If you’ve owned an RV for a while now, you’ve probably experienced a leaky city water inlet at least once. Haven’t had one yet? Just wait.
Leaky inlets are among the most common issues RVs have, and not only are they annoying, but they’re incredibly wasteful. In fact, some campgrounds will call you out on a leak and require that you fix it rather than waste the water they’re paying for.
So what do you do if your water inlet starts leaking on you? Tightening seems like the obvious solution, and sometimes it does work, but other times all the tightening in the world isn’t going to help your RV’s dripping. In these cases, you have to look elsewhere for your problem.
Fortunately, all possible issues are easy to pinpoint, and every single one has a simple solution.
High water pressure
First, you’ll want to check that the water pressure isn’t too high. You can do this by turning the water down but not off.
If turning the water down makes the leaking stop and still allows for adequate water pressure inside the RV, this was likely your problem and turning the pressure down is a great temporary solution.
That said, high water pressure is likely to cause other leaks throughout your water system, especially if it was strong enough to cause a leak from your inlet.
You will want to carefully inspect all water lines for places where the high pressure caused the line to burst and left a leak behind.
If leaks are found, make sure to turn off the water until repairs can be made to all leaking lines in order to prevent water damage and mold in your rig.
To prevent this issue from happening in the future, order and install a water pressure regulator. These little devices are inexpensive and easy to use and can save you from a massive headache on down the road.
Another potential culprit? A bent freshwater hose. If the end of your hose is out of round, it can’t sit properly in the inlet and won’t create a good seal.
Obviously, this leads to leaks. The best way to check for this particular issue is to carefully inspect your water hose. If it looks at all out of round you’ve probably found your issue.
Sometimes, when the bend isn’t too bad, this problem can be fixed for a day or two by turning the water hose so that the bent edge is at the top of the connection.
If you decide to attempt this, be sure to tighten the connection as much as possible and turn your water pressure down low until you can replace the hose.
When you do replace the fresh water hose, remember to keep it out of situations that could cause it to be squished. You might also consider a quick-connect device which will make your life a bit easier and help protect the end of the hose from damage.
A bad gasket is probably the most common issue. Luckily, it’s no big deal at all.
To see if your gasket is the problem, remove your water hose and carefully inspect the gasket for any tears or cuts. You may have to remove the piece to see where the problem lies. If so, be careful not to push in on the check valve located beneath the gasket mesh.
If you discover the gasket is the problem, you’ll need to buy a replacement. These little rubber rings are incredibly cheap and can be found anywhere that sells camping supplies. When you make your purchase, go ahead and pick up a few so you always have one on hand.
Don’t have time to head to the store? If you have an inline water filter you can actually snag the gasket from the attachment hose to use in your city water inlet as a temporary fix.
That said, doing this will leave you without a usable water filter or a mesh screen, so it should be a last resort.
Dislodged check valve seal
Under the mesh screen in your city water inlet, there is a little valve that is meant to prevent backflow when using your water pump.
Unfortunately, if the valve gets pushed in while the system is pressurized, the seal on the valve can get pushed out of place very easily, causing fresh water to leak out of the city water inlet every time the water pump is used.
If your leak only happens while using the pump, this is almost certainly your issue. In this case, the best option is almost always to replace the inlet and the valve.
Fortunately, the parts are relatively inexpensive and not too difficult to install. Just make sure to seal around the new inlet really well to protect the area from rain.
Want to avoid this issue in the future? Don’t push that valve in while the system is pressurized. In fact, the only time you should push it is during winterization, and that should be done with no pressure in the system whatsoever.
Hopefully, this information will help you pinpoint your issue and fix it quickly so you can continue to enjoy your camping experience.
After all, nobody wants to think about water leaks and DIY repairs while trying to enjoy a vacation, and in our opinion, you shouldn’t have to.