Usually, caravans come with a submersible pump which should, if it’s good quality, provide an unfailing service for around 10 years or more. Often these can develop faults more frequently and become a problem for travellers who don’t carry a spear.
Always make sure you are carrying a spear in case you encounter problems with your submersible pump, especially if you are travelling abroad.
Motorhomes, however, usually come equipped with diaphragm pumps.
What to do if the motor isn’t running?
Is the battery discharged? Try the lights to see if they work.
Is the pump switched on at the distribution unit? Many caravans have a control switch.
Has a fuse failed? Fuses are usually fitted at the distribution unit in the wardrobe or under the front seats.
What to do if the motor is running but there is no water at the tap?
If you are using a submersible pump it is possible for air to get trapped in the casing. To solve this, disconnect the hose from the input coupling. Under the surface of the water gently swing the pipe so the pump knocks on the side of the water container. This usually releases any air bubbles.
If you are using a diaphragm pump, check if any grit has got into the pump, this would damage the pump's mechanism so it's important to check for this regularly and clean it if necessary. If you find that your pump is damaged you can get this repaired by the supplier.
What to do if your switch system is faulty?
In general one of the two systems are used. Either a small switch is fitted into the tap itself, called a microswitch, or a switch activates the pump when it senses a small amount of pressure in the supply system, for example, when a tap is turned on. This type of switch is called a pressure-sensitive switch.
Sometimes damp can cause a fault in a microswitch and in some cases, the whole tap would need to be replaced. In most cases, however, the switch can be easily replaced by a qualified electrician.