By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Boondockers and other folks who get away from “city water” connections sometimes complain of a noise when using the RV water system. Sometimes they’re just not used to the additional noise produced by the RV’s water pump. At other times there are problems – most of which are easily cured.
“Demand” water pump systems – those in use on nearly all RVs built in the last couple of 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.
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. We found increasing the amount of insulation between the feet and the mounting surface can really help. Something as simple as a thick computer mouse pad can make a big difference. One of our readers gave up altogether on this tack: He suspended his pump on nylon cords.
Others have noted that if the pump is mounted on something like a thin wall (you’d think those RV engineers would invest in a brain, but, oh well …) that no amount of foot insulation will help. Aside from doing the suspension thing, try and find a thicker, more solid surface. An area on the floor has got to beat a wall anytime.
Sometimes it’s the water lines that take a finger-point for noise emanations. Here are a few tricks: You could try wrapping the water lines near the pump in polyfoam pipe wrap, attached firmly with electrical wire ties. Others swear by using a softer hose material and forming a loop a foot or so long, on both the inlet and outlet side of the pump.
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 evening out the water pressure flow. Accumulators are fairly easy to install and, happily, there’s competition to bring the price down. A few years ago you’d spend more than $50 for a Sureflo brand. Now the “new kid in town” offers an accumulator for less than $30, which many users rate positively. Here’s a link from Amazon.
You may not want to completely squelch the noise from your water pump. Like one wise RVing grandfather said, “I like to hear my water pump. It warns me when the kids have left the shower faucet turned on!”
Why do manufacturers insist on using diaphragm pumps? A rotary pump with an impeller would be so much quieter. I’ve installed new flexible hoses, with a loop, I’ve installed pump on foam rubber. I’ve fastened them down,.let them float. Still too noisy. Ive bought a pump from Harbor Freight and it works great but it has no switch to turn it on/off.Didn’t want to start adding a different pressure switch, but it looks like thats the next job to try.
My biggest complaint about our travel trailer is that they installed the water pump in the storage area under the bed. So dumb.
I think of the noise as an assurance that the pump is working right. I had an old jaguar with an electric fuel pump, no noise meant I was going to be stranded soon by the side of the road.
Accumulators only delay for a very brief moment the water pump from turning on so it doesn’t help one bit with reducing the noise from water pumps. The water pump itself needs to be isolated from the area where it is mounted using thick soft cushioning rubber. Plus using flexible hoses going to and from the water pump will greatly reduce the pulsations and vibrations heard and felt.
Just to clear up your year-old post, the accumulator only reduces the time between pump starts, nothing to do with noise. The bigger the tank, the more water (with pressure) that is available before the pressure drops to the pump start point. The pump will run longer to fill the tank, but will not start as many times. IF you do not have that cushion of air in the tank, then yes, the tank is useless.
The rest of your post is a repeat of the article. 🙄