- I have an electric water pump attached to my loco to put water in the boiler. I use an RV pump I purchased off of http://eBay.com: Shurflo pump 12 volt D.C., 100 psi, 1.4 gpm
- I had to cut the wire running from the valve end of the pump to the motor and applied 12Volt directly to the motor. This removes the automatic psi shutoff. I use a 12Volt battery for a scooter purchased at batteries plus.
- It works really well and fills our Pacific's boiler FAST! but it is not without some problems. Our current method of attaching the boiler feed on the loco to the tender where we store the pump under the seat is the standard rubber hose and pipe clamps. unfortunately you have to push the boiler pressure through this connection and a few times during the run the hose will slip off. I'm sure a more creative attachment method would solve this problem but I haven't had time to come up with anything.
- The second problem is a bit more tricky. The pump needs to be primed prior to letting it run. We do this by removing the rubber hose and turning on the pump until a stream of water pours out. We then, while the pump is running, attach the rubber hose. The first few times we ran the engine with this watering method we didn't have to re-prime at all unless the hose fell off. now it seems like every time we need to do it but I think that has to do with my check valve not sealing all the way. either way an idea would be to add a T and valve at the connection and let the water flow up to the pump and then close the valve and let the pump do the rest. Basically, add a bleeder to the line running from the tender to the boiler. There is a very distinctive sound when the pump is moving water into the boiler vs just pumping air but checking the check valve to see if it is cold is another reliable way of determining if water is getting into the boiler. For us we had this up and running in a weekend and I'm sure with a little more work you can get it 100% reliable (granted we've never had it fail to get water into the boiler, just had to play with it to get it to work) and a very good back up or even primary water method.