Should I Leave My RV Water Pump on All the Time?

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Hand pushes switch to turn off RV water pump

If you’re new to RVing or have spent most of your time camping with hookups, you might be somewhat unfamiliar with RV water pumps. Some RVers often ask, “Can I leave my water pump on?” If that’s you, we want to help you find the answer. 

Today, we’ll take a look at when you should and shouldn’t leave your RV water pump on and the risks if you do. Let’s get started.

What Does an RV Water Pump Do?

An RV water pump does what its name says, pumps water. It pressurizes the lines in an RV plumbing system and transfers water from your tank to a faucet or toilet.

Some RV water systems allow the user to change a few settings and use the pump to assist with siphoning. This can be useful for cleaning your RV’s water system or filling your freshwater tank when not connected to city water.

When Do You Need to Use Your Water Pump?

You’ll need to use your water pump whenever you RV without using a city water connection. Many campgrounds offer a water hookup at each site, but not all. Whether you boondock or dry camp, you’ll have many instances where you’ll need to use your water pump.

The pump allows water to flow through your pipes when you turn a faucet on and shuts off when not in use. If you have water in your freshwater tank, you can jump into your RV to use the restroom, take a shower, or wash your hands. 

Your water pump makes using your RV extremely convenient when disconnected from a water source. 

Can You Leave Your Water Pump On?

Can I leave my water pump on? Yes, and it won’t affect or harm the pump or any other components. Plus, you can turn it on and off with the flick of the switch. 

However, it’s not necessary to turn it on and off for each use. Once a water pump pressurizes the lines, it waits for the pressure to drop before it starts going again.

However, this doesn’t mean you should leave your pump on all the time. In some instances, it’s wise to turn off the pump to prevent potential damage to your RV.

When Should You Disconnect Your Water Pump?

While leaving your water pump on will not do any harm, you should turn it off if you’re away from your RV. Water lines can develop leaks or cracks in piping. These failures will result in pressure dropping in the pipes.

An RV water pump will recognize the pressure drop and, if left on, attempt to repressurize the lines. This can lead to extensive water damage wherever the failure occurs.

Additionally, you should shut off the water pump while away if any water faucets haven’t been closed all the way. While you would likely hear the water pump running if a water faucet were left open, kids may leave taps on without parents knowing, resulting in a flooded interior.

You should also turn your pump off while traveling. Much like an airplane, your RV’s cargo will shift in transit. If something were to move and activate a water faucet handle, the water could run until your freshwater tank is empty, or you arrive at your site and discover the open faucet.

These mistakes can lead to extensive repairs. It’s not worth the risk of damaging your RV to leave your water pump on all the time.

Will Leaving Your Water Pump on Hurt Your RV?

Can I leave my water pump on? Yes, and it won’t harm your RV. Pumps activate when it detects a drop in pressure in the water system. When it sits inactive, it uses no power from your battery or other sources.

However, we recommend turning off the pump if you’re away from your RV or traveling. In these instances, leaving your RV water pump on could damage your RV if a failure occurs or a faucet remains open.

An RV water pump can allow you to use your RV away from a water source. Whether you boondock or dry camp, it can feel freeing to disconnect and be as self-sufficient as possible. The gentle hum of an RV water pump doing its job means you can flush toilets, shower, and use your sink to wash your hands or do dishes anywhere you go.

Have you ever had your RV water pump harm your RV from leaving it on while traveling or unattended? Or have you ever had to replace your RV water pump?

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