Our RV's Water Pump Is Not Working, What Is Wrong?
Troubleshooting an RV Water Pump
I can't get the water pump in the RV to go on? it's on the on switch..when I hook up city water it works perfect...
ANSWER Let me first explain to you the reason the water is working when you are hooked up to city water. When you hook your RV up to city water, you are bypassing the RV's water pump. The pressure from the city water is all that is needed. The only time you should use the water pump is when you are not hooked up to an outside water source.
The problem with your water pump could be as simple and inexpensive as a blown fuse or as complicated and costly as having to install a new RV Fresh Water Pump.
Before going any further we need to make sure that the problem is not with your batteries or RV's 12 volt charging system. Please read the answer I gave to this question Our RV Interior Lights Only Work When We Are Plugged In Or Generator Is Running
. Follow the steps outlined to make sure all is well with your 12 volt system.
Just another thought, make sure that you have water in the RV's fresh water tank. If you do not have water in the fresh water tank, the pump will not work and depending on the year and model of RV you could have damaged the water pump.
Now that you have done the checks above, I am going to assume that the problem is not due to the main 12 volt system in the RV or an empty fresh water tank.
In order to troubleshoot this problem properly, you will need a couple of diagnostic tools. A Digital AC/DC Multimeter
and a 12 Volt Circuit Test Light
. You will also need a lot of patience. Start following the troubleshooting steps below.Over 1,500,000 successful roadside rescues—Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service
1. Check for blown 12 volt fuses. These fuses are normally found in your RV's electrical compartment (locations of the compartment vary by make and model of RV) and look just the like the fuses you find in your car. Now locate the fuse that is for your water pump (not all fuse panels are marked, so you may have to methodically test all the fuses). You can visually check the fuses, but it is not always easy to tell if they are blown or not. The best way to check the fuses is by using the circuit test light. Find a proper ground for the test light, and then test both sides of the fuse. The test light should light up on each side of the fuse. If not replace the fuse and retry your water pump. If the water pump works you are done. If the water pump does not work then continue on.
2. We are now going to check the on and off switch/switches for the water pump. Some RVs have more than one switch for the water
pump. The number of switches varies by make and model of RV. So you are going to have to test each switch. You are going to have to leave the switch connected to the wires, but you are going to have to get to the back of the switch. How to remove the switch will again vary by make and model of RV. Once you have the switch out you are going to have to check both wires on the switch with your 12 volt test light. One wire to the switch should always have power to it and the other wire should only have power when the switch is on.
If there is no power to the switch at all then the problem is in the wiring leading to the switch. In this case you may have to get a qualified RV Technician to troubleshoot and repair the wiring problem as this may require going into walls etc.
If there is power to one side, but there is no power to the other side of the switch when it is turned on, then the switch is bad and needs to be replaced. Once the switch is replaced, try turning on the water pump and if it works then you are done. If the switches are OK then you need to move on to the next step.
3. Now you need to get to the water pump, this is not always as easy as it sounds. Again the location of the water pump varies by RV Type and model. Once you have located the pump, check the wiring connections of the pump. The connections are usually made using wiring nuts. Also check for any in-line fuses on the wiring leading to the pump. If you find a loose connection, or blown fuse; repair it and try the water pump. If it works you are done if not continue on.
Now we are going to see if the water pump is receiving power when the water pump switch is turned on. Have someone turn on the pump switch and use your 12 volt test light to see if you are getting power to the pump. Test both wires, one of them should be getting power when the switch is on. If you are getting no power to the pump with the switch on, that means you have a problem with the wiring leading from the pump on/off switch to the pump. This wiring problem should be checked out by a qualified RV Technician.
Now if you have power going to the pump, but it is still not operating then you need to replace the water pump.
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I hope this information will help you resolve the problem you are having. If any of our visitors have suggestions or tips for you, they can add them to this page by clicking on the add a comment link located near the bottom of this page.