How to Test a Bilge Pump

bilge pump for bailing out boat
  • 1 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Bilge pump
Work gloves
Bilge pump manufacturer's specifications

Your boat's bilge pump is one of the most essential pieces of equipment to keep in good working condition. It is designed to gather excess water mixed with oil, gasoline, and other chemicals away from other parts of your boat where the bilge water could otherwise build up and cause harmful corrosion over time. Testing your bilge pump is a straightforward process, as long as you keep in mind a few things to examine.

Step 1 - Inspect Hose Installation

One of the most common causes of bilge pump problems is an incorrectly installed water outlet hose. One with too many kinks can restrict water flow and cause damage. Also make sure you have the correctly sized hoses fitted for each pump outlet in order to prevent leaks.

Step 2 - Check Switches

All bilge pumps come with a switch that can be changed from automatic to manual. Flipping it to manual is the next indicator of any possible problems with water flow or any parts that may need to be replaced. Once you have determined that both automatic and manual modes work the same, check the float switch by lifting it up and making sure it is free from any debris obstruction.

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