Imagine you’re in the shower expecting the warm water to wash away the fatigue of the ten-hour drive you’ve just completed. However, all you get is sputtering noises, low water pressure, water not flowing in RV, or an intermittent splash of water. You may be wondering, “What happened to my water lines?”
The above signs could be telling you that there is trapped air inside your RV pipes. The good news is that it’s not a severe problem, and you should be able to troubleshoot yourself quickly.
So, without further ado, let’s explore how to bleed air from RV water lines.
Table of Contents
A Detailed Guide to Bleed Air From RV Water Lines
Step 1. Determine Cause
Let’s start by understanding the water system diagram and how air can enter your RV plumbing system.
Your water supply needs to be working properly for daily activities, such as washing dishes, drinking, and bathing, to run smoothly. However, getting trapped air in the waterline can be disruptive and annoying, affecting water pressure throughout your entire recreational vehicle.
Several causes of air entering your RV water line and getting trapped there include pump issues, loose or broken valves, and problems related to the water heater.
- Inspect The Water Hose
Start by inspecting the hose that connects the fresh water tank and your water pump. Check for loose fittings and clamps or a bad hose, which can draw the air into your water pump.
Maybe your hose is attached to a valve used for winterizing your RV. In this case, you must ensure that the valve is closed.
- Check Out Your RV’s Water Pump
Check the connection on the inlet side of the RV’s water pump to see if it’s loose or broken. In addition, check the pump strainer to ensure it is not cracked or loose.
If your pump has gaps or cracks, it can suck in air. That causes air pockets in the RV water lines, causing annoying and loud sputtering from the faucets.
- Check Out the Water Heater
The cause of air trapped in your water lines may also lie in your RV’s water heater. The most obvious sign is that the RV water pump sputters when using hot water.
There are various reasons why your RV water heater is the culprit for this problem. It could be that the plug of your water heater is loose, resulting in pressure not being able to build up properly in the tank.
On the other hand, having your not-full hot water tank can lead to excess air escaping through your water line.
Step 2. Bleeding Your RV Water Lines
As mentioned above, cleaning the air in RV water lines is a simple process, and you can get the job done without mechanical experience. In addition, you will not need to prepare any special tools.
Just access water lines in RV and join the line to one of the water sources already under pressure. Utilizing your RV’s water pump is ideal in this case. After that, you will have to open the farthest faucet and let it run to get air out of water lines.
Once you have purged air from your water pipes, disconnect it from your water source. After that, start your RV’s pump. Then your pump will prime without any problem. Finally, remember to close the faucets.
It is okay to connect your water line with city water, followed by turning on all of the faucets in your RV, including the toilet and shower.
Pressure from the city water will get the air out of water lines. After that, fill the RV tank with clean water, enable your pump and allow water to run through all of the faucets.
Step 3. Bleed Your RV Pump
If the air has trapped inside your water pump, don’t worry, as troubleshooting is straightforward. All you need to do is turn it on and let the water flow circulate for a short time before turning on the most distant faucet from your water pump.
Once you gain a steady water flow and the water is no longer sputtering, you will know that all air in your RV’s pump is removed.
Priming the pump is another method to purge air from your RV water lines and also is an effective way. Just follow these steps:
- Step 1: Locate the RV’s water pump before disconnecting your water output line.
- Step 2: Replace your water output pipe with a hose (made from rubber). Fill a twelve-ounce container with water.
Then hold the other end of your hose and ensure it is higher than the RV’s water pump. After that, pour clean water into the end.
- Step 3: Cover your horse’s free end using your thumb before turning the pump on. Wait for one or two minutes, or until you feel the water flow against your thumb. If so, disable the pump and remove your rubber hose.
- Step 4: Put your RV’s water pipe back.
After that, the air inside your water pump should be removed.
Step 4. Bleed Hot Water Heater
Air bubbles can also be in your RV heater. It doesn’t happen often, but doing it occasionally as part of your water heater maintenance routine is wise. It is pretty simple, just following these steps:
- Step 1: Switch off your heater and wait until the water cools down, which can take half an hour to one hour. Once you can safely touch one side of your water heater, jump to the next step.
- Step 2: Now disable the water supply. Then open your faucets, and the pressure in your RV will be relieved.
- Step 3: Next, disable all pressure release valves. Then wait until the water is gone completely.
- Step 4: When the entire water is removed, you must close the faucet and the valve, then turn on your supply again.
- Step 5: Fill your tank with water. Once it is full, it is time to switch it on again. Now, all air bubbles have been purged out of your RV water heater.
Preventing Air From Entering Your RV Water Lines
While completely blocking air from entering the RV water line system is nearly impossible, there are a few ways to minimize it.
1. Routine Maintenance
One of the typical causes of air leak in RV water systems is loose and damaged hoses and clamps, usually near or at the freshwater tank and water pump.
Before getting help from a trusted technician, it’s essential to carefully check these connections and tighten them if they appear loose. If you can’t get a plumber’s help, you can utilize flexible plumbing tape to patch up any holes and cracks that you might find
We recommend checking these connections regularly as part of your RV’s routine maintenance.
2. Enable Or Disable Your Water Pump Only Once Per Weekend
Running your pump does not consume much power. So it is okay to keep your pump running (even if you don’t use it) to maintain the water pressure inside your water lines to keep air from getting in it.
3. Use Water Pressure Regulators
This device will help maintain pressure in the water system and prevent it from being blown out. In that way, it can protect your water system.
Some regulators are adjustable and feature built-in gauges. If the pressure is too high, it is possible to lower it slowly.
4. Remove Water From The RV’s Freshwater Tank
Many RV owners drain water from their tanks to lower overall weight. However, you should avoid emptying it completely. Leaving the rest of your water lines filled with clean water is essential to keep them pressurized.
5. Inspect the Water Filter
Unclean water filters should raise the possibility of air entering your water pipes. Meanwhile, damaged and cracked filters will let more air into the RV water system. So you will need to clean your water filter regularly or replace it if necessary.
So you have reached the bottom of our article. Hopefully, by now, you will understand how to bleed air from RV water lines and can handle your RV, camper, or caravan water system with ease.
As we can see, purging the air out of your RV’s water lines is not difficult. It should not take long to get the job done; sometimes, the problem is solved just by rotating a faucet.
Generally, air may get into your RV’s water line through a few ways, and the most familiar one is due to leaks and loose connections. So it is wise to regularly inspect your water lines, tank, pumps, and all connections to ensure they’re secure and don’t have leaks.
Last but not least, if you do not have the skills to do it correctly or the time to spend working on it, getting help from an expert is best.
Thanks for stopping by! Please share this article to help other RVers troubleshoot the problem!
Glen’s a camping addict since way back when, a time he could barely remember. He loves tools, equipment, gears, accessories, and doing repair on his RV. He’s a confessed DIYer, performing even the maintenance of his RV. Glen also loves dressing up his recreational vehicle to keep it in style.