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General Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach that are not covered in other Mechanic's Corner categories (ex. refrigerators, water heaters, and compressors).

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  #1  
Old 03-30-2008
BillA BillA is offline
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Smile Bleeding air from Primus System

I am now the proud and wonderfully happy owner of a 1991 40 foot WB and am going to post my very first question.
Have concluded along with the prior owner that there is air in the Primus system as the result of accidently starting to drain the system and then realizing it shouldn't be done. My question is: does anyone know how I can locate the one or more bleeder valves located somewhere at a high point in the system so I can get the air out? I can make hot water like crazy but freeze in the cabin. Headed into the cold north (Ohio) and while, as a new BB owner, there will be a smile on my face if I freeze to death, I would like to spare my dear wife that same fate. Any advice or help will be appreciated.
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1991 40' WB
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2008
Stephen Stephen is offline
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on the end of the convectors or radiators in the coach
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2008
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Rob Robinson Rob Robinson is offline
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Bill I hope Randy will chime in here to confirm this but as I remember he had to bleed his system and said doing it with the bleeder valves proved fruitless. He solved the problem but hooking up a small pump (sump pump I think) and forces the coolant through the system. This drove all the air out and filled the system right up.
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2008
Jim Barone Jim Barone is offline
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Bill...I also have a 1991 WBWL and have had to bleed air from the Primus system. What I did is to fill the over flow tank and run the Primus pump. As you do this you can see the air being expelled through the over flow tank. As the air is expelled the fluid level in the overflow tank will go down as the fluid is pumped into the system. You must refill the overflow tank continually as the fluid is pumped into the system. The pump must always have fluid to pump or you will introduce more air into the system. The Primus pump can be run independently by applying 12volts to the pump leads. I got the 12volt power right from the relay that is mounted adjacent to the Primus boiler. It took me about an hour to completely bleed the system. You will know that you are finished when no air is being expelled in the overflow tank. This bleeding exercise solved all of my problems with the Primus system.
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2008
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RGloverii RGloverii is offline
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Bill,

I also had air problems in my Primus system, and there were two things that contributed to the 'fix'..

*Once you make sure your overflow bottle is filled, carefully remove the small rubber hose from the top of the tank. Make sure there is no blockage between the top of the male connector (top of the tank) and the interior of the tank itself. Fluid needs to be able to FREELY flow from that rubber hose into the tank. Mine had crud blocking it.

*Locate the front most radiator which is fed by the Primus unit with the air. There is a small brass bleed valve on one side of the radiator. With the Primus' pump powered on, open the bleed valve on the radiator.
If you are lucky, you'll get a flow of coolant. Make sure you have a towel or two handy to absorb the coolant. We don't want to ruin the interior of the coach with coolant!

If NO coolant flows out of the bleeder, we need to take things to the next level:

If you have a helper to assist, It would be helpful. Have your helper stand watch at the (opened) bleeder valve, ready with the towels. Back at your overflow tank, you need to provide air pressure to the tank to get coolant flowing to the bleeder, and through the system. Not a 'lot' of pressure, just enough to push the coolant along. I screwed a flexable plastic pipe onto the top of the overflow tank, and literally blew into the tube. Odds are, the pump will start 'pumping', and coolant will start flowing. Your helper should wait a few seconds, then close the bleed valve. You will (should) see coolant flowing out of the small rubber tube connected to the overflow tank.

Monitor the overflow tank, and make sure the tank is kept at least 1/2 full of 50/50 mixture. Don't EVER let it run dry. As long as you see fluid flowing through the small rubber tube, the system *should* be working fine.

One more thing. There is a small sensor mounted to the coolant outlet hose coming out of the boiler. It will have 2 wires connected to it, and a tiny red button in th middle. AFTER you get your coolant circulating, press the tiny button in. This will allow your boiler to start up.

Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is online now
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when i purge the air out i use a sump pump,just drop it in a bucket of coolant,hook a hose from the sump pump to the one side of the boiler,the other side of the boiler needs a hose attached that goes into the bucket of coolant,turn the sump pump on and all of the air will be gone in a flash!
then just re-attach the hoses without spilling the coolant.

i have done it by bleeding all the convectors,too slow for me,and you get coolant in the carpets etc.
Randy
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  #7  
Old 04-02-2008
BillA BillA is offline
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Smile Progress to date...

I can't thank all of you enough for the good info and advice. I have tried as much as I could as we travel but with limited success (also have tried my wife's patience as I start taking things apart at every rest stop). I did get to the point where I had bleeder valves opened but no coolant was present. Also able to let pump run continuously without firing boilers, but could not force fluid into major sections of system. Seems like a solid block; like a valve is shut off but I can't find any valves (other than summer/winter valve). Did learn that system has been reworked to make one loop only, and I have figured out (I think) how it flows. I will be home by this weekend and have a spare sump pump handy - I think I will give that a try. I will let you know how this all works out. By the way, I absolutely love our BB and am so glad to be part of this forum.
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1991 40' WB
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2008
BillA BillA is offline
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Smile Question about sump pump approach...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Dupree View Post
when i purge the air out i use a sump pump,just drop it in a bucket of coolant,hook a hose from the sump pump to the one side of the boiler,the other side of the boiler needs a hose attached that goes into the bucket of coolant,turn the sump pump on and all of the air will be gone in a flash!
then just re-attach the hoses without spilling the coolant.
Randy
Given my habit of breaking something else while in the process of fixing something, do I need to do anything with the Primus pump - as in keep it running, or will the fluid driven by the sump pump move through it without a problem? Also, does it matter where I tap in? Can I tap in on either side of the purge tank as well as either side of the boiler(s)?
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is online now
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tap in anywhere you like,where ever its easy.
the primus pump can be turned off,the sump pump will pump through it.
Randy
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  #10  
Old 04-17-2008
BillA BillA is offline
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Smile Job is done!!

All right! Thanks to all you good folks, I was able to bleed the Primus system and it is now running as smooth as silk.
I think I used all the suggestions somewhere over the course of trying to get the system to work, but using a separate sump-type pump in a bucket to pump the fluid thorugh (as suggested by Randy above) finally did the trick. One problem I had was that the domestic water heater loop (or partial loop) was clear but there was so much air in the main coach piping that the fluid just kept circling around the water heater loop. I finally clamped off the beginning of the water heater loop, forcing the fluid (and some new fluid added) into and through the coach piping and I was on my way. Job completed. My first challenge, of many I imagine, but nice to have the first one work out so nicely.
Especially nice, also, to know there is so much good advice available and so freely offered by all you folks. I hope I can be a useful participant and return the favor down the road when I have some more experience. Thanks again to all of you.
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