icon-phone 619.235.0961    icon-email Email

When Downtime Is Not An Option.



Maritime Companies in San Diego Reveal: How to Troubleshoot a Bilge Pump

Maritime Companies in San Diego Reveal: How to Troubleshoot a Bilge Pump

The bilge pump is one of those things you rarely think about when it comes to boat maintenance. In fact, you probably don’t think of it at all, until you need it to help your boat.

If you  ask the ship repair companies San Diego locals trust, their customers tend to have a lot of problems with bilge pumps because boat owners tend to skip over this item during regular maintenance. Here’s how to figure out whether your bilge pump needs attention.

Bilge Pumps Are Simple

There’s not much that can go wrong with a bilge pump, because it is a very simple piece of equipment. However, if it does fail, you run the risk of sinking, so pay attention to your bilge pump.

Bilge pumps are mostly automatic, that is to say, that they have a float switch which detects whenever there’s water in the bilge and turns on automatically. However, there is always a switch in the cabin as well, so that you can turn it on manually.

Some boat owners panic if they see a little water in their bilge and the pump has not activated automatically. They assume it is broken and seek help from ship repair companies in San Diego.

However, it is perfectly normal to have some water in the bilge, and the pump will only activate after a certain water level has been reached. Puddles are to be expected, but more than 2-3 inches of water may actually indicate that there’s something wrong with your boat.

How to Inspect the Pump

Pump inspection should be done in two parts. The first one inspects the electrical aspect of the pump, whereas the other part checks for any physical defects or problems in the pump.

·         Start your inspection at the helm. Turn on the pump using the manual switch. If it starts, that is an indication that your electrical systems are working fine, and that any potential problem is elsewhere.

·         Check the battery; most bilge pumps use a battery rather than an electric motor since they are seldom used. Make sure that your battery is on and functional.

·         The fuse on the pump’s wiring should be next, while you are tinkering with the electrical systems. The fuse may have blown, so replace it with a new one. Make sure that they fuse is strong enough to handle the power output or this problem is likely to happen again.

·         The wiring can also be a source of problems. Check whether all the wires are corroded or broken.

·         Short-circuiting can be the result of too much stress put on the pump. If the area around the pump is warm, this is the most likely cause. Immediately disconnect the pump and wait for it to cool down. If this has happened, the whole pump may need to be replaced.

Mechanical Inspection

If electrical components are in order, but your pump still isn’t functioning properly, you will need to check for physical deformities and issues.

·         Inspect the float switch first. If there’s dirt or debris in it, clean it and reset your pump to automatic settings.

·         Turn off the pump and dismount it from its bracket. Check the impeller. You should be able to turn it with your finger without much resistance. If you can’t, check for debris in it. If there’s nothing you can see causing the problem, the pump probably needs to be replaced.

·         The screen which protects the inner workings of the pump from damage needs to be clean in order to let the water run freely.

·         The outlet hose needs to remove all that dirty water from your bilge. However, if you haven’t cleaned it in a while, you can guess how dirty it is. It is likely at least partially obstructed, so cleaning it should give you a nice flow.

There are things you can do for your boat, and then there are those which are better left to professional maritime companies in San Diego, like PCE. PCE has a long tradition of over 4 decades and numerous US Navy contracts to showcase the quality and reliability of the company’s work.

  1. Make Contact
Please enter a name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Please enter a valid phone number.
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
I Would Like More Information About:

Invalid Input
Send me your newsletter:

Invalid Input

Our Guarantee

At PCE, we pledge to provide you with the highest level of integrity and expertise; to recommend only what’s good for you and your situation; to use all resources possible to minimize downtime; to give the best value for your dollar; and to stand by our work and our word.

Contact Us

Corporate Headquarters
1620 Rigel Street
San Diego, CA 92113
Phone: (619) 235-0961
Fax: (619) 233-5096 
Diesel & Motor Division
3376 Main Street
San Diego, CA 92113
Phone: (619) 235-0961
Fax: (619) 687-0038 
99-1221 Halawa Valley Street
Aiea, HI 96701-3281
Phone: (808) 486-6600
Fax: (808) 845-1652 
920 West Marine View Drive
Everett, WA 98201-1300
Phone: (425) 257-9065
Fax: (425) 259-6851