How to Install a Boat Bilge Pump

A boat bilge pump protects the boat from sinking. Every boat has a bilge or sump area where water collects. The main purpose of using a bilge pump is to remove more water from the boat. Since fuel is present in the bilge it is designed in such a way that it does not spark when turning it on or off. Since a boat bilge pump can undergo failure it is better to have a backup pump. The primary pump of the bilge is usually located in the lower point of the bilge and secondary pumps are located at the higher point. The bilge pump should be placed at the lower level of the boat. Here is how to install a boat bilge pump.

Things You'll Need

  • Heat gun
  • Bilge pump
  • Wires
  • Boat
  • Mounting bracket

Step 1: Placing the Pump

The pump is lowered and fixed to the mounting studs using the nuts. The same procedure is repeated for the float switch. If the bilge pump falls out, it may catch fire since it absorbs air. Even the float switch must be fastened properly.

Step 2: Adding Hoses to the Pump

Smooth interior hoses are added to the pump. This is done to increase the throughput of the boat bilge pump. The hose must be made to run short and straight.

Step 3: Fitting the Pump

Bilge pump housing is built such that the discharge fitting is not below the water level. This is done to ensure that the battery does not get discharged due to the continuous flow of water.

Step 4: Wiring

Maximum effort has to be brought out of the bilge pump. You can use a through-hull fitting that has the largest opening. The power wire should be connected to the output end of the float switch. The wires of the pump must be passed from the pump to the interior of the housing. This ensures the wires from sagging in the bilge water.

Step 5: Tubing

The wires must be tucked into a heat shrink tubing such that it becomes water tight. The tubing must be shrunk with a heat gun.

Step 6: Testing

Test all the connections. The battery connections must be configured, so that the bilge pump runs even when the motor of the boat is turned off.

Tips and Precautions

  • A back-up pump can be installed for safety.
  • Small quantities of marine epoxy putty can be mixed in a cup to aid cleaning.
  • Do not run the power lines through the bilge water.
  • Do not skimp on the size of the wires.
  • Take necessary safety measures since this task involves working with heat, tools and glues.