Tech Tip – Bilge Pumps

Bilge pumps, one of those out of sight out of mind parts of your boat. We don’t normally think about it until it stops working. The environment down in the bilge can be rough. Periodically the bilge pump and switch need to be checked to make sure all are in good working order. Some of the things to look for are:

1.     Debris around the pump and switch that may inhibit water to enter the pump or the float switch to operate.

2.     Damaged or cracked mounts.

3.     Corrosion on wires and connections.

4.     Loose, crushed, or split discharge hoses.

The float switch and bilge pump should be tested on a regular basis. To test the external float switch, simply lift the float up momentarily to see if the pump comes on. Let the float back down and the pump should shut off. If your vessel is so equipped, the pump can be tested by the toggle switch which is usually located on the console.

Automatic bilge pumps detect water in various ways. Make sure they are operating according to manufacturer’s specifications. This can be found in your owner’s manual or online.


Coastal Angler & The Angler Magazine