After a long day of traveling, you don’t want your shower ruined by the water pressure. If it’s too high, you get blasted by a pressure washer. If it’s too low, you can barely wash your hands, never mind your hair.
But whether or not your RV has a shower, it’s important to have the correct amount of water pressure in your RV. High water pressure can actually cause damage and result in leaks, so installing a water pressure regulator is a must for RV owners. Here’s everything you need to know about water pressure in an RV:
What is the Correct Water Pressure for an RV?
Different models of RVs have different requirements and limits for water pressure. You can find the correct water pressure setting for your RV in the owner’s manual. In general, it should be between 40 and 50 psi.
If it’s not listed or you don’t have the original manual, the RV expert consensus is to not let water pressure go over 60 psi. However, some newer RVs can handle closer to 100 psi, so it is important to confirm with the manual. Manuals are usually available in PDF form online if you search for your RV’s year, make, and model.
How to Maintain Safe Water Pressure in Your RV
Water pressure can vary from source to source. Many campgrounds get their water directly from the water mains, so the pressure of the water coming out of their spigots is often high. It can also go back and forth at random, as there is no regulation.
The solution is to purchase and install a water pressure regulator for your RV. A water pressure regulator is a small, brass pipe fitting that screws onto your water intake hose. They are often inexpensive for just the regulator piece itself, but you can also get adjustable ones with or without a built-in gauge.
How to Install an RV Water Pressure Regulator
No matter what type of pressure regulator you get, installation is simple. It’s just one extra step when you’re setting up your campsite:
Before you attach your intake hose to the outlet spigot, screw the regulator onto one end of the hose. Then, attach the open end to either the spigot or the intake port on your RV.
If your regulator is adjustable, check that it’s adjusted to the appropriate pressure setting for your RV. Run the water in your RV as normal, and your water should be ready to go at an even pressure.
How to Troubleshoot Water Pressure Problems in an RV
Other issues can cause uneven, high, or low water pressure, however. If installing a water pressure regulator doesn’t solve the problem, troubleshooting will be necessary. Check the following components to find the source of the issue:
The Campground’s Water Pressure
Because many campgrounds don’t regulate their water, they might simply have low or uneven pressure that your regulator won’t fix. Buying and installing a booster pump can help increase water flow, however.
The Hose Line
Check that there aren’t any kinks in the intake hose. If there is, or something is sitting on it, straightening out the house should fix the problem.
The Water Filter
Your RV’s water filter can cause reduced water pressure if it slows down the flow while filtering. Adding a booster pump can help this issue as well. However, be sure to check the filter in the unit first to make sure it’s not dirty and causing a clog.
You should change the filter every six months to a year. It can be easy to forget this part of RV maintenance, but it’s vital for providing clean water on the road. Checking the filter first can keep you from having to buy an expensive additional part.
The RV Water Pump
The water pump can reduce water pressure as the water flows through its pipe system. Problems with the water pump can also affect pressure, in which case you may need to repair or replace it.
Check For Leaks
Your RV’s water pressure can definitely be lower if there are leaks in the system. Leaks can also cause water damage and mold, so it’s important to find and fix them as soon as possible.
There are a variety of places where leaks could occur. Look for drips and puddles of water in the various compartments around the pipes. If you find a leak, you will need to tighten the connection, patch, or replace the pipe.
High water pressure can not only be uncomfortable, it can also cause damage to your RV’s water system. Installing a water pressure regulator on your RV’s intake hose will even out the water pressure and protect you from having to do costly repairs. While it can’t help with low pressure, there can be other culprits causing that which you can fix fairly easily.
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