When Your RV Water Pump... Doesn't Pump!

Seeing as how our RV water pump was over ten years old I sure can't complain 'bout it's durability.

How-some-ever! I can without any difficulty rise to the task of whuppin' up on the bozo who installed the damn thing in the first place!

Whether it was done to an engineers design or due to an RV "Technician's" plain old lack of ability or initiative... there's nothing to brag about in way too many of

these installations... Plain and simple, the craftsmanship of such installs would have my Ol' Grandad standing in the Dealer's showroom swingin' a big stick!

Craftsmanship is not only using quality parts that endure hard use for ten years. It also includes thinking about how someone, many years from now is going to get to the machinery I'm installing to do maintenance and repairs... THAT bit of Craftsmanship is sorely lacking in the majority of RV manufacture.

And on THAT I fear lil' in the way of contradiction. There are builders who do it right... How-some-ever, those RV Builders are in the very great Minority!

They habitually stuff the things, that are going to require replacement, back into lil' bitty corners that you can only access by crawling through a tiny lil' hole... as far from the machinery in question as they can possibly make it... arrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh!

For no good reason either. I mean, they do it with such consistent regularity across the RV Industry that there ain't no way it's an accident! In our case there were multiple options for a convenient access door, or even relocation the pump to a more accessible spot... with no change in pipe lengths or cost... Only...

... a lil' thought before they did the install... You'd think as many of these things as they build, that wouldn't be such a great problem...

Which leads me to my belief...

These things are installed WRONG... on purpose... the only thing left to wonder about is WHY?

Why do they make it deliberately so damn hard to do replacement and maintenance work on RV Systems when just a mite of effort at the old enterprise of cogitation, would show a lot better way to do the install when they're building these rigs.

If they'd wanted to, the could make RV water pump replacement a really simple piece of work, down the road... when the water pump eventually fails, which it will.... 'nuff said...

So, anyway, my intention was to move the pump location from it's current mounting on the wall, deep in a compartment beside the toilet, under a closet and through a small access door...

RV Water Pump Access Port

RV Water Pump Difficult Access

... and install the new RV water pump in the bottom of the Laundry hamper on the other side of that wall.

possible RV water pump relocation option

That would require some extension plumbing pipe and fittings, cutting a hole or holes to bring the piping through into the hamper and probably a cover of some sort to allow the continued use of the hamper... without creating issues with the pump.

I took some pics on my Smart Phone ;) to share with whoever I dealt with at the RV Parts house in Quartzsite and headed off out of our RV boondock camp beside the Plomosa Mountains.

The clerk at the RV parts store had a better idea. Rather than cutting and extending the pipes, since they had no damage, why not just put on Flex lines?

Well... DOH! Why hadn't I thought of that?!!!

It always pays to keep an open mind when you're talking to a hardware guy. They gain a lot of experience dealing with so many repairs that they Often will come up with Great Ideas that'll save you time, money and a lot of cussin'! :)

So, I returned to the rig with a new pump and these few lil' bits and pieces for a lot simpler RV water system repair.

Parts to Repair and Relocate an RV Water Pump

The old RV water pump could only be removed by unscrewing the water lines blind... I couldn't reach them AND see what I was doing... and then simply tear the chipboard mount off the wall.

failed rv water pump BAD location

ripping out the failed RV water pump

I couldn't get the leverage to unscrew the pump... even if I could get a screw driver into the screws on the back side that I couldn't even feel, let alone see!!! Like I said... you gotta love the bozo who installed this pump!

But somebody wired it in with enough wire to reach out of the hole once I got it loose... so just a cleaner, easier mounting location, that a new pump could be replaced in would have made it a well done installation!

oops.... I'd said enough whining right? sorry ;)

The first thing I did was realize that with the extension flex lines, and the room that was available in the front of the existing compartment, I could remount the new pump in a lot more accessible location, and not intrude into the hamper with my plumbing...

I can get to the mounting plate with a power driver and then pull it up to the access opening if the need should arise... without all the gymnastics of trying to reach where it had been wedged as far back into the corner as possible... a better choice!

The second "First" thing was to remove the old washers. They were ten years old and not to be trusted. For a few cents it made no sense to not replace them.

Removing old RV waterline sealing washers

Aged RV waterline sealing washers

Then install the nipples and flex lines to the existing water lines...

nipple for splicing an RV water line

RV waterline flex extensions installed

With the plumbing set to go I screwed the new RV water pump to that piece of OSB the old pump had been mounted on and wired it in.

I chose to use wire nuts and tape them up securely... rather than use the quickie splice the factory had used. Those things are ok, I guess... but they can be a problem and leave you with intermittent continuity... so... since I don't want to have to get back into this lil' hole if I can avoid it, I made that connection a lil' bit stronger.

RV water pump wired up

All that was left was to screw the loose ends of the flex lines to the proper spots (for the water flow direction) on our new RV water pump and then arrange it on the floor just below the access port. That took a little proper arranging of water lines to avoid putting pressure on lines or have things rubbing on each other... but only took a couple of minutes to get done.

Then I reached through with a Dewalt drill/driver and screwed the mounting plate to the floor.

New RV water pump relocated in rig

With my eyes closed and fingers tightly crossed I hit the lil' red RV water pump switch on the wall and listened carefully for the sounds of sparks flying or dripping water...

I ran a bit of water and left the RV water pump energized for a bit so I could check for leaks and then finally declared one more RV systems repair complete and successful! HooYa!

You know, the pump had started a small, seepage leak some time ago. I knew it was failing for quite a while. But, thinking I knew what an ordeal it was gonna be to do the repair... I kept putting it off... until the total and complete failure of the RV water pump made any more pro-crass-ti-Na-Shun impossible!

The thing is... what with the good idea of that Parts store clerk (who knew his business!) it turned out to really not be much of a problem. So... if your pump is leaking now... go ahead and do your rv water pump repair now... just think it out so you can re-install the new pump in a smarter place... if like mine, yours was installed by a guy who oughta just be diggin' ditches! :)

Now... I need to set about doing some maintenance on that bottle of Landshark that needs draining! ;)

Return from RV Water Pump to Goin' RV Boondocking

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