Shower Filters

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The first thing a new Rialta owner finds on their first camping trip is the tendency of the shower filter to become clogged.  The result is ankle deep water in the shower pan that won't drain away.

Since the design of the Rialta doesn't allow for a "basement" where many utilities and storage tanks can be located, that means that the shower drain is actually lower than the holding tank.  And that means there must be a pump to move the water from the shower drain to the holding tank.  There is a tendency for the filter located on the water pump to get clogged with soap scum, dirt particles, hair, and all other debris that gets washed down the drain.  The solution is a simple cleaning of this fine mesh screen filter.  However, on the HD and QD models the filter is located in the nether regions of a maze of plumbing and electrical wire underneath the left dinette seat.  On the FD models, it is a little easier to access since it involves merely lifting up the plywood bed frame.

At the bottom of the shower pan is the "strainer", a white piece of plastic device sticking up from the actual drain itself.  The problem is that the strainer is largely ineffective at catching any debris smaller than a marble and the result is that all hair, small bits of paper, and other objects pass directly to the filter on the pump.  This filter gets easily clogged and the result is that it will no longer pump water out of the shower pan.

Many owners have suggested some solutions which basically trap all the debris right at the sink drain and strainer thereby eliminating the requirement to go digging for the pump filter.  A more effective filtering mechanism can be attached directly to the plainly visible strainer.  It's much easier to clean this filter than to get into the filter attached on the pump.

Several designs and ideas have been tried.  Here is a list of several of them:

  •  a section of panty-hose over the strainer and held with a rubber band
  •  a metal mesh tea-bag strainer stuffed inside the strainer body
  •  a section of window screen stretched over and stuffed inside the strainer
  • While all of the above methods work, they still leave something to be desired.  Then one Rialta owner came up with a near perfect solution: use the small hose washer filter typically made for a washing machine hose.  These small "hose filters" are available at nearly all hardware stores and cost less than 50 cents each.  Simply unscrew the plastic strainer at the bottom of the shower pan, slip one of these filter washers in place, and replace the plastic strainer.  The direction the filter faces is not really important.

    When these filter washers become clogged with hair, soap scum, and other particles, simply throw the old filter washer away and put in a new one.  Given the inexpensive property of these filters, it is not really economical to attempt to clean them.

    To insure maximum efficiency, you should first clean out the regular filter found on the Shurflow pump itself before installing these simple filter washers.  Periodically you may still want to check out the regular filter to ensure that it remains clear and un-obstructed.

    It is my belief that the pump filter eventually becomes clogged from soap scum that congeals at this point because of the fact that the drain water has cooled down somewhat since leaving the shower drain area.  This cooler water causes the dissolved soap particles to reform on the wire mesh of the pump filter.  My wife says using liquid soap instead of regular bar soap would help to alleviate this nuisance.


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    Page Updated: 30 March 2013