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RV Water Pump Troubleshooting – Clean the Screen!

There are two issues that can affect the performance of an RV water pump: a dirty rv water pump filter screen, and a contaminated fresh water RV system.  This RV water pump troubleshooting method will give you a starting point in helping to diagnose a problem you may be having in your RV.

The first thing you need to do is locate your RV water pump.  Some RV manufacturers locate their RV water pumps inside the RV while others will locate them in a storage bin outside the RV.  If you have never searched for your water pump before, you may have to do some real investigation to find it.

What does the RV water pump look like?

rv water pump troubleshooting

A Typical SHURflo RV Water Pump

I don’t know why, but RV manufacturers like to hide RV water pumps, even though RV owners like us need easy access to service them.  I found mine by turning on the RV water pump and tracing the distinct noise it makes when being used.  I found mine buried underneath the kitchen counter with no way to get to it.  I had to remove a cabinet panel and make a door out of it.  That also gave me future access for the maintenance I am describing here.

Okay, once you located it, the rest of your RV water pump troubleshooting process is easy!

Hopefully you will be able to access the pump well enough so that it will be fairly easy to disconnect the fresh water tank supply line and allow you to remove the RV water pump screen assembly so that you can clean it out. But before you do that, be sure to have your RV unhooked from city water, and also be sure the water pump is off. Turn on a faucet and relieve pressure in the water system.

If you have the new clear filter assembly, all you need to do is unscrew the bottom screen housing to access the screen for cleaning.

rv water pump troubleshooting

Older Style Filter Screen Assembly

If you have the semi-clear filter housing you will need to remove the fresh water supply line coming from the fresh water tank.  It will be attached to the filter screen assembly.  You may get a little residual water come out from what was left in the supply line.  Now that the supply hose is removed, unscrew the filter assembly from the RV water pump housing.  You will need to do that in order to get the screen out to clean it.

rv water pump troubleshooting

If you have the older style like the one shown above, open it by turning the threaded male end counter clockwise to allow the two parts to separate from each other. Once you have your filter assembly apart you can push the screen out from the female threaded end and clean the screen. Take it outside and rinse it with water to get all the particles out.  Once you have done that, reassemble the filter, and attach it back to the RV water pump.

This will be the first step in assuring that your RV water pump is running at its best!  The next issue that I will deal with, in another section of RV water pump troubleshooting, is sanitizing the RV fresh water system.

If you are an occasional RV-er, this should be done at the start and end of your RV season.  If you enjoy full time RV living, then a good rule of thumb is to sanitize the fresh water system every six months.

Please look for my next page on this subject!  It is very important to the health of your RV water pump!

Please leave a comment before you check out another post, or pose a question if we can be of assistance!


Blessings in your RV adventures!
Howard and Pam


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  1. Sylvia Jordan

    I got the screen assembly turned out, & thought I could see the correct direction to turn the connection cover. However it would not unscrew. I am always afraid of applying too much pressure. You confirmed that it is counter clockwise, so I tried again & voila, it unscrewed. I rinsed the screen & entire inside area & used an old toothbrush to make sure it was clean. Thanks for the info & assistance. I have noted your website for future reference.
    Sylvia in Milwaukee

    1. Howard

      Thanks for visiting our website Slyvia!

      I am so glad our information was able to help you out.

      Happy RV travels!!

  2. balmer in Charlotte Mich.

    Mr Howard.,
    Dito ……worked for me too. EASY! Thanks

    1. Howard

      Glad to hear that! Thanks for letting us know!!

  3. Betty

    Instruction book says to push in and turn filter 1/4 turn counterclockwise to release clips. Tried several times, does not work. Ideas?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Betty!

      If it has been awhile since the filter assembly has been removed, it may be calcified and a little stubborn. If yours is the kind that does not need the intake water line be removed, be sure the pressure on the pump is released by shutting off all water sources and open a faucet to relieve pressure in the system. Then get a good hold on the pump assembly and try again. Maybe a rubber jar opener pad will help you get a better grip on it.

      If you just can’t get it open or break it in the effort, they are easy to get replacement parts at any reputable RV supply center.

      Good luck!!

  4. SpringerPop


    New to us, a 2004 Terry 250RKS. Pump is under a panel at the bottom of a kitchen cabinet.

    Since it is difficult to access (well, not really, let’s say “inconvenient”) I suspected that the unit might not have been maintained regularly. Boy, was I right!

    It has the old-style screen, and after a casual look I had absolutely no idea just how MUCH crud there was inside of it! My wife almost gagged! :-))

    Thanks for such complete instructions, as it isn’t obvious at first that the screen housing simply un-threads from the pump inlet.

    It’s all better now, though I am now looking at doing a heavy bleach wash-down of the fresh water tank.

    Best regards!


    1. Howard

      Thanks for stopping by our website Pop! Pam and I are glad we were able to help!! Enjoy your RV travels!

  5. Sandy Mae Wine

    Have just recently had to use the water pump this year it cuts off and on and water gets cold when its on and when it cuts off hot water again. Not sure what our problem is but in need of answers for a hot shower that stays hot lol not a happy person with cold shower and then it gets hot again help us plz

    1. Howard

      Hi Sandy!

      I have to say I have never heard of this one before! I would start by checking the connections to the water pump. We had a loose wire create some issues of intermittent water pump service. The hot and cold water issue may just be coincidental.

  6. Lolita McCarthy

    Where can I find another old school Water shurflow filter? Mine is cracked and leaks water! What is the price??

    1. Howard

      Hi Lolita!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Can you tell me the model number and possibly the age of the pump from the manufacturer date stamped on it?

  7. Robert E Hamilton

    where is the location of fresh water pump on a 2004 sportcoach cross country by coachman

    1. Howard

      Hi Robert!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      I don’t know the specific location for that model, but if you are asking I am assuming it is not working. Otherwise, when I want to find them when inspecting RV’s, I turn on the pump and a faucet and listen for the sound and chase it down that way.

      Water pumps are usually located near the plumbing bay where the water comes in. It may be in one of the outside bays or they may have placed it inside under a cabinet or bed. Follow the plumbing from the plumbing bay and you will find it.

  8. Veronica

    Our pump continually runs and we get zero water through the taps. We have just started to use our water pump after not using it for a few years. We discovered a really nasty smell and discovered really gross nastiness when we decided to clean/drain the holding tank. We think we may have plugged the pump..hence the continuous running of the pump. We are going to try to access the pump filter and clean it! Do you have any other suggestions or advice?

    1. Howard

      Hi Veronica!

      From what you are describing, if you have enough water in the tank, but no water coming out of the faucet, it is either clogged, or it is time to replace the pump. We had to do that recently after three years of full time RV living use. THe pump ran, the screen was clean, but the pump was not developing enough suction to provide water to faucets.

  9. Karen

    Can you please tell me where I can get a replacement? The threads on mine are broken and it’s leaking so I’m trying to find another strainer for it. I’ve found nothing so far either at camping world or online. The water pump itself works fine just leaking because of strainer.

    Thanks for help!

    1. Howard

      Hi Karen!

      If the pump is made by Shurflo, call them directly to see if they can send you a replacement for your pump model. I was able to find parts on Amazon.

  10. Linda Blakney

    My water pump is running and the filter is clean but no water is coming out of faucets. Could my pump have debris in it? Is there a way to clean it out of the pump or do I have to replace the pump? I have an Artis Products power drive series one automatic water system pump.

    1. Howard

      Hi Linda!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      How old is the water pump? Has it had much use? Have you kept the fresh water tank sanitized?

  11. Luke

    I have a new RV with a Shurflo pump. Was fine for approximately one full tank of 45 gallons. Then we hooked up to camp ground water. That went fine, too. But when we left the campground and went back to our tank water, the pump was WAY LOUDER and seems to be struggling. Sounds like a motorboat. I did everything possible to secure it down tightly, make sure nothing is touching it, and all water lines near the pump are now covered with foam insulation and secured down to remove shaking. Still, the pump labors on and makes a horrible sound. A quick visual on the filter and it looked clear. Water pressure at the faucet, toilet, sink, and shower is not bad. Outdoor shower is very poor. What to do next?

    1. Howard

      Hi Luke!

      If it’s a new RV I would take it back to the dealer for warranty work.

  12. Debbie

    We have one of the old filtr screen assembly that you have shown on your website. Ours looks exactly like that. Do you have a part # for the replacement one

    1. Howard

      Hi Debbie!

      If you will Google search “Shur Flo water pump parts” you will find what you are looking for. I found them on Amazon.

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