Guide to Marine Bilge Pumps

Owning a boat seems fun and amazing as you can take a break from the land and hit the waters anytime you like. Even though having your own boat comes with many perks, there is still a big amount of work, care, attention, and maintenance that goes into it. However, some right and wise choices can make it all pretty simple and convenient for you, providing you some enjoyable and stress-free boating experiences. 

Marine Bilge Pumps

When your boat comes in contact with aggressive seas, heavy rain, or any sort of spills and leaks within the boat, it can lead to the accumulation of water or another fluid. Therefore, it becomes necessary to get the water out of your boat. For this purpose, bilge pumps are used to throw out all the water from the boat. 

Bilge wells, at the bottom-most part of a boat, are designed to collect excess water. These bilge wells contain bilge pumps that are a type of marine water pumps and are found in most vessels. The main function of these pumps is to eliminate water that is accumulated in the bilge wells. 

You Need a Bilge Pump System for your Boat

Everybody wants to keep their boats from sinking unexpectedly into the water with all the equipment or people onboard. This can be ensured by installing a bilge pump system on your boat that prevents you from losing your boat and everything on it. 

If deep bilge wells are not present on your boat, then heavy rain, huge waves, or even a small amount of excess water can easily take down your boat’s system. By installing bilge pumps on your boats, you can prevent flooding and keep your vessels in good shape. 

A bilge pump can also serve in emergencies such as a small puncture in the boat due to which water is flooding in. In this case, the pump works by ejecting the water out of the boat faster than it comes in. But you can’t rely on the pumps to keep the boat floating as this function only buys you some time to fix the puncture as soon as possible. 

Other than just a wise suggestion, the installation of marine bilge pumps on your boats is a legal requirement as well. If you own a boat and want to take it into the deep oceans, you need to have the best and most reliable bilge pumps installed on your vessel. The larger the vessel, the more working pumps you need to have. 

 

 

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Trac Outdoors Portable Bilge Pump - Features a Self-Priming, Centrifugal Pump - Ideal for All Types of Small Watercraft (69341)
24v Diaphragm Bilge Pump
Jabsco 18660 Series Marine Water Puppy Bilge/Sump Flexible Impeller Pump 6.3 GPM, 12-Volt, 15-Amp Non-CE, 1/2" NPT Ports
Taidacent Non-contact Electronic Water Level Sensor Liquid Level Sensor Switch for Water Tank Fish Tank

 

 

Types of Marine Bilge Pumps

Primarily, all bilge pumps for boats have the same role to play, but they are available in various types, sizes, and pumping capacities. The wide range of bilge pumps can vary from manual bilge pumps to automatic ones. 

Following are the different types of bilge pumps that use different methods and techniques to get bilge water out of the boat:

1. Centrifugal Bilge Pumps

Centrifugal Bilge Pumps

These are the most commonly used bilge pumps that remove a large amount of water from the vessel. 

Centrifugal pumps are further divided into Submersible bilge pumps, which are used for smaller vessels, and Horizontal bilge pumps, which are the right choice for ships. 

Submersible pumps are waterproof and installed inside the bilge well, whereas horizontal pumps are stronger and more versatile as they draw the water out through pipes. 

They are high capacity and affordable pumps with a simple design and easy maintenance. However, they may not be able to remove all the water from the wells and may require a hand from another type of pump. 

2. Diaphragm Bilge Pumps

diaphrem

Diaphragm pumps are commonly used pumps that are mostly preferred for smaller vessels instead of large ships due to their pumping capacity, which is lesser than that of centrifugal pumps. However, their use is pretty significant in smaller vessels as, unlike centrifugal pumps, they can function without priming and avoid getting damaged. 

They are self-priming pumps that easily push or pull water upwards and remove all the water in the bilge. The manual diaphragm pumps can be used without the provision of power and are required in most small vessels. 

3. Reciprocating Bilge Pumps

These self-priming pumps can eliminate all bilge water from your boat and easily pump it vertically, unlike centrifugal pumps. They can also handle the removal of highly viscous liquids but can’t deal with the debris. 

4. Flexible Impeller Pumps

Flexible Impeller Pumps

Flexible impeller pumps are affordable pumps that use a rubber impeller and a cam to remove all the water from bilge wells. They can also deal with solids and debris and are better than centrifugal pumps in terms of vertical pumping. However, they have lower pumping capacities, and the rubber impeller can wear down. 

Choosing the Right Marine Bilge Pump

Selecting the most appropriate bilge pump for your boat can be quite confusing for some people, and they may end up going with the unsuitable option. Therefore, you need to make a choice between all the types of bilge pumps before taking your boat into the deep seas to avoid sinking or damaging your ship. 

There are numerous factors that you need to consider before purchasing a bilge pump for your boat. The selection of bilge pumps primarily depends on the type or size of the boat that you own. 

Centrifugal bilge pumps are mostly used for large vessels because they require high pumping capacities that can only be offered by centrifugal pumps. But because centrifugal pumps are incapable of removing all the water out of the bilge wells, therefore, some other types of pumps can be used in combination with it to completely eliminate the bilge water. 

In the case of smaller vessels, the options are more diverse. Submersible centrifugal pumps are an excellent option for your boat as they are inexpensive, easy to maintain, and have the ability to remove a large amount of water, but they need to be installed in the right way. 

Diaphragm pumps are also a popular choice for smaller vessels. Even though they are expensive, they can eliminate all the water in the bilge. 

Reciprocating pumps are not widely used in small boats. They are more productive against highly viscous liquids that aren’t commonly observed in small boats. 

Even though flexible impeller pumps are less expensive than the diaphragm and reciprocating pumps, they require continuous maintenance and changing of their rubber impellers. 

Bilge Pump Switches

Usually, boat bilge pumps are accompanied by an automatic float switch that triggers the pump to start pumping the water when the water level rises to a certain point. Following are the types of bilge pump switches that are commonly used:

1. Integral Automatic Switches

This float switch is attached to the side of the pump, which makes its installation simple. It works by spinning the motor of the pump every few minutes to observe the presence of water by using the current from the motor. The only negative point is that the motor runs again and again even if there is no water present.

2. Electronic Water-sensing Switches

These switches use Mirus detector cells to sense the presence of water. They do not have the ability to sense petroleum products to avoid accidental removal of fuel overboard. 

3. Separate Float Switches

This switch is used to transform a non-automatic bilge pump into an automatic system. It works by completing a circuit to energize the pump when the level of bilge water rises.

Bilge Pump System

A complete marine bilge pump system consists of the following components:

  1. The pump.
  2. A connection to the battery of the boat.
  3. An automatic and/or manual switch.
  4. Two different kinds of hoses:
  5. an intake hose
  6. a discharge hose

Installation of Bilge Pump System

No matter how expensive or high-capacity bilge pump system you have got for your boat, if you haven’t installed it correctly, there is no benefit of having it in the first place. 

Following are some common tips that will make the installation easy and effective:

  • The discharge hoses should be as short as possible because the longer ones have more resistance which reduces their pumping function. 
  • Waterproof butt connectors should be used for any wiring connections in the bilge area. 
  • Every pump comes with a set of installation rules and recommendations by the manufacturer, which should be followed under all conditions. 

Best Marine Bilge Pumps 

1. SAILFLO Automatic Bilge Submersible Pumps

Top Features:

  • Comes in a bundle of a pump and a switch.
  • Turns on and off automatically without a floating switch. 
  • Equipped with heavy-duty motors. 
  • Easy installation. 

2. Seaflo Electric Bilge Marine Pump

Top Features:

  • Comes with a 4-year warranty. 
  • Equipped with a heavy-duty motor for increased longevity. 
  • Stainless steel shafts.
  • Completely submersible. 
  • Anti-airlock protection.
  • Operates silently.

3. Attwood Automatic Marine Bilge Pump

Top Features:

  • Works efficiently in boats of various sizes. 
  • Comes with everything you require to get started, such as pump, strainer, wire seals, and a mercury-free switch (all in one unit). 
  • You can easily install it in your boat. 
  • Compact and durable. 

4. Ogrmar Automatic Boat Bilge Pump Float Switch

Top Features:

  • Turns on and off automatically. 
  • You can remove the switch from the base for easy cleaning of the boat. 
  • Tested switching frequency of up to 10 million times. 
  • Made from solid ABS material for high strength and durability.

5. Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump

Top Features: 

  • Can pump out up to 600 gallons of water per house. 
  • Features universal mounting, which means you can install it in any boat without making any adjustments. 
  • Comes with a mounting bracket and stainless steel hardware for easy installation. 

6. ECO-WORTHY 1100GPH 12V Marine Electric Bilge Pump

Top Features:

  • An excellent pump for fishing boats, runabouts, cruisers, yachts, etc. 
  • Can easily withstand harsh weather conditions. 
  • Easy-to-clean snap lock strainers.
  • Operates silently and without any vibrations. 
  • Offers Rust and corrosion protection.
  • Completely submersible. 

 

7. Amarine Made 1100gph 12v Boat Marine Plumbing Electric Bilge Pump

Top Features:

  • An excellent choice for fishing boats, runabouts, cruisers, yachts, etc. 
  • Suitable for both seawater and freshwater. 
  • Equipped with heavy-duty motors with stainless steel shafts.
  • The pump won’t burn out even if it runs dry. 
  • Compact and efficient. 
  • Completely submersible. 

 

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
SAILFLO Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 750gph Auto with Float Switch 3/4 inch outlet
SEAFLO Electric Marine Bilge Pumps
attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump, 12-Volt, 1.5-Amp Draw, ¾-Inch Interior Diameter Hose, 29-Inch 16-Gauge Wire
Ogrmar Automatic Boat Bilge Pump Float Switch Moisture Tight Seals 12/24/32VDC Ignition Protected Mercury
Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump
ECO-WORTHY 1100GPH 12V Marine Electric Bilge Pump for Boat Caravan RV Submersible Non-Automatic
Amarine Made 1100gph 12v Boat Marine Plumbing Electric Bilge Pumps (1100gph 12v)


1. SAILFLO Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 750gph Auto with Float Switch 3/4 inch outlet


Top Features:

  • Comes in a bundle of a pump and a switch.

  • Turns on and off automatically without a floating switch. 

  • Equipped with heavy-duty motors. 

  • Easy installation. 



2. SEAFLO Electric Marine Bilge Pumps


Top Features:

  • Comes with a 4-year warranty. 

  • Equipped with a heavy-duty motor for increased longevity. 

  • Stainless steel shafts.

  • Completely submersible. 

  • Anti-airlock protection.

  • Operates silently.



3. attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump, 12-Volt, 1.5-Amp Draw, ¾-Inch Interior Diameter Hose, 29-Inch 16-Gauge Wire


Top Features:

  • Works efficiently in boats of various sizes. 

  • Comes with everything you require to get started, such as pump, strainer, wire seals, and a mercury-free switch (all in one unit). 

  • You can easily install it in your boat. 

  • Compact and durable. 



4. Ogrmar Automatic Boat Bilge Pump Float Switch Moisture Tight Seals 12/24/32VDC Ignition Protected Mercury


Top Features:

  • Turns on and off automatically. 

  • You can remove the switch from the base for easy cleaning of the boat. 

  • Tested switching frequency of up to 10 million times. 

  • Made from solid ABS material for high strength and durability.



5. Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump


Top Features: 

  • Can pump out up to 600 gallons of water per house. 

  • Features universal mounting, which means you can install it in any boat without making any adjustments. 

  • Comes with a mounting bracket and stainless steel hardware for easy installation. 



6. ECO-WORTHY 1100GPH 12V Marine Electric Bilge Pump for Boat Caravan RV Submersible Non-Automatic


Top Features:

  • An excellent pump for fishing boats, runabouts, cruisers, yachts, etc. 

  • Can easily withstand harsh weather conditions. 

  • Easy-to-clean snap lock strainers.

  • Operates silently and without any vibrations. 

  • Offers Rust and corrosion protection.

  • Completely submersible. 



7. Amarine Made 1100gph 12v Boat Marine Plumbing Electric Bilge Pumps (1100gph 12v)


Top Features:

  • An excellent choice for fishing boats, runabouts, cruisers, yachts, etc. 

  • Suitable for both seawater and freshwater. 

  • Equipped with heavy-duty motors with stainless steel shafts.

  • The pump won’t burn out even if it runs dry. 

  • Compact and efficient. 

  • Completely submersible.



— Show product details

 

 

Conclusion

Buying the right bilge pump system for your boat is an important decision that you need to make before hitting the deep seas. You also need to make sure that you install it correctly so that it can perform its function perfectly. So now that you know everything that you needed to know about marine bilge pumps, we wish you a safe and pleasant boating experience.