A couple months ago we noticed a small leak in our SHURflo Extreme 5.7 Smart Sensor Fresh Water Pump 12VDC, so we removed the pump to have a look and, after disassembling the unit, discovered that there was a small hole in the pump diaphragm. Our SHURflo failed. Pumps dont last forever. For that matter nothing on a boat does. So we jumped online to research options and found the replacement part numbers on SHURflo’s Website. We were looking forward to having proper replacement parts. Little did we know, however, SHURflo failed to notify anyone that the replacement parts had changed but they kept the same part numbers. We downloaded all of the documentation for the replacement parts and found a supplier online. We ordered replacements for the Valve Assembly 94-030-01 and the Drive Assembly 94-030-2 for a grand total of $190 + shipping costs.
We installed the replacement parts according to the instructions, reinstalled the unit, and had water pressure again with no leaks. Happy as two clams. We noticed the unit was a little louder than before but figured it wasnt a big deal and we went back to the luxury of having running water aboard Banjo.
An unwelcome failure
Yesterday, I went forward to the galley and turned on the spigot in the sink and was surprised to see that there was no water flowing. I sat there staring at the faucet for about a minute when suddenly I heard the SHURflo Water Pump kick on and was making quite a grinding racket. The water pressure was fine at that point until I turned off the sink and tried to turn it back on at which point the cycle repeated itself again. Stood there for almost a minute with no water, then suddenly the pump kicked on with a noisy grinding sound and there was pressure.
Calling SHURflo Customer Service
I looked at the pump and there were no signs of leaks, checked the water lines from the tank and found no obstructions, so I decided to call SHURflo to see if they could offer any help with the problem. A representative named Jim answered and asked the manufacturing date of our SHURflo Extreme Pump. The manufacturing date on ours was 12/05. There was a loud sigh over the phone. Jim explained that ours was the first generation of the SHURflo Extreme 5.7 pump. Continuing, that the replacement parts, although having the exact same part numbers, were “slightly different and did not fit our model exactly.” He went on to explain that the Extreme 5.7 had been discontinued and directed us to a newer pump model, named the AquaKing II. SHURflo failed to put any of this information on its website or in the product documentation.
Now the bad news
I asked why the part numbers remained the same, and there was no indication in the replacement part documents that explained about the design differences for the first generation models. He was not able to give us an answer. I pointed out that the SHURflo website was still advertising the Extreme pump and the replacement parts. He stated that “there are a lot of things on our website that are not correct or had been discontinued.” I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach knowing what was coming next. I inquired if there was anything that could be done. We just spent almost the cost of a brand new pump on replacement parts that SHURflo failed to update its website advising consumers of the mismatch. The parts we ordered were not a match for our pump, even though the website and product documents stated they were.
I could hear another sigh and waited for the response. “Nothing they could do and the only option was to purchase a new pump,” he explained. Disheartening. Cost of a new AquaKing II pump is approximately $200. WTH?
Time for a common sense rant
A small rant is now in order. It seems to me that if you advertise and provide documents for a product and make changes to the design that affect that product, that there would be some kind of information available somewhere that would explain this fact. Rather than allowing customers to completely waste $200+ just to find out the hard way information your company was not interested in sharing. Surprise lucky customer. I understand companies need to make money to survive, but this just seems like a foul business practice. Changing the design of a product and not telling anyone, and then numbering the replacement parts for the new design with the same numbers as the old design is just a poor strategy.
So we are waiting for a new pump, which should be delivered sometime next week. A grand total of another $250 added to the $200 already spent makes our water pump repair $450. SHURflo failed to notify its customers of the design change. We would have just purchased a new pump and saved ourselves the hassle. But the part numbers did not change change. We could have gotten a brand new pump for the cost of useless replacement parts. We would have solved this problem months ago.
Ugh. Disappointing and wasteful to say the least.