Wont suck water from tote

I finished installing my new tote, new 5gpm belt drive pump, and hoses. I havent started the pump in 9 months. It wont suck/draw the water from the tote. The water seams to get past the y filter about 2 inches past and no further. Any ideas why the pump wont draw the water?

Idle the machine all the way down. Also, confirm the belts are tightened appropriately.

Try to force feed and see if it works….then go back to the buffer tank hookup.


What’s on the other end of that red drain hose?

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A eye wash / bucket shut off valve

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9 months ago, When i first used it, it was connected to a house and it worked correctly. But i havent used it for 9 months during my trailer build and switched to a tote. My first attempt to start the pump using the tote supply, it wouldnt suck the supply.
I guess my only step foward is to take the inlet hose barb back off and reinstall the garden hose connector to get it primed.

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I really don’t think that drain hose is supposed to be connected to the filter like that. It may have some air in the system or some hydraulic situation.

Is the tank vented?

Also when ‘priming’ try to have more than 20 gallons in there like the pic, get some actual pressure in the line.


Yep, get the water higher than your machine. Make sure gun or ball valve is on. You’ve just got a big air pocket. Can prime it some too, but try just putting more water in tank first.


A lot of us have filters set up like that. PWP sells the kit. I use mine a lot for just filling buckets, etc.


Once you fill your tank up you can also remove and reinstall that steel plug on your tee to purge the air from the supply. Using steel there is not the best. You can find brass for that easily. On another note, are there threads under the supply hose??? That brass fitting looks alot like a garden hose thread adapter!

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Nope, a 1" barb fitting on the end.

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I wonder if i removed the yellow pressure relief hose from the barb fitting if that would allow air to escape when the pump is running?

The hose kit i purchased is designed to be like that for the y filter. But i agree that there is a air lock.

If you’re looking to save time and effort just hold a garden hose against 1" barb. I have never noticed much of a difference in my tank drain line flow regardless of how full it is always seems about the same. It is a beautifully laminar flow tho fo sho


I had the water feed from my tote setup that way with an 8gpm machine. I had a similar issue and found It was cavitation around the camlock connection to the tote.

As a quick test, I would create a drop stick, put it in the top of the tote and feed the water to the pump that way.

This will quickly isolate the issue if that’s what’s happening. I chased this for a while - it would work sometimes for a couple of hours and then start cavitating. The drop stick solved it all. I noticed large air bubbles in the intake to the pump (the engine sounded differently as well cause water doesn’t compress so the pump runs more efficiently when there are no air bubbles)

Here are a few things I noticed.
1 is that you have a 90* right at the inlet of the pump I would get at least a street el there if mot a straight in shot.
2 then you have a 90* e;bow on your bypass outlet.
You need to realize that water does not like to flow through 90’s
Are you getting water to the pump and out of the rinse hose of the filter?

Is called laminar flow.

The inlet (blue) i agree is a 90 but it came that way from the manufacturer, thats why i left it alone.
The outlet (red) is a 45.
The bypass (yellow) i can work on changing it to a 45 at least.
The water flows in the y filter but stops at the low point at the deck floor (after the filter) but isnt continuing up to the pump inlet.
Im going to close the exit tote water valve and connect the house water hose to the red drain hose at the y filter to “force” water to the pump inlet. Hopfully that should clear the air lock.
Wish me luck!


i would swap out the blue setup, fit just a barb, or at least a street elbow then barb. looks really restrictive as is.

I agree about your plumbing out of the pump. Its all setup that way to avoid that handle from the cart. Remove cart handle and replumb without all rhose unnecessary fittings