Saturday, May 21, 2016

One thing always leads to another

Now that the weather has warmed up and conditions are halfway decent outside, the S.O. has begun working on the Guppy. We'd noticed that when we had to rely on the fresh water tank in the Guppy that the water pump didn't seem to have much oomph. There'd be a quick burst of water and then things would slow to a trickle. It occurred to us that perhaps the pump was original equipment and was just plain wore out. The S.O. also raised the possibility that perhaps various screens and filters had become clogged with sand and other grit.

First step in testing that thesis was the easiest: unscrew the screen on the kitchen faucet. Sure enough. Lots and lots of crud. That helped a bit with that particular faucet, but not much in the larger scheme of things. So we took the bed apart. First we exposed the pump. Well, the date of manufacture is close to 20 years ago so, yep, maybe it is worn out and needs to be replaced. Still, the S.O. figured he should check the various filters and screens in the system, too. And then he exposed the water tank.

We're now kind of wishing he hadn't. The tank is translucent so we can clearly see the really nasty dark band going around the inside of it a couple inches from the top. Really makes a person wonder what caused that staining -- did a previous owner leave the same water sitting in the tank for so many years that it grew algae? Is it mold? Mud? Some other disgusting possibility I'd rather not imagine? Who knows. . . in any case, the S.O. removed the tank and is going to rinse it out thoroughly with a bleach solution. I'm not sure why. After all, we've been using water that's been run through that tank for the past two years and we're not dead yet. I guess it's psychological -- having seen the mystery scuzz, it'll be easier to live with that tank if we know it's been sterilized.

We have priced new water pumps. We're probably going to order one online. We checked replacement pumps at an RV dealer's recently and discovered that at this time of the year their prices are astronomical. No surprise there. It is the start of the U.P. camping season so it's understandable that merchants would want to get as much as the market can bear for various parts. I have no doubt that 10 or 15 years ago we'd have just sucked it up and paid the asking price. Not anymore.

I am hoping we get the Guppy put back together soon. We have a couple sort of local expeditions planned for this summer. We could probably manage just fine without running water in the Guppy, but I'd rather not. 


  1. If it is one of those common three piston/diaphragm pumps they will last for years and years but need to be taken apart some and cleaned at times. Installing an accumulator in the system also helps. Ray can make one of those.

  2. I would just fill the tank and put a quart of bleach in it and let it sit for 24 hours then run it through the system to clear the pipes. Like BBC said, there are kits to rebuild the pump but after 20 years I might just purchase a new one.
    the Ol'Buzzard


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