Never Sink Again! The Ultimate Guide to Bilge Pump Plumbing

Top Fishing Gadgets: Bilge Pump Plumbing

Bilge Pump Plumbing: If it has not been installed and maintained correctly, even the best bilge pump in the world won’t be able to keep your boat dry. Before beginning an installation of a bilge pump, there are a number of factors to take into consideration, including the capacity of the pump, the size of the wires, the diameter of the hoses, and the size of the fuses. Additionally, there are some good rules of thumb that should be followed.

(Article about “Bilge Pump Installation and Maintenance Tips” on

Bilge pump systems must be long-lasting, crush- and kink-resistant, and direct with the least amount of restriction.

What exactly is “Bilge Pump Plumbing“?

In order to comply with the laws, the owners of any vessel that does not have an automatic system for discharging excess water are required to install either one or more bilge pumps.

Therefore, this is a type of plumbing in which dewatering equipment is installed in order to discharge the surplus water to the outside through a continuous hull. The water is discharged to the outside of the vessel.

There are two distinct varieties of bilge pumps, namely the electric bilge pump and the manual bilge pump. These pumps are also sold under a number of different manufacturers’ brands. Consider the following brands: Jabsco, Marco, Attwood, Nuova Rade, Rule, Osculati, Seaflo, Whale, Johnson Pump, Plastimo, etc…


Make sure that you provide a suitable location for the bilge pump, as this component must always be easily accessible for a variety of purposes including inspection, maintenance, hoses, and so on. It is therefore not recommended to place the pump close to the cabin.

Unfortunately, there are still people who have to cut a “hole” in their craft in order to install the device comfortably. That must be horrific!

It is common knowledge that a non-return valve should also be installed in order to prevent water from entering the system during steep slopes or intense waves.

Because the latest new models already have one or more “non-return” valves installed, this is typically unnecessary for a manual bilge pump and an electric diaphragm bilge pump.

Install bilge pumps so that they are wired directly to the battery while also using an inline fuse. The number of amps drawn by the pump determines the rating of the fuse (use fuse with a greater rating than pump draws in normal operation). Even if the battery or the main switch is turned off, a pump that is powered by a direct battery connection will continue to function normally.

Bilge Pump Plumbing: Some questions on the Internet

Do automatic bilge pumps drain battery?

In the event that the switch turns on the pump but fails to turn it off afterward, the continued operation of the pump motor can drain the boat’s battery, which would render the protection that the automatic bilge pump system is supposed to provide uselessly. The presence of liquids other than water in the bilge frequently brings on issues with the switch that controls the bilge pump.

Does battery need to be on for bilge pump?

There are two hot leads on bilge pumps. 1 for the switch, and the other going directly to the battery with a float switch in between. If you switch off the battery and then try to use the bilge, it will not function properly.

Do all bilge pumps have a float switch?

The majority of bilge pumps are equipped with an automatic float switch that activates the pump as soon as it senses the presence of water in the bilge. You should also be able to manually activate the pump via the helm, where there should be a switch that allows you to manually override the automatic float switch.

What size wire should I use for a bilge pump?

When you are installing your pump, you should use wire with a gauge of 14. However, the wire size should be increased to 12 gauge if the installation is more than 20 feet away from the source of the battery power. The use of a wire that is too small causes an undesirable buildup of heat within the wires, which in turn leads to a drop in voltage and a reduction in the pump’s overall performance.

How often should a bilge pump come on?

Every two minutes, it ought to perform a check for water. Unless it has been raining or you have been in rough water, nothing should come out of the bilge.

Why is water in bilge?

If water does not drain off the side of the deck or through a hole in the hull, typically via a scupper, it will drain into the bilge, which is located lower down inside the ship. This water could have been caused by stormy seas, rain, leaks in the hull or stuffing box, or any other type of interior spillage.

Can you leave a boat battery on overnight?

If you are wondering whether or not it is safe to leave a boat battery charger plugged in overnight, then the answer is unequivocal “No”! If you charge the battery of your boat while it is docked overnight, you will eventually cause it to fail or become damaged.

How far will a bilge pump push water?

According to the technical documents provided by Rule, the pump will have a capacity of 1,620 gph (gallons per hour) when operating against a head of 1 meter (3 feet 4 inches), and 1,300 gph when operating against a head of 2 meters (6ft 8in). When the pump has to lift the bilge water more than 3 feet, you lose approximately 20 percent of its output; when it has to lift the water more than 6 feet and 8 inches, you lose approximately 30 percent of its output.

Can bilge pumps run dry?

The design does not include any filters and is self-priming up to 9.5 feet (3 m). It is possible for it to run dry without the pump being damaged. The backflow protection helps to cut down on the amount of water that flows back into the bilge. The connections for the pickup and discharge hoses are hose barbs measuring 3/4 inches (19 mm) in diameter.

What’s the difference between marine wire and regular wire?

Marine cable, in addition to being tinned, has a larger diameter than, for example, automotive cable of the same size. So, 6 AWG marine cable contains more copper than 6 AWG automotive cable. The cable’s ability to carry a current is improved by increasing the amount of copper it contains. Marine cable also features a PVC jacket that is both flexible and long-lasting.

What type of wire is used for boats?

Wiring on boats should almost always be of the stranded type rather than the solid copper wire used in household applications. Solid copper wire cannot withstand the vibration that is present onboard a boat and should not be used.

What kind of battery do I need for a bilge pump?

For instance, the current draw of the Rule 1100 is 3.3 amps when operating at 12 V DC. The majority of people choose sealed lead-acid (SLA) batteries because they are both more affordable and waterproof, despite the fact that these batteries are heavier than some of the other available choices.

What size battery do I need to run a bilge pump?

The length of time that the pump needs to be run for should be what guides your choice of battery. According to what we can tell, the amperage draw for a rule 500 is approximately 2 amps. You would have a capacity of 3.5 hours if you used a small light 7 ah sealed lead acid deer feeder battery (7 ah divided by 2 a = 3.5 h).

Is the water in the bilge normal?

As long as the water does not continue to get into the boat, this is perfectly normal and there is no reason for anyone to be concerned about it. As long as the bilge pump is not being used frequently, it should be safe to have a certain amount of water in the bilge.

How much does it cost to install a bilge pump?

Cost: approximately $100 but can vary greatly depending on the pump. 1. Ensure that it is in fact the old pump that is malfunctioning before you go tearing it out of the wall. You should try the manual override at the steering wheel, and you should raise the float switch down in the bilge.

How do I keep my bilge dry?

The only thing that needs to be done to ensure that the bilge stays dry is to direct the water away from the stuffing box. Put a pan or some other type of collector under the stuffing box so that the water will collect there instead of dripping into the bilge. This will prevent the bilge from becoming wet.

Why are boats always pumping out water?

Why Do Boats Throw Water Behind Them? In order to prevent the bilge from filling up with water, boats typically spew water overboard. As time passes, water accumulates inside the bilge, and when it does, the bilge pump will automatically pump the water back out.

Should you run your boat on both batteries?

NEVER use the “BOTH” position unless you need to parallel both batteries in order to “jump-start” your own engine. In this case, the “BOTH” position is only used to parallel both batteries. Also, make sure that you pay attention to the warning that says “Stop engines before switching ‘OFF’.”

Can you leave a trickle charger on a boat battery?

There are chargers that only provide a trickle of power, but they can be permanently attached to your boat. However, they can be challenging to attach in such confined spaces because of their size. Portable chargers are an alternative option to consider. The size of the charger will change according to the amount of power that you require.

Keep Your Boat Afloat with the Bilge Pump Installation Kit!

This comprehensive kit provides everything you need to install a 1-1/8-inch diameter bilge pump hose, ensuring your boat stays dry and safe. The high-quality, kink-free flexible PVC hose measures 6 feet long, offering ample length for most installations.


  • Premium Kink-free PVC Hose: The 6-foot flexible hose is designed to resist kinking, ensuring smooth water flow and efficient bilge pumping.
  • Durable Thru-Hull Fitting: The included thru-hull fitting provides a secure and watertight connection between your bilge pump and the outside of your boat.
  • Heavy-Duty Hose Clamps: Two sturdy hose clamps ensure a secure connection to your bilge pump and thru-hull fitting, preventing leaks and ensuring a reliable system.
  • Easy Installation: This kit provides all the essential components for a straightforward installation, saving you time and effort.

Ideal for:

  • Replacing worn or damaged bilge pump hoses.
  • Upgrading your existing bilge pump system.
  • New boat installations.

Ready to tackle bilge pump installation? This kit has you covered!


  • Includes everything needed for a complete installation.
  • Features a high-quality, kink-free PVC hose.
  • Durable thru-hull fitting for a secure connection.
  • Heavy-duty hose clamps ensure a tight seal.
  • Easy to install, saving you time and effort.


  • The hose length may not be suitable for all boat sizes.
  • The kit does not include a bilge pump.
  • The quality of the components might vary.

Keep Your Boat Dry and Safe with the Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump Plumbing Kit!

This complete bilge pump plumbing kit provides all the necessary components for a secure and efficient bilge pump installation. Featuring durable plastic construction and stainless steel hose clamps, this kit ensures a reliable and leak-free connection between your bilge pump and your boat’s hull.


  • Heavy-Duty Construction: The durable plastic components are built to withstand the harsh marine environment, ensuring long-lasting performance.
  • Secure Stainless Steel Clamps: Two corrosion-resistant stainless steel hose clamps provide a tight seal, preventing leaks and ensuring a reliable bilge pump system.
  • Easy Installation: The kit is designed for straightforward installation, making it simple for even novice boaters to install.
  • Complete Package: This kit includes all the components you need for a successful bilge pump installation, eliminating the need to purchase separate parts.

Ideal for:

  • Replacing worn or damaged bilge pump hoses.
  • Upgrading your existing bilge pump system.
  • New boat installations.

With the Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump Plumbing Kit, you can rest assured your boat is equipped with a reliable and efficient bilge pump system!


  • Includes all the necessary components for installation.
  • Durable plastic construction for long-lasting performance.
  • Secure stainless steel clamps for a leak-free connection.
  • Easy to install, even for beginner boaters.


  • The specific hose size and length are not mentioned in the product description, requiring additional research.
  • The quality of the plastic components might vary.


This brings me to the conclusion of this article. I hope you enjoyed it, and please feel free to leave any questions, more information, comments, ambiguities, or untruths in the comments.

Leave a Comment