RV Pump Left on Without Water

7 Alarming Problems Of Rv Pump Left On Without Water

Are you curious to know about all the things that can happen if you leave your RV turned on without water? Our list of problems will feed your curious mind. 

So, what are the problems of the RV pump left on without water? 

Well, firstly your pump may overheat and cause your impeller to melt. On top of that, the water pump will get damaged and cause pressure problems. Moreover, there’s a fear of flooding and freezing too. 

But that’s just a quick answer. To know about the problems in depth, keep on reading.

Consequences Based on The Model of Water Pump 

Leaving your pump on for an extended period can leave your RV in disastrous consequences. But the consequences can vary depending on the model of your RV water pump. 

Most of the newer models of water pumps can be left on for an extended period. These water pumps operate using a diaphragm. These on-demand pumps can be left in without water. 

However, most RVs contain the old version of water pumps. As a result, you cannot leave them on. These types of water pumps contain an impeller. Water pumps with impellers are known as off-demand water pumps.

If instead of using a water tank you get water from city pumps, you should keep your water pump off. It’s rather redundant to keep it on as the water pressure of the city pumps is more than enough. 

Why You Shouldn’t Keep Your RV Pump on Without Water? 

As convenient as RVs are, we have to keep in mind that it’s home at the end of the day. So just like a typical home, there is a lot of maintenance that needs to be done. Water pumps are one of those things. 

While traveling, it’s best to be prepared for any hurdle you might face on the road. Low voltage is a good example, and you should know how to fix it. Similarly, knowing about all the reasons why you shouldn’t keep your RV pump on without water is also necessary. 

If you’re one of those people with off-demand water pumps you have to be careful. Off-demand water pumps are particularly susceptible to the damage caused by leaving the pump on without water. 

For you to better understand the extent of the damage caused by leaving your water pump without water we have compiled a list of possible dangers down below. 


The topmost reason for not keeping your pump on without water is overheating. Keeping your pump on for an extended period can cause your system to overheat.

Overheating damages a system massively. It may result in not getting water when it’s necessary. 

Overheating will melt your impeller along with the shaft of the water pump. This will cause the impeller to seize onto the shaft. 

Pressure Problems

Overheating isn’t the only problem you’ll face, pressure issues can also take place.

Keeping your pump on creates a lot of pressure on your system. This pressure may cause your system to fail. 

Damaged Water Pump

With continued use of a pump without water, the pump gets damaged severely. 

Without water, the machinery often runs on itself. As a result, friction may occur. This friction induces damage to your water pump. So you need to look for signs of a failing water pump.

This is a particularly big problem as the cost of a new water pump is a lot. So any damage to your water pump will be relatively expensive for you.  

Freezing Problems 

In winter, RVers often face sprayer hose freezing issues. The trick that is used by most experienced RVers to prevent their sprayer hose from freezing is leaving the water faucet on overnight while the pump is off. 

Now if you keep your water pump on without water you won’t be able to do this. As a result, your sprayer hose will freeze. 

Wasting Energy 

Most of the time you leave your pump on without water unintentionally. However, you need to realize how much energy is being wasted by doing so. 

When the pump is turned on without water it consumes unnecessary power for the occasional boosts. So a lot of power and energy is wasted by leaving it on for extended periods. 

This is why you should form a habit of turning off your pump when you’re not using it. 

Noise Issues

You can bid farewell to your peaceful sleep if you’re planning to sleep in your RV with your water pump on. 

The pressure inside your water pump fluctuates overnight. With the pump relaxing and contracting, the pressure will change. 

During contraction, the pump creates a pulsating noise. There can be many reasons as to why your water pump is pulsating. In that case, you need to identify all the reasons behind this happening. 

Even though this pulsating noise lasts for only a few seconds it can disturb your sleep profusely. So it’d be wise to turn your water pump off if you intend to have a good night’s sleep. 


The damage created by leaving your pump on without water may cause your water pump to leak. These types of leaks can be seen in the water heater systems. 

Leaking is especially terrifying in an RV as the space is relatively small. Because a small place has the possibility of flooding too quickly too soon. So getting the best hand pump faucet might save you at times. 

These are all the problems you may be facing if you run your pump without water for too long. 


Q: How long can a water pump run without water? 

Answer: Generally it depends on the model to model of the water pump. However, it’s better not to run your water pump dry for more than a minute. 

Q: Can a water pump burn out?

Answer: A water pump can burn out due to overheating. Overheating can occur if you run your water pump dry. 

Q: Does the RV water pump run on battery? 

Answer: Yes, the RV water pump runs on 12V batteries. 


That’s the end of this segment. We hope we could give all the valuable inputs on the RV water pump left on without water. 

Catch you next time! 

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