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flojet pump for RV / Marine use - Jabsco ITT
Thursday, 06 November 2008
The center of our water supply is without doubt the Flojet water pump. It’s been in continuous use for 3 years in rogue conditions. So far the water pump has done it’s work diligently with only a few minor problems. Although it has a few peculiar issue’s, without doubt we vote for this water pump. Here you find our experiences.

RV Marine Flojet Water pump
The Flojet waterpump installed
The Flojet water pump pressures water to 3 bar ( 43.5 psi) using a marine accumulator tank and adjustable external pressure switch. It’s connected to a 24 volt battery with fuses and safety switches in between. The suction pipe has a 3 way selector, connected to 2 separate watertanks and an outside pipe. The latter we use to haul water from portable water tanks.

The pump provides running water and is pushing water through our 10 - 5 and 0,2 micron water filters. The 3 bar water pressure also opens the gas valve of the (Geyser) water heater to heat water when needed. The pump sucks hauls from either the inside tank  or through a filter system from the outside tank to the inside tank.

Water pump failure would be quite a blow to daily live in the truck. We have no alternative to get water from the 2 water tanks with a total capacity of 400 liters. A reliable water pump is essential – same as having 24 volts to run the water pump.

Flojet R4125-343 pump for RV and Marine use

We fitted a Flojet R4125-343 waterpump with 17 liters / minute capacity  (4.5 Gallon/minute) running on 24 volts at 6 Amps peak. The motor is thermally protected, however never got that hot it switched off to protect the core.

Jabsco ITT Par MAX 4
Jabsco ITT Par MAX 4
As a spare / replacement we carry an ITT - Jabsco PAR MAX 4 waterpump (4 – 4.3 GPM - 16.3 LPM) in case the Flojet fails.  The Flojet and ITT – Jabsco are identical water pumps and uses a membrane / diaphragm pressure system with 4 pistons driven by a simple wobble plate.

Flojet pump applications

With continuous water pressure on board a (small) leak can easily empty the water tanks in a matter of an hour – specially when not around to notice a leak. The thought only made it very clear we needed a safety switch to turn of the water pump when leaving / driving – just in case.  The switch is located near the entrance and also switches off the gas supply. The only weak link is human – we sometimes forget to flip the safety switch.

Flojet pump performance

One of the odd behaviors of the water pump was during a trip into the mountains. The Flojet is a pump for Marine applications (sea level) and not really designed to handle sudden huge drops in air pressure. What happened on 2500 meters of altitude was a running pump but no build up of water pressure. Only the soft continuous hum of the pump, which normally is just a 8-15 second burst to full pressure. After a while we fully drained all pipes and started the pump again. It worked, pressure build-up as usual. Strangely when the air pressure rises again, there’s no such problem.

Pump pressure switch malfunction

Flojet parts
The Flojet in parts
On another occasion we noticed the turning speed of the pump started to drop suddenly during the water pump operation. The speed dropped randomly, and coming back up to speed after 1-2 seconds. We checked the pump, the membrane everything – still the same behavior. It seemed as of the supply voltage was dropping. But all seemed ok, the voltage was a steady 25.5 volts. After some fiddling, the external pressure switch catched attention. Somehow it didn’t switch properly. Opening the protective case showed sparks between the pressure switch contacts when the pump switched on. That day we drove a extremely dusty graded track in Oman. Somehow fine dust had settled between the pressure switch contacts and caused a bad connection, making the voltage to the pump drop randomly. Cleaning the contacts with contact spray solved the problem. Extremely rare case taking a few hours to figure out!

Flojet pump membrane clogged

In Pakistan we battled with several tiny leaks in our water supply. The water pump started to pump every 2-3 hours, after pressure dropped from 3 to 1 bar. In several weeks we found the tiny leaks in the water pipe system. Now the water pump restarted every 3-4 hours. In the end we suspected the pump housing was loosing pressure somehow. After disassembling, the leak was located. A tiny tree branch was stuck between one of the 4 membranes. Till that moment we never used a rubbish filter between the outside water tank and the pump. Apparently we needed one after all!

Flojet accumulator tank

Every 4-6 weeks the accumulator tank tends to fill itself with water due to parking in tilted positions. The usual 8-12 second bursts of the water pump to reach pressure tend to shorten itself to 2-4 seconds. Draining the accumulator tank solves the problem. The main cause to this problem is the position of the steel (marine) accumulator tank – a vertical mount would prevent water to enter the tank.

Flojet pump specifications

Looking back we’re quite satisfied with the Flojet – after 3 years the membrane housing was opened 2 times, only finding a slight amount of fine dirt. Although the pump capacity is a bit too voluminous (17 liters / minute) and the amp rating on the high side (6 amps @ 24 volts) we still would have chosen the same type. Once in a while we circulate water from the tanks through the filter system. With 17 liters / hour there is more pressure taking less time to complete the cycle.  

Flojet spare parts

Although we haven’t looked for Flojet spare parts in Pakistan, India or Nepal we know local markets offer far more cheaper Chinese or Indian build water pumps. Usually running on 220 volt mains instead of 24 or 12 volts. Besides that, there is no demand for low voltage high quality water pumps. Broken water pumps are fixed by hand for a few rupees and when there’s no electricity, water pumps are operated on cheap petrol / diesel engines in stead of expensive solar electricity equipment.

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