'Round The Campfire

How to Fix a Noisy RV Water Pump

More from Outdoor Living Newsletter July Outdoor Living Newsletter
RV water pump
Don't let a noisy RV water pump ruin the peace and quiet

My water pump is very noisy and vibrates the pipes down the side of RV. What could be the problem?

Dear RVer

If you've ever wakened your RV or camping neighbors with a midnight bathroom break then you can understand how noisy some water pumps can be.

Although it can be a common problem it is usually fixable. Below we've listed some typical issues and how to solve them.

1.  Faulty Manufacturing and Design

Some RV manufacturers scrimp on installation and material costs, compromising the quality of their water pump. Symptoms of faulty installation are loose mounts causing vibrations, clanging pipes and water hammer.

What you need:

  • Half-inch foam pipe insulation
  • Duct tape
  • Rubber pad (computer mouse pad does the trick)
  • Screwdriver

What to do:

  • Locate your water pump. If you do not know where your water pump is, turn it on and follow the noise. RV water pumps are usually installed in a cabinet near the sink, under the dinette or under the bed. Once you find its location, switch off the pump.
  • Unscrew the water pump using the screw driver to dismount the pump from its compartment. Put the rubber pad under the water pump and screw it back to its compartment. This step takes care of the vibrations
  • Fix the clanging pipes by wrapping each of them with half-inch foam pipe insulation. Duct tape each end of the foam pipe insulation to secure it.
  • Once finished, switch on the water pipe, open the faucet or flush the toilet to check if there are still noises.

2.  Rapid Cycling

When a water pump runs rapid cycles on and off, it creates noise and causes vibrations. You need only to adjust the cycle settings to fix this problem. Check if you need to adjust the pump by turning on a faucet to low flow. When the pump cycles and its OFF time is 2 seconds or longer, there is no need for adjustment. But, if the OFF time is faster than that, you need to correct the problem of rapid cycling.

What to do:

Turn the adjustment screw 1 turn clockwise or until the pump reaches the required 2-second (or longer) OFF time.

3.  Additional Water Storage Needed

When the water pump can no longer store water under pressure without causing vibrations, you may want to install an accumulator. Contact your RV supplies dealer and ask for an accumulator that is compatible with your RV water pump. The accumulator tank acts as an additional storage for water. It prevents the pump from rapid cycling and prolongs the life of your RV water pump.

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