Water pumps are essential in any RV as they provide the water pressure needed for many different activities, such as taking a shower or using the bathroom. While most people know that it’s important to turn the water pump off when not in use, some may wonder if it’s bad to leave it on.
It’s not necessarily bad to leave your water pump on in your RV as long as you have water, but it can shorten the lifespan of the pump if it’s left on for extended periods of time and it can also drain your battery.
Is It OK To Leave The RV Water Pump On?
Leaving your water pump on for extended periods of time isn’t necessarily bad as long as you have water in the fresh water tank, but it can increase your risk of leaks, as well as wear out the pump faster.
If you have an automatic shut-off valve, it’s generally safe to leave the water pump on as long as there is no risk of freezing temperatures.
However, if you don’t have an automatic shut-off valve, you may want to turn the pump off when you’re not using it, just to make sure you don’t drain your batteries or wear out the pump.
While it’s generally safe to keep your RV water pump on while you have water in the fresh water tank, you should probably make a habit of turning the pump off when you go to bed and then turning it back on in the morning.
You can also leave it off until you need to do something like take a shower, wash your hands, use the toilet, or do some dishes. This will keep it from draining your battery, wearing out the pump, or damaging your pipes.
What Happens If You Leave A Water Pump On Without Water?
Your water pump is designed to pump water through your RV’s plumbing from the fresh water tank. The water acts as a lubricant, so leaving a water pump on without water in the tank can damage the pump and cause it to overheat.
If you have an automatic shut-off valve, the valve will close when the water pressure drops, which will protect the pump from overheating.
However, if you don’t have an automatic shut-off valve, the pump will continue to run even though there is no water, which can cause the pump to overheat and potentially damage it.
An overheated water pump will usually trip a circuit breaker, which will shut off the pump and prevent it from running, but if it doesn’t, it can cause your pump to break. In the worst cases, it will catch fire.
If you hear your water pump running when there is no water, or if it sounds like it’s struggling to pump water, you should turn it off immediately and check for leaks.
If you smell something burning, you should turn off the power to the pump and have it inspected by a qualified technician.
Can I Run My RV Water Pump While Connected To City Water?
Because your water pump is designed to function with your fresh water tank, you shouldn’t run your water pump while you’re connected to city water.
This is because the pump will try to force the water from the city connection through your RV’s plumbing, which can cause backflow and damage your pump.
There’s already enough pressure from the city water connection to feed your RV’s plumbing, so there’s no need to use the water pump. In fact, it’s actually recommended that you turn off your water pump when you’re connected to city water.
This is because the backflow from the city connection can cause your water pump to overheat and potentially break. It can also damage your RV’s plumbing and cause leaks.
It’s better to just turn off your water pump when you’re connected to city water and use the city water pressure to supply your RV with water.
Can I Run My Water Pump While Traveling?
Because your water pump is intended to pump water through your lines from the fresh water tank, there’s really no point in leaving it on while you’re traveling.
This is because the pump will be trying to force water through your RV’s plumbing when you’re not even using it, which can cause backflow and damage your pump.
I’ve heard of other RVers saying that the stress of traveling actually jostled the faucets to the on position, which caused the water to flow because their water pump was still on.
This filled up their gray tank, and they didn’t know it, causing flooding in the RV. This is a really expensive fix you simply don’t want to have to deal with.
If you’re getting ready to hit the road, part of your prep work should be to make sure that your water pump is off.
In addition, extra water in your fresh water tank makes your RV heavier, which can make it harder to pull and decrease your gas mileage, so it’s a good idea to wait to fill it up until you get where you’re going.
Where Is The RV Water Pump On/Off Switch?
The water pump on/off switch is typically located in the main RV electrical panel. Along with your slide buttons, awning controls, and light switches, you’ll find a switch labelled “pump” or “water pump.”
This is the switch you use to turn the water pump on or off. A light should illuminate to indicate that the pump is on.
If you can’t find it here, it may be somewhere near your water pump, such as in a cabinet or on the wall near the pump. Your water pump should be somewhere in your basement storage area, but it may be hidden behind a false wall.
In order to locate it, you can gently push on the felt wall lining your basement storage and you should feel some give to indicate there’s something behind the wall.
Remove the wall and you’ll likely find the water pump, wiring, electrical components, and other RV plumbing.
Once you’ve located the water pump, you can turn it on or off by flipping the switch to the appropriate position. If the switch is in the “on” position, the light next to it should be illuminated.
Does An RV Water Pump Run Off Battery?
Yes, most RV water pumps will run off your battery when you’re not plugged into shore power. This is why it’s important to turn the pump off when you’re not using it, as it can drain your battery.
If you have an inverter, you may be able to run your water pump while you’re driving, but this will drain your battery much faster, so it’s only recommended if you’re plugged into shore power.
In general, it’s best to only run your water pump when you’re plugged into shore power or you have a generator running. This will prevent your battery from draining and minimize the wear on your pump.
Why Is My RV Water Pump Making Noises?
Your water pump will always make noises if it’s running. However, this should be a relatively unobtrusive humming sound. If your RV water pump is making more noises than usual, it could be because the pump is worn out, dirty, or airlocked.
When an RV water pump gets old, it can sometimes make a grinding noise. That’s because the bearings inside the pump are starting to wear out.
The grinding sound comes from the metal bearings rubbing together. If you hear this noise, it’s time to replace your water pump.
Another common reason for noises is an airlock. This happens when there is air in the line and it gets caught in the pump. It will typically make a thumping noise or a loud banging noise.
The best way to fix this is to bleed the lines, which will allow the air to escape and the water to flow freely again.
Finally, if your pump is dirty, it can also make louder humming noises than usual. Dirt and debris can build up in the pump and cause it to run less efficiently.
If this happens, you’ll need to clean your pump to get rid of the dirt and debris. Simply turn the pump off, disconnect it from the power, and remove any dirt or debris you see.
How To Get Air Out Of An RV Water Pump
Sometimes, your RV water pump can become airlocked, which means there is air in the line and it’s preventing the water from flowing.
There are several reasons this happens. If you run out of water and your pump continues to run, it will pump air through the lines and into your RV’s plumbing. This can also happen if one of the lines gets disconnected.
Air in your RV’s plumbing pipes it’s necessarily a bad thing, but it can cause annoying sputtering when you turn the faucet on.
And, as discussed before, running your water pump without water can damage the pump. When you get air in your lines, you’ll need to bleed the lines to get the air out and allow the water to flow again.
- Turn off the water pump. The first thing you need to do to bleed the lines is turn off the water pump.
- Open the faucets. After you turn off the water pump, open your faucets. This will allow any water in the lines to push out the air.
- Turn the water pump back on. This will continue to push water and air through the lines until all the air has escaped. It will likely sputter, and when it’s done sputtering, you know you’ve bled the lines thoroughly.
- Close the faucets. Once all the air has been bled from the lines, close the faucets. If you don’t intend to run the water from the fresh water tank anymore, turn the water pump back off.
While a water pump is essential for pumping water from your fresh water tank through your RV’s plumbing, it shouldn’t be left on when you’re not using it.
If you don’t have any water in your fresh water tank and you don’t need the pump, turn it off.