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Water pump doesn't always run strait away

John swift

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Assuming this is your first fill after a drain down then you will have air in the system. I find that to overcome this I close all taps and then go round opening one at atime on cold until I get water out. There will be some spluttering as the air comes out. I repeat again for hot. Hope this helps and please feedback so we can all learn.
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First motorhome use to carravans but never come accross this we fill up tank most of the time it is at first fill up we open taps but pump doesn't even try . Thought it mite be an electrical problem but power is at pump tried banging pump incase it was sticking that doesn't work do you know if the pump has to have water in it to run i have to leave it about an hour then most of the time it starts


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I shall assume you still have the Swift Voyager 680FB that you acquired in early/mid-2013.


The 2011 Swift motorhome handbook strongly suggests that a 'pressure-sensitive’ water-pump will have been fitted to your motorhome. This type of pump starts and stops automatically according to the pressure in the motorhome’s water system. It differs from the ‘submersible’ type of pump that’s commonly used in caravans, as (usually) it is not triggered by switches on the taps.


This magazine article may be helpful




Once you have filled your Swift’s freshwater tank, switching the water-pump on at your motorhome’s control-panel should cause the pump to commence running immediately. At this stage whether or not the taps are open should make no difference. Pressure-sensitive pumps are never silent and, when you turn the pump on at the control-panel, you should be able to hear the pump begin to run.


In order to deliver water to the taps water must first reach the pump. Pressure-sensitive pumps are ‘self priming’ and should easily be able to lift water from a freshwater tank located beneath a motorhome’s floor (which I suspect is where your Voyager carries its tank). When a tank is underfloor a non-return valve may well be fitted in the water hose between the water pick-up in the tank and the water-pump inside the motorhome. This valve prevents water from draining back into the tank - otherwise each time the pump started up it would need to refill the complete length of water hose from the tank pick-up to the pump.


If the pump does not start to run when you initially turn it on, there’s something wrong with the pump or the electrical power-feed to it.


If the pump starts to run as soon as you turn it on, but won’t deliver water to the taps within a reasonable time frame, there are several possibilities. There may be a blockage on the inlet side of the pump at the pick-up in the tank or at the non-return valve, or the pump’s filter may need cleaning, or there’s a minor air-leak between pump and pick-up. Or the pump itself is operating inefficiently and may need attention/replacement.


As sshortcircuit says, after a motorhome’s water system has been drained down, the system will need to be ‘bled’ to remove the air. How best to do this will depend (to some degree) on what sort of water-heating appliance your Voyager has, but I suggest you start by closing all taps and drain valves, then switch on the water-pump and let in run until it stops. This should indicate that there’s pressurised water in the system on the pump’s outlet side. Then follow sshortcircuit’s procedure of opening each tap individually and letting the tap run until water flows smoothly from it.


I’m not 100% sure what your "pump doesn't even try” means (Does the pump operate when switched on but not deliver water to the taps, or does the pump not operate when switched on?) and it’s odd that the pump somehow ‘recovers’ if left for an hour.


It’s possible (I guess) that, because you are accustomed to caravan water systems, you may be expecting your motorhome’s system to function in a manner in which it can’t and, if you followed a different procedure after filling the freshwater tank, you would not have the type of problem you’ve mentioned.


What you really need is someone familiar with the type of water-system your Swift has to oversee the procedure you are employing after you’ve filled the tank and to monitor what the water-pump is doing. Motorhome water systems are relatively simple and fault-finding is not rocket science. Problem fixing may be something else though...



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Thanks for this advice it's baffling me as I fill tank with fresh water then as you say switch on the water pump at the controll panel. some times the pump starts then stops when the presher gets up as it usually fills the hot water tank then I open the taps one at a time to bleed them. but recently it seems to have a mind of its own. Like I said I sometimes leave it and after a bit of time i try it again and it fires up and works with the pump being under the seat next to the sink you hear it running.when it does.

thought it mite be a faulty pump but didn't want to change it without asking your advise incase I overlook somthing.

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A faulty pressure switch, sticking sometimes and then freeing itself and then working for a while.

Bypass the switch and run from the panel on/off switch.

If this works, fit a new pressure switch.

When i replaced my switch, the pump laboured getting up to the required cut off pressure and had to be replaced anyway.

New pump bleeds the system in a tenth of the time the worn out one took.

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I don’t know which make/model of water-pump is fitted to John’s Swift, but if it’s a SHURflo product, spares are listed here




Just fiddling with the pressure-switch adjustment screw might do something miraculous if it’s just the switch that’s occasionally sticking.


The snag with replacing parts is (as with your pump) even after some parts are replaced the pump may still under-perform. With SHURflo pumps there comes a point (quite quickly) where the cost of the replacement parts will outweigh the price of a brand-new complete pump.

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