Best Bilge Pump Reviews

10 Best Bilge Pumps (Reviews Updated 2019)

Bilge pumps can be your savior during boating excursions, pumping out any excess water that everyone normally forgets about until it’s too late. But considering the variety of bilge pumps available in the market, how do you know what kind is the right fit for your boat?

In our guide, we’ll be going through our top picks of the best bilge pumps and what sets them apart from the rest. We’ve also created an extensive buyer’s guide that will make your purchasing decisions easier.

The Top Bilge Pumps Of 2019

Here’s the 10 best bilge pumps:

1. Seattle Sports Paddlers Hand Bilge Pump (Best Overall)

Seattle Sports Paddlers Hand Bilge Pump

Review

It might surprise you that our favorite bilge pimp isn’t automatic, but it’s this very feature that makes it perfect if you own a smaller vessel. This pump offers a quick and efficient fix for any water overflow, ideal for kayaking or boating expeditions where the waters can be particularly rough. This hand-pumped unit uses a rubber handle with an excellent grip, making the pumping process much more manageable.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Manually operated
  • Easy-grip handle
  • High-visibility design (great for nighttime excursions)
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2. SeaSense Bilge Pump (Editor’s Choice)

Seasense Bilge Pump

Review

Another hand pump built for smaller vessels, this SeaSense unit, is a great emergency tool in case you end up in the middle of harsh weather or violent waters. This pump features a hose that can make siphoning off the water a bit easier, and it can be removed for storage purposes. It also uses a smart design that makes sure that all of the pressure is used to remove water without straining the rest of the pump’s components.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Manually operated
  • Different sizes to choose from
  • Detachable hose
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3. Shoreline Marine Boat Bilge Pump (Best Value)

Shoreline Marine Boat Bilge Pump

Review

If you want a pump that can handle between 600 and 1100 GPH (gallons per hour), then this unit is a solid choice. With a excellent GPH range to choose from, you can outfit your boat with this pump, regardless of its size. In terms of durability, the Shoreline Marine pump uses marine-grade design and wiring, built for working efficiently in severe conditions.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Marine-grade design and wiring
  • Fully submersible
  • Easy installation
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4. Attwood Sahara Boat Bilge Pump

Attwood Sahara Boat Bilge Pump

Review

Being an automatic model, this means that you’re skipping all the extra-hassle of manual pumps and instead have all the mechanism do all the work for you. This unit comes with a unique sensor that detects the presence of water, and it will promptly start pumping it out, great for people who want a device that requires little to no management.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Pumps out water on contact
  • Different sizes to choose from
  • Easy installation
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5. MAXZONE Submersible Bilge Pump

Maxzone Submersible Bilge Pump

Review

With an automated pumping system and a substantial flow rate of no less than 1100 GPH, this MAXZONE offers power and convenience with added safety. It has a built-in float switch that needs only be flicked-on to start out with the water pumping. The device’s bottom part is easily removable and can be outfitted to your boat with a simple screwdriver.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Automatic
  • Fast flow rate
  • Safety implements
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6. Rule 25DA Submersible Pump

Rule 25d Submersible Pump

Review

If you want a pump that offers a unique combination of power and silence, then Rule 25DA’s unit is an excellent choice. It continuously pumps out water out of your boat without any noise or vibrations, and it can take out 500 gal/hr with just the standard 12 volts. It’s fully submersible and small enough to fit most boats.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • High-powered pumping
  • Silent design
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
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7. Seaflo Boat Marine Bilge Pump

Seaflo Boat Marine Bilge Pump

Review

Not every electronic pump is fully automatic, and a prime example is Seaflo’s bilge pump that you can turn on whenever the need arises. This pump can be fully submerged at the very bottom of your boat without worrying about water damage.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Rust and water-resistant
  • Fully submersible
  • Semi-automatic
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8. Yescom Electric Marine Submersible Pump

Yescom Electric Marine Submersible Pump

Review

Yescom’s units are great if you have an enormous vessel that requires a powerful pump, as their models have GPH’s that can go as high as 3500. You can also choose the slightly smaller sizes of 1500 GPH and 1100 GPH, so you’re sure to find the right fit for whatever boat you own. Despite having considerable power, this pump has a relatively small size, and it’s also surprisingly quiet, making it ideal for boat owners who don’t want to be disturbed with loud engine sounds.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Wide GPH range
  • Efficient pumping system
  • Small and quiet
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9. Amarine-made Boat Marine Plumbing Bilge Pump

Amarine Made Boat Marine Plumbing Bilge Pump

Review

This Bilge pump is designed with durability in mind, able to work optimally even in adverse conditions, and it has a flow rate of 11000 GPH. It’s also small in size, so it can fit pretty much on any boat, and it still maintains its efficiency even in low currents.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Fast flow rate
  • Silent design
  • Easy installation
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10. CO-Z Submersible Marine Bilge Pump

Co Z Submersible Marine Bilge Pump

Review

Much like other automatic pumps, CO-Z’s unit comes with a sensor that detects water and turns on instantly. Its shaft is made from durable stainless steel, and the casing is high-impact ABD plastic, so you’re sure that this unit will last you for a long time to come.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Fully automatic
  • Water and weather resistant
  • Compact design
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Buyer’s Guide – Choosing The Right Bilge Pump For Your Boat

Best Bilge Pump ReviewsHere’s some more useful information on choosing the correct bilge pump for you.

Boat Type

  • Ski boat

Ski boats and other larger boat owners should invest in electric pumps that are fully submersible because these boats usually take in more water compared to smaller vessels.

  • Powerboat

Powerboats are generally bigger in size compared to most boats. And depending on what kind of waters you venture into, you’d have to outfit a bilge pump with the appropriate amount of power.

  • Offshore or coastal boat

This kind of boat typically has a number of compartments, and it’s a good idea to have a bilge pump for each one. Otherwise, you’d have to juggle between compartments with one bilge pump to keep up with the flow of water.

Power Type

If you’ve got the budget to buy an electrical model, we recommend that you buy one because of the convenience. It also outshines manual units in terms of performance. Electric pumps can clear more water within a shorter period, which is vital for bigger boats traversing rough waters. However, if you’re on a smaller boat in calm waters, you don’t need a lot of pumping power, so a manual unit will still do the job at a much lower price point. However, with a manual bilge pump, you need to be constantly vigilant about the level of water in your boat.

Bilge Compartments

If you have a boat with multiple bilge compartments, you need to think smart if you want to avoid having to buy a pump for each one. One solution is to use intake hoses for the boat’s different compartments. Or you could have one electronic pump that’s linked to each boat section, so it needs an adequate amount of power to be able to maintain multiple compartments.

Pump Switches

There is various type of switches that turn on the pump automatically. The integral switch is by far the most common. There are multiple models that don’t have float switches, but they do have the option of letting you install one. The most modern type of switch comes with a sensor that detects water. These intelligent switches will automatically turn on once they sense the liquid.

Pump Type

The most common form of pump is the centrifugal pump. They sit in water and start pumping once they’re entirely surrounded by the liquid. This type of pump is considered not capable of self-priming, which means that it doesn’t work unless in a body of water. They turn on by drawing liquids into the pump right through the vanes and pushing the water outwards. They usually come with a strainer that makes it easier to clean and maintain.

Another pump type is the diaphragm pump, and its process is entirely different from the former. For one, it can self-prime, which means that it can lift water through its intake hose then expel the liquid outside. Their strainer is located at the hose’s end to prevent the build-up of dirt.

Capacity

The amount of water a pump can push out of a boat at any given time is one of the most essential aspects you need to consider. This is typically measured as GPH or gallons per hour, and you will see this figure in the specifications of electric pumps. If you have a bigger boat or you frequently travel through rough waters, a higher GPH is recommended.

Material

A bilge pump should obviously be made from highly resistant materials since it will be regularly exposed to water, along with other corrosive components like salt. Pump casing is generally made with durable ABS plastic, and the shafts need corrosion protection, so they’re usually made with stainless steel.  Always check the material specifications of a bilge pump because they might be offering excellent features at a good price, but the materials are subpar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions we frequently hear:

Q: Can bilge pumps stop working?

A: Much like any machinery, there are instances where a bilge pump stops working. For example, there might be a flow restriction throughout the pump. This may cause the pump to work harder or stop altogether. This usually happens if the pump’s hose is under the waterline. So the solution for this can be as simple as moving your hose to a better location.

However, a flow restriction can also be caused by a dirt buildup. You can remove the pump’s strainer and clean it, but if the pump still isn’t working as it should, this means that the filter failed to do its job, and some of the debris has reached the pump itself.

Q: How do I know which wiring size is the right one?

A: The wire size entirely depends on the pump capacity you’re using. To give you a guide to go on, pumps that are below 800 GPH will need a 16 wire gauge. Pumps above 800 GPH and below 2000 GPH will need a 14 wire gauge. Most pump capacities fall within this range, so a 14 wire gauge is the most commonly used wiring size.

Q: Are submersible bilge pumps better?

A: All centrifugal pumps are submersible, and they usually are easier to use and clean compared to other pumps. With a submersible pump, you needn’t worry about its components getting damaged by the water because it’s designed in a way that it relies on water in order to turn on. The ignition and wiring of these pumps are protected with marine-grade casings to prevent any damage.

Q: Is one bilge pump enough for my boat?

A: This entirely depends on your boating activities. Do you frequent places with rough waters or bad weather, or are your watery excursions typically peaceful? If you’re part of the former, then you should consider getting an emergency pump if worse comes to worst. It’s a good idea for people with larger boats to invest in more than one bilge pump because the potential damage incurred if the buildup of water isn’t dealt with will cost you far more.

Q: What is the right way to clean bilge pumps?

A: This is where manual pumps have the upper hand because they don’t need to be submerged in the water to work, so they’re less likely to get dirty. Electronic bilges need to be regularly maintained and cleaned, and this process is easy as long as their strainer is doing its job. The strainer can easily be removed from the pumping system and cleaned separately. But sometimes, this isn’t enough to do the job, and cleaning the motor is needed.

The pump’s motor lies at the top of the plastic casing generally attached to your boat. You can remove this motor easily by unclipping it. After you’ve detached the motor, rinse it with clean water to remove the grime. After its clean, you can return it to its plastic casing.

Conclusion

We hope that our guide has helped make your buying decisions easier. As long as you know the type of environment you’re going to be using a bilge pump, you can quickly determine which one is the best for your boat.