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HeadHunter Mach 5 Water Pressure Pump Problems

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Gödeke, Apr 20, 2016.

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  1. Gödeke

    Gödeke New Member

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    Hi:
    Hope you are doing great.
    Do you experience any kind of problem with the mach 5 pumps?
    I have this pumps on board and after a period of time the fresh water is not used on board the pumps with out reason stop working. I have to switch off and on the breakers in order to put the pumps back to service. Any idea why is this happening?
    Thank you.
    . 60701-e37ec63d8715c7c348df26b0e685aea8[1].jpg
  2. cnvsback

    cnvsback Member

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    The Mach 5 pumps and their control circuitry are very sensitive to any air in the suction line. There are also inlet and outlet check valve fittings from the factory mounted right on the pump itself. If there is any source of air in the suction line or any debris in the check valves causing the pump to not build its working pressure in a certain time frame they will cut out on alarm. I've removed several of these pumps from boats because of similar problems and not being able to stagger the cut in and cut out pressure when using two or more pumps in a system.

    Check the integrity of you suction line from tank to the pump for any possible sources of air entering the system when the pump is running
    Calicoiii likes this.
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Many moons ago, a customer had a problem like that. I kind of thought of an air problem also but did not know of the fancy internals. In a SF mounted a good bit forward away from the after tank.
    It was mounted on a show piece table keeping it up from the bilge. It was also around (approx) mid level to the potable water tank in a remote bilge.
    We cut up that fancy table and lowered it further into the bilge to insure it was mounted closer to the tank bottom (maybe lower), just a lil local plumbing changes, a service valve and coupling. No more problems.

    In looking back, I probably was on the rite track; Not level or straight water supply line, bow comes up, not full water tank splashes around, some bubbles get in the line, Bubbles keep collecting in a high bend in the supply line, some option like a ice maker cycles while running and the pump would loose prime & cut off.

    If I remember, there was error leds on the top. Never looked into them.

    Remembering how well it worked, thru wheeling and dealing, I picked up one of these in 220Vac. Been sitting somewhere for a couple of years now never installed. This thread just reminded me I still had it.
  4. Bill106

    Bill106 Senior Member

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    The Mach 5's will also shut down for "excessive cycling", if the red LED on top is flashing that's what's happening. I've seen this a lot on boats with icemakers and installing an accumulator tank usually takes care of it. If the red LED is constant it's a dry suction alarm and a check valve is needed close to the tank if there are no leaks on the inlet side.
  5. Gödeke

    Gödeke New Member

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    I checked the pumps and pipes and also remove the plug on the top in order to see if it has some air, looks ok.
    What I did because I have two fresh water pumps is to keep only one in service as you said maybe it is a stagger cut in/out pressure problem related. Will see if it is holding.
    Thank you for your help.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Sounds like you need check valves so that the one pump is not losing pressure or sucking air or water in circles from the other pump, or perhaps a brass Y on the pickup so you can isolate 1 pump from the other.

    Have you emailed or called Headhunter? They are a very good company and have excellent customer service from my experiences.
  7. Gödeke

    Gödeke New Member

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    No I haven't emailed head hunter yet. I will try to see if I can solve the problem before emailed them. I have already isolate one pump form the other. Will see how it goes.
    Thank you for your reply.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I would email them first, that should be your first course of action. They built the pump, they're the experts on it, they know the in's and out's of it, and would be more than happy to help you rather than seeing a thread about their pump that could be seen by some as negative.

    My only experiences with them is they will fault if you have a small air leak. They are a MOTHER to prime if you run the water tank dry. But once they're primed and operating they work very well.
  9. Gödeke

    Gödeke New Member

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    Will emailed them. See what they say. Thank you.
  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Yes primong them is a bit of pain

    As to cycling, Headhunter recommend NOT using an accumulator tank, not sure why

    We have a similar issue with ours where it will occasionally fail to start and requires resetting the breaker. Happens so rarely thst I haven't spent any time on the problem. I suspect the electronics are sensitive to freq variation as I don't think it ever happened on shore power. Some modern electronics are sensitive to frequency issues, our fisher Paykel dishwasher crashes if the Genset runs over 61hz
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Yes, perhaps it's a low voltage issue with the OPs shorepower or something along those lines.
  12. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    Whatta you think J? Maybe check the shielded Iso former?? Hummmm, gotta get one of those buck-boost x-formers...
  13. Lepke

    Lepke Member

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    If you have a common water filter on the suction side of a pump, it can pull air thru the bleed button on the filter top. Weak spring, button not properly seating.
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Pump does not start. a. No water.
    b. Overheating
    due to high
    water
    temperature.
    c. Too low or too
    high supply
    voltage.
    Check the water supply.
    Supply cold water <95°F
    (35°C)
    Check the supply voltage.

    http://www.headhunterinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Mach-5-English-Installation-Instructions.pdf

    Obviously, you're not very knowledgable about the Mach 5 pumps, but they have a circuit board which will turn the pump off on a fault if it detects a myriad of issues (to keep the pump from burning up) and will show on an LED on the unit which describes the fault. Over or under voltage is one of those faults, as well as no water, motor overheated, etc. etc.

    I can tell you this much, in the myriad of yachts I've run with those built in transformers I have never had an issue with a melted shorecord end, popping dock breakers, or any other voltage related issue on those yachts. Then again I run 150 different yachts a year, sleep on 2 dozen different ones a year and see and use most of these products in real life situations.

    Pascal- the instruction manual does show instructions for installation with an accumulator tank.


    What LED is showing when the unit is not pumping water? Also how old is the pump?
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  15. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Now that is a thought. Nobody has commented on any filters in the paths but it's worth keeping in mind.
  16. captainwjm

    captainwjm Senior member

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    I have Headhunter Calibers, not the larger Mach 5, but one of mine showed the same symptoms before dying completely and requiring replacement. Headhunter says that that happens sometimes due to the reliance on microprocessors, meaning that they are not rebuildable. I was able to get a replacement pump directly from Headhunter at half the retail by bringing in the silver tag with the serial number on it. I called first and was told of this "deal" by the guy I sought troubleshooting information from. Still pricey. Hope this isn't your problem, but FYI.
  17. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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  18. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Problem is now on the front burner as we have to reset the breaker a few times a day :)

    Red led flashes in series of 3. Left a VM with headhunter asking if the number of flashes means anything. Nothing has been changed to the plumbing, we do have an accumulator tank. Good pressure and flow. Errors are random. Pump doenst seem to be cycling. Since right on the other side of bulkhead near my bed I can just hear it if it runs at night and it doesn't seem to be

    Will see what HH says
  19. captainwjm

    captainwjm Senior member

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    Pascal, on my X-Caliber Headhunters, 3 flashing reds mean "Over Water Temperature". Check to make sure that you are getting water into the unit. I had a plugged vent hose that caused the pump to overheat as it tried to suck water from the tank. The pump felt hot to the touch when that happened, and the red light did flash 3 times. Once water flow was restored, and the rest pushed, it worked fine.
  20. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Over water temp might also happen if the water supply hose is fairly lengthy and the engine room is very hot (or water tank is in engine room) and it sits in the hose and bakes.