No matter if it is a house, an RV, or a trailer, at some point in time, something will leak. Plumbing leaks can be difficult to find as they can be anywhere in your RV or trailer. You just have to follow the water trail to get to the source, hopefully.
The first thing to do is identify what type of leak it is. If it is a faucet, then it may only take a new washer or seat to fix the leak. If it is a leaking connection in a pipe, then a little Teflon tape is needed to stop the leak. if it is a hole in the pipe, you have some work to do.
To learn more about fixing leaky RV plumbing, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can tackle the simple jobs yourself. You do not have to be a plumber anymore to fix plumbing leaks.
This all depends on what part of the plumbing that is leaking. The following sections will give you some tips on how to fix which plumbing component that leaks:
1. The kitchen
In this area, you would have two possibilities that can leak. There is the faucet and the water lines. If the water lines are leaking you may only have to remove one end and replace a washer or use Teflon tape on the threads.
This only takes a few minutes to fix. or you may have to replace the waterline as it has worn out and can’t be used again. Any plumbing store should have the right waterline size. All you will need is a good wrench and Teflon tape to fix it.
For the faucet, the seat could be worn out. This fix just needs you to remove the faucet handle and replace the seat. You will need a good seat wrench to get the seat out and back in again
This fix depends on the design of the faucet as it may come with stems or it may not.
2. The bathroom
Here you have 2 sets of faucets and 2 sets of waterlines to worry about. The fix is the same for both of these as it is for the kitchen. All you may need to do is loosen the water lines and place a washer or Teflon tape (around the threads) inside. or replace the waterline.
The leaking shower faucet may be a bit tougher as you have to take the stems and possibly the seats out to fix the problem. Replacement is the only real fix here.
Water lines may be more difficult as they are usually behind a wall. You may want to leave that leak until a plumber can look at it. There is a lot of work involved in that fix.
If there is a hole in an accessible waterline, sometimes a good temporary fix would be duct tape. That tape does a million and one fixes.
This is in general and you may have some trouble finding the leak as these lines go all through your RV or trailer. There are several places where these lines can spring a leak.
Tracking them down can be time-consuming. However, once you find the leaking hole, a temporary fix would be duct tape. The permanent fix would be removing the length of the pipe that has the hole and replacing it with a new pipe length.
This repair involves using special glue, like PVC glue, which may have two parts to it before it will hold onto the connector. If the connector failed, then replacement is your only option. Just make sure to take the old one with you so you can match it up when you are at the plumbing parts outlets
4. Seals & gaskets
Maybe the same thing but not always. When these go bad then you are going to get a good water leak. The key to this repair is finding the right replacement seal or gasket. These parts are generally made of rubber and they do wear out. There is no repair work that can be done. Your only option is to replace them.
5. The toilet
There are different parts of this comfort device that can go bad on you. The waterline is one and its fix is the same as it is for the waterlines for the kitchen & bathroom sinks as well as the shower’s waterline.
Just remove the line and replace it with a new one. That is the best way to go in this case. If you are still seeing water on the floor, then the wax ring or rubber ring has worn out and you would need to lift the toilet off and replace either one.
The hardest part of this fix is getting your face close to the toilet. The second hardest part is removing the bolts and lifting the toilet. You have to make sure you place the toilet down on the new ring to seal it off. use some caulking around the base to help seal it and make the toilet look good.
Times have changed and over the years plumbers and handymen have needed far fewer tools than their 20th-century counterparts. In the old days, you needed a big tool box to handle all the tools needed for any leaking plumbing.
Today, because most water lines and other parts are made out of plastic, you may need a hacksaw to make some cuts. Or you may need a tube cutter or utility knife. Any one of the three will cut the new material.
Also, you will need a flathead and a Phillips screwdriver. The former will pry off the cap on the faucet handles so you can get to the Phillips head screw underneath. You may need a wrench as well. It all depends on how the pipes and connectors are put together.
Then you will need Teflon tape. You can’t fix leaks without this handy tool. Plumber’s putty will also do, and both go around the threads when you make your connections.
For the most part, those are all the tools you will need to fix leaky plumbing.
This should be done with care for if you use the wrong sealant you may be doing the same task a few months down the road. The wrong sealant is not made for RV pipes and connections.
You want to get the sealant that is made for RV and trailer plumbing. This should not be hard to do as many adhesives and silicone caulk are made to handle all parts of an RV or trailer.
But you will have to read the labels to make sure they will work on pipes. There is skylight sealant, roof sealant, window sealant, and so on. make sure the sealant you buy is top-quality, a good brand, and made to work on pipes.
To be clear, when we are talking about pipe sealant, we are not talking about any roof coatings you apply with a brush. We are talking about caulking and those are very generic.
Lots of top brands like DAP make good caulking that seals pipes.
There are two ways to go here. If you are talking about sealing connections between pipes, then the task is fairly simple. With any threaded connector, you need to use Teflon Tape of plumber’s putty.
Both go on easily and should not take more than a minute to secure your pipe threads. These two products get in between the threads to make sure water does not find a path out.
The second way would be to use the right glue to seal pipes together. Usually, you would need PVC glue or something similar, depending on the pipe material. Then when you slide them into the smooth connectors, you need to have applied the glue to both sides.
One side is the interior of the connector and the other is the exterior of the pipe. Once those two pieces dry together, just use some good caulk to further seal the edges.
This is not hard to do and any plumbing store will be able to guide you further.
Fixing plumbing leaks is only hard when you do not know where the leak is. You can run water through your pipes to find the leak or use soapy water to look for bubbles.
However you do this step is up to you. Once you find the leak sealing it up is a matter of finding the right materials to stop the leak. Those materials have specific locations where they can be used.