by Kathy (Virginia)
Question: We think the water pump in our travel trailer is leaking but we can seem to find out where the leak is coming from. Any ideas on how to find the leak? Nothing seems to be wrong with the pump itself. The pump is located under the couch–and the carpet there is wet. We have a 25ft. Fleetwood travel trailer.
Answer: Leaks are very difficult to diagnose without being on site, so our help is going to take the shotgun approach and ramble on as we think of things to check.
Here are a few things we would try. We suggest that if you do not see the leak itself (we assume that the pump is visible) coming from the pump then the leak has nothing to do with the pump. Try tightening the waterline connections, then dry everything as best as possible and feel around the pump and waterlines going into and out of the pump for signs of moisture or water. If the lines are wet then you will have to trace the lines to the next connection point and so on until you find where they are leaking. You may have to do the trace multiple times. If the pump is wet then you may have to replace the pump since the housing may be cracked.
If the lines and the pump remain dry but the water is still accumulating on the rug, then turn off your water supply and depressurize the water system by opening a faucet until no more water comes out. Go back to the pump, and again dry everything and check the lines and pump for moisture. If the lines and pump are dry but you still have water accumulating then it is not the pump or the water lines. You may have had a leak that was in the same general area as the water pump. You never want to give up on a leak since they can cause an amazing amount of damage. If you cannot figure out where the leak is coming from then it is time to call in a professional.
We had a leak that stumped us for over 3 months. It manifested in two of our storage bays. The leak would leave watermarks on the bay doors and felt moist right where the bottom of the floor met the belt line. I resealed all my belt lines, the skylight directly above the leak, the refrigerator vent near the leak, and two windows within 4 feet of the leak. It made no difference – we still had a leak. We were desperate so we started to look inside the refrigerator vent and found a hairline crack inside the opening that houses the refrigerator coils. We sealed that and waited for the next rain. Still had the problem but it had diminished. We then looked further and found a few more areas that had voids. We resealed them and the problem has gone away. It was only luck that we found the problem and was able to fix it after many false starts and a lot of effort.
By the way, if your owner’s manual does not mention it you should be resealing all the belt lines (anyplace it seems there are pieces joined where water could get in), windows, and penetrations at least once a year. This is something we do religiously to prevent leaks before they happen. Even with all these precautions, we’ve still had leaks. We are lucky that we learned this early on and have been able to proactively maintain the watertight integrity of our RV.
Hope this is of some help, and wish you best of luck on fixing the problem. Please let us know the outcome.