Frozen freshwater tank and or frozen water pump

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Zanna

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Posts
5
I have a 2008 travel trailer which I am attempting to live in full-time even though it is not an all season trailer.  I am new to the RV living so I need some help. About a week ago we got freezing cold weather and I think my freshwater tank is frozen or my water pump is frozen or both. I got underneath the trailer to see if I can find a leak and there was a drip coming from the  spout of the freshwater tank. I put a bucket under the spout and opened it up a little bit. I also looked for hoses.  there aren?t any visible water hoses and no other leaks. I put a heater on the water pump (which is in a little cabinet inside the trailer) for a couple of hours and then turned it on but nothing happened. I still have no water and have no idea what to do next!
Any advice?
Thanks
Zanna
 

Back2PA

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
Posts
5,766
Something is frozen somewhere, and it could take a long time to thaw. Once it's thawed you'll know where you stand regarding leaks.


I'm assuming you're still in freezing conditions. If so, you need to get a skirt around the trailer which goes to the ground and with all gaps sealed. Then put a small heater under the trailer. In addition keep the temperature in the trailer at least in the 50s with all the cabinets and drawers open to allow warm air back in the recesses. Then wait for it to thaw.
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
19,484
Location
Farmington NH
Zanna said:
I got underneath the trailer to see if I can find a leak and there was a drip coming from the  spout of the freshwater tank. I put a bucket under the spout and opened it up a little bit. I also looked for hoses.  there aren?t any visible water hoses and no other leaks. I put a heater on the water pump (which is in a little cabinet inside the trailer) for a couple of hours and then turned it on but nothing happened.

When you say spout are you talking about the tank drain?
When you turned the pump on, did you hear any sound at all?
 

Zanna

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Posts
5
Thanks for your  responses.

I do have a skirt made of straw bales around my trailer and I tried to close all the gaps.  I wasn?t sure it was it was safe to put a heater under the trailer with the strawbales but I guess they?re pretty frozen at this point.

I guess the spout I?m talking about is the drain spout ? there?s only one spout on the tank. And when I first turned the water pump on, there was a sound like the motor was attempting to start but then it stopped making that noise.
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
19,484
Location
Farmington NH
Zanna said:
Thanks for your  responses.

I do have a skirt made of straw bales around my trailer and I tried to close all the gaps.  I wasn?t sure it was it was safe to put a heater under the trailer with the strawbales but I guess they?re pretty frozen at this point.

I guess the spout I?m talking about is the drain spout ? there?s only one spout on the tank. And when I first turned the water pump on, there was a sound like the motor was attempting to start but then it stopped making that noise.

I'm now thinking you may have a frozen pipe somewhere between the outlet of the pump and the rest of the rig.
Do you get any water out of any faucets or toilet?
Can you disconnect the pipe on the outlet side of the pump, hook up a temporary hose to the outlet and start the pump. This will eliminate a frozen tank or pump.

Do you have any access doors on the outside of the rig which when opened, you can see water pipes. These areas also need to be insulated.
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
26,277
Location
Davison Michigan
The water pump is normally INSIDE where it is heated. YOu do need to locate it. on mine if it's getting that cold I open a panel so it has even more heat.
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
19,484
Location
Farmington NH
John From Detroit said:
The water pump is normally INSIDE where it is heated. YOu do need to locate it. on mine if it's getting that cold I open a panel so it has even more heat.

John, the OP said "I put a heater on the water pump (which is in a little cabinet inside the trailer)".
 

mel s

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2014
Posts
881
Zanna said:
I have a 2008 travel trailer which I am attempting to live in full-time even though it is not an all season trailer.  I am new to the RV living so I need some help. About a week ago we got freezing cold weather and I think my freshwater tank is frozen or my water pump is frozen or both. I got underneath the trailer to see if I can find a leak and there was a drip coming from the  spout of the freshwater tank. I put a bucket under the spout and opened it up a little bit. I also looked for hoses.  there aren?t any visible water hoses and no other leaks. I put a heater on the water pump (which is in a little cabinet inside the trailer) for a couple of hours and then turned it on but nothing happened. I still have no water and have no idea what to do next!
Any advice?
Thanks
Zanna
Is there water in the tank?
Is the water pump fuse good?
 

Zanna

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Posts
5
My water pump is inside and I have had the cabinet it's in open most of the time. 

Mel S. - when you ask if there is water in the tank -- which tank do you mean?

I will double-check the access doors to see if any pipes are visible.

I am beginning to think I'm better off not trying to thaw anything since our below-freezing weather is supposed to stick around for at least another week or 10 days.  There seems no point to trying to thaw things and then have it all freeze again.  I'm thinking it may be better to leave it alone because I won't really be able to fix anything at this time anyway. Does this seem reasonable?
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
19,484
Location
Farmington NH
Zanna said:
My water pump is inside and I have had the cabinet it's in open most of the time. 

Mel S. - when you ask if there is water in the tank -- which tank do you mean?

I will double-check the access doors to see if any pipes are visible.

I am beginning to think I'm better off not trying to thaw anything since our below-freezing weather is supposed to stick around for at least another week or 10 days.  There seems no point to trying to thaw things and then have it all freeze again.  I'm thinking it may be better to leave it alone because I won't really be able to fix anything at this time anyway. Does this seem reasonable?

Mel was talking about your fresh water tank. You need water in it for the pump to work.
I would not just leave it alone. If it is a frozen line and you do nothing, the freeze could spread further and possibly cracking fittings. You need to find out where the freeze is, if it is a freeze, and fix it NOW.
 

SpencerPJ

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Posts
4,031
Location
Midwest
I would shut the water pump off, make sure any direct water outside is turned off, and open the faucets.  If something is freezing or frozen, I would think it was best to give the water / ice room to expand.  And when it thaws, I'd want to be there when the water starts working, in case you have a leak.

Edit: Rene's advise is good as well, but seems that you are not in a position to likely fix or know how to deal with a potential frozen pipe.  Hopefully it is pex tubing, gives a bunch more.
 

Zanna

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Posts
5
My freshwater tank is, unfortunately, full of water (well, now ice, I imagine).  In my initial posting, I mentioned I had opened the drain spout for the freshwater tank, thinking it'd be good to let any water come out if it did thaw a little.  Is this a good or a bad idea?  Should I close the spout?

I really appreciate everyone's advice/suggestions.  Thank you!
 

SpencerPJ

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Posts
4,031
Location
Midwest
Zanna said:
Should I close the spout?

I would, if not, when things thaw, all your water will leak out and you won't have water any to even test your system.  If it's frozen already, if it's going to crack and expand, an open valve means nothing to that big tank.  The faucets, an open valve might allow just a little give in the lines. 
 

Chakara

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Posts
230
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
  The fact the OP can get to the tanks and likely the plumbing leads me to believe they have a "summer only" type of camper that doesn't have insulation to help with this..  It sounds like a losing battle, but the hay bails along with a 1500W heater underneath may give a fighting chance.  It's gonna be hard as it is challenging even with "Four Season" units.

-Kyle
 
Top Bottom