One of the most common types of pumps in motorhomes and caravans is the freshwater handpump. Easy to use and not requiring power, you will find them in almost all older caravans but with age comes the possibility of seal failure.
Replacing one is a sinch. Anyone with some basic handtool experience and the requisite gear can easily do it yourself at home. It is a dual action meaning it draws water on depressing the pump and on the pumps spring-loaded return and it is self-priming meaning even if there is a bit of air in the system, a few pumps and it should start drawing water.
With help from The RV Repair Centre’s foreman, Paul Hewat, in Bayswater (VIC) here is a step-by-step on replacing your freshwater hand pump.
Locate the hoses under the sink that connect freshwater to the hand pump inlet.
Undo the hose clamp and separate the hose from the hand pump.
You should now have easy access to the retaining ring holding the pump to your benchtop or sink. Unscrew and remove your old pump.
Handy Hint: Once the hand pump is removed, clean the sink surface on both sides to remove any old silicone. A flat-blade comes in handy, as does methylated spirits to wipe clean to help break down stubborn sealant.
Our hand pump came with good instructions, yours should too. Have a read of them.
The most common concern, and what we are showing here, is ensuring the rubber seal is the correct way up and that it sits flush between the pump and the sink or bench top. Some pumps, require a bead of silicone to ensure an optimal seal. Test fit everything first before applying the silicone and hand-tightening the retaining ring under the sink or benchtop.
Generally tightening the retaining ring by hand is enough, however, using a non-slip cloth to help get a firm hold or using a set of multi-grips might be needed to get a firm seating. Be careful not to over-tighten the retaining ring, it should be a firm hand tightening only.
Reconnect the freshwater hose as shown.
Clean up the area, make sure you have water in your tank then commence lifting the plunger fully up and down several times until water flows.