One of the biggest advantages of RVing over standard tent camping is, for many of us, constant, private access to running water. But we do tend to take it for granted after a while. Turn on the sink faucet, water comes out, turn on the shower, water comes out. A little occasional maintenance to ensure everything runs well is all that’s called for, so many RVers think as little about their RV’s water delivery system as they do the one they have at home.
Until something goes wrong.
Like your RV water pump starts making a terrible noise.
RV Water Pump Basics
An RV water pump is not something that is in use all the time. When you park your rig up at a campsite and hook it up to city water, it has nothing to do. It is not until you head off dry-docking that your fresh water tanks – and therefore your water pump – are called into action.
Ideally, you should not notice a difference at all. However, some people find that their water pump does not operate quietly, and sometimes it can get downright loud. The first thing that new RVers need to know is that a loud water pump is not unusual. In fact it’s very common and it does not necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with the RV water pump itself at all (in fact that is rarely the case).
But you don’t have to live with the noise. There are a number of troubleshooting steps you can go through to quiet your RV water pump so that the transition from city water to fresh tank flow is not so jarring. Here is a look at some of the most effective.
First, Check Your RV Water Pump’s Installation
If your RV water pump is noisy, the first thing you should do is make sure that you have the pump itself properly installed and secured. If it is not, that alone could be the reason that your water pump is noisy, as it may vibrate because it is not installed flat on the floor. Ideally, your water pump should be mounted on a solid, flat surface or at the bottom of the wet bay.
If yours is an older RV, and the noise is a new thing, you should also check the rubber isolators. These are specifically designed to ‘dampen’ water pump vibration, but they can weaken and rot away over time. If that’s the case, you should replace them, but fortunately doing so is both relatively easy and inexpensive.
If the noise is not constant, your water pipes may need bleeding. Trapped air in your RV pump’s water pipes can cause a ‘banging’ sound that should go away when the trapped air is released.
There is ONE more possible cause of a noisy RV water pump, but you’ll probably need to get a flashlight to check this one. If the rubber hosing that leaves the water pump to circulate the water is hitting any part of the RV – floor, wall etc. – that may be the source of the noise. Sometimes this tubing is not as well secured as it should be, so fixing that may help your RV water pump operate more quietly as well.
How to Quiet Your RV Water Pump
What if you have checked your water pumps basic installation – as outlined above – and everything seems just fine? If that’s the case then you may simply have a noisy water pump set up. The fact is that often the noise is nothing to do with the water pump itself at all.
Instead the noise is being created by the pipes that emanate from and surround it, and so it’s that that has to be addressed.
One way to do that is with an RV water pump silencer kit. These gadgets basically do exactly what their name suggests. They are specifically designed for SHURflo pumps – because they are manufactured by SHURflo- but will actually work with any water pump in any RV, so are a universal solution to the problem.
These kits are useful when an RV manufacturer has skimped on the installation of your RV water pump and has not made use of a double loop flexible pipe before the pump is connected to the distribution piping in the way that is ideal. The silencer kit adds that extra piping and in many cases solves the problem. The piping is not too difficult to install, if a little fiddly and anyone who is even a little ‘handy’; should be able to install an RV water pump silencer by themselves.
Another alternative, should the silencing kit not work, is an in-line accumulator. This is a slightly more expensive gadget that is installed downstream from the water pipe and reduces the vibrations produced. We found that by installing an in-line accumulator it lengthened the useful life of the RV pump itself, and may even reduced battery usage, so making the investment of time and money in one is well worth considering for more reasons than just quieting a noisy RV pump.
If you are looking for a quicker, easier solution – one that can be done on the road perhaps, if that pump noise is really becoming a problem- is to insulate the water pipes with inexpensive half inch pipe foam.
This ‘RV hack’ may not be a permanent solution, in the way that a silencer or an in-line accumulator can be, but as a quick, sleep saving hack silencing your RV water pump in this way can be very effective. And as you can find this kind of foam at any hardware store – and big box stores like Walmart as well – it’s a great temporary answer to that noisy RV pump. The video below walks you through just how it’s done.
If none of these troubleshooting steps work, and your RV water pump is noisy no matter what you try then take it to a professional to check it over, as there may be an issue that you’re missing they can diagnose and fix.