7 Ways To Resolve Boat Bilge Pump Not Working

boat bilge pump not working
boat bilge pump not working

A bilge pump is among the most crucial pieces of gear that any yacht should have. Since it shields your boat from flooding issues, you won’t have to worry about water collecting in the hull.

You must therefore continuously check to see that your bilge pump is in flawless working condition.

Recently, there have been many reports regarding the boat bilge pump not working. If you’re in a similar situation and the bilge pump is not responding, then the following list of solutions will help you fix the issue.

Boat Bilge Pump Not Working

  1. Fix Float Switch

Around ninety percent of the time, issues with the bilge pump can be traced back to a defective or dirty float switch. It is quite common for debris to get trapped under the float switch and stop it from turning on the pump.

So, if you’re in a situation where the bilge pump is not working, start by inspecting the float switch. You’ll likely find issues with this switch, and the problem will stop persisting after you fix the float switch.

All you have to do is take out the switch and check for debris stuck on the unit. In most situations, cleaning the float switch will do the job.

But if you’re dealing with a defective float switch, the only way around this problem is by installing a new float switch.

  1. Check Wiring

Defective wiring is another reason why you might be running issues with the bilge pump. It is not that rare for the connection points to get dirty and disrupt the flow of water.

Similarly, kinks in the wiring or broken sections can also lead to similar issues with the bilge pump. So, to get around this issue, you will have to inspect your wiring thoroughly.


Using a multimeter is one of the best solutions in these circumstances. So, make sure to borrow a multimeter if you don’t have one and check for continuity on different terminals. 

That will help you isolate the problem. Then you can easily replace the defective wiring and clean the rusty connection points.

  1. Check For Battery Issues

The next thing that you gotta do is to check the battery side of things. The condition of the battery must be checked. You have to check everything from the battery terminals to the wiring and the actual health of the battery.

Even the greatest battery packs only last a few years, thus checking the battery for issues is crucial. Ensure that the battery’s output is sufficient to provide the pump the power it requires.

Without these modifications, the issues would persist and the battery would not be able to handle them.

This issue will also bleed into your other electronics and managing the system will become increasingly harder. So, have that in mind when you’re stuck in these errors. 


All that you have to do here is to connect a multimeter with the stem and then make sure that the output from the battery is optimal. Once you’re sure that the battery is past its effective life, just move forward with a replacement. 

You can’t jump the battery or service it up to get ahead of all the power issues.

You shouldn’t hesitate to get a new component when necessary because there are situations when it is the only solution. So, be sure to take the sting on your budget.

  1. Check The Pump Itself

Next, you gotta check in on the pump itself. The possibility of issues with the pump will go on increasing if you’re unsure about how to take care of the hardware.

There is not a single unit on the market that will serve you well when you’re unsure about how to take care of it.

So, when you’re stuck or don’t know how to go about the maintenance cycle, fixing the pump will become increasingly harder.

All that you gotta do is to make sure that the pump is clean, there is no gunk lodged inside that might disrupt the water flow and you will be sorted out. 


Otherwise, you might just complicate the situation more for yourself, and managing the system will become increasingly harder for you.

What we’ll suggest is that you look up some video tutorials on YouTube. Being a bit more aware of the hardware issues and the potential problems can help you out. 

Instead, if you just ignored the maintenance, then you’re bound to run into some issues.

So, be a bit proactive and have the official help you out. That will save you a ton of hassle in the long run and you won’t have to bother as much with the system.

  1. Check The Outlet Hose

Now, after checking the pump, you gotta move towards the outlet hose. Even when everything is working perfectly, you gotta make sure that there is nothing lodged inside the hose and that there are no kinks.

Anything that can obstruct or limit the flow of water from the bilge pump will negatively impact the situation.

So, when you’re stuck and can’t seem to figure out a reasonable way out of this problem, then you just gotta check the outlet hose. 

All of your focus should be on making sure that the water can make its way from the bilge to the outlet hose without any obstructions.

From there, you can also adjust some things on the positioning side of things and make sure that the gravity is also helping you out.

You can also try hiring an expert here. If you’re stuck and can’t seem to make your way through a solution, then getting help from an expert is not that bad an idea. 

  1. Replace Fuse

One more thing that you gotta check when it comes to the power going into the system is the fuse.

If the fuse is in poor condition or you’re unsure about the connections, just replace the fuse. It is fairly simple to replace and won’t have any impact on your budget.

All that you gotta do is to install a new fuse, make sure that the connections are secure, and you will be sorted out in no time. Everything will boil down to the power flowing into the pump. 


Ignoring these points will not only create more problems down the road, but you will also have to get the bilge pump replaced.

So, don’t hold off when it comes to getting a replacement for this piece. Otherwise, you will be pretty disappointed with the final results.

  1. Forward A Warranty Claim

If you’re still stuck in the same problem and can’t find any issues with the float switch and the wiring cluster, then there is a good chance that you’re dealing with a defective unit.

In the case that your purchase was recent, then you should involve the dealer immediately and explain the issue to him.

If the warranty is valid, you won’t have to spend any money on a replacement pump. So, there is no need to go out of your way to purchase and install a replacement component on your own. 

Just call the dealer and forward a warranty claim regarding your bilge pump. He will take care of the rest, and you won’t have to bother with any troubleshooting steps. 


On the other hand, if you don’t have a warranty then, you should seek help from the experts to isolate the problem further. Hopefully, this information helps you better manage the bilge pump.

The Takeaway

You can’t ever ignore the performance of the bilge pump when it comes to getting decent efficiency from your boat.

The water will keep collecting in the bilge if the pump is not working. So, you gotta make sure that the pump is in good shape.

If for some reason the bilge pump is not working, you have to replace it right away. There are no quick fixes when it comes to the hardware side of things.

However, you can always start by checking the wiring, the fuse, and the connection with the pump. 

Once you’re sure that all of these things are in good shape, you can then check the battery and the pump itself for hardware issues.

In case of more serious problems, you gotta ask the local professionals or the official customer support team. 

These experts will make your life easier, and you will not have to deal with any challenges.

So, be sure to reach out to the experts, and you will be sorted out in no time. Hopefully, you won’t have to struggle with any problems in the long run. 

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