ERIC@BABIN.COM

Vacuflush System Pump Failure

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Backstory:  I've got a vacuflush system on my 2017 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 36U. The pump began to run continuously.  Not too uncommon, and it's always been a small piece or tissue or something caught in the gasket seal right at the location that opens when you hit the foot pedal (not sure what that is called).   This time that seal was fine ( I could tell because it wasn't sucking water through).

After some research I learned it was probably something in the duck bill valve on the pump. (symptom included clogged toilets and continuous running vacuflush pump)  Dug into the system and YES>>>>> that was it.... cleared and cleaned the blockage.  Pump and system worked fine for about a day then begins to stay on all the time. Symptoms were slightly different as the pump would stay on but drain slowly.  Would not drain if I turned pump off.  I figured it could not be the same issue, blockage, because no solids had been put into the system since I cleaned it the day prior.

Just prior to breaking the system apart again to see if I could find the problem I ran the pump to drain all the water out for less of a mess when I disconnected everything below.

Well, bad news.... the pump stopped.... but not because it had achieved the desired pressure.... the toilets would not drain, and the pump would not run.

I pulled the system apart and sure enough, no clog.  No obvious reason it would not keep pressure.  I thought it might be a duck bill valve damaged slightly and not obvious to the eyes....  I cleaned everything up, cycled the pump by hand to simply check to see if it was frozen up, or binded somehow.... It cycled manually just fine.... but would not cycle when turned on.  You could hear it make a small noise when the switch was turned on, but would not cycle.

Since the system really won't drain without the pump I bypassed the entire system and am now on gravity drain, which doesn't work very well, and obviously we can put solids in there.

The pump I have is: Dometic Vacuflush (pictured below).

I guess at this point I'm looking for any ideas I may have missed that are obvious?

or.... if anyone knows a place that can work on this pump in the Clermont FL (S.E. Orlando) area I can bring the pump in.  It's not hooked up so it would be easy to do.

OR..... IS THERE A WAY TO PERMENANTLY BYPASS THIS CRAPPY SYSTEM???? My friend has a 3" pipe that goes directly into the black tank from his toilet.  I would love that!!!!! The hoses on the vacuflush are as small as 1" near the pump.....  a recipe for clogs if I've every seen one.   I can't keep it bypassed like I have it now because of the small hose, and how it has to go down, then back up..... the pump is what pushes the contents back up a foot or so to get into the top of the tank.

Right now we are at Winter Quarters Manatee Encore park near Tampa but moving up near Orlando Thursday Dec 21.

 

 

 

Dometic Vacuflush 12VDC LPVG-W-PUMP Assembly

 

 

 

dometic_vacuflush_12vdc_lpvg-w-pump_assembly-89250-1.jpg

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To change over to a 3 inch gravity system, you would need to insure that the black tank is directly below the toilet and that you can drop straight down from the toilet to the black tank. I have on occasion been able to use a 30 degree fitting setup to offset just slightly and have never had a problem with this setup. Your problem currently with the setup that you have may beas simple as an airlock (that is air in the system) causing the problem, or an air leak between the toilet and the pump. If the pump will function outside the system correctly using a gravity feed into the pump, then cycle on the pump elecricly, then suspect the problem that I gave reference earlier in this post, also make sure there is no air leak in the small tubing to the pump acuater, or a kinked tube that may have happened while doing the hooking back up to the system. There are several good repair places in the Tampa/Bradenton area, Google will bring up several. Rich was typing while I was making reply, Also the sleeve looking fitting shown in your photo, make sure that those o-rings are good, I usually use petroleum jelly to lubricate those pryor to reassembly to avoid possible damage to them.

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Woke up this morning and decided to hit the switch.... pump began to run!!! great news right?  I hooked it up to find it leaking from the top of the assembly pretty bad.... so, I took the pump apart.... the "bellows" is cracked.   $100 part.  I think I'll just an entire new pump assembly for $250 and keep the rest of my old one for parts for the next time it breaks. 

IMG_1171.jpg

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Eric,  Good picture and a Bellows issue would cause issues. 

Rich.

link to a supplier in Europe - https://www.steinbock-industrie.de/en/products/bellows-taylor-made/vulcaflex-moulded-bellows/?p=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8Nra4oGd2AIVGLjACh2eaAHhEAMYASAAEgJ-2fD_BwE

Curious to know what kind of material they made the bellows out of? Thinking that one made out of Silicon would be much more pliable and tougher too. Kind of all comes down to the cost factor.

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1 hour ago, manholt said:

Just for information.  If you don't have Petroleum Jelly handy, Vicks work as well and smells nice! :)

well... part ordered (actually entire pump assembly).... $260 including shipping and tax to thousand trails Orlando.... will be here in 5 days.

I'll install myself.... so, that's it... $260.... not bad..... would have been even better if my warranty had not expired 300 miles ago.... time to look into an extended warranty I guess.

 

side note:  The bellow seems to be more rigid type of plastic than you'd think for a flexible item.... I just wish I knew what made it crack to prevent it on the new one down the road.   We do live in the RV so maybe 7 months of flushing does that?

 

 

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manholt   

Eric, it should not happen at 7 months, no matter how often you flush.  Like Rich said, it looks like Silicon, but I don't think it is, hope the new one has better elasticity !  Just because it say's made in America, does not mean that all the parts are!

Good Luck and wishing you and yours a merry Christmas and healthy New Year!

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51 minutes ago, manholt said:

Like Rich said, it looks like Silicon, but I don't think it is, hope the new one has better elasticity ! 

I think Rich actually means, that if it were silicone, that it would last longer.

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Companies are taking advantage of "MADE IN THE USA".  They can purchase crap from where ever the cheapest parts are and assemble it here and call it Made in the USA.

It should be Law that if the components are from another country but assembled here it should be labeled  "Assembled in The USA with components From Other Countries".    

I spent 40 + years in sales and always told my customers that I had a lower price and never a cheaper price. Cheaper is a connotation of Quality. 

Herman 

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manholt   

Whatever the bellows was made off, it did not stand up to water real well..I guess we'll never know, unless OP is inquisitive enough to get a chemical analysis!

Herman, unfortunately cheaper has become a norm. 

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