While RVs always have a water tank that you can depend on, the pressure isn't always ideal. That's why being able to hook directly up to the city water at a campground is often preferred by most RV owners. And that's also why it can be so frustrating when you realize that your RV city water connection is not working. You don't want to keep relying on the stored water tank, so we've looked into why your connection might not work and what to do to fix it.
There are quite a few problems that can cause your RV's city water connection to stop working. These include:
- The campground water connection is bad.
- There is a blockage in the water hose.
- The filter or valve inlet has a clog or break.
- The check valve is accidentally set to draw from the tank rather than city water - and there can be multiple valves.
- The water lines in the camper itself have a kink or blockage.
Read further to learn more about each of these problems. We'll cover how to check and test for them, and how to rule out each one as you diagnose your issue. This article will also cover the correct way to hook your RV up to city water and what you need to make it happen.
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Why Won't My City Water Connection Work?
Many RVers prefer to hook directly into the city water connection when possible. It creates better, more consistent pressure. Plus, it saves you from having to keep refilling your water tank.
So when you can't get the city water connection to work, it's usually a priority to get that fixed - and fast! Use the following guideline to help you get to the root of your problem.
Check The Water Connection
First, you need to check the source. On occasion, there may be a problem with the water connection at the campground. Sometimes sediment or rust can clog things up. So right from the start, be sure that water can come out from the campground source at all.
Check for Blockages In The Hose
Just like the step above, water might be blocked up at the hose itself. Sometimes sediment or other debris can plug the hose.
Hoses also typically have rubber liners inside. If this breaks or comes loose, it can block off water flow. But it's easy enough to test - simply make sure water can come out of the hose.
Check Filters or Inlets
In most situations, there will be a filter where the hose connects to the RV. Sometimes, it's on the other end of the hose, near the water source. In any case, the filter has a small screen. Check to make sure it isn't dirty and blocking the water.
The check valve, pressure regulator, and valve inlet should also be inspected for any obvious clogs. Sometimes it might break, leaving pieces stuck inside the valve. Visually remove and examine to make sure that everything seems to be in working order.
Make Sure Valves Are On Correct Setting
Many RVs have other valves throughout an extensive water control system. Typically, you at least have to select whether your water source is the filled tank or the city water connection directly. Make sure that you have the right setting - the problem might just be that the RV is trying to draw water from the wrong place.
But in other cases, it's not as simple as just flipping a city water switch. There may be valves for distributing water, tank filling, winterizing, and more - make sure that all your valves are in the correct setting. Some RVs have extra check valves inside the RV, in addition to the one by the inlet.
Look At The Water Lines Inside The Camper
If nothing else seems to fix it, inspect the water lines inside the camper. It's surprisingly common to find a line that has a kink or twist, preventing the water from flowing normally. If work was done recently on the camper, this is often why your water suddenly doesn't work right.
Sometimes, you might not even realize a water line is affected because of replacing another part or appliance. Start by looking in any obvious areas with recent changes or where the lines are easily accessible. You may have to look up a water schematic for your camper, to find all of the lines.
I Still Can't Find The Problem!
As a last resort, if you've tried everything else, you can always let a certified RV technician take a look. They're experts who should be able to assist you.
How Do I Connect My City Water To My RV?
In most campers, connecting the city water should be fairly simple. First, turn on the water source at the campground. If it hasn't been used in a while, there might be a build-up of rust. The last thing you want is to blow out a chunk of rust that plugs up your hose or water inlet. Let the water run forcefully for a bit before connecting anything.
Also, you need to make sure that the setting on your valves is right. It's typically a switch that you must manually shift between using stored tank water or city water. Make sure the setting is on city water.
Finally, use an RV drinking water hose to connect the city source to the water inlet. Make sure that you use the correct hose and not just any garden hose. It's the only way to be sure that your drinking water remains safe and uncontaminated, as these hoses are guaranteed to contain no toxins such as lead.
Does RV Water Pump Need To Be On When Connected To City Water?
You won't need to run the water pump when connected to the city water. The purpose of the pump is to provide adequate water pressure when drawing water from the storage tank. When connected to city water, the pressure itself should be sufficient. The pump is unnecessary.
What Do I Need To Connect To City Water?
In addition to the RV water hose, you also need a water pressure regulator. Water at campgrounds can vary, sometimes with enough pressure to damage your RV water lines. To keep the pressure steady at around 45 pounds, use a water pressure regulator like this one:
To keep sediment, odors, and strange tastes at a minimum, you also need a water filter.
The simplest reason for an RV to not be able to connect to city water is to have the water system in the wrong setting. Make sure that yours is set to city water and draws water from the correct source. If that doesn't solve the problem, check to make sure that the campground connection and the hose itself both work. Next, inspect the inlet valve and filter. Check to be sure that there are no plugs or breaks.
The final step is to trace the water lines inside the RV. In doing so, you might find some additional check valves. Inspect these like the others, making sure they aren't broken. You may also find a kink in the waterline. If all else fails, you can always hire a certified RV technician to find and fix the problem.
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