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The sound is caused by the water pump switching on when too little water flows through it. As soon as the pressure in the water line increases, the pump switches off. The pump switches on again when the pressure drops. This process repeats over and over each time you turn on a faucet or flush a toilet.
So you're settling in for the night, enjoying a quiet evening in your RV, when all of a sudden that familiar high-pitched sound fills your ears. If you've ever had to deal with the incessant buzzing of an RV water pump, then you know just how annoying it can be.
However, there's good news! Quieting your RV water pump is fairly easy and can be done by anyone. To start erasing the noise from memory, follow along with this guide to learn how to silence an RV water pump.
How to Quiet a Water Pump - 6 Options to Choose From
- Replace the Pump with a Quieter One
- Install a Pump Silencer kit
- Install a Water Pump Vibration Pad
- Wrap the Pump with Insulation
- Anchor the RV Water Pump
- Cut Down on Air in Water Lines
RV water pumps are available in different sizes, shapes, and styles. Some will be louder than others, so if you want to get a quieter one, the first thing you can do is replace the existing pump with another one that's quieter.
The simplest solution is to install a silencer on your existing water pump. You need to remove the cover from the pump and then attach the new cover using the original screws. This method doesn't really quieten the pump but does muffle some of its sound. The cost is about $10-$15 for a universal fit kit. A friend of mine had success with this method so it's a try if you're looking for an inexpensive solution and don't mind doing some tinkering around inside your RV plumbing system.
Most RV water pumps come with rubber feet attached to them. This helps protect your countertop from scratching and reduces vibration as well. However, if your motorhome doesn't have any place for the vibrations to go into other than the countertop or sink, it can still cause some noise. If this is your case, you can use a rubber pad for the addition of more vibration dampening abilities.
The first thing you can do to quiet an RV water pump is wrap it in insulation. This is a very inexpensive way to quiet down the noise produced by the pump and it takes just minutes to complete.
You’ll need some type of foam insulation material and some plastic garbage bags or painter’s plastic sheeting. Place the plastic sheeting around the pump so that no foam touches it directly when you start insulating.
If your water pump isn't anchored, then it's most likely vibrating and causing excess noise. To anchor the pump, you'll need some rubber sheeting (you can get this at any hardware store), screws, and a drill. Make sure to use the proper size screws for your rig. Next, you'll need to measure the bottom of the pump to cut out 4 squares from the rubber sheeting. Place a square of rubber under each corner of the water pump and screw them in place with your drill.
If there is air in your RV's water lines, then it will be pulled into the pump when it's turned on, causing a loud noise. You can get rid of most of the air by turning on all faucets (including the outdoor shower) and letting them run until only water comes out. The best time to do this is right after you have connected your rig to its water source and have filled up your tank for the first time after you've been without water for a while (such as during winter).
What is a Soft Start Water Pump?
The Soft Start Water Pump operates by providing either full flow or low flow, depending on what you need at the moment. It has an automatic shutoff feature that prevents it from running dry and helps it last longer. The Soft Start Water Pump is also much quieter than traditional RV water pumps.
How to Install a Soft Start Water Pump
Here are the basic steps for installing a Soft Start Water Pump in your RV:
- Turn off the main water source and open the faucet to drain all of the water out of the system.
- Remove any hoses from the original pump and unscrew it from its mounting bracket.
- Mount the new pump on its bracket by screwing it into place with mounting screws. Make sure that it is securely mounted so that it doesn't come loose while driving down the road.
- Attach hoses to the new pump, making sure they are tight enough with hose clamps so that they don't leak but not so tight that they restrict flow and damage them over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many ways to quiet a water pump and make it run more smoothly. The best way to quiet your water pump is to change out the filter with a foam filter. The foam filter will reduce the noise from the water pump by allowing water to flow freely through it but will also absorb the sound waves that are created by the noisy water pump. You can also prevent pipe vibration by wrapping a rubber band around each pipe as close as possible to where it connects with the water pump. This will absorb the sound waves and quiet down your RV’s noisy water pump.
Here’s a great solution to keep your RV water pump as quiet as possible:
Buy a couple of piece of foam pipe insulation. Cut three pieces of foam long enough to go around the water pump, but short enough to leave a little space between each piece and the walls of the compartment where it is located.
Apply silicone sealant or adhesive to one side of one of the pieces and attach it to the body of the water pump. Apply sealant or adhesive to one side of another piece and attach it to the bottom surface on which the water pump is mounted. Apply sealant or adhesive to both sides of the remaining piece and attach it to the wall behind the water pump.
Attach these three pieces in this manner with about 3/8 inch between them and you will find that virtually all vibration from your water pump is dampened.
Excessive water pump vibration can be caused by a number of factors.
The first thing to do is check the mounting surfaces for the pump and make sure that there is no corrosion, paint or other foreign material preventing it from being mounted properly. If you have access to a lathe, you could machine the face of the mounting bracket to remove any high spots.
You could also try to balance the pump motor by installing small washers behind one or more of the mounting screws and seeing if this reduces the vibration. You will need to experiment but this should reduce or eliminate the vibration.
Lastly, you can install a pump silencer on your system which will dampen vibrations significantly.
Once you are accustomed to the pump sounds when the flow is at its highest and lowest, it becomes an audible reminder of how much water you are using. As the water flows through your RV pump, the diaphragm contracts, forcing the water out the intake or exhaust lines with higher pressure. The diaphragm expands, creating greater volume and lower pressure, and valves on the outlet to the chamber are closed, so the water flows back to the chamber, and the valves on the entry ports are opened.
There are a few things that make them so loud, which you just learned about in this article.