What is a 12 Volt Water Pump?

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  • Written By: Eric Tallberg
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2019
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A 12 volt water pump is the ideal way to provide running water to a recreational vehicle (RV), a towed or motorized camper. Its compact size saves space in the confines of the somewhat cramped interior of an RV. Most importantly, its ability to be powered with the ordinary 12 volt, direct current (DC) automobile battery, assures running water no matter whether the RV is parked, whether near to a source municipal electricity, or not.

In the typical RV, a 12 volt water pump ordinarily is mounted next to the fresh-water holding tank. The pump is wired to an electrical panel that is, in turn, wired to a separate 12 volt battery, or batteries. There are commonly two hoses attached to the 12 volt water pump, one for drawing the water from the holding tank to the pump, and the other leading from the pump to the tap, or faucet. When the pump is activated at the panel, a small impeller in the pump sucks, or draws the water from the tank, and then pushes it toward the tap.


The impeller in an older model 12 volt water pump is sometimes manufactured of rust- and corrosion-resistant bronze or copper. Most of the more recently manufactured 12 volt water pumps, however, use plastic impellers. More flexible, and even more rust-resistant than bronze, plastic impellers will not corrode, and will also allow small, solid particles very often found in fresh water tanks, to pass through the pump without jamming.

In addition to recreational vehicles, 12 volt water pumps are used in smaller power boats. Not only are they needed to pump fresh water from the holding tanks, these versatile pumps are also necessary for another, even more vital function. Boats, even brand new boats, have a tendency to collect water in the bilge, the bottom of a boat. Bilge pumps are 12 volt water pumps that are placed in the bilges of a boat, and, when equipped with a float valve, will automatically pump this collected bilge water over the side when the bilge-water reaches a certain level.

The 12 volt water pump is a rugged device, and, in boats, is designed, to be submersible. In most RVs, the water pump is, at least, water resistant. With the ability to withstand the rigors of nearly constant operation, as well as the capability to provide constant pressurized water in the most remote areas using an ordinary auto battery, these portable water pumps is more than a mere convenience, it is a necessity.


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Post 2

Any ideas on how to get a 12 volt water pump to put out enough pressure to get water from an outside holding tank. we have tried everything we can think of and nothing seems to work. this is the third new pump we have tried. and even changed the hoses. so help if you can.

Post 1

A 12V water pump can operate in 2 directions controlled by a small electric circuit. I mean whether the water can run from tank A to tank B through the 12V water pump at this time and then the water can run from tank B to tank A through it or not. I think I can change the poles of motor by a electric circuit so that the pump can change its rotation to inverse its water direction! Can someone answer for me!

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