Are you having issues with your RV’s faucets lately, such as sputtering water? If you do, there is a good chance you have air in your motorhome’s water lines. While air in RV water lines will not damage the RV’s plumbing system, it can lower water pressure and make showers and kitchen chores less enjoyable.
Learning how to bleed air from RV water lines is an essential skill all motorhome owners must know.
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Things You Will Need to Follow this Tutorial
Bleeding RV water lines does not require any special tool. You only need to fill your RV freshwater tank full to bleed air from your RV’s system. You can also connect your RV to a city or municipal water line.
Knowledge of your RV’s water system is also essential, including the various components, such as water heater, water pump, hoses, and fixtures. Your motorhome’s plumbing is a continuous system. The different components work to prevent air from getting inside, conveying only water.
If you are not familiar with your RV’s water lines, it will help to read the owner’s manual. Doing so will teach you about the recommended troubleshooting methods and tricks, including how to bleed air from the lines.
You may also want to prepare a water and vinegar solution to clean the different components when removing air bubbles from the motorhome’s water line. Since bleeding RV water lines requires more assessment, you might want to take this opportunity to clean your RV plumbing system.
Guide on How to Bleed Air from RV Water Lines
Step 1: Inspect the RV’s Water Pump
The first step to bleeding water lines is inspecting the different components of your RV’s plumbing system. Always start with the water pump, including the pressure release valves, drain valve, outgoing water pipe, drain plug, and water pressure regulator.
Check the water pump’s inlet port for signs of broken or loose connections. Assess the pump strainer for evidence of cracks or loose joints. Gaps and cracks are excellent entry points for air, leading to air trapped inside the hose.
John Woodard of Fresh Water Systems provides a helpful video for those not well-versed with a motorhome water pump.
Step 2: Assess the RV Water Hose
If everything is good with your water pump, inspect the entire length of the water hose from the onboard water pump to the water tank, water heater, and water fixtures.
A loose clamp or pipe fitting can introduce air into the system. You might also want to check for cracks, punctures, and other signs of damage in the rubber hose.
If your RV water system came with a pressure relief valve, you might want to check if it is in the OFF position. Most Forest River RVs have a pressure release valve to aid in winterizing the motorhome.
You might also want to check the hoses in the gray tank.
Step 3: Inspect the RV Water Heater
Your RV hot water heater can also introduce air into the RV’s waterline. It often results when the device does not build up enough pressure, such as what happens if you have a loose heater plug. If the hot water heater tank is also not full, there is a chance of air in hot water line to develop.
RV Wholesalers has an interesting video to help those who do not know how to check if their RV water heater tank is full.
Additionally, you can check the plug for a secure insertion and the different tubing connections from the water heater tank.
Step 4: Fill Your RV’s Water Tank
Before you purge air from your RV’s water lines, it would be best to fill your RV’s freshwater tank. You will use this to flush all the air in the entire water system.
Pro Tip: You can bypass your RV fresh water tank by establishing a city water connection. Pressure in the water utility will purge air from your system.
Step 5: Purge the Air from the Water Lines
Turn on your motorhome’s water pump and open the faucet farthest from the pump. Close the other faucets and water fixtures. Let the water run for a few minutes to a few hours or until you notice a steady water flow. You should not hear any sputtering sounds.
A steady or solid flow is always a good indicator of the absence of air in your water lines.
Step 6: Continue Bleeding the Air through the Rest of Your Plumbing Fixtures
Close the farthest faucet and open the next farthest tap from your RV water pump. Keep bleeding the system until you get a steady stream.
Repeat this process for each of your faucets and water fixtures, including the showerhead, bathroom sink tap, and water sprays. What you want is to purge all possible air in the lines.
Steps to Removing Air from Your RV Water Heater
Step 1: Assess the Different Water Heater Components
Although uncommon, air bubbles in your RV water heater, hot water tank, and hot water lines can still occur. Trapped air can produce sputtering air in water fixtures, such as water faucets and showerheads. There is a good chance you have air trapped in the water heater if you see this sign.
Start by checking the water heater’s plug. It may be loose, causing a drop in water pressure. You might also want to check the fresh water tank if it is full of water. If not, there is a chance the excess air will go through your RV water lines. Moreover, checking the water output pipe for signs of cracks is a must.
Step 2: Turn On Your Water Pump and Water Heater
Turn on your water pump and fill the hot water tank by connecting it to a municipal or city water supply.
Bleeding hot water heater starts by turning on the water pump switch and the water heater. The pump pushes the water and any air pockets through the hoses and out through your faucets and showerheads.
Turning RV water heaters on will help you determine other problems that may occur. For example, if the water is not getting hot, you might have a problem with the anode rod. It can happen if there are mineral deposits on the heating elements.
Step 3: Purge the Hot Water Faucet First
With the water pump and heater on, you can now turn on the farthest water faucet. Leave the water running for a few minutes until you see a steady water stream.
To bleed water heater thoroughly, you must perform the air-purging step on all water fixtures in your motorhome. Do it one at a time, opening one faucet while keeping the rest closed.
Pro Tip: You can follow the same steps if you want to bleed RV water pumps or any component in your RV water system.
Learning how to bleed air from RV water lines lets you enjoy your RVing experience better. You will not have to worry about sputtering water or insufficient water supply in your kitchen sink, toilet, or shower. Remember, purging air from your system does not require special tools – only a full tank of water.
Did you find this tutorial helpful? If you did, you might want to share this with your friends and other family members. They might need it in the future. Moreover, we would love to hear your thoughts about this guide.
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