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What’s next, after I’ve tackled all the “big ticket” mods like electrical system upgrades, suspension improvements, and galley remodels? Well, now it’s time to turn my attention to things that were working as designed from day 1, but could do with some improvement. Which brings us to our RV’s water pump and this video! It’s a bit much to type, so watch, and you’ll understand.
To be completely clear – our water pump had been working just fine, and though I’m always open to upgrades, I wasn’t necessarily looking to enhance or replace it. The makers of the IRVWPC (Intelligent RV Water Pump Controller) reached out to us and offered us a unit in exchange for trying it out. When I saw the details on their product I immediately understood the benefits, because I had installed a VSD pump in our old RV Das Bus. So we agreed, and they sent the unit you see me install in the video.
At this point, we’ve had it installed for 6 weeks, we’ve taken it on a month-long road trip, and we’ve put about 6000 road miles on the RV with it. It’s held up well, and I see two main benefits to using the IRVWPC.
The safety features of the IRVWPC are what initially lured me in. You see, an RV’s water pump is a pretty simple device. All it really knows how to do is turn the pump on full blast or completely off. It doesn’t know how to detect or do anything about scenarios like the following:
- Running dry (which can overheat and damage the pump).
- Staying on for a month because you forgot to turn it off when you left your rig.
- Slowly leaking or dripping, which can cause water damage if you don’t detect it.
- Pumping out all your water at full blast if you have a burst pipe.
The IRVWPC has configurable safety features (you easily program it with tiny switches and dials) to address each of those potential problems. In our rig right now, we’ve enabled the protection for the first two.
Smoother Pump Operation
Your RVs water pump likely works just fine. Water comes out when you turn on the tap, and all is well, so I can’t say the IRVWPC is “essential”. But I will say that the smoother pump operation with the IRVWPC is definitely a “fit and finish” enhancement. It adds a level of refinement to your RV’s water system. This wasn’t my primary interest in the device in the first place, but it’s definitely something I appreciate now that I have it. It’s tough to describe, but the pump is just smoother and quieter. (So quiet, it’s tough to pick it up on our lavalier mics.) It’s like Grey Poupon for your water pump!
Some Final Words
I’ve got a final few observations on the IRVWPC. First, it can’t protect you from getting air in your water system somewhere. Air in your water system is bad, and it can cause pump surging and more noise from your pump until it works itself out. So when you drain and fill your tanks (while sanitizing for instance), count on having to purge any introduced air before the IRVWPC settles in.
The IRVWPC also can’t protect you from setting your pump’s pressure switch and the desired pressure on the IRVWPC in an incompatible way. Yeah. I did that. But in my defense, there were dials and switches, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to mess with them. In the end, I wound up putting all the pressure adjustments back where I found them, as that seemed to work best.
Another cool safety feature of the IRVWPC is that your pump’s “regular” pressure switch is still in the mix! Why is this important? Because if the IRVWPC were to completely fail for some reason, you’d still be able to use the water system just as you use it today.
A Couple Tool Links
This video wasn’t really about the tools, but a couple folks have pinged me about my electrical tools, so I’ll add a couple (affiliate) links here.
First are my Irwin Wire Strippers. When they work right, they’re stone cold awesome. And you can see them working right in the video. The downside of them is that some wire insulation doesn’t seem to work with them, and they come out of adjustment easily. But again, when they work right, they’re magic.
Second are my Klein Wire Cutters. I’ve had these for literally decades. I use them so frequently, I don’t even put them away. They just live on my worktop. Over the years, I’ve cut more than a few things I probably shouldn’t have with them, and I’ve dulled the blades. So one of these days I’ll get some more. But I’ll get the exact same thing.
So there you have it: my install and test of the IRVWPC. If you have any questions or comments, sound off below, and I’ll try my best to answer them (or find you an answer if I don’t know).