If you’re an RV enthusiast, then you know that water lines can be tough to handle. You need to buy fittings and hoses just to get the thing hooked up. If your hose gets clogged or leaks near where it connects with the trailer, it’s time for a replacement.
Replacing the entire line is much more difficult than one might think if one doesn’t have knowledge about this type of work. The first step in replacing the line is blowing out all of the old material from inside before disconnecting any connections on either end of the pipe.
Why Do You need to Blow Out Water lines in RV?
Blowing out the hose will remove any junk that has been collected in it through normal use think about all of the times you’ve drained your freshwater tank or fill up on your last trip.
You might want to create a new hose for this purpose, but if some particles are still stuck inside it could cause problems when you try to refill the system with clean water.
A good way to prevent leaks while filling up is by filling the hose with some air before hooking it back up, which would also serve as an easy way to get rid of all of that excess water that’s trapped inside.
What tools are required?
You’re going to need a special tool designed just for blowing out water lines in RVs. Even if you’re just replacing a piece of hose, it’s still smart to use this tool for consistency and ease of installation.
It would be quite difficult to blow all the old residue out using simple machineries like an air compressor or leaf blower because those tools can’t fit inside such tight spaces sometimes required for water lines in RVs.
How to Blow Out Water Lines in RV
- Make sure there is no power running through the water system by turning off the breaker box, removing fuses, etc. This will prevent any shocks from occurring while working on your project and also will stop any possibility of short-circuiting other connections/cables that might be nearby.
- Use a flare nut wrench or crescent wrench to disconnect the hose from the water source. Wrap some cloth around the connection so you can get a good grip, and be careful of sharp edges if your hose is rubber instead of PVC.
- Connect your air blowing device to the fitting at the other end of the hose that’s still attached to RV (the smaller end).
- Turn on your compressor or leaf blower and push all that old water out by force. If you don’t have an air compressor handy, use some alternative power like a battery-operated fan or even carry along your leaf blower on trips with you in order to make this process easier when on the road.
- Disconnect the hose at the trailer end and blow-dry with a fan or leaf blower.
- Replace the hose if necessary.
It’s best to begin the process on the outside of the RV, making sure that you’re not standing in an area where water can drip onto you. Water lines are typically low-pressure with a psi rating of around 25. This is enough to make shooting out the line material completely useless if done from inside or without proper knowledge of how to do it safely.
To try blowing out the line without proper gear can result in severe injuries for several reasons. For one, there’s water pressure which is enough force to pop your eye out if you are not careful enough.
Second, there is also extremely hot water coming through with that same pressure which can give severe burns on contact. Lastly, there are sharp tools being used in this process. All of these factors together should be enough to convince anyone not to attempt this without proper gear.
One of the main pieces of equipment you’ll need is a pressure washer. There are several different sizes, shapes, and styles that can be used for different things based on your needs. For example, there are gas-powered, electric-powered, and even some smaller handheld units which may work better for your situation.
You also have options when it comes to what type of spray nozzle you want to use with the device. A solid stream works well for getting down into tight spaces or crevices while a wider fan-shaped may work better for larger surfaces.
Before you begin, make sure the pressure washer is working and also fill up a spray bottle with water for testing purposes. Start by positioning yourself downwind and away from the vehicle and hook up the pressure washer.
A fan-shaped spray nozzle should be used for this process as it will cover more ground evenly around your vehicle or trailer. Begin spraying from the bottom near where one of the hoses attaches to the trailer.
Make sure you’re watching both ends of the line just in case there’s a leak on either end that may result in an additional mess. As the old material gets blasted out by the high-pressure stream, it will go all over the place.
By using the spray bottle, you can test it for purity and make sure there isn’t any debris coming out of it before moving on to the next area.
When spraying out between two fittings or if you’re working somewhere that has a tight space, consider turning off some of the pressure by turning down the nozzle while still aiming at the material you need to be removed.
This process is typically slower but much safer and more thorough than blasting with high-pressure water while trying to fit your body into a small space. After completing this task around both ends of the line.
Take a look inside each fitting where there’s usually one on each end of most water lines. If necessary, use a wire brush or an old toothbrush to scrub out any remaining debris that could cause issues with the new hose when you install it.
Since most water lines are used for minimal amounts of pressure, even if there is some debris leftover in one area it shouldn’t be enough to make them burst. However, this becomes more complicated when working with larger (30 psi) water lines which may start looking worse for wear after just one season depending on how much they’re being used.
For extremely dirty or damaged lines it might be best to completely replace them rather than attempting this process just so everything looks good before returning the vehicle back into. Replacing these types of lines is made easier by first disconnecting both ends and cutting the line in half at a location that will be easy to workaround.
If you own a camper trailer, there’s a chance these lines may actually not be connected together anymore. If this is the case, follow all of the same steps as before but only work on one hose at a time instead of two like with most RVs or campers.
This can also help give you more control over where the water pressure is going since it’s not shared between two hoses. Just make sure to keep track of each piece if your hose only has one end!
At some point during this process, try testing for leaks again because if you notice one, stop immediately and try hunting down the source of the problem before trying again.
If you’re traveling in an RV this summer, be sure to check your water lines before leaving. We’ve given you some tips on how to quickly and easily blow out the pipes by removing any buildup or debris that may have accumulated over time.
This is a quick fix for when things get clogged up so there’s no need to worry about it! Be safe, enjoy your trip, and remember these helpful hints if you want to keep your plumbing system running smoothly.
I`m a current Law Enforcement Officer working within the Counterterrorism Bureau in New York State. I have been Camping for over 20 years. My styles of camping include tent, car, truck, van, and RV travel trailer. I have a YouTube channel where I teach all types of camping with an entertaining method: https://youtube.com/@TheSmallsRVAdventures