RVs are notorious for having poor water pressure. They’re simply not built like regular homes, which is unfortunate sometimes, because I like a nice hot shower just as much as the next guy. The plumbing system in an RV isn’t built to withstand the same amount of pressure.
While you can increase the water pressure in your RV, it’s only safe to do so up to a certain amount or you risk damaging your plumbing. The good news is that there are a few easy things you can do to increase water pressure in your RV, like checking your hoses, connections, and filters.
What Is The Recommended Water Pressure For An RV?
The recommended water pressure for an RV is between 40 and 50 PSI (pounds per square inch). Anything over 50 PSI could damage your plumbing.
If you have a city water hookup, the pressure will be regulated by the municipality, but if you’re using a private well, it’s up to you to make sure the pressure doesn’t get too high.
We use a pressure gauge on our intake line to see how much pressure we have flowing into the RV from our water connection.
This helps us monitor the water pressure and take any necessary steps to prevent it from getting too high. That sometimes means we don’t have great water pressure inside, but we’re also not dealing with busted pipes and a lot of expensive water damage.
A water pressure regulator also helps keep the pressure consistent, no matter what kind of water we’re using or where we’re hooked up.
This device is installed on the water intake line and reduces the pressure to a safe level before it enters the RV.
If you don’t have a water pressure regulator or your RV didn’t come with one, they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to install. You can find them at most hardware stores or online.
Why Your RV Has Low Water Pressure + Fixes
There are several reasons why you might be struggling with the water pressure inside your RV, and not all of them require complicated fixes.
You may be pleasantly surprised to find that something as simple as a kinked hose or leaky connection is the cause.
1. Check The Water Pressure At Your Connection
If you’re connected to city water, the municipality controls the water pressure, and there’s not much you can do about it.
However, if you’re connected to a campground or a private well, you can use a booster pump to increase the water pressure.
First, check the water pressure at the connection with a pressure gauge. If it’s lower, you can use a booster pump to see if it increases the flow at all.
Just remember that you don’t want to increase it beyond 50 PSI to protect your plumbing.
2. Check Your Hoses And Connections
If you have a kink in your hose or a loose connection, that can restrict water flow and cause low water pressure. Make sure all of your hoses are in good condition and tightened properly.
Look along the entire length of the hose to straighten out any kinks or eliminate any places where the hose might be pinched. Using a hose that’s too long will create excess length and increase your chances of getting a kink.
If the only hose you have is a bit too long, wind the excess loosely and place it out of the way so it remains unkinked.
3. Check For Leaks
Leaks are not only annoying, but they can also cause low water pressure. If you have a leak in your plumbing, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible to prevent water damage.
If it’s a simple leak in your hose, replace it with a new one and your problem is easily solved. Leaks in your hose or your plumbing system are often caused by water pressure that’s too high.
Once you fix the problem, use a pressure regulator to prevent it from happening again. When we take our pressure regulator off, we frequently have to replace our hoses and the cost adds up fast.
4. Check Your Filters
If your filters are clogged, that can restrict water flow and cause low water pressure. Make sure to clean or replace your filters regularly.
It’s really important to keep a water filter connected to your water line, especially when you’re getting water from an unfamiliar or unknown source.
However, if your water source is hard or has a lot of sediment, that can clog your filters quickly. In that case, you might need to clean or replace your filters more often.
We have very hard water in our rural home area, so we have to replace our water filters nearly every week. This is another cost that can add up fast, but it’s important to protect your pipes from limescale buildup and other damaging minerals.
5. Check The Water Pump
The water pump is responsible for moving water throughout your RV if you’re using your freshwater holding tank. If it’s not working properly, that can cause low water pressure.
Make sure the water pump is turned on and functioning properly. If it’s not, you may need to replace it.
Water pumps don’t usually just stop working, so if yours isn’t running, there’s probably another issue at play. Check the power source and circuit breaker to make sure the pump is getting power.
If it is, then the problem is likely with the pump itself and you’ll need to replace it.
Will Upgrading My RV Water Pump Help?
If you’re not happy with the water pressure in your RV, upgrading your water pump is a great way to improve it. A higher-quality water pump will deliver more water flow and provide better pressure overall.
However, it’s important to remember that you do not need to have your water pump running when you’re hooked up to a water source. Your water pump is only useful when you’re pulling water from your freshwater holding tank.
With that said, if you’re regularly using your freshwater holding tank and you struggle with low water pressure, you can upgrade your pump to help fix the problem.
How to Upgrade Your RV Water Pump
Installing a new water pump isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds. It doesn’t require any training or previous knowledge of electrical or plumbing systems.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:
- Choose the right water pump. There are a variety of different RV water pumps on the market, so it’s important to choose one that will meet your needs. Consider the flow rate and pressure that you need before making your purchase. Also, make sure that the water pump you choose is compatible with your RV model and that it will fit where you need it.
- Turn off the power to your RV. Before you begin any work on your RV’s electrical system, you need to make sure the power is turned off. This will prevent you from getting shocked. Water and electricity don’t mix. You can turn off your RVs electrical system by unplugging from shore power or by turning off the main breaker at the panel inside your RV.
- Turn off the water to your RV. The next step is to turn off the water to your RV. This will prevent any water from spilling out when you’re working on the plumbing. You can do this by turning off the water at the campground spigot. It’s also a good idea to disconnect the hoses and drain them as well as turn on the faucets inside to make sure all of the water lines are clear.
- Drain the freshwater tank. Once the power and water are turned off, you can begin draining your RV’s freshwater tank. This will make it easier to work on the water pump and plumbing without having to worry about water spilling out. To drain your freshwater tank, open all of the faucets in your RV to let the water start flowing out. Then, find the freshwater drain valve and open it up. The water will start draining out of your tank onto the ground, so make sure you’re in a location where this is allowed.
- Locate the water pump. The water pump is usually located in the same area as the freshwater tank. Check your front basement compartments. You may have to pull back some of the felt lining that creates a false wall between your basement compartment and your water pump component. If you can’t find it here, check around the water heater, the control panel, or any other basement compartments.
- Remove the old water pump. Once you’ve located the old water pump, you can remove it by disconnecting the wires and hoses. This is a relatively simple process involving a few screws and bolts. Be sure to keep track of all of the pieces and how they fit together so you can easily install the new water pump.
- Install the new water pump. Installing the new water pump is simply a matter of reversing the process you used to remove the old one. Connect the wires and hoses, then turn on the power and water to your RV.
- Fill up your freshwater holding tank. Once the new water pump is installed, you’ll need to fill up your freshwater tank before you can test it out. Fill up the tank to prepare it for use.
- Test the new water pump. Run the water in your RV for a few minutes to test the new water pump. If everything is working properly, you should notice an improvement in water pressure.
This process doesn’t take much knowledge of electrical or plumbing systems. However, if you are uncomfortable tackling it yourself, any RV service or repair shop will be able to do it for you.
Where Is A Water Pressure Gauge Located?
If you’re having trouble finding your water pressure gauge, it’s usually located near the water pump. It might be mounted on the side of a cabinet or on the wall near the floor.
It’s a good idea to check your water pressure regularly, even if you’re not experiencing any problems. That way, you can catch any issues early and avoid any serious damage to your RV.
If your RV doesn’t have a water pressure gauge, you should install one yourself. They’re not expensive, and they can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Water pressure gauges are relatively simple devices, but they’re an important part of maintaining your RV. By regularly checking your water pressure, you can avoid any major problems down the road.
Can A Water Pressure Regulator Increase Pressure?
A water pressure regulator is a simple device you can connect to your incoming water line to keep the water pressure consistent.
Not all campgrounds monitor their water pressure, and there are many times when the city water pressure will be too high for your RV.
ln these cases, you can use a water pressure regulator to maintain a consistent and appropriate amount of water pressure for your RV to prevent damage.
A water pressure regulator will not increase your water pressure. In most cases, it decreases it, but it’s an important protective measure you should take to ensure you don’t have any issues with your plumbing.
If you have low water pressure in your RV, there are a few things you can do to try to fix the problem:
- Check the source
- Check your hoses for kinks or leaks
- Check your filters
- Check your water pump
These are all relatively easy fixes and are the most common reasons why you have poor water pressure in your RV. By ensuring that all of these components are working properly, you can get the most out of your water pressure.