A Shurflo water pump is among one of the most commonly found pumps on new RVs and campers. They’re also popular as replacements for pumps that leak or no longer function properly, and the replacement makes a good DIY project.
There are a variety of RV water pump brands on the market, several of them with excellent reputations. But, today, we’re taking a deep-dive into Shurflo water pumps in particular. We’ll cover how a Shurflo water pump works, and we’ll discuss a few different types of Shurflo units available today.
We’ll also take a brief look at the company that produces Shurflo water pumps to see how reputable they are and whether they stand behind their products, and we’ll even show you how easy it is to replace an RV water pump should you need to do so yourself.
- 1) What Is a 12V RV Water Pump?
- 2) About Shurflo Water Pumps
- 3) How Long Does a Shurflo Water Pump Last?
- 4) Can You Adjust a Shurflo Water Pump?
- 5) What Are Some of the Most Popular 12V Shurflo Water Pumps Currently on the Market?
- 6) Can a Shurflo Water Pump Be Repaired?
- 7) Free RVing Tips, Tricks, Reviews, Giveaways & More
What Is a 12V RV Water Pump?
A water pump is among the most-used and most-needed items on an RV. An RV with running water for showering, washing hands (and paws!) and dishes, and flushing the toilet has a water pump to thank for those conveniences, even when we’re out boondocking.
This is because your RV water pump can run under the power of your RV’s battery bank and 12V electrical system, using water from your rig’s fresh water tank.
Your RV’s water pump functions by pumping water from your fresh water holding tank through the water lines throughout your RV. When you call for water by opening a faucet or flushing the toilet, the pump provides the pressure to allow water to flow.
So, you turn on your rig’s water pump to give it power, it pumps water through the water lines until a certain amount of pressure is reached, you flush the toilet or turn on the shower or a sink faucet, and you’ve got water! It even pumps water to your RV outdoor shower if you have one.
When you call for water by opening a faucet or flushing the toilet, the pressure in the system is released, and the water flows. When the pump senses that the pressure has dropped low enough, it cycles on and re-pressurizes the system in preparation for the next time you need water.
Your RV water pump is a hard-working element of your RV and delivers some of the greatest conveniences RVing has to offer.
In fact, even after almost 20 years of full-time RV living, we still marvel at the ability to take a shower and live so comfortably in the middle of the desert.
About Shurflo Water Pumps
Shurflo designs and produces small, high-performance water pumps and other fluid handling systems for RVs & boats and the industrial and floor care industries.
Shurflo has been manufacturing water pump equipment since 1968. Back then, Shurflo was based out of Southern California, but they now globally distribute their products through a number of different manufacturers.
Shurflo, currently owned by Pentair, produces a wide variety of 12V water pumps for RV use. Some have a higher flow rate than others (reported as “GPM” or gallons per minute), and each has specs that reflect the needs and demands of different types and sizes of RVs.
Shurflo/Pentair even offers an RV pump conversion chart to assist you in choosing a replacement pump for your RV.
How Long Does a Shurflo Water Pump Last?
How long any piece of equipment lasts depends on how it’s used and how well it’s maintained. However, most Shurflo water pumps are highly durable, and many last a decade or longer (again, depending on how they’re used).
One of the most common reasons for needing to replace a Shurflo water pump (or any other brand of RV water pump, for that matter) is lack of or improper RV winterizing. (See our RV winterizing tips for more information.)
There are a number of small parts in an RV water pump, and if an RV isn’t properly winterized, those parts can freeze and crack, just as all RV plumbing fittings and valves can freeze and crack if left unprotected.
If a part of your Shurflo water pump freezes and cracks, the water pump is likely to leak. While a high-quality water pump like a Shurflo can sometimes be repaired with the replacement of just a single part, freezing can also damage RV water pumps to the degree that they need to be completely replaced.
Additionally, many people find that the water pump in their RV is very loud, with some describing their pumps as sounding like machine guns. This is another reason why an RVer might want to replace the water pump in their rig.
And finally, if an RV water pump isn’t performing well and no adjustments can be made to increase its performance, you may have no choice but to simply replace the pump for a better user experience.
Fortunately, Shurflo makes a number of replacement models, and their RV pump conversion chart allows you to see which Shurflo pump currently on the market is the best one to replace even a very old model that’s no longer sold.
So, even if you purchase a 20-year-old RV, Shurflo is likely to have a replacement for your rig’s water pump. That’s one impressive benefit of a company that’s been around for as long as Shurflo has.
Replacing an RV 12V water pump is not difficult and can make a great DIY project. If you need to replace your rig’s water pump, follow along with us as we replace ours in this video:
Can You Adjust a Shurflo Water Pump?
Yes! The pressure switch on a Shurflo water pump is easily adjustable.
An RV water pump’s pressure switch becomes active on either the rise or fall of pressure in the RV plumbing system.
If not properly adjusted, you can find yourself with water pressure that “jerks” on and off, which can cause fluctuations of the hot and cold water. This is not fun when you’re showering and may be when you notice these issues the most.
What happens is that water typically exits the sinks in an RV much more quickly than it does the shower head. So, you may open a faucet to run water at the sink, and because of the need for such high flow, your pump just runs continuously and probably won’t cycle. But you could later use the shower (inside or outside), and because of lower demand for flow, the pump starts cycling over and over, leaving you with uncomfortable fluctuations in water pressure and temperature.
If this occurs, adjusting the pressure switch is likely to remedy the situation (note that not all RV water pumps have adjustable pressure switches).
To adjust the pressure switch, look at the bottom of your water pump and attempt to locate an Allen screw. It should be right on top of the pressure switch.
Turning that Allen screw clockwise will make your pressure switch more sensitive, which means the pump will be more likely to cycle.
Turning the Allen screw counterclockwise will do the opposite, leaving you with a less sensitive pressure switch making your water pump cycle less.
When testing how much your RV water pump cycles, it’s best to use the shower based on the reasons we noted above.
What Are Some of the Most Popular 12V Shurflo Water Pumps Currently on the Market?
Shurflo/Pentair manufactures a number of 12V RV water pumps. They differ by the number of gallons per minute (GPM) they’ll pump along with a few other features.
The pump you need depends largely on the type of RV you have and how much water the unit will be required to pump.
Remember – some smaller campers have a sink but no toilet or shower. Others have a small water system that includes a galley sink, bathroom sink, and toilet, but the rig is so small that the pump isn’t required to pump water a long distance… or to multiple outlets at the same time.
If you’ve got a large Class A rig or 5th wheel, your water pump may be required to pump water through a much larger plumbing system to several sinks and a couple of showers.
Let’s take a look at several different Shurflo water pumps with various water pressure capacities and flow rates for all sizes of RVs.
Shurflo’s E54 12V water pump offers a water flow of 2.3 GPM (gallons per minute). It has a one-piece diaphragm and an internal by-pass, offering quiet operation, a manufacturer’s claim that appears to be well backed up in user reviews.
The sealed stainless steel motor housing offers substantial thermal protection. So, this pump can be run dry without damage, a highly desirable feature in a water pump of any kind.
Note that the low flow rate makes this pump appropriate for smaller RVs and campers, self-built camper vans, and the like.
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Shurflo’s A65 12V water pump is a single, self-priming pump capable of producing 3.0 GPM (gallons per minute) of water. This pump also has a one-piece diaphragm and an internal by-pass and is a low-noise pump with no rapid cycling.
The pump does have thermal protection and won’t suffer damage if it runs dry. It also has a built-in check valve, so back flow to the fresh water tank is never an issue.
This pump runs at 55 psi and will come on if the pressure drops below 45 psi.
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The Shurflo 2088-443-144 is a 3.5 GPM 12V/24V pump with a backflow prevention valve. This 3-chamber on-demand pump is self-priming up to 9 vertical feet.
The pump provides a pressure of up to 50 psi and comes on with a drop in pressure below 45 psi, though it has an adjustable pressure switch allowing adjustments from 30-50 psi.
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Shurflo 4048153-E75 Water Pump
Shurflo’s E75 high-flow water pump moves water at a rate of 4.0 GPM (gallons per minute) at a maximum pressure of 55 psi. It uses as much as 10 amps of power to offer this high-powered flow while also using “flow reaction technology” to reduce cycling.
This pump is self-priming to 6 vertical feet and has a built-in check valve to prevent backflow. With a one-piece diaphragm and internal by-pass, this low-noise pump can also run dry without damage.
The E75 high-flow water pump can be mounted in any position and was designed to replace both the 4900 and 5900 Smart Sensor series of Shurflo water pump products (now no longer manufactured).
- 4 GPM, 55 PSI, 10 Amps
- Smooth, high-powered flow
This is a 5.3 GPM automatic demand 12V diaphragm pump with a maximum pressure of 60 PSI. It requires a maximum of 17 amps (which may exceed the capacity of your RV’s existing wiring, so some modifications may be required) and works to a max temp of 120°F.
It has high-quality Viton valves and is self-priming to up to 8′ vertical. The 12V motor is a sealed, continuous-duty motor.
This unit has a built-in pressure switch that yields to outlet pressure and will interrupt power at a certain shutoff pressure. When outlet pressure drops below that level (which is generally 15-20 psi lower than the shutoff pressure), the switch will close, and the pump will continue to operate only until that shutoff pressure is reached.
Note that 5.3 GPM is a relatively high water flow and 60 psi is typically a maximum high water pressure desirable in an RV (most RVs manufactured in the USA are rated to handle water pressure of up to 60 psi.)
When installing a new RV water pump with this much power, it’s suggested that all RV plumbing fittings be checked for a good, snug fit prior to running water. And that the wiring and any other electrical components be checked to confirm they can handle the required maximum amp draw.
Can a Shurflo Water Pump Be Repaired?
Depending on the issue with the ailing pump, it’s possible that a Shurflo 12V RV water pump can be repaired rather than replaced. To this end, Shurflo also offers repair kits for their pumps.
In fact, we have a friend who repaired her RV water pump with one of these kits when the lower housing was leaking. The repair was seamless, and the pump continues to work well several years later.
Although this diaphragm kit with lower housing (Model 2088) says “universal fit”, you’ll want to check to ensure you’re buying the right kit for your model of Shurflo pump.
Check the model number of your Shurflo pump and the corresponding part number of the kit to ensure a proper fit before ordering.
- SHURFLO Model 2088 Repair Kit.Fit Type: Universal Fit
- Diaphragm Kit with lower housing
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