Your RV toilet can malfunction like any other toilet. In this post, you’ll learn how to turn off the water to an RV toilet. Let’s dig into how to turn off RV toilet water so you can fix the problem and get back to camp life.
There are 2 ways to turn off the water to your RV toilet. 1. You can turn off the RV water pump, cutting the supply to your whole rig. 2. Or you can use the toilet shutoff valve if you have one installed. You can also modify your plumbing to temporarily cut the water to your toilet but not your RV.
How to Turn Off Water to Your RV Toilet
The fastest way to turn off the water to your toilet is to disable the RV water supply entirely.
- Locate the water pump switch. This is often located inside your RV, at the entry door. It could also be in the kitchen, under the sink, or under the bed. Turn the switch off.
- Turn off the external fresh water supply. Turn off the tap connected to your RV and disconnect the line.
You can save yourself some work and check the back of your toilet for a shut-off valve on the supply line. If you have one, you can turn it off and your toilet will be turned off.
You can usually disable the pump with an on-off switch mechanism. Once you find the shut-off valve for RV toilets, you can begin working on any issue you may be having with your RV’s toilet system.
A freshwater pump supplies your RV with the water pressure for your toilet, shower, or kitchen faucets. You’ll usually find the controls under a sink or in an open area near other RV controls.
Shut Off Water to RV Toilet Only
If you have a leaky toilet, you’ll want to shut off water to the toilet water supply only.
- Depending on make and age, you might be able to install a PEX end cap (temporary fix) or a shut-off value. Watch for Sharkbite (or equivalent) install method. You won’t need any additional clamps or tools, aside from the PEX cutter tool.
- If you have a threaded fitting, you might be able to find a threaded pipe plug as a temporary fix, until you can troubleshoot the cause of the problem.
Here’s a great discussion about how to do this with different plumbing setups, across various RV brands and ages.
Install RV Water Shut Off Valve
Whatever short-term solution you find, installing a shutoff value is a great idea for future repairs.
Here’s how to install a PEX water shutoff value.
When to Shutoff the Water to Your RV Toilet
You will want to turn off the toilet water supply if it leaks and when you need to service it.
Generally, you won’t need to turn off the water to your toilet only. When you turn off your RV water pump, it will also turn off the supply to your toilet.
3 Common RV Toilet Issues
RV toilets are pretty reliable, with few problems. The problems that do surface are pretty common.
Here are the three most common RV toilet issues.
1. Fix an RV Toilet That Keeps Running
A running toilet in your RV is a significant problem. Because your black water tank has a limited capacity, you’ll quickly fill it with water, if your toilet keeps running. And your bowl could overflow, into the RV.
But don’t worry. Fixing this issue is as easy as fixing it in your home.
The cause of running RV toilets is likely a valve or flapper that needs replacement. Both are easy fixes, even if you’ve never dealt with plumbing.
- First, you’ll want to shut off the water to your RV toilet.
- Remove the toilet from the base and place it outside so you have plenty of room to work. The valve’s location largely depends on what brand of toilet you’re using, so make sure you consult the manufacturer’s user guide.
- Once you’ve removed the shut-off valve for your RV’s toilet, install the replacement valve and reinstall the toilet in the bathroom.
Don’t forget to have some towels for catching spilled water. And to follow the instructions for your specific RV and toilet model.
2. Fix a Leaky RV Toilet
A leaky RV toilet can become a disaster if you let it. That’s why it needs repair when you recognize it as an issue.
Fixing a leaky RV toilet and your path forward depends on the leak’s location.
- A leak around the toilet’s base means the ring (flange seal) under the toilet needs replacement.
- Leaks in the toilet bowl suggest you may have a cracked bowl.
- This is a strong possibility because many RV toilets are plastic. You may also need to replace the float seal in the vacuum breaker if the leak is coming from the top of the toilet.
Leaking RV toilets are another reason why it is crucial to inspect your RV once you have used it or are storing it away for a season.
3. Fix a Clogged RV Toilet
A clogged RV toilet is a routine fix.
- If the clog is above the flapper, you can grab a plunger. You can also (carefully) pour hot water down the toilet to flush the blockage. Be careful not to splash while pouring. The water is hot and dirty if splashing out of the bowl. And no one wants water flowing on the floor of their RV.
- You can also add chemicals to unclog the toilet.
- Flush your black water tank. If your tank is filled to capacity, it will appear clogged. Take it to a dumping station to fix this apparent toilet clog.
Here are four reasons your black tank shows full when it’s empty.
This guide is part of our huge guide to RV living.
How did it go for you? I Would love to hear about your experience below.
Whatever the reason you need to turn off the water to your RV toilet, knowing what to do if this becomes a necessity is paramount to your health and enjoyment of your RV. Happy traveling!
- About the Author
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Bryan Haines is a co-founder and blogger on GudGear – and is working to make it the best resource for outdoor gear and guides.
He loves the outdoors and has hiked the Andes, kayaked the Galapagos, and biked and camped around Nova Scotia, Canada.
He is a travel blogger at Storyteller Travel and blogs about photography at Storyteller Tech. He is also co-founder of Storyteller Media, a company he started with his wife, Dena.