Updated date:

RV Water Pump Troubleshooting

RV Water Pumps

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 an RV campground, they still use 12-volt power. This is accomplished by the 120 volt AC power being directed into a power converter that 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 shutoff 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 an 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 flood 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.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2009 Patty Hahne

RV Water Pump Comments

Terri Stave on August 23, 2020:

I have a 2013 Fuzion, when I turn the water pump on, no water comes out of the faucets, but water shoots out the city water/tank fill port when the selector is turned to city water? Wondering if it could be that the selector valve is bad? Very puzzled!

Wayne on August 01, 2020:

Pump won’t shut of on its own have no leaks is there a pressure switch that’s not working ,tks

Tommy j Grubb on December 29, 2019:

Got 93 Fleetwood jamboree went to lwinterize it put bipass valves at water heater put antifreeze in fresh water tank iget antifreeze in cold water lines but not hot could weak batery or leak at toilet cause this or is there a valve somewhere for hot

Robert on September 23, 2019:

Replaced water pump after city water leaks thru the water pump into the fresh water holding tank and eventually fills it up. Now after about 5 months later I have the same problem again. Check valve?

Therese on July 28, 2019:

Does anyone know how to access the water pump in a 2000 Viking pop up camper? It appears to be located behind the fuse box and to the left of the sink. Do we have to take the whole counter top off?

John on November 13, 2018:

I am winterizing my RV. Pump runs for 5 seconds and cuts off. I 've tried this 3 times now and the same thing happens. What am I missing?

Sharon Flora on July 20, 2018:

Im hooked to city water but my pressure after the faucet, toilet loose water pressure i dont know why

Denise on May 30, 2018:

Have a 2017 Ameri-lite 19 ft camper. First time this year taking it camping. Water is leaking underneath the freshwater pump where the wires go up into the pump and it only leaks when we run hot water in the bathtub/shower. The freshwater tank is empty we are running off of city water. How do we fix the leak and what could be causing the leak? We tightened up the screws on the pump. In order to run this pump we have to switch it on to run the freshwater tank. With tank being empty the pump is turned off. Can't figure out what could cause this leak.

S ramsay on May 18, 2018:

Can't find leak in bathroom of 1996 caricature. Pump working, but I can't get to any pipes.

Missfrieda on May 17, 2018:

Hooked up to city water. My hot water stopped, cold water is fine.

Bodhi on May 06, 2018:

When I turn on my kitchen faucet, the bathroom faucet flows, and vice versa. Any ideas?

pat on March 04, 2018:

when we turn the pump on it makes like it is sucking air. we don't no where the pump is located

Colin fowler on March 04, 2018:

My surflo pump is leaking out the very bottom where the power supply goes in can’t find a problem like this in trouble shooting comments can you help

becky oexler on February 26, 2018:

need to know if water pump in a 2001 wings series shasta camper has auto turn on.....or do i manually turn on pump

douglas edmonds on November 20, 2017:

My water pump works maybe to well. It pumps water out of

the city water intake. I currently plug the city water intake as

a temporary fix. Water pump(that still worked) was replaced

with new one, still have water pumping back out the city water


Earl Etzel on November 06, 2017:

I haave a 2004 Thor Citation. I changed the impeller on the pump the system is tight as the pump builds up pressure and shuts off. I run the water and there is water pressure for a few seconds an then little to no pressure. The water tank is full any ideas

Earl E

Jim and Trina on October 31, 2017:

Hi Patty, we've got a 1979 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 22' Class C. The ShurFlo water pump has a manual switch for operation and up until a few weeks ago (after I replaced a leaking connector) it worked just fine. Now when I turn it on, it just pumps water back out the exterior fresh water connection where we connect our hose. Any ideas as to the cause? Also, is it common for the pump not to come on when connected to a shore water supply?

The fresh water inlet is connected to a T with one side going to the galley faucet and the other side going to another T with one side of it connecting to the output of the pump and the other side going to the bathroom. Since it had been working fine, I did not suspect incorrect plumbing. We hope you, or anyone else for that matter, can shed some light on this.


W Potts on October 08, 2017:

We have a 2017 Viking 17FQ travel trailer. Water comes out of our fresh water fill cap when hooked up to the city water system. Also when the city water is off, the fresh water 12v pump cycles on and off when the facets are closed.

T Sharp on October 03, 2017:

94 allegro — water system pump won’t stay on after using toggle switch on 120 or 12 volt Could cellinoid switch be bad?

Patrick Riederer on September 22, 2017:

Hi, I have a 2003 Winnebago and I have a slow drip on my water pump when it is being used. There is a black plastic piece where it is leaking can that piece be replaced or do I have to replace that whole pump. Or is there a seal or o-ring in the black plastic piece that can be repaired.

Thanks, Patrick

neva doiel on August 26, 2017:

the pump works the switches in the coach don't come on

Pete L on August 25, 2017:

We have a brand new 2016 Coleman camper-- since we bought it the water pump has vibrated a lot and the pipes rattle loudly in the walls. The dealer put the pump on a rubber mat and it did quiet the pump considerably but the pipes still are vibrating in the walls.. the dealer says that can not do anything more and Keystone who makes Coleman said they have done enough--any ideas???

Laticia Moreno on August 07, 2017:

I have a jayco 26bhw travel trailer we are connected to city water and was working fine. We were not level do disconnected now no water coming through faucet. What am I doing wrong?

Greg on July 31, 2017:


I currently just purchased a used Coleman Fleetwood Sea Pine popup camper. In the camper, we have a ShurFlo 2088-403-144 water pump. My water pump powers on when I hit the switch, but it never shuts off, as well as no water comes out of the faucet or outside shower when the pump is on.

I have done a ton of research and found several suggestions about changing the diaphragm, and checking for air leaks…etc. This is where I am seeking some clarification. I disassembled the pump and replaced the diaphragm, and the pump still does not pump water. One of the most common problems that I have read online is a shut off valve, (which I cannot find anywhere under the camper) as well as a possible air leak.

I have checked and rechecked the connections in and out of the pump and I cannot tell if it is leaking air. I also cannot tell if there is an issue getting water from the tank (which is full, along with the hot water tank). How can I test the plumbing and the plastic lines? What can I do without having to disassemble all the plumbing? How would I be able to tell if there is an air leak somewhere, that is causing the pump to run and not prime? I do not want to replace the pump and spend the $150 for a new one if I do not need too.

What is everyone doing to detect these kinds of issues? How do you determine if there are air in the lines? I have run the pump with a hose from city water as well with both faucets open, but still it will not work.

Any suggestions, devices, or ideas on how to check the pump, attachments and plumbing for air leaks would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


Jean on July 07, 2017:

My water reservoir is leaking fresh water. I only want to use the hose for freah water. Where would i find a valve to shut off the reservoir on a 2002 Thor?

Randy on June 15, 2017:

My pump fuse instantly blows when putting in a fuse, I have tried unhooking the pum by cutting the wires but may have only cut the wires to the switch. i dont know where the pump grounds (incase of bad grnd). I guess i have to completely disconnect the pump to tell if short is in the pump or bad grnd etc... any suggestions?

Birgitt on June 11, 2017:

Hi. Last night water stopped coming out of all my hot water taps. It was working and then it just stopped. The cold water is fine. My husband has checked everything...fuses, power supply, leaks etc and can't find what is wrong. Does anyone have any idea what might be wrong please.

jim morris on June 09, 2017:

I live in reno and a few times a year it gets cold. I try to always drain water system. I have noticed, that unless I turn water pump on after I drain the tank, to clear water out of pump, the pump appears to be not rebuildable . am I missing. something

Brian Gavin on May 31, 2017:

I just bought a used 5th wheel trailer and cannot get the on board pump to prime and pump water. Tested the pump by switching the suction line from the holding tank to a bucket and it worked good. Replaced the suction line and fittings thinking there was a crack and sucking air but still no good. Have run out of ideas. Should there be a check valve in the suction line, in my case there is not.

Jim K on May 12, 2017:

When I turn my water on in the kitchen,nothing happens for about 5 seconds. the pump don't run . Then it comes on and it works ok

. The bathroom and shower water comes on instantly when you turn it on

Dom on April 13, 2017:

2011 jayco eagle 324 travel trailer, looking to replace water pump, wondering what the psi is for this pump - is it 30?

don l58 on February 23, 2017:

my pump is working but it started pumping low pressure

Trudy on January 04, 2017:

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

Laura Bechtold on January 01, 2017:


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 cold.id love aome hot water. Can anyone help?

keith valence on October 19, 2016:

hi, I have 2 sinks, on 1 rv on demand pump, 1 sink gets plenty of water pressure on demand and pump turns on and off when it is supposed to. works great. Then the problem is with the other sink, it has zero pressure and water trickles out. you can only hear the pump turn on for about 2 seconds then it turns its self off. and it will do this about every 15 seconds kick on for a few seconds then kick off. .. both sinks are on the same pump, it works perfect on one sink, and not on the other.. what could be the issue?

Maxine on August 15, 2016:

The water pump and stereo stopped working in a 2000 viking camper. When switching on the switch nothing happens for the pump and the stereo seems to have no power to it. This happened to the previous owner so not sure how it happened. What could have happened and how can it be fixed

Mayo on August 07, 2016:

I have a 2009 Cougar I used the fresh water tank and pump almost all the time after moving camper the pump wouldn't work checked power all the wires at the pump have power and the tank is full, any suggestions?

terrym on May 20, 2016:

my water pump comes up to pressure then kicks off and I lose all pressure for 2 min then pump will kick on again; a long delay for pump to restart

Donald Pelletier on May 16, 2016:

I have city water going into the holding tank and over flowing. Is their a check valve some where to stop that.

Craigr on January 18, 2016:

My water works in the bathroom but my kitcken wont work. It was cold last night. Does anyone have a suggestion. I do have heated water lines. My trailer is a 2015 coleman lantern

steve on January 06, 2016:

I have a very old campervan (1982) I have just replaced the water pump. The old one wotked fine but was getting noisy. but it shut off fine.

I have connected up the new pump and it is working fine and water is flowing to the facets.... but it is also pumping water out of the overflow....... any advice, is the pump creating too much pressure? I am going away soon and need a solution



george on October 28, 2015:

waterpump is pumping water out the city water connection

Keith on October 18, 2015:

Where us the switch located

Tom W on August 15, 2015:

Just corrected my problem after reading some of the above post. When I turned in the water pump, water sprayed out the city water connection. It was the check valve. Take your hose to the city connection loose if connected. Remove screen. You will see the outside of the valve. It looks like a point to a pencil. Push it in and if it pops back hot, you have fixed the problem. If not, replace it.

MARILYN BRYANT on June 24, 2015:

Pump works fine on generator but will not cut out on battery power.Had battery tested professionally and it is perfect.Had same problem before and purchased a new pump and battery.This is the 3rd pump in 6 years..any suggestions as to what is causing this?

Jay on June 07, 2015:

My water pump pumps just fine for the toilet and bathroom, and kitchen faucet but for some reason the tub never will pressurize so u can use the shower. But if it's hooked up to the city water it works just fine. Is this because there is not enough pressure from my pump or.....

Bernie on August 18, 2013:

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??

Bernie on August 18, 2013:

Just wondering

Pat Cave on June 26, 2013:

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.

jkhays on June 25, 2013:

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

Charles on May 27, 2013:

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.

russ rogers on May 27, 2013:

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

Pat on May 12, 2013:

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.

PAT on March 12, 2013:

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

Educ8rkids on January 08, 2013:

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?

cliff on June 30, 2012:

do you need to prime the water pump and how

nick on June 16, 2012:

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.

Gene WoodDoc on June 16, 2012:


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)

Gene WoodDoc on June 16, 2012:


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.

rick on June 06, 2012:

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

Clint Kuper on May 31, 2012:

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.

Amanda on May 26, 2012:

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

Patty Hahne (author) from Oregon on April 09, 2012:

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.

I.Halloran on April 09, 2012:

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

Greatdane99 on April 09, 2012:

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!

Casey on April 07, 2012:

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 on April 02, 2012:

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.

Arlene on April 02, 2012:

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

Greatdane99 on April 01, 2012:

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?

copper20 on March 18, 2012:

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?

Patty Hahne (author) from Oregon on February 19, 2012:

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.

Cindy Morgan on February 19, 2012:

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 (author) from Oregon on February 13, 2012:

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.

Rita on February 13, 2012:

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 (author) from Oregon on February 12, 2012:

My guess would be the check valve is stuck.

Sherry on February 11, 2012:

Still can not get my water in my camper to work with out running the water pump...it use to work with the city waters pressure but now it wont...no the line isn't frozen...what else could it be???

Patty Hahne (author) from Oregon on February 03, 2012:

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.

Kim on February 02, 2012:

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 (author) from Oregon on January 28, 2012:

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

eclements on January 28, 2012:

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 (author) from Oregon on January 27, 2012:

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 on January 27, 2012:

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

Patty Hahne (author) from Oregon on January 27, 2012:

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 on January 26, 2012:

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 (author) from Oregon on January 23, 2012:

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.

Kim on January 22, 2012:

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 (author) from Oregon on January 22, 2012:

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.

Patty Hahne (author) from Oregon on January 22, 2012:

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 (author) from Oregon on January 22, 2012:

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.

Kim on January 22, 2012:


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?? :(

Natasha on January 22, 2012:

HELP PLEASE!! I hooked up an old 12V DC sureflo pump to my solar system..it'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??

Shewy on January 20, 2012:

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

Patty Hahne (author) from Oregon on January 19, 2012:

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 on January 19, 2012:

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 (author) from Oregon on January 19, 2012:

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 on January 19, 2012:

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 (author) from Oregon on January 19, 2012:

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 on January 19, 2012:

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 up...argghhh...one 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 (author) from Oregon on January 18, 2012:

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.

Mike on January 18, 2012:

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?

Related Articles