RV Water Pump Troubles

kinked rv plumbing line

Today we are going to take a look at our onboard rv water pump. We made the mistake of not getting our RV winterized in time before a big freeze this past winter. HOLY COW was that a pain, but that is a whole other story. Our onboard water pump has not seemed to work correctly since then. The pump possibly had problems since we purchased this RV but it was never this bad. Since the big freeze the pump would pressurize the system but it would take forever to get to pressure and stop. Once you opened a faucet you would get normal pressure and water flow for about the first 3 seconds. The pump would then turn on and start drawing water from the onboard water holding tank. The problem was that it would not provide a sufficient amount of water flowing out of the faucet.

Bob to the rescue! Well, ok Bob on the hunt to begin with. I knew I was going to have to hunt for the problem but not the pump since I knew exactly where it was having removed a panel before in the basement.

Check your filter.

My first step was to remove the panel and access the pump. My first thought being that somehow construction trash got in the filter clogging it up. (I had to remove the toilet supply line in a bathroom twice now removing trash from the line. So I know for a fact they hurriedly build these RVs with no care about blowing out lines prior to delivery or installing fixtures. But back to our pump problem.) So I unscrewed the filter only to find a few grains of grit, rock, wood or plastic who knows what. I dumped the unknown junk and replaced the filter.

Water Pump Filter

Check your tank bypass valve.

The next thing I did was to figure out my winterizing tank bypass valve. There is a sticker next to it that was clear as mud to my simple mind. If yours has the winterizing tube so you can pump the antifreeze directly into the lines without having to get it into your storage tank, the valve must be in the open position to draw water out of your tank. Closed and the pump will only draw from the antifreeze suction line. This was not our problem either. Our valve had been in the open position all along. Unsure that the bypass valve was in fact in the correct position I verified the operating position.

Inspect your plumbing lines.

I noted the kinked hose behind that panel and right next to the pump during a previous inspection. I thought I traced it in the past and that it was in fact the antifreeze suction line. Hmmmm guess what. I straightened it out the best I could and tested the water system again. BINGO! The system was more or less back in working order. There is a permanent kink in the hose so I decided to cut that out and mend the line with a barbed hose coupler and two hose clamps. Being on the suction side of things it will not need to stand up to operating pressures that the other side of the pump will need to handle. This being the case I went with quick and easy.

kinked plumbing line

What is left that could be the problem?

Just a few thoughts, if that kink had not have been the issue I would have suspected either a filter with more junk built up on it inside of the water holding tank (I did not want to go there!!!!). My next step would have been to have found an access point and blown pressurized air back into the tank to hopefully free anything up in that direction. Beyond that the only other component that could be an issue would be the pump itself. The propellor portion is a problem area. It can be clogged or melted. Had it been melted or still not working at that point I would replace the pump to finally rule that out as well.

Here is a video of what I found if you would like to see that.

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