.

As to the noise coming from the pump, I have eliminated that to a degree by covering the PEX plumbing in that area with this:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Frost-King-3-4-in-x-6-ft-Foam-Plumbing-Tubular-Pipe-Insulation/1060005

Unfortunately, on our PC2350 the bed has to be removed to really get to all the pump to really work on stuff.  It can be accessed through a removeable plate in the exterior storage area, but only in a limited way.  SO, I have to take the bedding out and remove all that heavy strand board that is used for a base to the bed.  The pump is installed incorrectly IMO.  It is connected directly to the water tank with PEX and PEX leads directly from the output.   I really need to isolate it with flex tubing to cut down more on the racket.   

Paul

Doneworking, I had the same question regarding pink and the accumulator tank.  I winterized mine about a month ago and used the video with Earl performing the task.  I had pink running  through all plumbing, including the sanicon and used maybe 1 and 1/2 gallons.  Not sure if pink went into it or not.  I guess I will find out when I dewinterize in the next couple of weeks.

Barry T


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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2019, 09:22:04 pm »
I had the same question regarding pink and the accumulator tank.  I winterized mine about a month ago and used the video with Earl performing the task.  I had pink running  through all plumbing, including the sanicon and used maybe 1 and 1/2 gallons.  Not sure if pink went into it or not.  I guess I will find out when I dewinterize in the next couple of weeks.

Barry T
Talking about the 2 gallon tanks.  When there is no pressure in the RV plumbing line, there is no water in the tank.

I believe there is some pressure in the tank when sold, referred to as "precharged".  If you look inside the tank where the water line hooks up, you will see a perforated plate just inside the opening and the bladder pressed up against it.  There is no water inside it when there is no RV plumbing pressure because the badder forces everything out.

Make sense?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 09:24:35 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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bftownes

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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2019, 05:06:49 pm »
I had the same question regarding pink and the accumulator tank.  I winterized mine about a month ago and used the video with Earl performing the task.  I had pink running  through all plumbing, including the sanicon and used maybe 1 and 1/2 gallons.  Not sure if pink went into it or not.  I guess I will find out when I dewinterize in the next couple of weeks.

Barry T
Talking about the 2 gallon tanks.  When there is no pressure in the RV plumbing line, there is no water in the tank.

I believe there is some pressure in the tank when sold, referred to as "precharged".  If you look inside the tank where the water line hooks up, you will see a perforated plate just inside the opening and the bladder pressed up against it.  There is no water inside it when there is no RV plumbing pressure because the badder forces everything out.

Make sense?

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bftownes

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Re: Accumulator Tank
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2019, 05:08:05 pm »
I had the same question regarding pink and the accumulator tank.  I winterized mine about a month ago and used the video with Earl performing the task.  I had pink running  through all plumbing, including the sanicon and used maybe 1 and 1/2 gallons.  Not sure if pink went into it or not.  I guess I will find out when I dewinterize in the next couple of weeks.

Barry T
Talking about the 2 gallon tanks.  When there is no pressure in the RV plumbing line, there is no water in the tank.

I believe there is some pressure in the tank when sold, referred to as "precharged".  If you look inside the tank where the water line hooks up, you will see a perforated plate just inside the opening and the bladder pressed up against it.  There is no water inside it when there is no RV plumbing pressure because the badder forces everything out.

Make sense?

Kinda makes sense. :) Thanks again Ron.

Barry T