You won’t be a happy camper if the RV’s water system breaks down in the middle of your latest camping expedition. You can find many different instances for this, such as RV water pump running but not pumping or water not flowing in RV.
Each can have a different reason for the problem, and fixes can be the same for over one issue or different. Most often, you’ll find an owner’s manual supplied by the RV industry only covers the basics, and you’ll need to understand your water systems problems.
In our RV water system troubleshooting guide, you can learn much more about your RV water pump problems.
By the end, you’ll see why the pump shuts off and how RV water systems can work or not work to the conditions of the freshwater tanks. In addition, you’ll be sure you never have RV water pump left on without water running. (Learn How To Keep RV Pipes From Freezing While Camping)
Why RV Water Pump Runs, But No Water?
When you suddenly realize something is wrong, RV owners in RV
camping are all in the same boat and face the same issues.
Do not become alarmed if your RV’s water pump operates but no water is coming out of the faucets.
Here are some troubleshooting steps you can take.
1. Check Water Level
First, you need to see if your freshwater tank contains water. It seems obvious, yet it’s simple to forget to fill up a fresh tank of water.
Examine the freshwater tank gauge, as your RV water pump won’t operate if your tank is empty and there isn’t sufficient water to pump.
2. Check All The Water Lines
Check the water pipes entering and exiting the water pump once you have full tanks.
Look for worn, split, or cracked lines and loose connections. The water connection to the fresh water tank is where you want to start.
Check all the lines going up into your setup from the holding tank after that is finished.
Keeping a roll of pipe tape in your RV toolkit can save you
from lots of duress if you have a minor leak. A bit of duct tape should hold even when under pressure.
3. Check For Blockage
Now, you need to find if you have a blocked pipe or if water flows to the pump.
- Loosen the water line to the pump slowly: Water is moving toward the pump if you detach it and find water in the line.
- Reconnect your pipe: If the water line appears to be dry, the problem is the water line connecting the tank to the pump. So first, check to see any obstruction or tube damage.
- Prime the pump by filling the water line with fresh water to re-establish suction: To observe if the water moves toward the faucets, connect it to the pump and restart it.
Have someone watch the open faucets for water coming out.
4. Examine Your If Pump Runs But No Water
When there is still no water flowing in your RV’s water
system, it is time to check the pump.
You may discover it’s time to replace the pump’s motor or get a brand-new unit.
- Ask a buddy to turn the water pump on and off when you need it. (Toggle the RV water pump switch on and off as you ask).
- Remove the water line from the pump’s pressure side.
- Turn on the pump to see if the water pumps or not. (It’s a good idea to keep a bucket handy, just in case!) Does it ooze, or does it come out rapidly with plenty of water pressure?
- You may need to get a new water pump if there is no water flow, and it just drips. However, if the water seems to be pressured is coming from the RV water pump, it could be certain RV faucets are the problem.
- Turn off all water valves and inspect the water lines leading to each faucet.
Take it to a professional to have the lines checked for you, or you may replace some lines and fittings yourself.
I Have No Water Pressure After Winterizing My RV
You’ll discover this is a common problem and an inconvenience. If your water pump doesn’t turn on after winterizing, check:
- When you went to fill your fresh water tank, had you left the drain open?
- After pumping RV antifreeze into the water lines, did you check everything was reconnected properly?
- Are all the shut-off valves open? (Verify again!)
- Is your pump silent? If so, did you check your fuse panel and breakers to ensure you have electricity?
- Verify with a voltmeter that the pump is receiving a full 12 volts, and then double-check it is grounded. If not grounded, it won’t work.
If you checked the above and the earlier issues, the RV water pump might need to be replaced entirely. (Read RV Parking At Walmart Rules)
Steps To Replace RV Water Pump?
Most RVs have little space underneath, so replacing anything there can be a struggle.
Here are the steps to follow to replace your RV water pump.
1. Drain Your RV Water Tank.
If you intend to change your pump, you cannot have any water in your freshwater tank. Therefore, be sure to drain the tank.
2. Disable Power
Ensure that ALL power has been turned off and that you are not attached to the electrical connections.
3. Disconnect Water Lines
Disconnect all your pipes to and from the pump. You may need a bucket and towels
4. Disconnect Water Pump From RV
Remove the water pump from the RV using a bolt or screw. Again, you might need to refer to your owner’s manual for more information.
Your new RV water pump is now prepared for installation.
My Water Pump Cycles When Faucets Are Closed?
You can hear your pump operating even when you’re not running water. For example, a running RV water pump shows a leak in the system.
This might be because of something as simple as a loose connection, something as annoying as a crack in one of your lines, or a defective pump pressure switch.
To locate the leak’s source, you must inspect the entire system. For example, loose connections or defective valves can allow air into your lines, causing sputtering faucets.
If you winterized your RV water system inadequately, your RV water pump might have frozen, requiring replacement.
Call a pro if you’ve inspected the RV water system and can’t find the leak.
How To Repair Leaking RV Water Pump?
The water pumps should run every time you use the toilet or turn a faucet in an RV.
Your RV water pump probably leaks if, after finishing your duties and turning off the water, the pump keeps running.
The first step is to check for a damaged check valve.
This valve signals when to stop the water pump. If it is cracked, the pump will frequently be instructed to continue pumping, which raises your fresh water tank. (Read Do I Need To Ground My Generator When Camping)
Ensure The Water Filter Isn’t Clogged
Check to see if the water filter you placed in your RV’s fresh water system is not clogged.
Simply removing the present disposable water filter and replacing it with a new one is the most straightforward way to accomplish this and keep impurities out of your potable water.
Wait on trying this if you recently installed a new filter and believe it’s unlikely that a clogged filter is the issue until you have finished all the other troubleshooting steps.
Make Sure Your Pump Is Primed
The next step is to examine your pump to ensure it operates correctly if the prior jobs fail to pinpoint your issues.
Older RVs frequently have a rubber priming bulb attached to the pump; press the bulb repeatedly to prime the pump.
Priming the pump is significantly simpler in more recent RV models; all that is required is that you open all the cold water faucets before turning on the pump.
Water will be pumped through the freshwater holding tank because of the freshwater tank pressure change.
If priming the pump doesn’t resolve the problem, the pump itself might be malfunctioning.
Determine sure water is flowing from the freshwater tank to the pump first.
- Make sure the pump is off.
- Disconnect the pump’s supply side water line with caution.
- Reconnect the line to the pump if it has water to show it works appropriately.
- If the line is dry, check it once more for kinks, cracks, and clogs. Repair or replace it.
- A dry line should be filled with water once more and reconnected to the pump after being repaired or replaced.
- Open the faucets and turn the pump to see whether the water flows.
- Check to see if water is coming out of the pump to see if the issue is not in the supply line:
- Make sure the pump is off.
- Next, disconnect the pump’s pressure side from the outflowing water line.
- Return the pump. For this step, keep a pail nearby in case the water gushes out.
- You’ll likely need to replace the pump if water only drips or trickles out of it.
- You can tell your pump is functioning correctly if the water exits the pump normally.
- Examine all water lines and ensure all the valves are open and the main supply line and pump are working.
- Close all the water valves while keeping the pump running.
- Check each water line carefully for kinks, bulges, and cracks.
- Open the valve servicing each faucet and turn it on one at a time.
- Check the water line, connectors, and valve of the faucet again if water is not flowing. If required, repair or replace any damaged components.
Can You Leave Your RV Water Pump On?
RV water pumps are on-demand pumps and operate when you open a faucet or flush the toilet.
If you leave your RV’s water pump switch in the “ON” position, the pump won’t move water or draw power unless you readily use the water.
If you use a city water connection, water begins flowing under pressure as it bypasses your freshwater tank and water pump. (Learn What Are Camping Buckets Used For)
How Do You Reset Your Water Pump?
RV water pumps aren’t resettable. If your pump stops working, try these troubleshooting steps:
- See if the device restarts itself after 15 to 20 minutes. Some types have a hot-temperature shutdown that deactivates the pump. It can happen with prolonged use of the water heater.
- Check the fuse visually to make sure it hasn’t blown.
- Even if the fuse seems good, test it with a voltage meter to be sure.
- If none of the above measures work, ensure your RV’s battery system:
- If your RV has a battery disconnect switch, ensure it hasn’t been turned off.
- Check RV’s breakers and fuses. Turn on everything.
- Examine the connections on your house batteries; make sure they’re clean and tight.
- Check the electrolyte levels in your batteries and add water to those that are low.
- Make sure the batteries are entirely charged.
- Check the battery voltage with the engine on, the generator running, and plugged in.
- If none of these measures work, consult an RV technician.
How Long Does An RV Water Pump Last?
A well-maintained RV water pump can last 10 years or more. Never run your pump with an empty freshwater holding tank.
- Protect the water system and water supply from freezing; winterize your RV if it’s in a chilly climate.
- Add clean, mineral-free water to your fresh water tanks to prevent pump damage and mineral growth.
My Pump Sounds Like it’s Running, But No Water
There could be several problems if your pump is working yet no water is present.
- Clogged filter
- Low water level
- The pumps are running in reverse.
- Clogged water lines from your fresh water holding tank
- Worn or damaged pump impeller
- Hose clamps are loose on the suction side of your water pump.
- The pump-check valve may be stuck.