why does my rv water pump keep running

Why Does My RV Water Pump Keep Running: 6 Reasons [Easy DIY]

Last Updated on June 11, 2023

As an RV owner, you understand the importance of having a functioning water pump. It powers your water system and allows you to enjoy all the comforts of home while on the road. However, it’s not uncommon for RVers to be plagued by the constant hum of a water pump that refuses to quit running. 

There are several reasons why this issue may be occurring. From open taps and valves to incorrectly-set water source switches, there are a plethora of issues that could be causing your problem. So if you’re tired of hearing your water pump drone on day after day, it’s time to diagnose the problem.

Discover the common reasons for a constantly running RV water pump and learn how to spot signs of necessary maintenance in no time.

Why Does My RV Water Pump Keep Running: Top 6 Reasons

RV Water Pump Keep Running

If you’re wondering why your RV water pump keeps running, there are several possible reasons to consider.

1. Open Taps or Valves

Make sure all taps and valves are closed tight to stop the never-ending hum of frustration coming from your RV’s water system. Open taps or valves can cause the water pump to keep running even when you’re not using any water. 

This is because the pump continuously tries to maintain pressure in the pipes.

2. Water Source Switch Is Incorrectly Set

Some RVs have a switch that controls whether the water source is city water or the freshwater tank. If it’s set to the wrong setting, it may cause the pump to continuously run.

Due to the fact that the fresh water tank isn’t being replenished, the pump keeps trying to pull water from it.

3. A Water Line Or Connection Leak

A leaky or damaged water line or connection could cause the continuous humming sound coming from your RV’s water system. When there’s a leak in the system, the water pump will continue to run to maintain water pressure. This can cause the pump to overwork and potentially lead to further damage.

You should carefully inspect all water lines and connections to identify any leaks or damage. If a leak is found, repairing or replacing the affected area as soon as possible is important to avoid further issues.

4. The RV Water Pump Filter Is Full

Even after checking for leaks, a humming sound from your RV’s water system could be caused by a full filter that needs cleaning or replacing. The filter is responsible for trapping debris and preventing it from entering the water pump.

Over time, it can become clogged with dirt, sand, and other particles, which can obstruct the flow of water and cause the pump to work harder than necessary. If this happens, the water pump will keep running even when no water is being used, which can lead to premature wear and tear.

5. The Water Pump Has a Leak

The water pump may require repair or replacement due to a leakage issue. This necessitates a careful inspection to determine the source of the problem. If you suspect a leak, the first step is to turn off the pump and check it thoroughly.

Look for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks or holes in the pump body, fittings, or connections. You may also need to check the pump’s seals and gaskets to ensure they’re not worn or damaged.

If you can’t find any visible damage, you may need to remove and inspect the pump more closely. Sometimes, leaks can be caused by loose fittings or connections, which can be tightened or resealed. However, you may have to replace the pump if the leak is severely damaged or the leak can’t be fixed.

6. Water Pump Pressure Switch Is Broken

The pressure switch turns the water pump on and off as it detects the water pressure. If the switch is broken, it won’t be able to detect the right pressure level. This causes the pump to keep running, even when it’s unnecessary.

Replacing the pressure switch is a simple task you can do independently. However, if you’re uncomfortable working with electrical parts, it’s best to let a professional do it.

What are the signs that your pump needs maintenance?

What are the signs that your pump needs maintenance

If you’re experiencing problems with your pump, a few signs indicate it may need maintenance. Among them are:

Pump not starting: If your pump fails to start when turned on, it could indicate various issues. It could be due to electrical problems, such as a faulty power source, a tripped circuit breaker, or a malfunctioning motor. A broken drive belt or a blocked impeller can also cause it.

Rattling noises when turned on: When the pump turns on, rattling or banging noises may come from it. There could be something wrong with the impeller, motor mount, or bearing inside the pump. This requires maintenance to prevent further damage or complete pump failure.

Leaking from pump head or switch: Leaks coming from the pump head or switch probably mean seals, gaskets, or connections are bad. Over time, these components can wear out or become damaged, resulting in leaks. Maintaining the pump will help prevent further leaks and keep it working properly.

Loosened parts: Loosened parts can occur due to regular usage or vibration over time. If you notice any bolts, screws, or fittings becoming loose, it is a sign that the pump needs maintenance. If not fixed right away, loose parts can affect pump performance, create noise, and cause more severe damage.

Failure to turn off or rapid cycling: If the pump won’t shut off or cycles on and off quickly, it may be a pressure switch issue. The pressure switch activates and deactivates the pump based on the desired pressure level. In order to prevent potential damage, this issue needs maintenance.

How to stop an RV water pump from cycling if not working?

To put an end to the constant cycling of your RV water pump, try adjusting the pressure screw clockwise until the pump shuts off. If that doesn’t work, tweak it slightly counterclockwise until it stops like a well-oiled machine. 

The pressure switch controls the pump’s cycling, and it’s essential to ensure it works correctly. If the switch is faulty, consider replacing it to prevent further damage to the pump.

What mainly destroys an RV water pump?

Your RV water pump can be damaged if the drive pulley vibrates and wears the pulley bearings. This can cause the impeller to become imbalanced and reduce pump efficiency, eventually causing pump failure.

Pulley bearings that wear out commonly cause RV water pump failure. When the bearings wear out, the pulley will wobble, which leads to an imbalanced impeller. This can cause damage to the impeller, which will eventually cause pump failure.

To prevent this from happening, you should inspect your RV water pump regularly and check for any signs of wear and tear. Replacing worn or damaged components is important to avoid further damage promptly.

Is it possible to burn out an RV water pump?

Is it possible to burn out an RV water pump

If you neglect to submerge your RV water pump, it’s like a fish out of water. It will overheat and burn out, causing permanent damage. This is because the water acts as a coolant for the motor. Without water, the motor will generate excessive heat and eventually fail.

So, ensuring that the pump is permanently submerged in water while in use is crucial. Moreover, it’s not just warm weather that can cause damage to your RV water pump. It’s equally important to store the pump properly during winter weather to avoid any damage. 

The pump can freeze and crack if it is left outside without protection. This will render the pump useless and cause leaks in your RV’s plumbing system.

Maintain Your RV Water Pump for Long-Term Performance.

You now know how to keep your RV water pump from cycling and the most common reasons it keeps running. However, are you unsure about the lifespan of your precious water pump?

The truth is the lifespan of your RV water pump relies heavily on how often you use it and how well you maintain it. It’s important to remember that neglecting to maintain your water pump can lead to it wearing out sooner than expected. Overuse and running it dry can also cause it to burn out.

So, give your RV water pump the TLC it deserves! By taking the time to maintain it properly, you’ll avoid unnecessary burnout and keep your RV water pump functioning for years to come.

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