by Fred Stoermer
Any tips on repairing a leaky '68-'72 Westy manually operated faucet pump?
Water often leaks at the base of the spout. This is readily fixed with renewal of the O-ring seal(s). These pumps vary in internal details, so you have to do some creative thinking, but it's not difficult. Take the offending parts with you to the hardware store to get O-ring sizes that fit your particular pump.
Another "leak" is in the check valve in the base of the pump. This is just a ball that rests in a seat cast into the pump base. If it gets gummed up with residue from hard water, etc., it won't seal and the pump loses it's prime. All that's usually needed is a good cleaning to restore it's seal.
A 3rd "leak" would be from a cracked pump body. These can be patched up with a sealant appropriate for use with potable water, but the design of these pumps is such that a crack repair is doomed to fail again.
I've replaced several of these pumps with new units from marine supply stores and RV supply outlets. The quality varies widely, even though they all seem to cost between $15.00 and $20.00. I've found pumps that looked identical to each other, but one was a chromed metal casting and the other was a "chrome" plastic molding. The internal linkage and piston design and construction also varies widely, which probably explains why repair kits are not available. Unfortunately, short of dis-assembling a new pump in the store there's no way to check the quality of the internal bits.
A few years ago I installed a new pump in our Campmobile and was pleased that
it fit and looked like a new Westfalia pump though I'd bought it at an RV
supply for $15.00. The 3rd night of a 2-week journey it failed. The internal
link between the handle and piston was very flimsy plastic and snapped in two.
I repaired it with a new link fabricated from coat hanger wire, and it worked
fine for the rest of the trip. When we got home I took it back, and they
exchanged it for a new pump. Ironically, the new pump looks identical to the
pump that failed, and was packaged and priced identically. Yet the internal
linkage is metal, the piston is nylon rather than plastic, and it still