You don’t have to accept a noisy water pump

You don’t have to accept a noisy water pump

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Do you hear a motor noise when running your RV water pump? Of course you do. RVers away from city water connections sometimes complain of a noise when using the RV water system,  since they may not be used to the sounds produced by the RV water pump. But there may also be other times when there are genuine issues that can often be resolved to bring quiet back when running water.

Mouse on doggy mouse pad

“Demand” water pump systems — those in use on nearly all RVs built in the last several decades — pull water from the storage tank and pump it through the inside lines. While designed with sound-reducing isolation pads, sometimes these little “feet” can get away, or even a mooring screw can loosen up, causing undue vibration. At least one RVer has added an additional layer of “noise insulation” between a pump and mounting surface: a thick rubber “mouse pad” as used by your computer could really make a difference.

Locate your RV water pump and first ensure that it’s firmly tight to the bulkhead or deck. If a screw (or screws) is loose, retighten. If the noise persists, double-check to ensure that rubber isolation feet are under each contact point of the pump — and replace any missing parts. If your RV manufacturer hasn’t used its head, it may have mounted the pump on a thin wall, rather than a good, solid surface like a floor. Relocating a pump may bring silence.


At times, water systems that make noise can be quieted with the addition of an accumulator tank. The accumulator is nothing more than a simple reservoir with a cushion of air. When the water pump operates, it pushes up water pressure against that cushion, often reducing the number of “off-on” pump cyclings and even out the water pressure flow. A drawback: When winterizing your RV, you’ll get to add additional antifreeze to the system to account for the increased volume. If you blow out your plumbing with air, make sure the accumulator is completely evacuated, or remove it from the RV and store it where it won’t freeze.


You may find some of your water lines rattle and make other obnoxious noises when water is flowing. Try wrapping them up with foam pipe insulation sleeves.

Still too much noise? One of our readers shares his suggestion: “I have a two-gallon water jug I keep alongside the john. I turn off the pump at night and use water from it.”



4 thoughts on “You don’t have to accept a noisy water pump

  1. Albert

    I rather appreciate the noise because it lets me know that I left the pump on and it is using battery juice. The noise alerts me to shut the pump off when I don’t need it.

  2. Bruce

    We had this problem with one of our trailers. The pump was screwed to the floor under the kitchen cupboard and the grey semi-rigid piping was drawn tight against the cabinet framing, essentially turning the whole kitchen into a crude amplifier.

    To fix this I unscrewed the pump from the floor and put a piece of dense closed cell foam under it; then I removed all the screwed in pipe mounts from the cabinet framing and put pieces of split pool noodle(cheaper than the grey pipe insulation foam and thicker) at all the contact points and secured them with tie wraps.

    Any place the grey water pipes were laying on the floor I also covered them with the pool noodles because they were also vibrating when the pump ran.

    I didn’t need to secure the pump because the manufacture had left absolutely no slack in the piping so the pump couldn’t move around, I also think that leaving it free may have reduced some of the stress on the piping because when I originally removed the screws the pump sprang up and forward a couple of inches.

    Anyway, that removed most of the noise and we had no other issues with the plumbing system for the ten years and thousands of miles of traveling we put on it.

    1. Sean

      Our 1990 Rexhall Airex has an electric water pump mounted in a compartment outside. The pump is essentially screwed to the outside of the bedroom wall. That sucker makes a growling noise when I am asleep. It will wake us up a dozen times per night. I like the tip of mounting it to a thick rubber mousepad. Will try that!

      1. Randy

        Hi Sean. You may have a slow leak if your pump makes occasional noise while asleep. I’m assuming you are dry camping and leave the pump on at night? I’d check all lines for a possible leak. Another thing we do (safety) is turn pump off at night, only use when needed. We also turn the outside water valve off when hooked up to water supply, when we leave our rig to hike, bike, or go for any length of time. It could be a costly disaster if those lines burst or leak, while away!

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