Saturday, 23 June 2018

Cleaning a Jabsco Par-Max Water Pump Filter

If you’ve got black slime clogging up your filter (or if the water pressure decreases abruptly) you might need to consider cleaning the system. We clean the filter regularly but we managed to get some bad water in the tanks at the beginning of the season and we had a rather spectacular algae bloom in the pipes. We thought we would have to open up the tanks and manually clean them, but after a call to our Jeanneau dealer to ask how to do this (requires a special tool), he strongly urged NOT opening the tank (those plastic-on-plastic fittings are fragile) and trying chemcial cleaners instead. Very good advice. The problem was (more or less) resolved with just a cup of bleach. We don’t drink the water from the tanks directly anyway. It’s used for washing dishes, etc., and we filter it through a Brita filter before boiling for cooking or tea / coffee.

Disclaimer: this is what works for us, not an official manual. That should be clear as you read the text since we don’t even know the correct terms for most of the parts we’ll be discussing…

The filter is located between the check valve and the pump.

If you just want to clean the filter:

Step 1. Fill a bowl full of water and find an old toothbrush, ready for cleaning the filter.

Step 2. Shut off the pump electricity (so that it doesn’t try to top up the pressure while its guts are open)

Step 3. Unclip the filter from its housing and lift out. You simply pinch the two sides and lift out the transparent filter assembly.

Step 4. Clean. Put some silicone grease on the o-ring. (Note: our o-ring was distended and not fitting tightly enough, making it very difficult to get the assembly back in its housing. Have a stock of replacement o-rings ready. We found ours at an Auto Emporium.)

Step 5. This is a good time to also clean the filters on the faucets. Unscrew, remove the aerator / filter assembly, clean, replace.

Step 6. Put the filter back into its housing assembly. You should hear a good “click” as it fits into the housing. If not, check the o-ring.

Step 7. Open the faucets, turn on the pump electricity and chase out the air bubbles.

Cleaned filter and greased o-ring.

If you need to clean the whole assembly from the tank valves to the filter:

See our earlier post from last year, where a very intelligent, professional and honest technician from Polenca, Spain showed us how to check for obstructions in this part of the filter.

Steps 1 and 2 from above.

Step 3. Turn the check valve knob counter clockwise. You should hear gurgling as this part of the sysetm depressurizes.

Step 4. Push down the blue clip on the pump side after the filter assembly.

Step 5. Gently pull down from the check valve on the blue tube and away from the pump. Be very careful not to let the blue clip on the pump side fall into the abyss below.

Step 6. Flush with water, clean as necessary. (see earlier post for more details)

Step 7. Put back in place, sliding the check valve over the blue tube and securing the blue clips connecting the filter to the pump.

Step 8. You will now (probably) need to repressurize the system. Ours is marked “30 psi” on the pump body. Locate your air pressure tank, and use a bicycle tire pump to bring it back up to pressure. Ours is a standard size fitting.

Step 9. Open faucets, turn on pump electricity and chase out the air bubbles.

Might need cleaning?

Taking off the assembly.  Sorry for the blurries...was not in the mood for fine photography.

Don't lose this falls off easily once the assembly is removed.

We are shopping around for a activated carbon filter system that attaches to the water hose to filter the water in port BEFORE it goes into the tanks. In the meantime, it’s “better living through chemistry.”