One of the most critical components to a boat is the bilge pumps. Bilge pumps remove water that has collected in the lowest section of the vessel to prevent the boat from sinking. A boat bilge pump is necessary for watercrafts operating in fresh and saltwater through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Unfortunately, dewatering pumps are prone to issues that prevent them from running or inhibit their effectiveness. A boat bilge pump is prone to these five common problems. 

Bilge Pump Wiring Corrosion

Corrosion is a significant factor in vessels, particularly those that operate in saltwater. Wires which are not adequately covered with shrink wrap are subject to corrosion because of air and water exposure.

While saltwater is more intrusive freshwater also causes corrosion. Bilge pumps fail as a result of wire becoming brittle and falling apart. Inspect the wire on a regular basis and apply heat shrink to reduce the likelihood of bilge pump failure. 

Bilge Pump Clogged With Hair

Dogs Dogs Dogs, we all love our four-legged friend but the hair causes a major problem to bilge pumps. 

Taking into consideration your couch or the floor of your home, the accumulation of hair is endless. At the same time, we love having dogs aboard the boat, dog hair coats, decks, and cushions. 

Whether operating in salt or fresh water, the boat is rinsed to clean debris at the end of the day. Dog hair is swept through the drains beneath the deck. The hair pools with the water and escapes the boat via the bilge pump. Unfortunately, bilge pumps become clogged by dog hair. 

When dogs are on board, remove the bilge pump from the mounting bracket and rinse the hair free to avoid the pump from malfunctioning. 

Bilge Pump Float Is Jammed

Central to a bilge pump is a float that rises and falls based on the amount of water in the bottom of the boat. 

The float becomes jammed when minuscule debris accumulates, preventing the internal component from moving freely. 

A jammed float either prevents the bilge from automatically turning on due to the position or holds the pump in the on position. 

When the pump is locked in the on position, and the bilge runs dry, the pump burns out. Conversely, a jammed float fails to kick on, resulting in the boat accumulating water and sinking. Rinse the bilge consistently to prevent the pump from burning or failing to kick on. 

Bilge Pump Hose Disconnected

A hose popping free creates a mess as it snakes wildly when the pressure releases. Consider the discharge side of a hose popping free in the bilge of a boat. 

The consequences are disastrous when the discharge hose comes free because of hose clamp failure or a tear. Rather than dumping the water out over the side, the boat bilge pump runs continuously as it spews water back in the same place it picked it up.

Inspect the connection points regularly and replace worn hoses and rusting hose clamps to prevent the situation from occurring. 

Bilge Pump Is Not Secured To The Hull Of The Boat

Boats face relentless pounding and vibration from waves and engine vibration. Pounding and vibration during operation back screws out of the snug position they were torqued down to when installing the bilge pump.

Unfortunately, the screws remain invisible unless the pump is disconnected from the base. The filter is the lowes portion while the motor sits above. Filters are fitted with screw holes allowing the pump to connect into the vessel’s bilge.

When screws come free or deteriorate, the pumps risks breaking free and no longer remaining in the lowest position of the bilge. Without the correct positioning, water accumulates, putting the watercraft at risk. 

To prevent the risk of the bilge becoming unsecured, remove the motor from the housing and torque the screws. The process requires a minimal amount of time but helps avoid running into a serious situation. 

Inspect Your Bilge Pump To Determine If You Have An Issue

When a boat stops spitting out water, be alarmed as it indicates a severe situation. We have been forced to replace a boat bilge pump in blinding rain as it failed in an inopportune time. Remember to inspect the vital component consistently. The inspection should include the screws, hoses, clamps, wiring, hair, and jammed floats. Always stow a spare boat bilge pump on board in the event a rapid change is required. We recommend the Attwood Sahara automatic bilge pump. The Attwood Shara is reliable and affordable. 

Lastly, keep wire cutters, butt connectors, and screwdriver with the extra pump to complete the task.