Friday, June 2, 2023


Learning from the “other guy”

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

While there’s plenty to be learned from industry experts, as RVers we often learn a lot from fellow RVers. There’s nothing like hearing the next-door RVer confess to learning through that old “school of hard knocks.” Here’s one shared by Jim Hazard, one of the reading faithful.

After installing a new in-line water filter in his motorhome, Jim began noticing some rather odd water system problems. After having slipped the new filter in the housing and buttoning it up, Jim flipped the pump switch and noticed the pump ran on and on. The pump was pushing a decade in age, and had suffered through some plenty cold water, so Jim’s first “diagnosis” was a possible fatality in the water mover.

After a new pump arrived and was installed, it tested just fine. But not long after, while doing some latrine duty, Jim noticed that the water that should have flowed into his toilet bowl wouldn’t. He could get a bit of water out of his hot water faucets but nothing on the cold water side. This symptom presented itself whether the source of water was from the motorhome’s fresh water tank (utilizing the pump) or from the city water side, where the water pump would have had nothing to do with flow problems.

Jim consulted with both professionals and volunteers on RV Internet forums, and while all practically stood on their heads trying to figure out the issue, no one could come up with a concrete answer. Most figured there must be some sort of hung-up check valve in the plumbing system. At his wit’s end, Jim bumped into another RVer and in swapping stories, got the advice: “Check your water filter.” A quick look at the filter showed that Jim, when installing an unfamiliar brand of filter, had put the thing in the housing upside down. Pulling out the filter and swapping it end-for-end immediately resolved the problem.

Incidentally, after Jim “cured” the stubborn problem, he found a recently posted reply to the problem that he’d posted on an RV forum. Another forum member had a similar problem and, sure enough, advised checking filter orientation. For those die-hard NPR “Car Talk” fans, it sounds like the RV equivalent of “Stump the Chumps.” Never underestimate the diagnostic powers of your fellow RVers. And thanks to Jim for ‘fessing up on his no-pressure ordeal.


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