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Old 06-08-2014, 01:06 PM   #1
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Default Best way to check Bilge?

I believe my boat has the bilge that works off a float. We came in last night and I had quite a bit of water in it, but didn't realize it. Should I have just flipped the bilge switch to on eventhough it wont work until the float tells it to? I am concerned about if the bilge even works or not. I was thinking of putting water in the hull until it covers the bilge to see if it works...I was going to do this in the driveway. Good idea or are there other ways to check a float actuated bilge?
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:03 PM   #2
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Its called a Bilge pump which is in the bilge which is the lowest part of your boat.

They have usually have a lever of some kind that if you lift it up the pump turns on to test it. This is called a float. Sometimes your float are separate of the pump itself.

If this pump is old the float might not work or could be full of debris.

Yes that is a good idea to test your pump in the driveway and see if it works. If it doesn't work you can buy them at Walmart and are very easy to take out and put back in. They are rated by how many gallons per hour they can pump. Make you get the same if not better GPH rating.

Make sure you check the bilge hose that nothing is blocking in there.

The most important thing is if you have water coming in your bilge you need to figure out why and where? Check hose connections and how old are your bellows?

Have fun and let us know how you do with all this........

Roger
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:09 PM   #3
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If there is water in the bilge but it's not enough to trigger the float, you can turn it on with the switch on the dash. Just make sure to turn it off when the water stops pumping out.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:36 AM   #4
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Some floats can be raised by hand to verify it will cause the pump to turn on and some have a small lever to press. If neither then fill the bilge to see if the float turns the pump on. Does the pump run by turning the helm switch to on? If so the pump is good and just need to verify the flap switch works.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:07 PM   #5
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I'd start with turning the bilge pump on at the helm. This will at least verify if the manual switch circuit is working. You may need to fill the bilge with enough water to raise the float switch to see if that is working. The bilge pump won't be able to remove every last drop of water. The float switch will need to be almost completely underwater for the float to raise and turn on.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:48 PM   #6
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While doing your inspection, check the hose going from the pump to the hull. I recently found one of my pumps would run but could not pump any water. I started to remove the pump to replace and happened to check the line and found that some dirt dobbers were trying to sink my boat by building a nest in the line.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:09 PM   #7
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Fill the bilge in your driveway to make sure the pump turns on automatically, noting how high the water needs to be to trigger the pump. Then do it again. Finally, fill it to a level just below where it would auto activate the pump, then use the helm switch to manually turn it on. Inspect the bilge area and pick out any large bits of junk. Remove the bilge plug and use the hose to wash out the bilge as well as possible.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:57 AM   #8
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Helm switch does not turn the pump on. Filling with water and completely covering the bilge doesn't work either. Bad bilge...
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:14 PM   #9
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First verify 12V is at the switch and that the fuse is good. If that checks out verify 12V is at the pump when the helm switch is on. If that tests Ok then pump is bad.
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