Marinetalk is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The Best Bilge Pumps for 2023

Fact checked by William Hart

Owning a boat is an excellent means to unwind and spend your time in the open waters. However, just like other valuable investments, a boat especially requires some supplies, too. Indeed, one of the essential points on the vessel is the best bilge pump.

Undeniably, investing in a premium quality bilge pump can significantly help you delight in the best boating experience. Having this essential stuff is not merely a matter of superb performance, but it can also guarantee your safety.

best bilge pump

What are the different types of bilge pumps that are available on the market today? Are there benefits you can take pleasure in if you purchase one? Luckily, we have conducted research, gathered some useful and updated facts, and added some vital information to help you find the right bilge pump for you.

Additionally, the product reviews below can assist you in selecting the most suitable option for your boat. Our team compiled a review section that would make your shopping decision a lot easier. The top ten bilge pump products we have chosen are not organized in any order so that we won’t spoil your objectivity.

Our purpose is to help you shop more confidently and get the real value of your hard-earned money. Hopefully, you’ll find this article a handy guide.

Top 3 Products

Best Overall

MAXZONE Bilge Pump


Compact & Mighty

SeaSense Bilge Pump 


Honorable Mention

Attwood 4505-7 


Table of Contents

Best Bilge Pump Reviews

1. MAXZONE Boat Bilge Water Pump

If you are fishing for a premium quality saltwater bilge pump yet is not priced expensively, this product is a must-try. It comes with a very rigid built that makes it ideal for the harsh marine environment. So, you can rely on this pump if you wish to combat the most adverse conditions.

Not to mention, the water-cooled engine is fantastic. It can guarantee an extended period of maximum performance and satisfying service. This can produce a total of 1,100 GPH and comes with a voltage of 12 VDC. You can refer to this if you are looking for a device that could fit hydraulic systems that are supplied with cold water.

Please be guided that you need to utilize it in line to be fed by pressure or gravity. Additionally, if you intend to use this for yachts, fishing vessels, runabouts, and cruisers, this would be a reliable companion.

Many boaters pick this alternative because of its ease of installation. Apart from this, you can lean on it to eliminate the water out of the boat instantly and more efficiently. It is lightweight and compact, yet it can execute its purpose amazingly for an extended period of time.

Take note that it is necessary to pay attention to the outlet size. This is for you to fit the proper adaptor or hose. For water pumping issues, this is a great solution to refer to.

One primary concern about this bilge water pump is that it does not empty all water. It commonly leaves approximately half-inch deep.
  • Can generate 1,100 GPH and a voltage of 12 VDC
  • A practical choice for cruisers, yachts, fishing vessels and runabouts
  • Can withstand the rugged marine environment
  • Appropriate to use for hydraulic systems that are supplied with cold water
  • Guarantees long service life
  • Does not eliminate all water
Overall, this is a decent and less pricey marine bilge pump. This is an excellent value for the capacity and construction!

2. SeaSense Hand Bilge Pump Hose

This hand bilge pump is one of the top-rated options for its incredible craftsmanship. It comes with large, high-impact, ergonomic, and easy-to-grip handle design. It is a piece of cake to store, and it can reach narrow and tight areas, too. This one is not bulky at all, and it can even fight off corrosion issues. It will also keep you worry-free from leak problems. Its anti-leak craftsmanship has a removable 36 inch hose.

Additionally, this product features a tube cap that wraps up the tube and forces the liquid out of the outlet. Such a unit does a great job of supporting the plunger shaft. It is an excellent self-priming hand pump that is ideal to use for large scale water elimination.

Interestingly, its design has been downsized for evacuating kayaks, small vessels, bilges, canoes, or any areas where water accumulates. You will be stunned by how this unit can quickly pick up almost all the liquids in the boat.

The plunger washer works by forcing the water up and through the outlet. On the other hand, the plunger spacer does a beautiful job of keeping the shaft from coming up too remote and impairing the plunger washer.

While this hose seems sturdy, it is still best not to kink it too tightly; this is to prevent hose cracks in the long run.

  • Features an impressive anti-leak design
  • Comes with easy-to-grip, ergonomic, large and high-impact handle
  • Allows more comfortable and more convenient storage
  • Can easily reach tight, compact or small areas
  • Made with corrosion-resistant feature and is lightweight
  • Cannot be kinked tightly
Lastly, this is a must-have item for boating hobbyists out there. It can serve as a perfect gift for those who frequently traverse the open waters.

3. Attwood 4505-7 Automatic Bilge Pump

These automatic bilge pumps for boats come with an actual float built-in. For a fact, it is more straightforward to test the operation and easier to point out which one moves the internal float. Besides, the package already consists of the required accessories for assembly. So, this would be a practical choice for beginners.

The package comes complete with the wire seals, pump, mercury-free switch, and strainer. This won’t be a hassle to set up even when you need to install it in tight areas. But, take note that this only allows horizontal mounting. Anyway, this option is practical and convenient to use for vessels of any size.

Furthermore, this bilge water pump is rated for 500-gallon per hour performance at open flow. The device also comes with a 1.5 amp draw pump and 12 V. It is 29-inches in length, tinned copper wire, and 16-gauge caulked. Likewise, such a unit makes use of a ¾-inch interior diameter hose.

It is nice to know that this unit is made by an award-winning brand in engineering, examining, and manufacturing the most top notch marine products for ages. It satisfies the requirements for automatic switch pumps for any 20-feet vessels that come with sleeping accommodations. However, surprisingly, it does not force you to spend lavishly in keeping the water out of your vessel.

On the other hand, it is crucial to inspect this bilge pump’s motor. It seems not too powerful to remove all of the water through the line.
  • Can conveniently offer bilge water pumping for differently sized vessels
  • Installation is a breeze even in tight spots
  • Contains the necessary accessories for assembly
  • Can generate 500 GPH performances at an open flow
  • Motor is not exceptionally powerful to eliminate all water through the line
In general, if you are going to read some automatic bilge pump reviews, this option is one of the easiest to install a pump. So, it’s going to be ideal for novices.

4. SEAFLO Electric Marine Bilge Pumps

This Seaflo bilge pump review tells consumers how capable this brand is in beating its competitors. This product is superb at handling water evacuation, and you can regulate it with the aid of a float or panel switch.

It also features unique moisture-tight seals that come with marine-grade blocked wiring and an anti-airlock shield. As compared to other available options, this has industry-standard outlets, mounting base, and wiring system.

This unit contains a larger impeller and a sturdy motor that enable it to execute its functions. Likewise, it possesses an easy-to-remove strainer base that suits industry-standard mounting conventions. As you can see, you won’t have issues switching to SEAFLO.

Bilge pumps for small boats like this work like a charm in emptying a fishing vessel’s rainwater. Hence, this would be an excellent alternative for boaters looking for a low-energy and small pump that could eliminate water well. Luckily, you can get this unit at an affordable price tag. It is unnecessary to worry, even if you have a limited budget.

Notwithstanding, the downside that you can observe once you start using this bilge pump is its incapability to pump any more fluids than the 3,500-gallon per hour version. So, if you utilize it ruggedly, the pump loses power.
  • Ideal to use for RV, marine, off-grid, and industrial applications
  • Can generate a flow rate of 500-gallons per hour and comes with 12 VDC voltages
  • Features exclusive moisture-tight seals and an anti-airlock protection
  • Engineered with robust and durable motor
  • Supported by a four-year warranty program
  • Does not pump any more liquids than the 3,500-gallon per hour model
To sum up, this bilge pump fits the bill. If you opt for an awe-inspiring flow rate, then there is no need to further your search.

5. MAXZONE Boat Bilge Water Pump

12-volt bilge pumps like this unit are good deals that may be quite difficult to find. This model comes with a built-in float switch, and it does not consume power until the internal float switch mobilizes it. This is a perfect choice for boaters who prefer automatic, compact, and fully-submersible types of electric pumps.

Some of its most important features include its long-lasting motors, anti-airlock protection, and capability to be used with a switch panel. This allows manual override for users. Besides, the assembly process is a cinch because it comes complete with all the installation instruction details.

More importantly, such a unit is not susceptible to overheating, even when operating dry. What is more, it is furnished with an integral electronic regulated reed sensor system. This feature allows more convenient and completely automatic operation. It can fight off corrosion and rust; it functions more efficiently and comes with shallow current draw.

Since this has an ignition shield feature, it can safeguard the pump against the strong current. Also, you can be worry-free when it comes to leak concerns because this model comes with moisture or watertight seals. And if you opt for a superbly quiet type of pump operation, this will guarantee you that!

This bilge pump is smaller than I thought. However, it is strong enough to do its tasks in a few minutes.
  • Comes with anti-airlock shield, water-cooled, and extremely durable motors
  • Not prone to burning out when operating dry
  • Can be utilized with a switch panel to allow manual override
  • Equipped with an integrated float switch TEST button at the back of the device
  • Contains an exhaustive user manual, wiring diagram, and assembly instructions
  • Smaller than expected
To the greatest extent, you can consider this unit one of the most reliable bilge pumps available today. It executes what it was engineered for at this purchase price.

6. Amarine Made Boat Bilge Water Pump

Would you like to purchase a premium quality bilge pump for a kayak? Then, why not give this model a chance to prove its capability to your boating needs? You will surely love this model’s fully submersible, automatic, and compact electric pump. Once you have it in your boat, you won’t require a separate float switch anymore. This is because it comes with an integral switch that makes it a lot easier to use.

The integral electronic regulated reed sensor system of this unit allows effortless and completely automatic operation. It can repel rust and corrosion as it comes with a very durable build. The plastic housing is quite rigid, and this version features a stainless steel shaft.

This automatic pump can generate a total of 760 gallons per hour. The quick-release strainer guarantees low maintenance. Best of all, the motor comes with a durable construction, so it is good enough to last long. And if you want a noise-free pump operation, then this is one of your safest bets!

Unlike some other options, this product comes with an ignition shield feature that helps safeguard the pump against high currents. You can prevent leak concerns since this unit is protected by moisture or watertight seals. All in all, this pump works efficiently as it can provide higher capacity output and ensure a low current draw.

One possible concern that you may experience about this bilge pump is its auto on and off switch may not be reliable sometimes. So, be sure to check the unit you’re getting before paying.
  • Proudly made with corrosion-resistant and rust-proof features
  • Equipped with stainless steel shaft, long-life motor, and sturdy plastic housing
  • Engineered with an integral electronic regulated reed sensor system
  • Guarantees shallow current draw but can provide superior capacity output
  • Comes with moisture/watertight seals and ignition shield features
  • The automatic on/off switch is sometimes unreliable.
Ultimately, if you prefer a reliable, long-lasting, and robust enough bilge pump for your small vessel, this auto bilge pump can work best for your requirements.

7. Rule Marine Bilge Pump

If you have plans for buying a bilge pump for gheenoe, this option is worth considering. It comes with higher pumping capacity and proudly showcases more exclusive design features that make it a more prominent choice than other similar products. Sure thing, you don’t deserve to settle for anything less.

In like manner, this would be an ideal option for those who opt for silent pump operation. This product is straightforward to install, too. You can even run it dry for a short period. Such a unit is not susceptible to rust formation and corrosion, either, since it is designed to repel these elements. You can submerge it thoroughly, and it comes with a stainless steel shaft build as well.

Besides, this works more efficiently, and it is all thanks to its robust and long-standing motors. It comes with a compact design and does an excellent job of eliminating water quickly and easily. Undeniably, you can always get your money’s real worth from this brand of bilge pump.

Regardless, this bilge pump’s current price tag may not be favorable for those who are short on budget. It may be costly, but the quality is unrivaled.
  • Engineered with more pumping capacity and more distinctive design features
  • Does not produce any disturbing noise while operating
  • Capable of running dry for a short period
  • Comes with corrosion and rust-resistant features
  • Completely submersible and engineered with stainless steel shaft
  • Priced higher than some other brands
Right to it, this Rule bilge pump is a bit pricier than other brands. But, since it can offer you with more peace of mind, this is a valuable investment that you can consider.

8. Attwood Tsunami Manual Bilge Pump

You can think of this unit as one of the best manual bilge pumps. When it comes to gilt-edge craftsmanship and compact design, this is a certified topnotch. Many boaters who have used this device were impressed by its dependable bilge pumping performance.

This model features a tried-and-true and robust pump that comes with a 500 GPH rating. It also consists of top-quality bearings, cutting edge magnets, alloys, and brushes. The cartridges are easy to replace, and you can interchange or replace the motor core, too. If you do not wish to spend more time cleaning and maintaining this pump, it seems to be a perfect choice.

Apart from these, such a device comes with a patented shaft seal that impedes leaks brought about by misalignment. Meanwhile, the tinned and caulked wiring helps prevent water damage, wicking, and withstand corrosion.

This pump is 12V and contains a ¾-inches barbed outlet that you can link with a 29-inch wire. It does not take up much space; it is a breeze to set up and functions best as a backup bilge pump. You can have all these without paying more.

This bilge pump’s drawback is that searching for a hose that could fit the more important discharge port may be a bit challenging.
  • Consists of a replaceable and interchangeable motor core
  • Built with a robust and reliable pump
  • Equipped with easy-to-replace cartridges
  • Allows easy cleaning process and low maintenance
  • Can offer the most dependable bilge pumping performance
  • Finding a hose that would fit the more substantial discharge port is a little challenging
On the button, this device can be one of the best boat bilge pumps because it contains exclusive features and functions that make it a smart investment.

9. Amarine Made Marine Automatic Bilge Pumps

We often think that only large bilge pumps can handle heavy-duty functions. Surprisingly, this unit is small in size; however, it can work efficiently and guarantee low current. This won’t disrupt you, either, because it does not produce irking noise while running.

If you intend to use this pump for your fishing vessel, speedboat, or fountain, this won’t disappoint you. It features a very exclusive and automatic discharge function that makes it a standout choice among others. Moreover, you can rest assured that the motor won’t break down sooner because it comes with a stainless steel shaft.

Thanks to its super durable thermoplastic bodies, you can fully submerge it. This model also features ignition protection, so it is unnecessary to worry about overheating problems. And, it consists of a snap-lock strainer base that allows a more straightforward assembly and removal.

Since it includes exhaustive installation and operation instructions, this is user-friendly, even for first-timers. But if you wish to extend this pump’s service life and output power, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

All the same, the floating pump is not yet included once you purchased this bilge pump. So, that would be an additional cost for you.
  • Practical option for small speedboats, fountains and fishing vessels
  • Includes easy-to-follow instructions
  • Highly efficient, low current yet short in size
  • Features a distinctive automatic discharge function
  • Equipped with premium quality motors with stainless steel shaft
  • You need to purchase the floating pump separately.
Finally, just like the smallest bilge pumps out there, this unit is reliable and works as advertised. It’s small but terrible!

10. Rule LP900S LoPro Series Bilge Pumps

This bilge pump is a good catch mainly because it works impeccably and comes with a super low profile. Its flow rate amounts to 900-gallons per hour and it comes with 13VDC power. The device pumps only when water is present. Fundamentally, if you plan to buy a practical pump for tight areas, this is the right choice for your needs.

Likewise, you can mount the discharge body vertically or horizontally. This can also swivel up to 180-degrees. As you can see, the discharge section is quite flexible when routing the discharge line. Many boaters rely on this unit whenever they encounter leak problems in their vessel. This comes on automatically and can take better care of the issue at once.

Please make it a point to pay attention to the mounting instructions of this bilge pump. Otherwise, there is a tendency for the unit to burn up if not mounted accordingly. And, take note that this pump contains extra wire to install a switch that would allow manual operation. Also, do not forget to inspect the fuse.

Unfortunately, it appears that the customer service support is not available 24/7. You should not expect to have your concerns be resolved at once. It would be better if they responded immediately to customer’s queries or disputes.
  • Can generate a total flow rate of 900 gallons per hour
  • A perfect option for tight spaces
  • Can be mounted vertically or horizontally
  • Operates only when water is present
  • Swivels by up to 180-degrees and comes with 13 VDC power
  • Customer service support does not respond right away
By and large, this unit functions incredibly to what it was engineered for. When it comes to function and performance, you can bank on this model.

11. AURELIO TECH Automatic Bilge Pump

If you want to ensure investing in one of the best automatic bilge pumps, this brand is one of the safest options. It won’t use up much power until the internal float switch activates the device. The motor comes with rigid construction, so it is sure to last an extended period. Since it features a stainless steel shaft, you won’t have to be troubled about rust and corrosion problems.

Some other essential features include an anti-airlock shield, quick-to-release strainer, and heavy-duty plastic housing. More importantly, it comes equipped with a built-in electronic regulated reed sensor system that enables automatic and reliable operation.

You can also use this unit with a switch panel for a manual override purpose. This won’t be a pain in the neck to install, either, since it includes detailed manufacturer’s instructions for installation and operation.

Such a unit is more straightforward to replace. It can fit the same housing. And, it works excellently in quickly eliminating water without causing any mess. As for the size, this is surprisingly powerful and works more effectively than expected.

However, you need to regularly inspect this device’s float switch operation because there have been claims that it tends to fail at times.
  • Does not consume power until the pump starts functioning by an internal float switch
  • Equipped with efficient, sturdy and water-cooled motor
  • Can fight off corrosion and rust formation
  • Comes with stainless steel shaft and quick-release strainer
  • Furnished with incredibly sturdy plastic housing and anti-airlock shield
  • The float switch operation sometimes fails.
This bilge pump is a decent option considering it can move a generous amount of water quickly. You can rest assured that this is the best bang for the bucks.

12. Better Boat Bilge Pump Manual Water Pump

This unit can work wonders for boaters who are in the hunt for a portable, lightweight, and reliable bilge water pump. Since it comes with long hoses, it executes well in removing water. If you plan to use it for motorboats, dinghy, or canoes, this is a significant investment that you won’t ever regret.

Moreover, this device comes equipped with a watertight gasket and no-clog filter. It is also plain sailing to store when not in use. Besides, in case you encounter some defects regarding the unit you purchased, you are backed up by their 100% Manufacturer Money Back Guarantee offer.

The hand suction pump functions exceptionally in eliminating the water from the underneath portion of the boat. It is a must-have if you frequently traverse the seas, especially during emergencies. The filtered nozzle helps impede debris, leaves, and seaweeds from clogging the bilge pump.

The top-quality rubber seal creates a watertight seal that is not prone to leaking or loosing. It allows the most significant amount of suction and discharge that executes more excellently than other options out there.

Anyhow, always inspect the hose of this bilge pump as it is prone to popping off. So far, this is the only minor gripe that you need to look into.
  • Comes with long hoses that make eliminating water a cinch
  • Portable, lightweight and includes manual design for unfortunate incidents
  • An ideal choice for dinghies, canoes, and motorboats
  • Features a watertight gasket and no-clog filter
  • Supported by a 100% Manufacturer Money Back Guarantee offer
  • The hose occasionally pops off.
Laid on the line, if quality and performance are your top priorities when buying a bilge pump for your boat, this unit can be your reliable partner.

What to Look for When Buying a Bilge Pump


We all prefer to use effective and responsive bilge pumps for watercraft; nonetheless, it takes time to come up with a confident decision. It also entails a significant amount of effort before you find a feature-packed option.

Before getting a bilge pump for your boat, it is ponderous to take a look at the following buying guides:

  • The type of boat you currently own.

It is ideal to concentrate on the type of vessel when selecting boat bilge pumps. Nevertheless, do not overlook the maximum significance of the type of water a boat is going to traverse on.

For a watercraft that has an outboard motor, a more excellent option is an electric bilge pump. This is because the hand pump is capable of taking the accumulated water out with much ease.

When it comes to large vessels, it is vital to get an electric pump because this is water-proof. Even though you submerge it in water for an hour or more, it could execute its job well without any issues.

Meanwhile, use two bilge pumps for offshore racing sailboats. Position the first pump on the cockpit. The second one must be positioned underneath the deck. It is a must to ensure that you utilize a range of bilge pumps for every department to eliminate excess liquids and enhance additional protections, whether you get to a coastal or offshore vessel.

Take in mind that bilge water originates from different places. When traversing rougher lakes or oceans, the presence of bilge water is more superior to normal. Hence, it is critical to ask where you are heading. From there, determine your unique requirements to avert inefficient investment and pointless expenditures in the long run.

  • The capacity of the bilge pump.

Different types of pumps are built explicitly for underwater applications. They could differ in terms of the amount of water they could pump out at any single period. This though, is a figure that is gauged, and you would see this on all electronic types of pumps.

Take note that GPH is a figure that you would see, and it is a measure of the amount of water that could be pumped out per hour during the ideal conditions.

If you are searching for a bilge pump for your vessel, then you prefer to be fishing for a pump that comes with a gallon per hour of roughly 1,000 at the least, unless you own a smaller vessel.

On the other hand, if you have a larger bilge compartment or a larger vessel, then you may consider increasing that figure or escalate the number of bilge pumps that you have.

Capacity is an indispensable consideration in making smart decisions. Regardless, you also need to look into the size of the boat to save more money.

  • Manual versus Electric Power

If you have a watercraft that comes with a decent size, then an electric pump could assist in eliminating more accumulated water in no time. If you own a kayak, you may opt for manual pumps. Since an electronic device requires a power socket for it to work, vessels that do not come with a supply of electricity need a manual option.

It is essential to understand that when water exceeds the bilge, this could pose a hazard to the electrical system. This will eventually make the device break down. However, there is no need to worry because you can utilize an automatic bilge pump to eliminate the water without any problem.

  • The size of the boat

When investing in boat bilge pumps, the size of the boat is a very indispensable part of your buying decision. A bigger bilge pumping device is required for a larger boat if you wish to make a remarkable difference. However, this is not sufficient. You also need to consider the type of boat.

Examine the gallons per hour when you go to local stores or shopping online. GPH pertains to the rate of water that boat bilge pumps can eliminate in an hour. A device that comes with a larger gallon per hour capacity is more beneficial for larger vessels. Consider consulting a colleague or a buddy when the need arises.

Indeed, it is practical to purchase an effective and more robust pump when you own a smaller vessel. This can ensure more safety, and it allows you to get rid of bilge water more immediately.

  • Which one to buy: centrifugal or diaphragm pumps? What fits your requirements?

Have you ever utilized large bilge pumps? Probably, you have encountered diaphragm and centrifugal pumps in the past. Can you tell the difference between these two types of bilge pumps?

Mostly, centrifugal boat bilge pumps do not come with a self-priming feature. This conveys that they do not start functioning until they sit in the water. Even though these are not self-priming, they come with a durable and built-in strainer that does not call for high maintenance.

On the other hand, diaphragm boat bilge pumps function in a distinct approach. They are capable of lifting water through a hose. What is more, they expel the water out more effortlessly. It is advisable to use a suitable strainer and other practical tools to inhibit clogging problems.

  • Bilge Compartments

Does your watercraft have separate bilge compartments? If so, it is paramount to look through what solutions to choose. A single pump, however, could get stuck in different sections. So, what’s the most appropriate solution for this? A diaphragm pump is ideal since you could relocate it to different parts of the vessel.

Apart from this, an electric pump is one of the top-rated recommendations by experts. While this device appears to be a pricier alternative, the cost would be worth it when you have a watercraft that comes with bilge compartments.

Many commercial vessels have a pump for every bilge to eliminate undesired water as rapidly as possible.

  • Pump switches: why does it matter to go for a sustainable solution?

Pumping switches come in many distinct types. This includes a separate float switch and an integral automatic switch.

It is essential to understand that an integral automatic switch has been labeled as a universal solution. This switch is positioned in the pump. Moreover, it begins to work as soon as it comes in contact with water.

On the other hand, a separate float switch is an outstanding option because it makes pumping devices faster and automatic. In the past, this alternative contained mercury. However, today’s versions are more eco-friendly. They start operating as soon as they sense water. So, the way they function is similar to the integral automatic switch.

In a nutshell, it is significant to take an ample amount of time when deciding which boat bilge pump to get for your boat. It is not practical to rush.

Before making the final decision, it is also helpful to research the most trusted boat bilge pump brands. This way, you can be guaranteed quality and performance.

Other Important Factors to Consider


What is a bilge pump?

A bilge pump serves to move the accumulated water and oil out from a vessel. This device offers a more convenient approach to keep the watercraft dry during normal operations.

Besides, this could buy time in inconceivably risky situations such as a leak from hull damage or strong typhoons.

Having this in your boat can help keep you and other passengers safe until repairs can be carried out.

Since bilge pumps could break down, it is essential to have a backup. The main pump is commonly situated at the lowest section of the bilge, while the secondary pump is positioned somewhat uphill.

This guarantees that the secondary pump starts functioning only when the main pump breaks down or is overwhelmed. It helps keep the secondary pump clear of any residues in the bilge that makes the main pump more prone to clogging.

You also can learn more about other pumps like washdown pumps and marine AC pumps here!

How does it work?

A bilge pump is a significant part of the life of a boat. It functions by sucking up all of the undesired water accumulated at the underneath portion of the watercraft. Then, it pushes the water back out into the sea through a hose.

In other words, it works as a filter. So, it keeps all the dirt and oil that could reside in the sea away from all of the engine’s essential working mechanisms.

Generally speaking, an 18-feet vessel would work well with a 500-gallon per hour bilge pump. Meanwhile, a 20-feet vessel will work well with a 1,000-gallon per hour bilge. A 45-feet watercraft will work better with a 2,000 by up to 4,000-gallons per hour output.

Hence, if you wish to unveil how a bilge pump functions right in front of you, consider filling a canister with 5 gallons of water and observe how long it takes for the device to get rid of this liquid.

A 500-gallon per hour pump must be capable of carrying out the task in roughly 35 seconds; on the other hand, a 1,500-gallon per hour pump should execute the same task in approximately 12 seconds.

What are the different types of bilge pumps?

Like every other bilge pump for smaller watercraft, you could also uncover distinct types of bilge pumps. The primary factor that you need to know is what your boat requires explicitly. This includes the pump’s capacity, its size, and where you will position it.

Hence, it is practical to be well aware of a bilge pump’s basics when selecting the best option for you.

There are two types of bilge pumps, and they are:

  • Diaphragm Electric Pump

This type of pump utilizes a vacuum, and it works by sucking the bilge water out. This is self-priming, which means that it pushes the water more excellently in an ascending mode.

It is slightly difficult to maintain. In the same way, it is incapable of moving a generous amount of water. Even so, it can run dry without incurring any damage. Most of them are incapable of tolerating even tiny bits of debris. This could get trapped in the pump’s valves, which eventually causes failure or leaks.

  •  Centrifugal Electric Pump

This type of pump makes use of kinetic energy by rotating. It moves the water just as the rotary engine. This type of pump is exceptional at running plenty of water. It is also less expensive and does not require high maintenance. More importantly, you can store it for an extended period when not in use.

The pumping power and simplicity of a centrifugal pump are unmatched. Be that as it may, diaphragm pumps could be a more excellent option where water needs to be pumped more than a few feet skyward. Furthermore, you can install them in a more convenient and drier location than the underneath portion of the bilge.

Please take note that adding a filter before the pump to get rid of the dirt minimizes the risk of failure.

Why do you need a bilge pump? (Benefits)

The advantages that you can enjoy when using a bilge pump would highly rely on choosing the appropriate pump type.

Unquestionably, owning the right bilge pump can offer you several perks such as the following:

  • Cost

Fortunately, most pumps are not costly. You can find some quality pumps at a reasonable price tag. Such options are adept at executing their purpose, just like more expensive options.

See it to pick the suitable type of pump for the size of your boat and the engine.

  •  Security

Owning a reliable bilge pump would make you feel more secure while touring the open water. As you might already know, having liquids on the underneath section of the vessel could become hazardous.

Essentially, one of the main advantages of owning and utilizing a suitable type of pump for your boat is safety. So, you must always inspect if the pump is functioning well before leaving the dock.

  • Portability

Bilgewater pumps are a breeze to move. You can store them somewhere else, not in the watercraft, when you’re not using them. You can store some models for an extended period without being damaged.

  • Free Space

Distinct types of pumps are highly dependable for underwater applications. They do not consume more space. Moreover, you can place them almost anywhere at the underneath portion of the watercraft like any vessel anchor.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the most trusted bilge pump brands?

When purchasing the most suitable bilge water pump for your boat, always make it a point to research into the most reliable brands in the field. Read customer reviews and feedback to double check if you are on the right track.

A few of the most highly acclaimed and credible brands that produce premium quality bilge water pumps for boats include the following:

  • Shoreline Marine
  • Rule
  • SeaFlo

How to install and use?

Once you have purchased the right pump for your needs, the next important process is to install it as per manufacturer’s instructions. Go over the handbook carefully as this contains all the information regarding the assembly procedure of a specific pump.

Here are some essential guides for bilge pump installation:

  • It is very vital to inspect the electrical connection. If you are uncertain about it, always contact a technician to avoid future issues.
  • It does not matter what brand of pump you purchased, and the set-up process is crucial to guarantee efficient usage. Make sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions strictly.
  • Avoid using a crumpled hose. This could be risky. Instead, pick a sleek option as this won’t cause any kink concerns.
  • Should you encounter some problems during the assembly process, contact a technician. He can assist you as he is more knowledgeable in that aspect.

This is particularly true if it is your first time to install a pump. Bear in mind that proper assembly is vital to allow appropriate use.

How to care and maintain?

Proper care and maintenance of the bilge pump is particular for distinct types of pumps.

Please take note of the following care and maintenance guides:

  • Get rid of the waste and other sorts of dirt from the location where the pump is placed.
  • Thoroughly clean the screen of the pump. Please be guided that the intake screen is crucial for the user.
  • Make it a habit to inspect the electrical connection.
  • If you use the diaphragm type, see to it to clean it thoroughly to impede clog issues.
  • Always go over and check the manual for some more distinct guides and details.
  • Keep in mind that proper care and maintenance are critical for the life of the bilge pump. With appropriate care and maintenance, your device will be reliable for an extended period.

Here are some safety tips when buying and owning bilge pumps:

Safety is crucial for all of us. In line with this, protection while traversing the open waters is even more vital since we cannot do many things in the sea. It is essential to be well-prepared for some circumstances before leaving the berth.

Fundamentally, the following safety guides must be considered:

  • Select the appropriate type of pump for your requirements.
  • Inspect the pump before leaving the dock.
  • Make it a point to have a spare pump in your watercraft if you encounter a break-down. This is a life-saver.
  • Position the bilge pump in an appropriate spot.
  • Handle the pump with proper care and maintenance.
  • If there are some defects or concerns you know nothing about, you’d better consult a technician and allow him to do the repairs.
  • Enjoy your water adventures, but always prioritize safety. Do not forget to inspect the electrical connections at all times.


Lastly, the best bilge pumps are the vital ace of the boating world. This is because they execute a valuable job of protecting you from water. So, deciding on the ideal solution for you is slightly intricate since there are several aspects to look into. Some of the factors that you need to consider include the type of water you frequently traverse and your boat’s type and size.

For that reason, we have created this buying guide to tackle some of the best options. By reading our product reviews, you will realize that searching for a reliable product can be slightly tricky. That said, you should not take the shopping process lightly.

We hope that the product reviews, additional information, and other buying tips can help you end up buying the right model for your needs. Take note that it is critical to own the appropriate pump for your vessel. Also, do not forget to adhere to the manual regarding the product’s maintenance and safety tips. This way, you can have a good time boating and touring the open water.

Meanwhile, if you especially require a refresher, all you need to do is reread the shopping guides before coming up with the final purchasing decision. Good luck with your shopping and boating ventures.

5/5 - (3 votes)