DIY RV Water Pump Replacement in 12 Easy Steps

If your RV’s water pump is on its last legs, or you simply want to upgrade your old pump to a new one, replacing it is a fairly simple and inexpensive process!

This DIY guide will walk you through the entire process step-by-step, from removing the old pump to installing the new one.

So whether you’re a seasoned RV-er or a complete beginner, you’ll be able to get the job done like a pro!

But, first, let’s find out if you need to replace your pump.

When Should I Replace My RV Water Pump?

You will typically want to replace your RV water pump when the water in the system stops running the way it normally would. If the water pump doesn’t start and the faucet does not run when you open a faucet, your water pump has most likely failed and will need to be replaced.

Related: RV Water Pump Keeps Running? Do This!

However, there are other times that you might want to consider (or need) an RV water pump replacement, including:

  • Leaking water pump: If your pump is leaking water from the housing or casing (and it’s not just a loose connection), it likely needs to be replaced. If your RV water pump is leaking when connected to city water, we have a list of steps to troubleshoot this particular issue.
  • The pump is making odd noises: For peace of mind, you might want to replace the water pump before leaving on a long excursion as opposed to it potentially going out when on the road.
  • RV water pump upgrade: Maybe you simply want to upgrade to a more efficient or powerful model.

Whatever your reason for wanting to replace your RV water pump, we’re here to guide you through the process. Let’s get started!

RV Water Pump Replacement Step-By-Step

Before we can begin replacing your RV’s water pump, we’ll need a few tools and supplies, most of which you probably already have.

And, of course, you’ll need a replacement water pump. We highly recommend Shurflo RV water pump’s as they are arguably the most popular water pump brand for RVs and travel trailers, have great customer ratings, and are very inexpensive!

Shurflo RV Water Pump 12v (3.5 GPM, 45 Psi)

Shurflo RV Water Pump 12v (3.5 GPM, 45 Psi)

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What You’ll Need

Once you have all the supplies, we can begin installing the new RV water pump.

How to Replace an RV Water Pump Video Guide

How to Replace an RV Water Pump — Best RV Water Pump Replacement Technique — Easy DIY Project
Credit: RV Geeks on YouTube

1) Turn Off the City Water Connection and Water Pump

First, we need to turn off the city water connection and the RV’s water pump. This should be the first step you take any time you’re working on the plumbing system in your RV.

2) Cut Power to the Pump

Next, we need to cut power to the water pump. You can do this one of two ways:

  1. Remove the water pump fuse located on your 12-volt electrical panel.
  2. Disconnect the RV from power and flip the battery disconnect switch to prevent energy from flowing to the pump.

Either way will work.

3) Drain the Water From the System

Turn on a faucet in your RV and let it run dry. This will drain the water and bleed out any pressure in the system.

4) Disconnect Pump from Latching Controller (if Applicable)

If your RV features a latching controller, we will need to disconnect it from the pump.

What is a latching controller? This special device allows you to have an on and off switch for your water pump in multiple locations, for example, the bathroom, kitchen, etc.

The latching controller is typically located near the pump, but that’s not always the case. If you can’t find it, you may need to refer to your owner’s manual for the exact location. If you only have a single control for the water pump in your RV, it’s possible that it doesn’t have a latching controller.

If you have a latching controller, look for a box with numerous wires feeding into your RV’s various pump on/off switches.

Tip: Take a “before” picture of the controller prior to removing any cables to ensure you reconnect everything correctly.

To disconnect power to the latching controller:

  1. Remove the water pump’s ground wire from the latching controller (usually the black wire).
  2. Remove the positive lead from the latching controller (usually a red wire which may also be connected to a yellow wire). If you have a yellow wire you can snip it as we’ll be reconnecting it to the positive lead on the new water pump.

5) Remove Water Lines from Pump

Before removing the pump, place your bucket or bowl beneath it as water will likely flow out.

Tip: Unscrew the lines with your hands to avoid damaging the plastic fittings.

6) Remove Pump From Mount

Once you’ve disconnected the inlet and outlet hoses, you can simply unscrew the pump from its mount.

7) Move Filter From Old Pump to the New Pump

Next, we need to uninstall the inlet filter in the old water pump and install it in the new one. The process is a fairly simple one:

  1. Unscrew the filter, twist the two halves of the filter to open it, and clean it out. If it’s extremely dirty or old you can simply replace it (see replacement option below).
  2. To reinstall the filter on the new pump, first, screw the fitting from the new water pump into the filter. We need to install the filter on the side of the water pump with a matching arrow. Both arrows should be pointing in the same direction. Pop out the red shipping cap and screw in the fitting where the shipping cap was. Then slide the clip down to lock the fitting into the pump.
RV Water Pump Strainer Filter Replacement (Compatible with WFCO or Shurflo Pumps)

RV Water Pump Strainer Filter Replacement (Compatible with WFCO or Shurflo Pumps)

Price:
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Now, we just need to install the fitting on the outlet side of the pump. Remove the red shipping cap and screw in the fitting, then slide the clip down to lock the fitting into place.

8) Strip and Connect Wiring for Latching Controller

Strip the wire insulation from the pump’s black ground wire tip, then crimp on a spade connector.

Before crimping on a spade connector, twist the exposed red and yellow wires together.

Important: Depending on the make and model of your recreational vehicle, the wiring may be slightly different. Take a look at the photo you took before you began if this is the case.

Strip the yellow wire (that we snipped in the previous step) and the red wire from the new pump. Twist together and crimp on a spade connector.

9) Mount the New Water Pump

You’re now ready to mount the new pump to the same location as the old pump. Typically, the screw pattern for the replacement pump will be the same as the old pump. If not, you may just need to create new screw holes.

10) Connect Water Lines to the Pump

Carefully hand-screw the inlet and outlet water lines to the new pump.

11) Connect Pump to Latching Controller

If applicable, reconnect the positive lead (in the video above, it’s the red and yellow wires) to the latching controller. Then reconnect the black ground wire.

12) Test Pump and Check for Leaks

Now, we just need to make sure everything works properly, and there are no leaks.

So, reconnect the power to the pump, turn it on, and open a faucet. As the RV water pump primes, you may notice some spitting from the faucet. This is just air escaping the lines. Once you notice constant water flow from the lines, you can shut the faucet off.

Related: How to Prime an RV Water Pump

Finally, inspect all of the connections at the pump for leaks. If needed, tighten them.

That’s it! You’ve successfully replaced your RV water pump!

RV Water Pump Replacement FAQs

How Long Does an RV Water Pump Last?

An RV water pump will last up to 10 years if properly cared for. Periodically cleaning the filter, sanitizing the fresh water system after extended periods in storage, and routinely checking for leaks will help get the most life out of your pump.

How Do I Know if My Camper Water Pump Is Bad?

You’ll know your camper water pump is going bad if it starts to make excessive and unusual noises, is starting to leak from the pump itself, or has stopped working altogether.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix an RV Water Pump?

The average RV water pump replacement cost is less than $100 if you do it yourself. That includes the price of the pump and all of the parts needed.

What Size Water Pump Do I Need for My RV?

Your typical RV will use a pump that produces between 3 and 3.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM). Larger motorhomes often use pumps rated 5 or more gallons per minute. 

The choice is up to you. If you’re happy with the performance of your current pump, then you can check on the pump label or in the owner’s manual for its GPM and buy a similar size. If you want to upgrade and it’s within your budget, you can opt for a larger GPM model.

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