If You Do Not Know What A Bilge Pump Is, Read On!

Merritt Supply
Nov 14 · 3 min read

The Importance Of a Bilge Pump

You might have heard about bilge water and bilge wells before but are not sure exactly what it all is. Bilge wells are basically the lowest compartment that is found where the two sides of the ship in question meet. There might be floor plates over these compartments; they are called bilge wells because it is where bilge water accumulates. How many bilge wells a ship has, as well as their depth, depends on how big or small the ship happens to be and how much bilge water it has to deal with. There are various reasons that can lead to seawater getting into the bilge well such as leaks in pipelines, pumps, propulsion systems, and others. This water can mix with oil, fuel, detergents, chemicals, and other materials that may be present depending on the ship’s design and purpose, resulting in bilge water. Of course, the last thing that you want is bilge water and certainly not an excess of it on board, and this is why bilge pumps are so important to a ship or boat. As any marine supply business will tell you, the main objective of a bilge pump is to get bilge water out of your ship or boat as efficiently as possible so that it does not sink.

Bilge Pumps Are Not Just For Big Ships

If you go on any big ship you are bound to find more than a few bilge pumps; that is because they are truly indispensable. Also, bilge pumps are known to fail so it is very wise to have at least one backup if not more. Boats are another story because a lot of boaters do not believe that they will ever need a bilge pump and fail to carry even one; while those boaters who do take this precautionary step only choose to equip their boat with a single bilge pump. You might be amazed by the fact that the U.S. Coast Guard does not even consider a bilge pump to be a requirement for recreational pumps. Of course, if you get into a situation where the only thing standing between your boat sinking or not is your bilge pump, you are definitely going to appreciate having it! Here are a few things to consider about bilge pumps:

  • You can include a manual pump in the event that there is no power for your bilge pump.
  • Boats are equipped with either a submersible or centrifugal bilge pump
  • An auxiliary diaphragm pump with an in-line strainer is a good option since it will not clog as easily as a centrifugal bilge pump.

Should You Choose An Automatic or Manual Bilge Pump?

Your bilge pump can be either automatic or manual; the difference between these two types of bilge pumps is that an automatic bilge pump will detect the presence of water at a certain level and begin to work. Larger vessels are required to carry automatic bilge pumps for the safety of those on board, but smaller boats can utilize them as well. However, a manual bilge pump should be fine if you have a small boat, but it is highly recommendable to have at least one backup in case the first bilge pump fails.

Keep Your Bilge Pumps Well Maintained

It goes without saying that your bilge pumps should be fully operational, otherwise, they will be of no use to you in an emergency. You should test them periodically and get them repaired immediately if anything happens to be malfunctioning since they are so important. If you would like more information on this subject, just click here: https://www.merrittsupply.com

Merritt Supply

2621 NE 4th Avenue

Pompano Beach, FL 33064


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Merritt Supply

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Merritt Supply is a family owned and operated business that is dedicated to being the #1 Wholesale Marine Supply company.

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