What to Do About Air in Water Pump Lines

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Question


When I use the water pump in my RV there is always air spitting out of the faucets and shower head. Why does this happen and how do I fix it? I checked and there are no water leaks. Could I need a new pump? Thanks in advance for any help.

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Answer


If you have air “spitting” on both hot and cold water, it usually means a crack or loose connection on the inlet or suction side of the pump. As it tries to draw water, air is pulled in. Sometimes the bouncing around a unit gets while going down the road gets air inside lines, however this is just a temporary condition and should stop after a little while.

Most of the time you can simply purge the lines by opening the farthest faucet until a solid stream comes out and work your way back.

If the spitting is just happening with hot water, then you have air bubbles in the water heater and should relieve the pressure valve and purge the water again. Good luck!

Safe travels,
David Solberg


Related:
RV Water Heater Troubleshooting Made Easy
Overview of RV Fresh Water System

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52 Responses to “What to Do About Air in Water Pump Lines”
    • AC

      RV Make: Fleetwood, RV Model: Providence, RV Year: 2005

      I would like to know about fog light replacement also.

      Reply
    • Barbara

      RV Make: Roadtrek, RV Model: Simplicity, RV Year: 2018, Brand: Shurflo, Model Number: SRT

      How to purge air from water lines

      Reply
      • john.holsappel

        RV Make: Golfbreeze, RV Model: RTS24, RV Year: 2018

        Every time the pump comes on —- there is a lot of noise in the lines — sometimes the pump keeps running long – there is no leaks in either the cold or hot water lines

        Reply
  1. john

    RV Make: Coachman, RV Model: Leprechaun, RV Year: 2016

    I get a annoying squeaking from my cab overhead to the cab on the E-450(Which I think are the rubber seal between the two) and also some air sounds from the same areas.
    Has anyone else experienced this and what should be done to quite the squeak and noises??

    John

    Reply
  2. Terrence

    RV Make: Southwind, RV Model: 32', RV Year: 99

    After emptying my fresh water tank and filling it with a mixture of water and bleech (1/4 cup per gallon for 5 gallons), my water pump runs but it does not pressurize the line so that the water will flow. I can find no leaks and just a trickle of water flows at the sinks. What next?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Terrence,

      Did you only put in 5 gallons total? If so, this probably is not enough water in the tank as it’s getting more air than water to the pump. Try filling the tank to 1/2 and see if that helps. Otherwise you will need to take the pump out and bench test it?

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  3. Terry

    RV Make: Winnebago , RV Model: Tour, RV Year: 2009

    My tour has a Jensen radio DVD radio system that I replaced with a new Jensen unit. The plug was different which I rewired. One extra power wire from the old unit did not seem to be required everything works. Problem is my front two TV will only turn on by pushing the on/off bottom. The remotes will not work on either set which keeps me from changing setting or just turning the TV on. Does the back TV which is not connected to the front Tv gave anything to do wither tgat power wire.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Terry,

      This is a hard question to provide troubleshooting information without actually being able to see and verify the components. First, did everything work before you installed the new Jensen unit? Typically a radio/DVD system is powered by 12-volt DC from the house batteries and the TVs are plugged into a 120-volt residential style outlet completely separate of the 12-volt system?
      Todays HDTVs are very complicated as they are designed to have several input feeds such as Antenna, HDMI, Component, and others. I have to go to my parents house about every 2 weeks to reset the input as the cable feed no longer comes in. Not to say that is happening here, however hit the input button on the remote and it will bring up a screen with TV, Component, HDMI and others. Scroll down until you get a picture on the screen. Also, check your entertainment center as you may have pushed a button on that for the feed as well? If that does not work, take a photo of the remote, one of what you see on the TV, and the entertainment center and I think we can find the problem.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  4. sarah

    RV Make: keystone, RV Model: montana, RV Year: 2011, Brand: splendide washer

    we just installed a washer dryer and and as the water is rinsing to the gray tank something is blocking . we tried to snake it but that didn’t help. any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Sarah,

      Do you have problems with any of the other gray water systems such as the
      shower or the sinks? If not, then you either have a restricted drain
      pipe coming off the washer, or a pipe that is to small for the amount of
      flow coming out of the washer? If it has a couple of 90 degree
      bends, it may not be able to handle the amount of water being
      dumped? Start by using some drain cleaner that is safe for plastic
      pipe, but don’t let it sit to long in the tank as it will start to eat at
      the dump valves. Also, check your roof vent and possibly change it
      out to the newer Cyclone vent. You need good air flow for the volume
      of water that is going out and the air in the lines. Then it might
      be a matter of evaluating the water flow coming out of the washer and the
      pipe size, it may not be able to handle it and you need a different
      washer? Hopefully not!

      Hope this helps,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  5. Brad

    RV Make: keystone, RV Model: Laredo, RV Year: 2005

    wondering if a person can put a filter/modify the inverter/electrical system to reduce the brown out of LED lights when the inverter cycles.

    Non LED lights are not affected. I’m told later model RV’s have been modified so they don’t have the brown out effect with LED lights.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Brad,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information on your LED lights going to a “Brown” state, we need the make, model, and year of your rig as well and the inverter make and model? Are you sure it’s an inverter and not a converter? I have not been aware of any issues with LED lights and inverters. What could be happening is your batteries are sulfated and not storing a charge well and losing voltage? I would suggest getting a volt meter and measuring the volts of the battery when the lights are going brown? I would also question the type of LED that’s in your rig? I only recommend M4 LED bulbs or other brands that have a metal cage and are made for RVs. If your bulbs came from an Auto Parts store, those are not designed for constant on condition, rather blinking or braking and do not perform well.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
      • Brad

        RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: Laredo, RV Year: 2005, Brand: Power Max, Model Number: PMPC-55-MBA

        David you are correct. I have a converter where the RV LED lights blink when camper is plugged into 30 AMP service, and convertor fan runs. Wondering if there is a mod to the convertor or possible upgrade. lights only blink when converter fan runs.

        Much appreciated,

        Brad

        Reply
        • Customer Service

          Hello Brad,

          It’s possible you have the older “analog” converter and you could upgrade to the new digital type which we installed in one of the videos? Another option is to get a stand alone digital converter from Progressive Dynamics. Here is the link: https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/power-converters/
          You can not buy directly from them, however it’s a great source of information on which style you want to upgrade to.

          Did you try a different type of LED bulb? I would suggest getting a single bulb from an RV dealer to see if that makes a difference before spending the $$$ on an upgrade?

          Thanks
          David RVRC Video Membership

          Reply
  6. Bill

    RV Make: Jayco, RV Model: Eagle HT, RV Year: 2015

    My freshwater tank (48 gallons) has a vent by the fill hole,it also has 2 overflow lines that I lose water from while going down the road. Are these overflow lines necessary since I have a vent. This i my 4th camper in the last 30 years and all have had a vent, but now overflow lines.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Bill,

      The vent is engineered to allow air into the tank so the water can flow out. This vent is not large enough to act as an overflow, therefore the tubes. If you do not have the tubes and forget about filling the tank, the tank will eventually burst filling your rig with water? You could pinch one line, but need to be careful about filling?

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  7. thomas benito espinosa

    RV Make: dutchmen lite, RV Model: camping trailer, RV Year: 1999

    I’m trying to find the location of the water pump and the drain valve for the drain of the water tank system

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Thomas. To provide more specific troubleshooting information we need the make, model, and year of your rig. Typically the water pump is in the same compartment as the fresh water tank or in the service center if you have one? You should be able to find it by turning it on and listen for the noise. The main drain is typically at the fresh water tank, however some trailer models do not have a “main” drain valve, rather small pull up valves with a wire ring found inside under the bed and lower cabinets.
      Thanks
      Dave-RVRC

      Reply
  8. Jimm Mooney

    RV Make: Ragen, RV Model: RVT24, RV Year: 2003

    Recently had my toy hauler out and had some issues with the input water line for water hook-up. Later, When I went to use the water pump at another location, when the pump was turned on, instead of pumping water to the faucets, toilet etc it pumped it out the fresh Water fill point.

    At the capmpground with hook-ups, I took out the filter screen to clean it and there was a small rubber like ball, (just sitting loose behind the screen) that wasn’t there when I previously cleaned the screen. I was able to hook up to the city water line at the park by removing that ball. Later, when I disconnected, I put the ball back in. Then later when we went to use the water holding tank with the water pump, water was being pushed out the outside fill input, not the faucets or toilet. What is with the little rubber like ball? Is that supposed to be further down the line and somehow got pushed up where it doesn’t belong during the winter? I have tried to find information on it, but all I can find is pretty general information on the pump itself.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Jimm,

      Your system has a check valve at the city water connection that should
      only allow water to come into the unit, not go out. If the valve is
      defective, when you start your water pump, the water flows to the path of
      least resistance in this case the city water connection as the valve is
      not working and the water will flow out there because it’s usually closest
      to the pump. I would suggest getting a new city water connection
      with the valve, they are easy to replace and you can find them at any RV
      parts center.

      Thanks,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C11605

      Reply
  9. chiefvc

    RV Make: Fleetwood, RV Model: Bounder, RV Year: 1996

    water leak above water heater, how to get at it or removal of water heater to inspect

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information on your water heater
      issue we need the make, model, and year of the rig. Typically the
      water heater is located in a compartment under a closet or in the storage
      compartment in the case of a basement model. You should be able to
      remove the front panel from the inside or sometimes need to remove the
      floor or bottom panel of a closet to access the water heater.

      Thanks,

      Becky
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  10. Arvis

    RV Make: Montana, RV Model: 3811MS, RV Year: 2018, Brand: BAL, Model Number: accu-slide

    The gearbox on our bedroom slide is dripping a small amount of oil onto the top the slide. How do I prevent this from damaging the top of the slide-out?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Arvis,

      There are several good batteries on the market such as Trojan, Lifeline, Optima, US Battery, and even Napa which is being used by Winnebago. I would recommend any of the name brand models, but not discount brands found at home improvement stores or implements that state they are RV/Marine. More important is to maintain them and properly charge them with a multistage charge to reduce sulfation.

      Hope this helps,

      David RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  11. John

    RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: Copper Canyon, RV Year: 2009

    I have removed the decals which were curled and craked and now am wondering how to remove the left over adhesive??
    Tks John

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello John,

      Goo Gone is a good product to remove adhesives. Rubbing alcohol works well too.

      I hope this helps!

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C13535

      Reply
  12. Brian

    RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: Surveyor, RV Year: 2009, Brand: Water Pump

    When I power on the Water Pump and open either a hot or cold tap, I can see the water level in the Water Filter start dropping and water spurts out the tap . Then when I turn off the tap, the water level rises and fills the Water Filter again.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Brian,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information on your water issue we need the make, model and year of your RV. Also, not sure how or where you are seeing the water level in the water filter? Most filters are a solid plastic canister either underneath the sink or at the outside faucet and you can not see inside them? What type of filter do you have?

      Thanks,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C13446

      Reply
  13. mstorage

    RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: T38, RV Year: 2005

    What is the best way to access the kitchen faucet for change out?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello,

      The only way is from under the sink. You will see the water lines going up to the faucet. Make sure to turn your water off and drain the lines before disconnecting. Once those are removed, there will be a flat nut on each male end of the faucet that need removed. Twist them off and the faucet can be removed. If your faucet has a sprayer, you will have to remove the line weight and sprayer hose connection as well as the water lines. The holding nut for this style will usually be a metal nut held in place with 2 screws. Back off those screws until it is loose and then remove the nut. Pull the nut over all lines and the faucet can be removed. When re installing make sure to just tighten faucet nuts hand tight, they can crack very easily of over tightened.

      Hope this helps,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  14. chris

    RV Make: Four WInds, RV Model: Hurricane, RV Year: 2006

    Every 15 minutes or so, my water pump makes an odd noise, almost like its “burping”. It is quite annoying at night when trying to sleep. Any ideas what the problem might be?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Chris,

      It sounds like it might be losing pressure and doing a quick “thump” or burp. This could be a weak diaphram in the pump allowing some of the water to flow back. Check out the videos on access to that part of the pump to test and replace. Until then, shut off your pump at night.

      Thanks,

      David
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  15. Christal

    RV Make: keystone, RV Model: avalanche, RV Year: 2016, Brand: avalance keystone, Model Number: 380fl

    my sink is filling up and when I flush my toilet it some how goes to toilet black tank, this started last night I had grey tank opened when this happened and black shut

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Christal,

      Some sinks are plumbed to the black tank. A lot of rear sinks and outside kitchen sinks go to black tanks. It sounds like there is a venting issue not allowing the water to go down. When the toilet is flushed it’s allowing the tank to depressurize which would then let the water drain from the sink. You would have to check the vent at the sink. Some go out a side wall, others come out the roof and then there are some under the sink connected to the trap. The ones under the sink are usually a round black top on the end of a pipe and can be twisted off. If just by removing this check valve vent and the sink now works, you know for sure it was the vent.

      I hope this info was helpful!

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  16. Linda

    RV Make: VW Crafter, RV Year: 2011

    were do we find the water pump, it is making noises every time we turn on the tap but we cannot find the pump

    Reply
  17. Herb

    RV Make: Thor, RV Model: Ace, RV Year: 2012

    After I filled my fresh water tank, after the winter, all faucets work fine, except the kitchen. It acts like it still has air in the lines. Suggestions?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Herb,

      I would check the connections and make sure there are no leaks. Check around the pump too. There could be air getting in somewhere if there is a crack. Sometimes it does take a little bit for all the air to clear out but if it has been more than a few minutes, there could be a problem with the pump drawing air in or a crack in a connection or line. It is possible it is a gasket on the faucet as well, normally though you will see water leaking out of it somewhere if there is an opening. If the water is just coming out “foamy” there could be a lot of debris build up in the aerator screens. You can easily remove this by unscrewing the nozzle and checking the screens. You can run the water with the aerator off and see if the water looks better, if it is you would want to clean the screens and/or replace the aerator. After that you would want to check the pump, filter (if present) and all connections.

      I hope this helps!

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first-year membership.
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C15968

      Reply
  18. Tom Champagne

    RV Make: Rockwood , RV Model: Freedom, RV Year: 2004

    Ticket#23354 The four side latched that hold down the top are held into the side of the camper by four screws. In two cases I had two of the four screws break inside the sidewall of the camper. How do I remove the part left remaining inside ( without anything sticking out to grab onto ) I These latches are typically found on all makes of campers .

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Dear Tom,

      Thank you for your patience. In response to your question-

      The best way to remove any broken screws it with a screw extractor. They usually come in kits with multiple sizes. They need to be pre drilled before extracted. I will post a link to a set that works well. When it comes to the screws that hold those latches in, usually you can get away without removing the old ones. If you align the bracket where it would normally go and secure it with the two good screws to hold it in place. Then, instead of installing the screws straight in because of the broken ones you can install them at an angle. This will put the new screw in next to the broken one and with the pressure of the screws next to each other, usually still allows for a good secure mount. Doing this is a lot easier than extracting the broken screw. Since those latches are typically adjustable you could always move the bracket up or down a little bit and make new holes with the screws. Just as a reminder, make sure to use putty tape behind anything being installed on the outside of an RV. This will help prevent water from leaking in. I hope this helps!
      https://www.amazon.com/Ontel-SpeedOut-Damaged-Screw-Extractor/dp/B00IRL3WP4/ref=sr_1_5?crid=10TQ15Z5FF72F&keywords=screw+extractor&qid=1553476284&s=gateway&sprefix=screw+extrac%2Caps%2C1230&sr=8-5

      Sincerely,
      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  19. Larry Maahs

    RV Make: Fleetwood , RV Model: Excursion , RV Year: 2005, Brand: Norcold, Model Number: 1200LRIMSS

    Why does my ice maker leak water down the back right corner of the freezer compartment? It is acting like it is overflowing the fill cup.

    Reply
  20. Bruce boulrice

    RV Make: Roadtrek, RV Model: 190 versitile, RV Year: 2004

    Every time I use water I have to let it run until the air clears out of the line. I mean if I clear the lines and wàit 10 minutes I have to clear the lines again and if I wait a couple hours I have to go 2 or 3 minutes of bleeding the shower than sink than toilet. I find no water leaks in the coach or under it. Just wondering if it’s the pump. If left on the pump will start running without turning anything on and continue until I bleeding the lines. Thank You

    Reply
  21. bigmikejones

    RV Make: Sunset Trail Grand Reserve, RV Model: 33SI, RV Year: 2018

    On a recent camping trip, while using black tank flush, the plastic that goes inside the hose, broke off. It is being fixed under warrnty. My question is, what would be a good hose repair selection of parts to keep on hand? The pump in my trailer is under the linen cabinet in the bathroom and all the hose in there is white and not sure of size right now.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Dear Michael,

      Thank you for your patience. In response to your question-

      The most common size water line in RV’s is 1/2″, there are some smaller and bigger though. Really there typically aren’t many things for the water lines themselves to keep on hand but having some extra gaskets that go into the swivel ends isn’t a bad idea. I see those fail more than anything else. Keeping some hose clamps is a good idea in case a pex or other connector comes loose. Check valves can fail in the city connection, but it doesn’t happen often. I wouldn’t worry about carrying extra water line, really the only time it gets damaged is when water freezes. Keeping some extra gaskets, swivel ends and clamps would really be the only emergency things I can think of that you would need. Maybe having an extra male and female hose ends in case your water line coming in has a leak or the end gets damaged would be good to have so you don’t have to leave the site to get a new hose. I hope this helps!

      Sincerely,
      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  22. Janet

    RV Make: Keystone , RV Model: Hideout 242LHS, RV Year: 2017

    I need to find information on finding and cleaning the water filter on this model

    Reply
  23. johnduncan459

    RV Make: Georgie Boy, RV Model: Landau, RV Year: 2005

    My plumbing system is functioning normally except for the tub/shower. I get good hot and cold water at the kitchen and bath sink as well as good flush water at the toilet. No air in the lines and the pump does not cycle with the water off. At the tub I get slow flow on cold with the pump cycling. Tub hot water only drips and the pump does not come on. Can you help?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      John,

      This is usually caused by the valves failing internally at the faucet. If it were just one line causing the issue it could be a kinked line or a blockage but since you are having problems with both the hot and cold at the same faucet and everything else works fine most likely the problem is with the faucet itself. There could be something fixable inside depending on the faucet but most of the time it is easier to replace the whole unit.

      Sincerely,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  24. Greg Schwartz

    RV Make: Coachman, RV Model: Freedom Express, RV Year: 2015

    Has anyone had this problem? we have a 4yo Coachman toy hauler, and up until last weekend always hooked up to city water. When using onboard water and the pump, the toilet constantly runs and fills.
    this is only with the pump, and not hooked up to city water.
    I exposed the pump, and there are no inline valves to divert the water from pump to city supply…
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated…Greg

    Reply
  25. milton hudson

    RV Make: keystone, RV Model: montana high country 343rl, RV Year: 2014

    I have low water pressure when hooked up to city water and also my water pump doesn’t seem to be working. It runs but no water comes out

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hey Milton!

      Thank you for contacting us.

      The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members to our online community. We do have a promotional offer if you are interested. This would include access to expert advice (like this), plus discounts, hours of Premium videos, etc. Please feel free to take a look. You can email us right back with your question if you decide to become a member and you will have a response within 1-2 business days from our experts!

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      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply