How to Use a Bilge Pump – The Ultimate Guideline 2023

Are you thinking about removing bilge water that has been collected? To remove bilge water, you have to use a bilge pump. So, you have to know how to use a bilge pump. You can set up a bilge pump manually or automatically. It depends which system do you like most. 

Manually or automatically both have several advantages and disadvantages. If you are feeling comfortable with manually setup then you can go with it. On the other hand, if you are comfortable with automatic bilge pump setup, then you should use it. In this content, I’ll describe these two setup systems, maintenance and other related issues. So, if you are a beginner then this piece of content will save your life.  

What is a Bilge Pump and How Does it Work? 

It’s water used to remove water from a vessel’s bilge or to clear water from the deck of a vessel. The bilge may contain gasoline, motor oil, diesel fuel, and even saltwater. 

So, What is the purpose of bilge? The purpose of the bilge pump is to pump out the water that collects in the bilge. Bilge pumps can be used for both firefighting in case of an accident and for general pumping.

Many modern boats have electric bilge pumps because of their ease of use and safety. It’s connected to a manifold that runs below the waterline.

How to Set Up an Automatic Bilge Pump?

An automatic device that pumps out water from the lowest point of your boat automatically. Its main purpose is to prevent sinking in case of hole or flooding

This article covers step by step instructions and essential information through the assembly and installation of its. Let’s follow the steps: 

01: The first step is to install the pump in a spot where it is easy to access.

02: You will need to use PVC pipe to make a piping system that will reach the water of the bilge.

03: Use a float switch to turn the pump on and off.

04: You will also need a float switch wiring diagram and a float switch timer.

05: The float switch has three wires, two of which connect to the pump.

06: The third wire connects to the timer.

07: Now you are ready to connect the wires and get it all up and running.

So, if you haven’t experienced this before then you can go with this automatic process. But, the manual process will last longer. 

How to Set Up a Manual Bilge Pump? 

Manual bilge pumps are useful to keep the water from a small vessel from flooding.  They have hand pumps that can be used to pump on its. You can easily set up a manual. You have to follow a series of steps to set up a manual in your boat.

01: Measure the space you have available.

02: Install a pedestal base.

03: Buy a battery-operated pump. Then, Connect hoses and install the switch.

Step 4: Set the float switch to its uppermost setting. Then make sure the float switch is working properly by placing a bucket of water on it. 

Step 5: Fill with water and test your pump. The pump should turn on when the water level reaches.

Step 6: On your bilge’s bottom side, find a location that will allow you access to your bilge pump. 

What if The Manual Bilge Pump is Not Working? 

If the pump is not working, then it is probably flooded. The first thing to do is make sure that it is getting power. Open the hatch and look inside to make sure that the float is not stuck.

Make sure that the cord between the float and pump isn’t damaged and that it’s still connected. Is there oil on the water? If so, shut down your engine immediately to avoid further damage. Make sure you have enough oil in your engine, and that you change it regularly.

Note: Having a manual bilge pump on board can help keep you safe on the water. But, only if you have a working pump!

Best High Capacity Bilge Pump: Automatic and Manual. 

There are lots of bilge pumps available from different manufacturers. So, if you are looking for the best manual bilge pump then you can purchase our favourite Better Boat bilge pump. It is a manual and battery powered pump. This pump is functional and its maximum flow rate is 25 gallon. You have to use it by hand. 

Another automatic bilge pump is MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Bilge Pump. It is a blue colored pump that is battery powered. The maximum flow rate is 18.3 gallon. This bilge pump is easy to install and has a built-in float switch. It also has an easy clean snap lock system too. 

Bilge Pump Maintenance

Maintenance is important for all instruments. If you take care of your pump then it will last longer. That’s why maintenance is important. You can take care of your pump by cleaning it. You can clean it in several ways. In this section, I’ll share with you several procedures for its cleaning.

How to clean a bilge pump?

You can clean a bilge pump by using vinegar, homemade bilge cleaner, cuprinol bilgex, starbrite bilge cleaner etc. I’ll describe two procedures from all of them. 

#1 Using vinegar:

You can clean a bilge pump in various ways. But, vinegar is one of the most useful liquids that not only clean your bilge pump but also save your money. Let’s see the procedure step by step:

01: Remove the bilge pump

02: Place the pump in a bucket

03: Pour vinegar into the bottom of the bucket

04: Clean the pump to remove any grime

05: Reassemble the back and connect it again

#2 Using Starbrite Bilge Cleaner:

It is the best heavy duty bilge cleaner. If you have a budget on cleaning then you can buy this cleaner. It is comparatively better than vinegar. Let’s see how to use it: 

01: Mix 2 oz. of Star Brite Bilge Cleaner with 2 gallons of water.

02: Soak a clean cloth or sponge in the solution.

03: Clean the gear housing with the solution and wipe dry.

04: The bilge pump should be lubricated after cleaning.

05: The bilge area should be cleaned and dried before restarting your vessel.

Frequently Answer Questions(FAQs) 

Question: When should I turn on my manual bilge pump?

Answer: Only use your manual when you see water in the bottom of your boat. It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. You should also keep an eye on the inboard bilge for water too.  

If you hear a bubbling sound, then it is time to check your manual! So, turning on the automatic bilge pump will drain any water out of the boat before it sinks.

Question: How do you know if your bilge pump is working?

Answer: To do this test, you will have to turn off its. Then, you have to turn off the circuit breaker that controls it. Leave all pumps in place. Don’t open any hatches or raise the cabin top. Because these actions will create water leaks that could cause flooding. 

Now, start your engine and run it at fast idle for 10 minutes without turning on any pumps. Then check.

Question: How does water get into the bilge?

Answer: Water in the bilge increases weight, which strains the boat structure. Rain water can get into the bilge if your boat or engine is not waterproofed properly. Water also enters through seacocks and pumps that are not properly sealed. 

Overflowing when filled with fresh water can lead to leakage into the bilge. Bilges can also fill with water due to a leak in a tank or line that brings in fresh water from shore.

Final Word.

A lot of water can get in the boat without you realizing it. The boat will turn over if it doesn’t drain away. You’re safer from capsizing if water isn’t collecting in it.   

So, it’s important to know how to use it, and how to maintain it. In this content, we tried to discuss all the information related to using a bilge pump. 

I hope this content will help you, if you have never used a bilge pump before.  So, guys, if you have any query about bilge pumps, then you can message us. Thank you.

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