Setting up a 12V water pump system in a solar cabin or shed

You have found your cabin in the bush and now you want some little luxuries like running water! Here are some options for you.

12v water pump choice for a single tap outlet

If you only have a single tap then you need the FL2202 12v pump which will supply enough water for one tap at just under standard household pressure. You can even add another tap if you are happy to use them one at a time.

12v water pump choice for a cabin with 2 taps

A less basic cabin set-up may have 2 taps, a toilet and a shower. Each of these outlets have different requirements for pressure and amount of water. For instance, you don’t want your shower to run as slowly and at low pressure like the toilet cistern tap!

The variation in demand means that you have two choices – install a pump which has a single output – 12.5 L/min @ 35PSI (FL35) plus a pressure tank. The tank holds a reserve of pressurised water in a bladder to be used each time you turn on the tap. Once the bladder is 2/3 empty the pump will kick in and replenish the water in the tank.

This allows "non-smart" 12v water pumps to service a range of outlets with different needs.

Or you can install a 12v "smart" water pump such as a Jabsco or Shurflo pump, which will match the required pressure and flow of your taps – no need for a pressure tank. While the "smart" water pump is more expensive, you don't usually require a pressure tank as this ability is built into the smart water pumps. Smart pumps often come with a 3 year warranty. On the downside if the Smart Pump does have pressure switch failure your set-up is telling you that you require a pressure tank and a new pressure switch.

Typical 12v water pump set up for a cabin small or small home - Water Pumps Now

How to select the 12v water pump best suited to your needs

To select the best 12v pump you will need to find out the following information:

  • The PSI and flow required by your HWS
  • Number of taps in your house
  • Distance and height from the water tank to the pump
  • Distance and height from the pump to the furthest tap.


  • HWS 35PSI and 10 L/min
  • 2 taps, 1 toilet, 1 shower
  • 1.5m to pump
  • 4m to last outlet.

Recommended options:

FL35 pump + Accumulator tank or Jabsco Par-Max 3.0 or Shurflo Fresh 3

If you want to add in extra taps later then you might be wise to err on the side of being generous so that you will have enough capacity. Each of the above pumps has a model up with a little extra flow – Escaping Outdoors FL40 used with an accumulator tank for 4 outlets, Jabsco Par-Max HD4 delivers 15 L/min to 4 outlets or the Jabsco Par-Max HD5 delivers 18.9 L/min for 5 outlets or the Shurflo Fresh 4 delivers 15 L/min to up to 4 outlets as examples. Browse Water Pumps Now full range of 12 volt pressure pumps.

 Jabsco 12v water pump Par Max 3.0 Water Pumps Now Australia

24v water pumps for your cabin

Some cabin situations require 24v water pumps. Our range of 24v water pumps includes 24V bilge pumps, 24V inline pumps, 24V macerator pumps, 24v submersible solar pumps and 24v pressure pumps. Browse Water Pumps Now full range of 24 volt pumps.

Non-return valve or check valve ( foot valve)

Dependant on your water supply, when setting up diaphragm pumps you need to place a valve between the water supply and the pump. This is a very important part of your pump set up in a caravan / cabin style situation. The valve is used to keep the pump primed and must be installed in the correct position. Without the valve, the pump will sense a drop in pressure if water siphons back to the water supply creating an air pocket in your system. The pump will also turn on and keep pumping air without the pump switching off until it eventually overheats and cooks the motor.

There are two types of valves to choose from:

  • A check valve ( foot valve ): The check valve goes on the end of your pipe / hose if the pump is mounted higher than your water source.
  • A non-return valve: if using a closed tank with an outlet. The non-return valve connects to the bottom of the water tanks outlet. If the water source is equal or lower than your pump, the non-return valve prevents water draining back to the water source and creating air pockets which can cause damage to your pump.

Paul Girdler

Paul Girdler, Managing Director/ Sales
Water Pumps Now Your Online Pump Shop

We welcome your enquiry. Check out Water Pumps Now full range of pump products.