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Old 06-22-2016, 08:27 AM   #1
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Water pump is sucking air

Hi all, I tried searching this topic but couldn't zero in on a solution.
We have just purchased the 2012 Cruiser and found the pump is spewing water and air.
In testing, when I use the winterizing hose and pump from a pail the pump checks out good. No air and strong flow. When I switch to fresh tank I get air and water but am also getting this flow immediately when I open a valve so its not loosing prime completely.
Has anyone run into this before?
I am thinking I will blow backwards from pump with compressed air (gently) into the fresh tank to see if maybe the intake screen is plugged. Is there a check valve in the suction side somewhere that will prevent this?
One thing that caught my attention was the suction plumbing is made of the blue piping that I thought should be on the pressure side. Is that normal?Seemed to me it should have white braided coming from tank to suction side of pump and hard blue from pump pressure going through the trailer. Does this blue run all the way to the tank or could there be a loose connection changing over to braided in the belly?
The pressure side coming off the pump has a white braided hose coming off the pump for a few feet and then into a TEE to blue pipe under the sink cabinet floor.
Does anyone know if there are schematics available for the water system?
I am hoping I don't have to drop the belly cover and try to find a kink..

Any thoughts,ideas or previous experiences would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-22-2016, 08:41 AM   #2
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The problem I had when this happened to me was that the white plastic valves by the pump for switching between the tank and the winterize pickup were not sealing well enough and there was just enough air getting in it wouldn't suck from the fresh water tank. I replaced the cheap white shutoff valves with PEX brass ball valves and made sure my SSC (stainless steel clamp) connections were very tight. No problems after and has worked perfectly ever since.
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:52 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply for sure..
I did notice your fix during my search and I think I ruled out the winterize valve leaking because I also plugged the hose end so no air could get in there. I suppose they could be drawing air in from the stem though..The suction valve would be a beast to change..its in a real bad spot. This is something I will tackle before dropping the belly though..
Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:57 AM   #4
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One or both of those cheap white plastic valves were bad on mine. My suction worked fine for the pickup from the winterize line before I did this, less distance and not bringing it up from as far and beneath the pump as the water line. I had already checked the whole line from the valve to the tank and there were no issues but was a pain to check that by dropping the underbelly. Best to try the valves first and much easier to rule out if it's the problem than it would be to drop the underbelly. Easier to use PEX stainless steel clamps in the limited space than the PEX copper crimp rings. I have both so it was just a matter of which tool was easier to use in the space.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:42 AM   #5
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You have talked me into in sir..I will gather stuff needed and have fun on my Friday off...much appreciated..
If it fails to work I am still ahead of the game with better valves and I will re-plumb a bit to make them easier to get at also.
Good to know you have experience dropping the belly also (sorry you had too though)..I don't imagine its much fun getting it back up nice and tight etc...
Will post my results...
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:27 PM   #6
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Check to be sure the cap on the winterize line has a gasket, others have found that's all it was.
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Old 06-26-2016, 10:56 PM   #7
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water pump sucking air update

Hi all,
I took on the task of dropping the underbelly liner on the back half and it wasn't that bad of a job at all.
Reason for this was two fold..look to see if any connections were loose which I did find a hose clamp loose where the blue line joins the white hose that goes to the tank about 2 feet from the tank. Tightened it and the pump runs like a champ. (one job complete)
I also wanted the belly out of the way so I could increase the support of the water tank...this was a fairly exhausting job. the factory installation of this tank is likely the worst bit of engineering i have ever encountered. Typical of a lot of other units the back electric jacks and a 1.5" thin strap was all that was preventing it from falling on the road..the unsupported areas sagged so bad I was sure the tank would burst.
I installed 5/8" marine plywood under the tank and since I was installing frame bracing and cross members for a back hitch there is now plenty of support for a full tank. (and can still get the tank out if needed) In doing the hitch framing I had to move the electric jacks forward about 2.5'.
All in all I had a busy weekend...fixed the air leak causing pump to cavitate, supported the fresh water tank, shortened the fill hose so it wasn't like a slinky (fills better now) and got the best part of the hitch completed and put the belly back up. Whew..I am beat and this was all done on a gravel pad while trying to lay on a sheet of cardboard...sore but Cruiser is in much better shape...
I would highly recommend the plywood under the tank mod to anyone who hauls full tank of water with them (Boondockers)
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