Not a drip

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: - DAR­REN WARD, TONY REPLIES…

I drained my wa­ter sys­tem for win­ter by open­ing the taps and calori­fier drain valve and let­ting it run dry. I’ve now re­filled the tank and turned on the (self-prim­ing) pump: it runs but there’s no wa­ter: any ideas?

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QADid you turn the main wa­ter cock off and for­get to turn it back on? Is there a non-re­turn valve in the pipe be­tween the tank and pump – if so, with the pump run­ning, tap it with a block of wood just in case it has stuck. Like­wise, there might be a blocked strainer on the pump in­let.

If it is a Jab­sco flex­i­ble im­peller Wa­ter Puppy sys­tem, you should have drained the im­peller hous­ing. If not it might have frozen and bowed the cover. Take the cover off and in­spect it, the gas­ket and the im­peller. Change for new as re­quired and squirt some wa­ter into the pump be­fore you put the cover on. If it’s a pis­ton pump, the valves might be jammed by muck. I don’t ad­vise clean­ing th­ese be­cause they tend to leak on re-as­sem­bly.

Push a wooden plug into the tank breather/ over­flow, pack around the fill­ing hose with rag, turn the pump on and then turn the fill­ing wa­ter on, hold­ing the hose and pack­ing so you pres­surise the tank. With luck this will get wa­ter into the pump and it will work. Al­ter­na­tively, turn all the taps off bar one, turn the pump on and suck very hard on the open tap. It will have sim­i­lar re­sults – mind the taste of three-month-old wa­ter!

Fi­nally, if the mo­tor is run­ning but the pump is not pump­ing the pump drive may have bro­ken.

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