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FAQ - Escaping Outdoors 12v 24v 240v water pump guide

How to choose the right 12v water pump is made easier with our article as you will be further educated on 12v water pumps.

Which 12v water pump best suits each application

Escaping Outdoors are 12v water pump specialists stocking a comprehensive range of quality 12v water pumps to suit your caravan, boat, RV, cabin or camping and for home solar systems. 

Stockists of major 12v water pump brands such as Rule, Jabsco, Shurflo, Flojet plus importers of our Escaping Outdoors 12v and 24v water pump range. Our large range of 12v water pump options allows us to offer options to cater for all budgets and applications.

Selection of which 12v or 24v water pump is best for your application is dependant on a number of factors with the ultimate desired result for your pump to operate quietly and efficiently for many years.

What is the most common style of 12v water pump used in Australia

A diaphragm pressure pump controlled by a pressure switch is the most commonly used 12v water pump throughout the leisure industry in Australia.

How does a 12v diaphragm water pump work

A diaphragm water pump is controlled by the pressure in the water line and has a pressure switch mounted on the pumps head. The pressure switch often looks like a small square box. The pump is exposed to the water pressure via a small diaphragm. When the water reaches a pre-set pressure, the diaphragm engages the pressure switch which turns the power off at the pump. When the tap is opened a drop or decrease in pressure in the system disengages the pressure switch and this in turn tells the pump to start up.

How to choose the best 12v water pump for your leisure vehicle

Your choice of 12v diaphragm water pump is determined by 3 main factors which are found in the pumps specifications. These factors need to be carefully considered and sized correctly for your application.

  • Operating voltage
  • Flow rate
  • Pressure

Operating Voltage:

Your pump is usually powered by a battery source. This could be a 12v or 24v battery system. Your battery system will determine the pump voltage you require.

Flow rate:

  • Flow rate is measured as litres per minute or gallons per minute. (L/min or GPM)
  • The higher the flow rate of the pump, the higher the volume of water the 12v water pump will deliver
  • A low flow rate will result in poor pump performance

Too high a flow rate will result in pump cycling which is when the pump turns on and off rapidly whilst it tries to deliver the required amount of water. When the pump can’t deliver the result is an inconsistant flow and extra wear on the pressure switch due to excess pressure in the system. When there is excess pressure in the system (too high a flow rate) for your system, it must be dealt with or you will damage your pressure switch and ultimately your pump.

Therefore - carefully choose a pump with a flow rate which best matches the number of outlets in your caravan, boat or RV etc and look at the accessories required in your system to enable your 12v water pump to run smoothly.

Ideally, a single tap system which may be a caravan with a kitchen sink only requires a pump with a flow rate up to 9 L/min to match the maximum flow of the sink tap. A system with 2-3 taps (a kitchen plus shower) will require 11-13 L/min and so on.

Pressure: Pressure is rated as PSI or BAR. When the taps are turned off the pump will continue to run until the pressure in the water line has reached the pressure switches pre-set value. (EG: your pumps specifications may say maximum pressure of 40 PSI). Your hot water system will require a minimum flow rate. It is important to check the minimum flow rate of your hot water system prior to purchase to make sure your the flow rate of your pump is suitable. If you purchase a pump with a higher flow rating you will need to modify your system by adding an accumulator tank ( pressure tank) or the excess pressure in your system will cause pump failure.

What accessories do I need to use with my 12v water pump

Pump strainer: Your 12v water pump must be used with a pump strainer on the inlet side to avoid any debris coming from the water source, through the pump system and into your pump. Pumps used without a pump strainer (screen filter) will void warranty.

Accumulator tank: This is a chamber installed on the outlet side of the pump which has a pre-pressurized air bladder to decrease cycling, water hammering and to dampen water surges. An accumulator tank will increase your pumps lifespan by protecting your pump against too much pressure in the system and will also save on your battery power. A very necessary item in your 12v pump system.

Pressure relief valve is used with farm chemical pumps:

A pressure relief valve is used when an accumulator tank can't be used in the system. Typically a pressure relief valve is used with a chemical spray pump such as the FL40C or the FL60C to relieve any excess pressure in the system if the water flow can't be balanced. In addition to the pressure relief valve in this style of application it is common to cut a T into the line with a return back into the tank. The Escaping Outdoors FL3203 single wand chemical spray pump does not require a pressure relief valve as it has an internal by-pass built into the pumps diaghragm.

Non-return valve

A non-return valve can be used for a number of applications including the following:

1. If you have town water going into your caravan or cabin, the town water can vary greatly in pressure and will damage your pump and system. It is important the town water with potential high pressure cannot be pushed into your 12v pump system. In this scenario the non-return valve is positioned between the town water intake line and the accumulator tank. Without the non-return valve in this system the water pressure can cause damage to your complete pump system and push water back into your water tank.

2. If your pump is higher than your water source regardless of the application, you must install a non-return valve at the bottom of the water tank to keep the pump primed and to stop any water draining back into the water tank. Water draining back into the water tank can potentially cause air locks in your system which in turn will cause damage to any brand of 12v water pump.

Pressure restricting valve

A pressure restricting valve is used to ensure a maximum pressure goes through your pump system. Potential damage can be caused to your system if excess pressure (above 50PSI) is present.

Can I run my 12v diaphragm water pump continuously

12v diaphragm water pumps can operate continuously, however they do not have a 100% duty cycle. Meaning they can "roughly" run up to 30 minutes at a time. This may change depending on the load/resistance on the pumps motor. Once a 12v diaphragm water pump heats up they need to cool down before further use. Noting: Ambient temperature can have an affect. Your 12v water pump will heat up faster if sitting in the sun in the middle of summer. If your 12v diaphragm water pump is used continuously for say watering a garden, your motor will most likely burn out.

What is the best 12v water pump for my caravan

The best 12v caravan water pump is one that will operate quietly and with no fuss for many years. Your choice of caravan pump is dependant on how may taps or outlets you have or could have running at one time. The flow rate required on your hot water unit, your budget, your battery pack ( 12v or 24v ). The best pump for your caravan is not the biggest pump with the highest water flow or the dearest brand. Click here to let us guide you through a selection of the best 12v caravan pumps options including macerator pumps for your budget and your application or contact us for assistance.

What is the best 12v water pump for my boat

There are many styles of 12v water pumps for boats including freshwater pressure pumps for your sink and shower, inline pumps for both diesel and water transfer, bilge pumps for emptying your boat bilge or bait box, deck wash pumps for cleaning your boat plus many other pumps for applications on small boats from small pleasure craft to large commercial vessels. Click here to view our range of marine products including 12v marine pumps and accessories or contact us or phone for assistance. We're here to helpl!

What is the best 12v water pump for camping

Whether you are out in the bush camping rough with a swag or glamping it up camping beside a beautiful lake, river or creek we have a range of 12v water pumps and accessories to make camping life comfortable.

It may be an inline water pump to run a bucket shower from a tree in the bush or a 12v diaphragm water pump to bring water from the creek to your campsite for your camp sink or your camping showers.

If you are planning on bringing water from a creek or river where there is a high lift (over 4 metre lift from water source to pump) even the best brands of 12v water pumps won't be able to do this and you may need to look at a small versatile petrol pump. 12v diaphragm style water pumps push water better than they suck/draw, so the closer the pump is to your water source, the better chance you have of getting water.

Pump selection can be difficult. If you need assistance or you would prefer to order over the phone, please don’t hesitate to phone us on 0412150120. One of our friendly team will help you with your water pump selection through to the best way to set-up your pump for your particular application and pump choice.


We welcome your enquiry

Check out our full range of 12v pump products at Escaping Outdoors online


Call: 0412 150 120