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Bilge Pumps

Bilge Pump

 

An emergency bilge pump(s) is a very significant electrical device on any vessel. This pump is used to pump out water that may collect, for whatever reason, in the bilge.

The bilge pump has a dedicated circuit that is always on. This ensures that if a leak occurs and water begins to fill the bilge, the bilge pump will automatically engage via a float switch and pump out water until the bilge is dry or the battery is exhausted. Usually, you can not turn off the automatic engagement of the bilge pump at the DC circuit breaker panel. The switch on the panel is reserved for manual on and off. This is a good thing!

Since the bilge pump will automatically empty overboard any liquid in the bilge, it is imperative that no oil or other chemicals are allowed to drain into the bilge

Bilge pumps are rated by the number of gallons they pump per hour. However, this requires that adequate electric power is available. Should there be a significant amount of water entering the bilge, the pump will drain the batteries unless the batteries are being constantly charged.

The diagram below shows the typical electrical wiring diagram for a bilge pump.

 

Bilge Pump

Bilge Pump System

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Source: Skipper
Topic: Boat Electrical Systems
Authors: Grant Headifen, NauticEd Global Director of Education
NauticEd is a fully recognized education and certification platform for sailing students combining online and on-the-water real instruction (and now VR). NauticEd offers +24 online courses, a free sailor's toolkit that includes 2 free courses, and six ranks of certification – all integrated into NauticEd’s proprietary platform. The USCG and NASBLA recognize NauticEd as having met the established American National Standards.