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.
“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.”