Choosing a Bilge Pump – Eight Practical Tips
1. Check the total capacity of your existing manual and electric bilge pumps.
2. Check the flow rate against the head – the vertical height difference between the liquid supply and the discharge level – so you can determine the actual flow rate of your existing bilge pump(s).
3. Compare the actual flow rates that your existing bilge pumps can deliver against your worst case scenario. Are they adequate?
4. Never rely on a manual cockpit bilge pump for your primary bilge pumping capacity – you and your crew will quickly tire in an emergency and your time will be better spent stopping the source of the water.
5. Make sure you have adequately-sized powered bilge pumping capacity in place to give you the time to solve a problem. How many pumps do you need?
6. If an electric pump is your primary method for discharging large volumes of water, check the location of batteries and electrical wiring and ensure they are protected from any possible flooding.
7. Check your hoses are configured to minimise any loss of flow caused by bends, connections, valves, and other obstructions and that the hose diameter and length are adequate to maintain the flow rate.
8. Give serious consideration to installing an engine-driven clutch-operated bilge pump as your primary bilge pump.