RV Water Pump Not Working: The Troubleshooting Guide

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An RV water pump ensures the supply of freshwater in a travel trailer. RV water pump not working means there will not be any water supply in the motorhome, which is not good news for any camper. This problem can ruin the whole camping experience. Therefore, being aware of the troubleshooting steps to fix RV water pump issues and its causes can save your back in a crucial time.

How to Diagnose the Cause of RV Water Pump Not Working

It is essential to perform the following diagnostic steps to find out the reason behind the lack of water supply even when the water pump is running.

  1. Check if the supply of water is getting into the pump. Many times, people leave the drain open thinking that they are filling the water tank. When there is no water in the tank, they end up presuming that the pump is not working.
  2. When the water pump switch is on, it should make a noise indicating that the electricity connection is available. If the pump does not make any noise, inspect the 12-volt panel fuse to see if there is an electricity supply available. If yes, then use a volt-meter or a test light to check electricity.
  3. Do not forget to check whether the shut-off valve of the water pump is open or not.
  4. It is also common to forget reconnecting the line from the tank to the after disconnecting it in the fall. When the RV water pump does not work, checking the connection of this line is mandatory.
  5. Keep the last check for the pump itself. If the pump is getting 12-volt power but still not working, see if the motor is grounded or not. If it is not, then the 12 volts connection will be futile. However, when a pump does not work despite having good ground, it is time to get a new motor.
rv water pump runs but no water
You need to diagnose the pump if it shows problems.

Reasons Why RV Water Pump Not Working

The water pump related problem that confuses the campers most is that the RV water pump runs but no water. Undoubtedly, it is a tricky situation, but it has some definite reasons such as:

  • Congested in-line filter
  • Low tank water level
  • The pump that is running backward
  • Clogged water lines
  • Worn out pump impeller
  • Bent suction line
  • Inoperative pump-drive belt
  • Loose hose clamps on the suction side of the pump
  • A stuck backflow valve
  • A stuck pump-check valve
  • Damaged pump housing
  • Punctured diaphragm

Troubleshooting RV Water Pump Runs but No Water Issue

After diagnosing the exact cause of the water pump running but no water supply. For many, troubleshooting a water pump issue may seem easy-peasy, but it can turn out to be annoying and messy if they do not have a technical background in this field. So when in doubt, call an expert to fix this issue.

1. Fill Fresh Water Tank

The pre-condition of the water supply is the presence of water in the tank. So, the prime reason that the RV water pump not working is there is no water in the tank, or the water level is too low. To confirm, cross-check because sometimes, it may provide a false reading. In the case of an empty tank, fill the tank with sufficient water.

2. Fix Broken Pipeline

If the problem persists despite a full fresh water tank, then check for any breakage in the pipeline that helps running water to and from the pump. Besides the pipes, inspect the pipe joints too and mend the leakage, if any.

3. Put Water in Air-Filled Pump

If the pipeline and pipe joints are in good shape and not contributing to this problem, then inspect the line between the freshwater tank and the water pump suction. This check aims to confirm if this line of supplying any water.

While you open the pipe, the water must gush out through the opening. If it happens, it means the water flow between the water tank and the water pump is properly going on. Adding some more water to the pump to increase the water pressure will be useful in this situation.

However, no water coming out of the pipe indicates that the pump was sucking in air in place of water. To fix this problem, fill the pipe with water and start the pump again. The water supply should resume within a few minutes.

4. Fix Electrical Issue with pump

If there is no sign of water even after performing these steps, it is time to check the motor of the water pump. As this is the most crucial part of a pump, even the minor issues of a water motor can cause the pump to stop working. It is always wise to check the pump motor by someone with an electrical background. Here are some common reasons for the motor breakdown:

Stuck Pump: Due to the problematic valve, a pump might get stuck. Resolving the valve issue will fix it.

Fix Punctured Diaphragm of the pump: If the diaphragm is ruptured or punctured, replace it with a new one.

Worn-out Impeller: A worn-out impeller cannot maintain the hydraulic capacity of the pump. As a result, water does not come out of the pump. Consider replacing the impeller if it is worn-out. The water flow will also stop if it has debris.

rv water pump wont turn on
Fix all issues before restoring the pump.

Added Tip: What to Do When You Can’t Turn on the Water Pump?

If the RV water pump won’t turn, several things can be responsible. If the pump battery is down, then a replacement will be the only solution. Before that, confirm that the pump switches and RV fuse panel are in the position where they should be.


Try these troubleshooting techniques when the RV water pump not working in your trailer. These approaches are for the people who have prior experience in this field. If anyone finds the methods complicated or confusing, do not attempt to perform these as it may harm the motor pump or other equipment. Instead, contact the support portal of the RV manufacturer or hire a plumber to diagnose the problem.

About Peter Wade

Peter Wade is a co-ordinator and writer at www.RVTalk.net. His hobbies are coffee, RV camping and photography. He now enjoys exploring the U.S. by RV with his two dogs. After obtaining a MA degree in Public Relations and Journalism, he had 8 years of experience working for the R&D Department of Outdoorsy. Peter provides a unique look and insightful knowledge about the RV lifestyle, and fills his blog with everything from RV camping guides to reviews about necessary RV accessories. If you are an RV enthusiast and want to get the most-updated trends of the RV industry, Peter’s articles are the must-visit contents.

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