How To Prime A Caravan Water Pump – Step By Step Guide

Priming the water pump is important to get a continuous flow of water inside the caravan. But how do you do it?

In this article, you’ll learn how to quickly prime your caravan water pump. We will also talk about the importance of priming the water pump and what water pumps need to be primed.

Our goal is that by the end of this article, you will be able to prime your water pumps in just 10 minutes.

Note: An improperly primed pump can damage your caravan’s water system and appliances. If in doubt, contact your caravan manufacturer or speak to a licensed plumber for expert advice.

The Importance Of Priming Your Caravan Water Pump

When you have a newly installed water pump or your water pumps have been drained (perhaps the van has been in caravan storage), there is no water in the pipes which means water won’t flow if you turn on your tap.

Priming is done to flush the water into the pipes and push the air out so that you’ll get a continuous flow of water when you turn on your taps and other appliances.

It is an important step to get your water system working.

Importance Of Priming Your Caravan Water Pump

What Water Pumps Should Be Primed

In general, only newly installed pumps or pumps that have been drained need to be primed.

You may need to prime your water pumps if the water splashes intermittently or you hear gurgling when you turn on the tap. This indicates that air is trapped in your pipes and is interfering with the flow of water.

This can occur when your tank runs empty and the water pump sucks air into the pumps and pipes rather than water. If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you’ll need to follow the steps laid out below.

How To Prime A Pump - Step By Step Guide

Step 1: Lock drain valves

First, lock the drain valves to allow the water to come into the water pumps. To do that, flick the yellow lever in the downward position. It is usually found at the valve next to the water pumps.

Remember, when the yellow lever is positioned up, it drains the pump. When it's positioned down, it’s to allow water to get into the pumps.

Step 2: Turn on the water pump

Next, turn on the water pump in the control panel. When you hear the pump up and running, it means it's sucking up water. Make sure that you have enough water in your tanks.

Step 3: Turn the faucet on

Set one of your taps to cold, turn it on and let it run in the sink for a while. You may hear some gurgles and see splashes from your tap initially. That just means air is being cleared out of your water system.

It may take a minute or two for the air to clear out and for you to get a continuous flow of water.

Once that’s done, set the tap to hot and turn it on again. Do that for all the taps in your caravan and you’ll have a primed water pump.

Turn the faucet on

Final Thoughts

Priming should be done on newly installed water pumps or pumps that have been drained of water.

The whole process of priming is very easy and can usually be done in less than 10 mins. Just follow the steps outlined above and you should get your water pumps ready for use.

If the process sounds confusing or you would prefer the peace of mind of having it done right the first time, speak to your caravan manufacturer or a licensed plumber for expert advice.

This article may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product or service after clicking on my link. This helps pay for the cost of running the website. You will not be disadvantaged in any way by using my links.

Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.


While Louis does most of his trips near his home in south-east Queensland, he has been camping as far afield as South America and Africa. He loves researching, testing and experimenting with camping gear whenever possible.

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