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RV Water Pump Troubleshooting

Updated on September 20, 2014

Joined: 7 years agoFollowers: 46Articles: 49

Intro To An RV Water Pump

Today I will be telling you how to fix many of the problems that you might be having with your RV water pump. Few people actually understand how the water system works in their RV. If you have a 5th wheel, motor home, camper, or tent trailer, they are all basically the same so you've come to the right place to learn about them.

Chances are that if you found your way here, you are having problems with your RV water pump. Fear not. The system is relatively simple and easy to repair. The RV water system consists of a fresh water holding system, plastic or copper water pipes, a 12 volt RV water pump, a gray water tank, and a valve for dumping.

We're only going to cover the RV water pump in this article. RV water pumps are relatively simple devices. The most common manufacturer these pumps is ShurFlo. These pumps are nearly always powered by 12 volt DC electricity. Even if you are plugged into a 120 volt AC power at a RV campground, they still use 12 volt power. This is accomplished by the 120 volt AC power being directed into a power converter than changes the 120 VAC into 12 VDC electricity.

The RV water pump is an on demand system. This means that the pump only kicks on when it's needed. They work by pressurizing your water pipes to a preset PSI (pounds per square inch). This is usually about 30 PSI but most pumps are adjustable. When the power is switched on to the pump, it starts pumping. If any faucets are open, the pump continues to run providing the necessary flow of water. When you shut the faucet off, the pump continues to run until the preset water pressure is built up in the plumbing lines. When this pressure is reached, the pump automatically turns off. These pressure in the line is maintained until you open a faucet again. When you open the faucet, the pump senses a drop in pressure and begins pumping again.

Some older RV water pumps work differently. You have to manually turn the pump on when you want water. You open the faucet, turn the pump on and water flows out of the faucet. When you want to turn the water off, you turn the switch off to the pump and then close the faucet. It's important to do things in this order. These older pumps don't shut off when the water reaches a preset pressure in the line. Leaving the pump running will either overheat the pump or burst a plumbing line.

RV Water Pump Troubleshooting

Like any system in an RV, there are things that can sometimes go wrong. Below are the procedures for troubleshooting your RV water pump.

  1. Is there water in the holding tank. Believe it or not this is often overlooked. It's possible for the water gauges to accumulate residue on them and read full when they are in fact empty.
  2. Make sure there is power to the pump. Is your RV battery fully charged? If not, you can plug into 120 volt power to make sure you have power to the pump. There is usually a fuse in the positive wire somewhere near the pump. Check the fuse to see if it is blown. If it's blown, replace it and your problem is usually solved. Check to see if the connections to the pump are good. Since RV's usually travel the road, it's possible for these connectors to come loose. If the fuse is good, use a 12 volt test light or better yet a multi-meter to check for power at the pump. If you don't have power, check the connections at the battery and the power converter. If they are bad, repair them and your problem should go away. If they are good, you want to inspect the wiring for breaks or shorts. If there are bad spots in the wiring, you will need to repair or replace the wiring. Another thing that can fail is the switch to the pump. The easiest way to test this is to bypass the switch and connect the RV water pump directly to the positive and negative wires. If you do this and the pump functions normally, the switch needs to be replaced.
  3. If the pump comes on but doesn't pump water, it's possible that the diaphragm in the pump has debris in it or it is punctured. There are three screws that attach the pump head to the pump casing. Remove these screws and inspect the rubber diaphragm. If it is damaged, replace it with the repair kit that you can get from the manufacturer. You can usually buy these at your local RV parts dealer. If the diaphragm looks okay, clean it thoroughly with a gentle detergent and flush the pump head to remove any debris that may have entered it. If it still doesn't work after doing these procedures go the next step.
  4. Check to see that supply line from the fresh water holding tank to the RV water pump isn't blocked for punctured. Sometimes there is a shut off valve on this line. Make sure that it's open. If the line is blocked with debris or ice, you'll need to clear it somehow. I have found that I can often disconnect the line at the pump and blow compressed air through the pipe. Be sure and turn the pressure down low on the compressor. You don't want to blow the line and cause a leak. If there is a leak in this supply line, it will need to be repaired or replaced. You may also want to check the connection at the inlet side of the pump to make sure it isn't sucking air.
  5. If the pump doesn't shut off. You likely have a leak somewhere in the system. It's either at the outlet connection on the pump, in the plumbing, or at the faucet. Find the leak, repair it, and you'll be back in business.

That's all I can think of off the bat that can go wrong with the system. If none of these things fix your RV water pump sent me and email and I'll try to help you out.

RV Water Pump Repair Disclaimer

You and you alone are responsible if something should go wrong while repairing your RV water pump system.  If you are not skilled and competent with electrical wiring or plumbing, you should have an authorized dealer do the repairs.  There is always a risk of fire when working with electrical wiring.  If you should make a mistake on the plumbing, it's possible for your RV to floods and cause damage.

If you mess up, don't count on me to foot the bill for the repairs.  The information contained in this page is only the opinion of the author.  This is what I would do if my RV was having problems with the RV water pump system.

Make any repairs at your own risk.

RV Water Pump Video

Here's a short video that will teach you how to replace an RV water pump.


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    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      I am an RVer, and this Hub is very clear and informative. I appreciate the detail of the Hub, and will keep it a a reference for the future. Keep up the good work!

      DOn Bobbitt

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 7 years ago from Oregon

      Thank you! I hope others find it helpful as well.

    • Charlie 7 years ago

      I just removed my bowen hot water heater from an RV. Can I hook the hose directly to it and get hot water???


    • Jerry 7 years ago

      Can I use my 12V water pump to augment my city water pressure in my Montana fifth wheeler without filling my holding tank, or will that run the pump dry?


    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 7 years ago from Oregon

      The 12v water pumps are set up to draw water from the holding tank. When you are hooked up to city water, the pump is usually bypassed and the pressure comes from the city.

    • bo 6 years ago

      what if the fuse just blows and the pump doesn't run at all.

      all wires appear to be intacked.

    • Gerry 6 years ago

      One more troubleshooting item. In winter, I drain the system and blow out with compressed air. Next spring, water pump ran but didn't supply water. When empty, normally some water is in tube below pump. But, when blown empty, only air, and pump won't draw water over more than about 6" head of air. Depending on relative mounting height, you may need to completely fill an empty tank then run pump several minutes before that air column is displaced and the pump works normally.

    • rvsource profile image

      rvsource 6 years ago


      You might have a shorted out motor inside the pump. It's pretty easy to remove the pump and test the motor.

    • Wes 6 years ago

      Took sure where to start. Headed out this Friday, so I decided to dewinterize my RV. Pump runs, but weak pressure. Gurgling sound coming out of City Water Input. If I switch the valve to Tank Fill, water comes gushing out of the City Water input.

      I took off the intake and output pipes on the water pump to check for blockage. Cleaned the little intake filter. Took off the output. I found a check valve ball, but no spring. Isn't there supposed to be a spring with the check valve ball?

      At one point, after having the city water attached, I switched over to the pump and had great pressure. Seemed to be working great. Then I turned it off and turned it back on on and now have the weak pressure and gurgling problem.



    • miranda price 6 years ago

      my holding tank must have a leak. the flooring under it is wet and needs replacing. i can't find any info on how to get the pump and tank out. what is that part of the rv even referred to? any ideas on hoe to replace it?


    • a tent trailer 6 years ago

      is the water pump supposed to go on each time you open a faucet? It's been 2 years since we used our tent trailer and I don't remember the pump going on every single time we turned on the faucet. Thanks

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 6 years ago from Oregon

      Yes, it's perfectly normal for the pump to turn on when you open the faucet. This is the way they are designed to work. They're actually called on demand pumps. When you open a faucet, the water pressure in the pipes drops thereby triggering the pump to turn on. When you close the faucet, the water pressure builds to a preset level and shuts off.

    • Joe 6 years ago

      My rv water pump turns on and off momentaryily.I have checked for leaks and found none.I heard there is a check valve that may allow the system pressure to bleed off.Is this a possibilty.Thks.

    • Vince 6 years ago

      When I turn on the pump the water pushes out the city water connection and not the lines to faucets ????

    • Jeffrey D 6 years ago

      my pump is sucking air from somewhere. I have check the supply line to the pump (from tank) and out from pump to supply lines. I can not find any water leaks, but I keep drawing air from somewhere. Any advise where to look next?

    • John 6 years ago

      Our water pump is only working to pump cold water and not hot water. Any idea why? Isn't there only one line in to the pump and one line out, then the water goes to the water heater? Any ideas?

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 6 years ago from Oregon

      @vince - There may be a valve for winterizing your rv that is switched in the wrong position.

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 6 years ago from Oregon

      @Jeffrey D - If there isn't a leak between your supply line and the pump inlet then it's not sucking air. That's the only place it could happen. Sometimes a leaky faucet is mistaken as sucking air because the pump cycles on and off.

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 6 years ago from Oregon

      @John - There is only one inlet into the pump and that's cold water from the holding tank. The cold water outlet from the pump branches off to the cold water side of the faucets and the water heater. The outlet of the water heater then goes to the hot water side of the faucets. Sounds like your water heater isn't working.

    • Byron 6 years ago

      Like Jeff, I have air entering my water system when using the pump. There are no leaks. The faucets are not leaking. I have run the city water through the system with the faucets open and bleed all the air out. Then shut it off and turned on the pump. It would now be in an off cycle. When turning on the faucet and that run to allow the pump water to get there, that's when the air starts coming. Now with the air in the system the pump won't shut off. So I know all that but can't find where the air is entering into the system. Many line can't be seen. This problem just started on an 06 Montana.

      There's got to be an answer here somewhere. Valves turn the wrong way? This unit is new to us but all valve seem to be in the correct position. Thanks folks, B

    • Justin Tighe  6 years ago

      I have an rv when I turn on the water pump water sprays out from the water inlet ?? I'm new to this and this is my first rv

    • Kim Shockey 6 years ago

      Justin - I'm no expert but just experienced the same issue with water spraying out of the 'city' water inlet. It appeared to me that the one way valve must have disintegrated as I found the screen and part of the valve in the drive way. Perhaps a few more seasoned veterans will comment soon...

    • Keith 6 years ago

      Many of you here are having problems with air in the water lines and pump kicking on and off and other issues...I'm very new to owning a travel trailer but I am now a Maintenance man and had many years working as a plumber...I would suggest to first check all the water lines the best you can for loose fittings, cracked fittings and any cross threading of fittings...Then check the R.v. to make sure it's level cause what feels level standing on the floor may not be ...The reason I tell you this is because it matters where the water draws from the holding tank and if the water is leaning to one side due to improper leveling then this could result in air being pulled through the line leading to the inlet side of the water pump...If you take a straw and put it in a glass of water and lean the glass to one side while holding the straw to the other you will find you draw air..Now level the glass and you will suck the water out till it's gone...Also cut a little hole in the straw and try sucking water..You find it's having a hard time getting the water up...This is just a simple way of showing how the pump may suck air...Water will always be level and if you can crawl under your R.v. and have a white poly water tank you may see the water line and it will tell you if the trailer is unlevel unless your water tank is built to lean one way so the water will drain by gravity...I'm no expert but hope it helps some of you somehow...God Bless, Keith

    • Tony  6 years ago

      OK I was surprised when after I disconnected the City Water from my RV and filled my Fresh Wtr tank 1/4 full whne traveling that the water gushed out the inlet connection ??? What happened !!

    • Patty  6 years ago

      I have a RV and sometimes the pump works and pumps water and sometimes it doesen't. We can wait a bit, sometimes a minute or two and it starts pumping again, then sometimes it's 15 or 20 minutes before it'll start pumping. I thought I had a short, but have checked all connections and everything seems fine. All connections are tight and it's getting power. Any idea why it would work intermitently?

    • Nate 6 years ago

      I just bought a 2000 Coleman Niagara Elite popup camper. The water pump is not working. I removed the water pump and put power to it and it works fine. I replaced the switch with a new one and the in-line fuse looks fine as well...still not working. I checked all of the fuses in the panel and they look fine too. Any suggestions?

    • Dale 6 years ago

      I am having a the same problem as another guy with very little pressure on the hot water taps.You said that it may be the water heater. The water is hot though. Explain please?

    • Craig 6 years ago


      I have a 2002 Holiday Rambler Presidential 5th Wheel. this last weekend we camped and noticed that he pump was much loader than before. The pump also occasionaly would activate when nothing was on, possibly due to a faucet slighly opened, althoug I did not see this. It was also noted the the pump did not run smoothly and constantly when the water was on. I did not notice any change in the preasure. Is this the sign of a worn our pump or part?

    • Dixye 6 years ago

      I have a 2000 35 foot Carrie-Lite 5th wheeler that we purchased used about 5 years ago. We tried "dry camping" this past summer for the first time. We had our water tank full but the water pump wouldn't pump the water out. We just got through winterizing out 5th wheel for the winter and when we tried to pump the antifreeze up through the plastic tubes, it wouldn't work either. We had to blow through the hose to get it started in the pump (prime it) and then it started sucking the antifreeze up. Do you think our pump is going bad? My husband said it should have enoughing sucking power to pull the antifreeze up by itself. Should we just replace the water pump?

    • Clint Fawson 6 years ago

      I have a 1988 COleman Sequoia that has a manual switch to turn om the water pump and a manual water pump faucet. What is the purpose of the water pump. Does it just prim the faucet? Once I turn the pump off I can still manually pump water through the faucet.

    • Tim Baker 6 years ago

      I am restoring a 46 year old camper. I do not plan to have a 12 volt system. Is there an AC house current pump made for this?

    • Brian 6 years ago

      when I turn on my water pump, water comes out of the city water fill connection. all valves are in the correct postion. this just happended for the first time while dry camping. any suggestions... thank

    • Paul 6 years ago

      Okay. I'm having the same problem some others are having. I turn on my water pump and water sprays out of the city water fill port. I'm not seeing much here that troubleshoots this problem. Can anyone help?

    • SamSEC 5 years ago

      Hi Guys, Please can anybody help me? my RV has lost its water pressure its gone really low just a trickle in the shower and is very frustrating! the site I am on had very poor pressure so I took my water regulator off and this helped, but then the site decided to fix the pressure on site repairing some leaks so the water pressure was much better,this all happened unbeknown to me so I had not put my regulator back on my van from the city water supply, since then the water for a day was spluttering and sounded like had air in system then has now dropped to almost non-existent. I have re-attached the regulator but still no joy. It makes no difference also if I run my water pump the water still just trickles rather than flows.I have also checked that the water from stand pipe and my hose seems fine. Any ideas that may help me solve this would be greatly appreciated! ;0) Many Thanks Sam.

    • Joe Val 5 years ago

      If your montana is pushing water out the city water connection or the pump comes on for a few seconds and then shuts off it is most likely your water inlet check valve. Remove water inlet box and replace check valve. Easy to do.

    • R May 5 years ago

      My water heater froze and gotm a leak, pump also. I shut bypass valves to w/h and replaced water pump. Now no water but it comes out the inlet until tank is dry. Pump runs, but no pressure. Works fine with hose hooked up. Suggestions anyone ???

    • Dave 5 years ago

      I have a 94 Lance Camper. It has the Shurflo 2088-403-14X water pump. It is very loud - as in you can hear it pump 30 ft away from the camper - is this normal ?? If so can I fix the pump or replace it?

    • Lisa 5 years ago

      I think I may have same problem as Wes above. Filled holding tank up. Turned on pump. A tiny stream of water out faucet but the rest of the water is just gushing out the city water hookup (garden hose type looking hook up). Can't find any valve to block it off anywhere. All my water is just going out the side of the RV. Help :(

    • Carla 5 years ago

      Filled holding tank, was running water through facets but then the water stopped running through the facets. It runs great through the toilet, but no water is coming out at all from the two facets. What is going on there?

    • Frank 5 years ago

      I have a 2000 Fleetwood Bounder with a On Off Switch inside the Coach on the wall, when you push the toggle it turns the Pump on, & to turn it off you push the Toggle again,& it also lights up to let you know the Pump is on. Just recently the switch light has decided to stay on all the the time.The Pump is working fine & water comes out when the Faucet lever is lifted.I have checked all connection near the Pump & everything looks fine. There is a small computer board near the Pump & that looks fine also.Could my switch be bad?

    • aquinn4263 5 years ago

      I have a problem with my RV water system. The cold water supply works great, but the hot water supply does not work. I have 3 separate hot and cold faucets and all the cold work fine but none of the hot work. The hot taps are fed from a hot water tank, but I get no water coming out.....any ideas ? Cheers

    • aquinn4263 5 years ago

      After further testing, if I open a cold water and hot water faucet on another sink, the hot water tap on my handwash sink, then starts to work, but only if I have the hot and cold faucet on another sink open ??? Help

    • Ken 5 years ago

      I have a 95 Fourwinds fifth wheel, Everything works electrically off the 12 volt, except the water pump..The pump is is good working order. Is there a relay or something I can check to find out the problem? Thanks

    • DaddyJ44 5 years ago

      Patty - my '06 Winnie Sightseer's pump runs full time but does not pump water. I looked at it this morning and the clear plastic container (that holds the wire strainer) has broken off and there is no vacuum. How easy is that to replace?

    • Don Christenson 5 years ago

      My water pump works fine when the trailer is conncected to 120 V, but the pump will not shut off when running on battery. Do I have a pump problem or a battery problem.

      Thanks, Don

    • Bob R 5 years ago

      I have a Colemen CT320BS. Can you tell me where the water pump is located?

    • JohnB 5 years ago

      Camping this weekend and was hooked up to city water and noticed that water was pouring out of our fresh water holding tank. It was as if the water overfilled the tank and we had no choice but to disconnect the city water. Used the water pump and it appeared to work correctly except that it ran often even when water was not in use. Also, when we hooked up to city water and I used the water for the first time, huge amounts of air/water came flying out soaking the walls and me. Any ideas?

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 5 years ago from Oregon

      @Don - Sounds like a batter problem to me. If the pump can't build enough pressure because the battery voltage is too low, the pump won't shut off.

    • tom 5 years ago

      iam have a pro with my pressure it works fine when i use my pump but when i hook up to the city water i have low pressure

    • Kevin 5 years ago

      Last time we were camping we seemed to have a leak coming from the water pump. Now when we tried to use the pump to winterize the camper it is not working at all. Any suggestions on what we should do? Does the pump need to be replaced? Or is there something else we can try?

    • Shelby 5 years ago

      I have a '97 Catalina Coachman motorhome. The water pump works fine until I turn on the hot water heater switch to heat up the hot water, then the water pump just quits working. Sometimes it will work again after a few hours, but this time it isn't.

      Any ideas?

    • Willy 5 years ago

      Here is my problem. 2001 fleetwood jamboree, We blow a 5am fuse when we use the water. The system works fine when we are connected to city power. The lights all work on 12v but everything goes off when we turn on the water or use the toilet, shower or sink. I'm assuming it has something to do with the water pump. The connections all look good and it works fine when we are plugged in to power. Can anyone help?

    • MissBaracuta profile image

      MissBaracuta 5 years ago from Holly Ridge, NC

      I have a 2006 Prowler camper with slide out...everything in the begining worked great but now have problems...We have had a couple of nites where the weather has gotten real cold and I ran the water to keep the lines from freezing up....everything was fine to start with now having far as I know nothing ever froze up but I came home the other day and the water wouldn't work at all in the im not talking using the water pump im talking hooking directly up to the city water....i have clean the filter where you connect the water hose up to the camper but it still wont work no water is coming if i turn on my water pump and fill the tank I get water....but why cant I get any water while hook up to the city water??? Are there other filters I dont know about??? Any help you can give me would be appreciated!!!

    • Penny miller 5 years ago

      Our waterpump doesn't stay primed. We suspect a small leak that allows air to enter the line. We don't have a good method to find the leak. Water never leaks out of the water lines, that go from the tank to the pump

    • Mike 5 years ago

      Hi. I need your help pretty quick!! We live full time in BC Canada in a 34ft 1996 Fleetwood Savanna My pipes going into the trailer froze. Got them heated up enough to get water flowing into the trailer. Water works in the bathroom but isn't coming out of the kitchen faucet. More than likely the pipes have probably frozen somewhere between the washroom and the kitchen? What do I do to get the water flowing again and what do you think the problem is? Could it be frozen somewhere else? Also,did is mention that the hot water tank fried a while back and we haven't had any hot water for a bit!!! argghhh!! Does this have anything to do with the septic tank freezing as says we have heated/enclosed tanks? If so, if not, how do we unfreeze the septic tank? Espcially if enclosed(wood box) Would enclosing more and heating from underneath with a small heater or work light work? Heard of using a hairdryer but...seems futile? What about venting hot/warm air into the tank from through the toilet? Tried to empty but...either I have a skating rink in there, or just frozen T valve. Tried pulling but...stuck. Its gonna be -minus temperatures for next next while and we need help fast. Wouldn't have money to do any major repairs for a cpl weeks so..... Is there anything we can do? Emergency here!!!! :( Please get back asapp Thanks Is there a chatroom or anything here where people can chat/talk in real time?

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 5 years ago from Oregon

      If the water is flowing but not to kitchen, your pipes are frozen somewhere between the bathroom and the kitchen. You'll have to figure out a way to get heat into the area where the pipes are to thaw them out. I can't imagine that your water heater would have anything to do with the black water tank freezing. Thawing a black water tank is a chore. Again, you'll need to gradually heat it up enough to slowly melt the ice in it. Too much direct head and you could burn a hole in it.

      I really feel for you. We used to be full time in a 5th wheel and my husband was always trying to thaw the black water tank. He eventually had to enclose the bottom of the trailer and heat that area too.

      You might want to try reading this article. It shows how to build a micro water jet that we used to thaw our pipes with.

    • Shewy 5 years ago

      Thanks for the advice. Got the water flowing to the kitchen again by cranking the furnace BUT after letting it run for a bit it didn't drain and now I do believe that the fresh water tank is frozen as the water backed thing after another. So we had to close the valve in the kitchen and now the pipes froze again :( Would a rock salt and water combo work to help melt the ice in the fresh water tank? Valve has been left open to allow it to flow into the sewer if it melts. Didn't see the link to the article you mentioned in your message for the micro water jet. Please get back to us with ANY info or help you can. My wife has been battling with....think "pink" and this situation is not her frame of mind and postive thinking that we need. Thanks for your time and hope to hear back soon, Mike

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 5 years ago from Oregon

      It wouldn't be your fresh water tank that would cause the sink to back up. Your fresh water tank is the one that you draw water from for things like faucets and showers. It would be your "grey" water tank that is frozen.

      They grey water tank holds waste water from your drains. The black water tank holds waste water from your toilet.

      I'm not sure if adding salt to the tank would work or if it would hurt the tank.

      Let me try adding the link again in this comment.

    • Shewy 5 years ago

      There are 3 tank that we can see. The black we know(Tvalve marked), the grey we know(Tvalve marked) which is right beside the black, and the one under the kitchen. Were not using the fresh water tank for fresh water. We are plumbed in all the way around. Our black tank is hook up to the city sewer. We keep the tank closed and about every 3weeks, open the T-valve and it goes directly into the sewer. Close the valve repeat in 3 weeks. Our grey tank is under the bathroom, the valve is open so all grey water from the shower, sink, and washer dryer flows directly into the sewer also and is flowing. Under the kitchen, there is a tank, not sure which it is now but its enclosed, with insulation and I believe heated also(furnace air)Was under there today and there a flap, open and could basically see just insulation and a bit of the bottom of the tank. Where the water flows out of this and travel to the sewer, its open and a 4 or 5 inch PVC pipe, travelling on a slant down to the sewer( jerry rigged by the previous owner). The water from the sink has always been going thru the tank underneath and to the sewer without a problem and seems to be hollow when checking last night. Tried snaking the pipes in the trailer last night and seem to be clear. So just found something that said what tanks we have lol After all the typing!! So it IS a fresh water tank thats being used but just as a connector for the outflow pipe to the sewer. DOES THIS HELP? I will stay online for a bit if have the time to answer Thanks Mike

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 5 years ago from Oregon

      Are you saying that the previous owner re plumbed it so that your fresh water holding tank is now extra capacity for your grey water holding system?

      If water is backing up when you pour water into the drains, the only explanations are that the drains are frozen, one or both of your grey water tanks are full and frozen, or the pipe that connects the two grey water tanks to each other are frozen.

      If you build one of those little micro water jets that is shown in the article that I linked to, I think you can get the frozen pipes that you can't easily access thawed.

    • Shewy 5 years ago

      I mean its like an extra grey tank but water supposed to be flowinng directly thru it and out. Ancd sorry for not responding a fast as I should have. Had another issue and waswith a plumber. haha cant win

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 5 years ago from Oregon

      Then like I said, either the first trank is frozen, the pipe connecting the two tanks is frozen, the second tank is frozen, or all three are frozen. Anyway you cut it, you're going to have to figure a way to thaw them.

      I would throw together one of those micro water jets and get it thawed out that way. You may have to to use some form of a pump to get the warm water that you pump into the tanks out or it will just end up forming a larger ice dam.

    • Shewy 5 years ago

      The water jet idea is truly genius and would have worked better than what I had to do to get the water actually running into the trailer again. But would it work de-icing the frozen tank itself from above here in the kitchen? Where would the warm water flow to. Out or back up the pipe. Its 1 1/2" or 2" pvc. Pex tube wouldn't help as smaller diameter than the pvc. Did alot of water flow back to the bucket or just basically blast thru like a water saw type thing. Wondering if as much water would come back up as the pvc IS bigger? Hmmmmmm......? Patty......thanks alot for all the time you've spent. Alot of the stuff helped and or confimed some things for me. Dont know where your from but considering you've been more helpful than any so called friends, we truly appreciate all your help so far. Hopefully, these will be my last questions. Thanks Mike

    • Natasha 4 years ago

      HELP PLEASE!! I hooked up an old 12V DC sureflo pump to my solar's a replacement. The pump goes on but never shuts off. The longest i've let it run is 15 min. I can find NO leaks. Another part or the situation is ...the pump has a red and blk. wire coming from the bottom of it and the motor has 2 red wires coming from it. Neither of those wires is connected to anything..they're just hanging loose.Could one or both of them have to do with the pump not shutting off??

    • Kim 4 years ago


      I filled up my water tank and forgot the water was on and it blew up. The tank is a little bent but now visible problems. I notice tho when i turn on my pump, i can hear water spraying and its leaking outside under the sink. did I damage my pump?? Or did I do something I know I cant afford?? :(

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 4 years ago from Oregon

      You're most welcome Shewy. Yeah, that little water jet has saved our bacon numerous times. if you used the water jet to thaw the gray tank, the excess water would flow back up through the drain that you are feeding the line into. You would then have to pump keep warming the water because the ice that is being thawed would cool it. You could also try feeding a small line into the drain of the gray water tank that is connected to a pump to get the cold water out.

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 4 years ago from Oregon

      Are you sure that the pump you bought is equipped with a pressure shut off? Some of them aren't. I'm not sure what those wires go do without seeing them.

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 4 years ago from Oregon

      You shouldn't be able to blow a tank up by leaving the water on. Most RV's have two inlets. One is for the holding tank and this one usually doesn't have threads. The other is for when you want to bypass the pump and just run off of the water supply at the camp ground. You need to find the leak to know what you're dealing with.

    • Kim 4 years ago

      Hi Patty,

      When we were filling the water, and it was full, the hose somehow was lodged in and we heard and explosion. All my neighbors came running outside. The hose did finally come out and it looked like a geyser. I just thought the hard plastic tank bent out of shape. SOMETHING blew up..:( What else can be damaged from the water beibng left on? The pump still works, it just lets water spray (SOMEWHERE) when its on and i see it coming out frm under the sink on the outside of the RV. It looks like a tank of some sort. Yes, my husband is the one who dealth with all of this. He is away on business. I really was hoping to pinpoint what i did and get it fixed before he comes home...Not that he will be mad, just that I feel really stupid and forgetful. Just kind of wanted to know what kind of $$ I was looking at. I was also hoping someone would have known what this was by experience......Thank you for your help..:)

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 4 years ago from Oregon

      I would think that a fitting would burst before the tank would but that' just a guess. The only way to know for sure is to closely examine the exact location of the source of the spraying. It could be the tank, a fitting, the fill tube. The cost will vary depending on what actually burst and whether or not you are capable of fixing it yourself.

    • eclements 4 years ago

      When water pump is turned on the water gushes out if the city water connection. Only a weak stream comes out of the faucets. The pump runs until we turn it off. What has happened? We have a Gulfstream, Tourmaster.

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 4 years ago from Oregon

      Not sure. Our 5th wheel has a check valve on the inlet from the city water source to prevent back flow. Maybe yours is missing?

    • eclements 4 years ago

      Thanks, Patty. However, ours has been working properly for over 3 years. It even worked the day before yesterday!

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 4 years ago from Oregon

      The check valve could be stuck in the open position. It might be worth taking it off and seeing if you can tell whether it's stuck. If you can't tell, you might try replacing it. If it's functioning properly, water should not be able to escape through this fitting.

    • eclements 4 years ago

      We unscrewed the hose from the "city water" connection and noted that the strainer/screen/gasket was inverted towards the coach and pump. When removed, the button on the check valve popped out and the problem was solved! We replaced the strainer with the screen everted towards the water source/hose. It now works properly.

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 4 years ago from Oregon

      Glad you got it sorted out. I figured that it was probably something to do with the check valve.

    • Kim 4 years ago

      Thank you Patty. Can you tell me a site to find out where the waterpump IS in my 99 Pace Arrow RV? I think you are right and its the Pump or a hose or fitting that blew when I overfilled my water tank. I dont know if I can still use it while waiting for a repair. The water leaks outside, but if its leaking INside, then it would cause mold. So I dont even know were it is to look at it. I only see water pouring out from the tank under neath the sink.

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 4 years ago from Oregon

      I don't know of a site. I would just look for the owners manual online. If the water is leaking onto insulation under the RV, you might have to replace the insulation if you keep using it and it keeps getting wet.

    • Sherry 4 years ago

      Still can not get my water in my camper to work with out running the water use to work with the city waters pressure but now it the line isn't frozen...what else could it be???

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 4 years ago from Oregon

      My guess would be the check valve is stuck.

    • Rita 4 years ago

      WE purchased a used 1998 carrilite we are wondering how to figure out if water is in fresh water holding tank the light on hood says it is 3/4 full how can we tell

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 4 years ago from Oregon

      Make sure the pump is turned on and open the faucet. If the water comes out and you're not hooked up to a water source at an RV park, there is water in the fresh water holding tank. If you hear the pump humming but no water is coming out, the gauges are probably giving you a faulty reading and there isn't any water in the tank.

    • Cindy Morgan 4 years ago

      We purchased a new trailer and have it out on our first trip. Everything worked well during the "driveway test" but now that we are 4 hours away from home camping we are not able to get water. The water pump primes well. We have 100% battery charge and the water to the toilet works. There are are no faucet leaks. However, none of the faucets will get a flow. They start with a small flow then sputter and the flow stops. Any ideas? Cindy

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 4 years ago from Oregon

      Things that come to mind are frozen pipes, a leak in the supply line between the pump and the fresh water holding tank, or a bad pump. The tank could also be empty. You might have forgotten to fill it up or when you filled it up, there was a leak in it and it drained out while driving. The tank gauges don't always read correctly.

    • copper20 4 years ago

      I have a 2009 Winnebago Aspect. While in the shower the water turns ice cold but only when the pump cycles on. Once it stops, the water changes back to the desired temperature. Any thoughts?

    • Greatdane99 4 years ago

      Help! I am new to camping and I cannot find the water pump switch on my 1995 Carri-Lite 5th wheel camper. Where can I find it?

    • Arlene 4 years ago

      I bought a new 2012 prime time fifth wheeler and when turning the hot water on its not hot. what should i do?

    • Greatdane99 4 years ago

      Help! I thought I posted yesterday but I don't see it. My problem is I can't find the switch to the water pump. I have a 1995 Carri_Lite 5th wheel camper, serial #5450538. Please someone help me.

    • Casey 4 years ago

      Our camper is two years old. We have a Shurflo 2.8gpm water pump. It will not pump the water this year. It worked fine to winterize. It humms, and the water that does come out is bubbly. We have checked for leaks in the lines, leaks in the faucets, and the fresh water supply tank is full. My husband has checked the diaphram, and it appeared to be fine. Any ideas?

    • Greatdane99 4 years ago

      Please!! Anyone, do you know where the switch is for the water pump? My husband has looked and looked. We have a 1995 Carri-Lite 5th wheel camper. I'm sure this seems like a stupid question, but we cannot find it. We are going camping next weekend and will need it. Help us!

    • I.Halloran 4 years ago

      Have big problem with our avantgard motorhome.When filled up tank then switched on pump water pouring out under floor of van when checked in beside tank the hose had melted this was first time uesd as only got motorhome recently the flu for the gas fire was very hot so we think over time this is why hose melted should flu be as hot thanks

    • Patty Hahne profile image

      Patty Hahne 4 years ago from Oregon

      My guess would be that it's in the power distribution box by your fuses if it's not in a visible location like by your sink.

    • Amanda 4 years ago

      Hi there i just finished de winterizing our fifth wheel all faucets flushed well. Then i opened the bypass value to the hot water heater and no longer have water coming out our bathroom sink faucet. There is good pressure and water coming out the tub faucet, kitchen sink, toilet and outside shower. When i turn on the bathroom sink taps water trickles out and the pump faintly kicks in and out. I took off the screens and cleaned them on the faucet which didn't really work. I could use some help thanks

    • Clint Kuper 4 years ago

      My Shurflow was pumping air into the line when I opened my facets. I had no leaks but what I found, was after I tightend the hose clamps on on the inlet side, the air stopped. They were tight enough not to leak water but were still loose enough to suck air. I hope this helps.

    • rick 4 years ago

      i have an older motorhome 1981 chevy titan 29 ft and my problem is when i fill up the rv with a hose i get water everywhere faucets shower sinks you name it but i disconnect the hose and try opening sinks on its own meaning without being connected to an outside connection i get no water but i hear water pump running can you help

    • Gene WoodDoc 4 years ago


      Water hammer noise is caused because the pump (not the more expensive one, but the standard model) actually pumps in squirts, so if you watched the pressure, it would be fluctuating. If there is any air in the pipes (air is compressible and water is not), then this fluctuation causes the pipe to wiggles and if the pipe is close to the wall or floor, it will hit the wall and make th noise you describe. So, you can look for the pipe and put a little foam insulation around it where it is hitting, OR you but a new pump that has more even pressure (Shurflo 4048 is one example but get the right size for your unit). It is very difficult to eliminate all the air in the system.

      I noticed a few people indicated trouble getting their pumps to pump. Note that you must have the "fill / city water" valve in the "city water" position. If in the fill position, you cannot fill the tank and also get water pressure from the pump in most units.

      Some people report the city water valve leaking. You should always use a filter on the fill line in case there are sand particles in your hose or in the water supply. You must also be very careful that the hose between the filter and fill connection is kept 100% free of debris. As city water is also 75 psi, you need a pressure reducer even when filling the tank.

      Amanada, The hot water tank, if not completely drained with the pressure relief valve open snd the bottom drain open during storage, will get a little mold growth that actually looks like a leaf. So, always open the water heater valves for any storage more than a week or two, just to be sure. Bleach will sanitize the unit. However, if the tank has this and then you fill it, the crude will plug the line or the fixture. (You should also isolate the hot water tank and buy a small wand that connects to the city water hose made for cleaning the inside of the water tank and clean out the tank of debris. Some people also go through a procedure to also clean out the lime using vinegar and heat, but that is another story.)

      So, after the tank is clean, disconnect the hose to the faucet and see if water now comes out. It probably will as the smallest opening in the line is within the faucet, which is where you have the plug. Otherwise, work your way back to the tank looking for the plug. Have towels available and also someone that can turn off the pump when water starts coming.

    • Gene WoodDoc 4 years ago


      It sounds to me like you have not put any water into the wanter tank. So, the pump cannot pump water because there is none. Are you certain the tank is full? Note that sometimes, the overflow pipe fpor the fresh water tank gets plugged or someone closed it off. So, now when water goes in to the tank to fill the tank, very little can go in because there is no way for the air in the tank to escape.

      If you did not use a pressure reducer on the incoming water line, you will be putting full city water pressure into the tank...often over 75 psi. The water tank is not designed to be pressurized, nor are the fittings. So, with high city water pressure, it will likely blow up with a loud bang when the weakest spot gives way. This is what happened to Kim (4 months ago posting)

    • nick 4 years ago

      I have 89 terry. When I turn the pump on it shoots water out if the back of rv through a plastic hose. Dies that hose need to be blocked off. There are two hoses there, one blocked one unblocked.

    • cliff 4 years ago

      do you need to prime the water pump and how

    • Educ8rkids 4 years ago

      We are building a tiny home which is like an RV, but actually a stick built house on a trailer. We will be putting it on our property which has two 250 gallon water tanks that will gravity feed water to our "house." I am curious if a water pump could be used still or would we just need to fill a storage tank and refill it when it gets low?

    • PAT 3 years ago

      i have a 1989 amerigo fg 16 fiberglass... can i just hook up to city water

      for the sink and toliet needs with out water pump or holding tank?

      thanks Pat

    • Pat 3 years ago

      I have water leaking out the city water inlet and the water pump, will periodically turn on. From what I have read there is a check valve in the line to prevent this. Is is located between the actuator and the city water inlet itself? If so, any idea as to what it might like? Thanks for your help.

    • russ rogers 3 years ago

      when I turn on my taps I get a vibration in the supply lines new pump installed filter clean bled all lines for air blocks help is needed thanks

    • Charles 3 years ago

      If the micro switch is bad, it is possible to get a new one. Power applied to the pump and it works, power applied thru the switch and it doesn't work. They are about $3. Look for the manufacture and the part number and order it on line. I just ordered one--60 day back order--but I will have an extra pump if I need it.

    • jkhays 3 years ago

      water pump is pumping water back out of fill spout. any ideas you might have will be useful

    • Pat Cave 3 years ago

      Hi, I am new to RVing. I bought a new Roadtrek last year and am now having a problem with the 4008 RV By Pass Pump not cutting off completely. It keeps going UMP UMP after the faucet is closed. I have checked for leaks. There are none. When I turn it on it puts out a full stream of water and then when I turn faucet off it keeps making that noise.

      I am in Wyoming at the present time and cannot find a dealer for Shurflo. It is still under the 2 year warranty.

    • Bernie 3 years ago

      Just wondering

    • Bernie 3 years ago

      We have a 2001 KZ Sportsmen. We had a problem when attempting to use the water system after storage:

      First, I filled the holding tank half full with water and started the pump. A lot of air came out and some water. We ran the system for about 5 minutes. No progress. Water heater bypassed.

      Next we filled the water tank completely - no change (some water and air) in pump operation so I disconnected the intake hose to the pump and attached a hose that sucked water from a pail. The pump worked.

      Back on went the intake hose but no progress. I checked the intake hose by blowing forcefully into it. The air seemed to flow freely.

      We then hooked up the external (city) water. The water flowed okay thru all sinks; no water leaks anywhere. Back to the pump which incidently ran but no progress. Back to city water which now works only in the bathroom but not in the kitchen! Retesting the pump with the hose using the pail method shows that it no longer is sucking water.

      Guess I'll replace the pump but I have no confidence that is the only problem here. Any ideas??

    • Laura Bechtold 2 weeks ago


      I am having trouble getting hot water. It is hot for 30sec's then goes cold. This is a new unit. Idk if there is a leak somewhere or what, but the water continues but it gets love aome hot water. Can anyone help?

    • Trudy 2 weeks ago

      What if you can't get water to flow when hooked to city water? It works fine when it's off the tank.

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