Pumps & Plumbing Guide

The Pumps & Plumbing category is one of the most diverse categories of marine parts and accessories. For one’s basic understanding and the do-it-yourself enthusiast, approaching pumps and plumbing requirements for your boat is not as difficult as it might initially seem.  Breaking it down into systems makes the entire approach much more user friendly.
  • Our Bilge Evacuation System Guide will give an overview of Bilge Pumps and related system needs as well as the major brands that manufacturer bilge pumps for your needs include specifications and essential information.
  • Our Fresh Water Systems Guide includes shower fresh water pumps, sump boxes, watermakers, filtration systems and water heaters.
  • Our Live Well Systems Guide will walk you through aerators and live well system considerations
  • Our Sanitation Systems Guide will walk you through the essential equipment of that system including macerator pumps, holding tanks, waste treatment systems and toilets and related products.
Glossary of Helpful Terms
  1. Automatic Bilge Pump:  Includes a float switch as part of the design, making it automatic.
  2. Bilge Pump Switches:  Panel mounted rocker switches for use with low amp pumps
  3. Check Valve: A mechanical device (valve) that only allows liquid to flow through it in one direction
  4. Float Switch:  Converts any bilge pump to a fully automatic operation
  5. GPH:  Gallons Per Hour that a pump will pump from the bilge
  6. Heavy Duty Pump:  Designed for Commercial Vessels as a rule
  7. ID:  Inside diameter
  8. I/B:  inboard engine
  9. I/O:  inboard/outboard engine
  10. Macerator Pump: a pump that grinds solid toilet waste down to be removed from the boat
  11. Non-Automatic Bilge Pump:  Requires being turned off and on.  Can be converted to automatic with a float switch.
  12. NPT: National Pipe Thread – standardized measurement
  13. OD: Outside diameter
  14. O/B: outboard engine
  15. Washdown Pump: Pump designed for cleaning boats, general use or as a shower sump

Bilge Pump Guide

Whether you own a Personal Water Craft, a Sailboat, a pleasure boat – small or large, or a commercial craft, the subject of choosing a bilge pump is an important one. Many feel that next to the condition of your hull, the condition (and capacity) of your bilge pump should be of primary concern.  After all, a sinking boat isn’t going to be much fun or very productive (depending on whether you own a pleasure boat or commercial craft) for anyone.

It isn’t just about your boat, but about safety. Just as there is required, and needed, safety equipment, there should also be a consideration for the correct bilge pump to assure that the vessel is going to stay afloat each time you take it out on the water.

Fresh Water System

Your fresh water system, as the name suggests will provide you with potable water used in the sinks, showers, dishwasher, and ice makers on your boat.  It is not an endless supply as you know, but is determined by the size of the tank utilized in  your system.  Your water needs for your typical boating excursion will dictate your system needs.

The fresh water system on your boat is similar to your home fresh water systems, but with easier accessibility with flexible hosing that is easier to get to than hosing housed behind walls you have to penetrate before you can even get started.

The fresh water system includes the water tank, fresh water pump, water heater, faucets and shower system.

Live Well System

Live well systems and aerators are at the top of the list for fishermen when talking boats.  Primarily the live well is for live bait when fishing, so keeping the bait alive is the job of a well functioning live well system.   In this day of "catch and release" it is also a place to keep your trophy winning catch alive until the big weight in.and to hold your catch and opt out for a bigger fish over the previous catch when fishing to the limits

The live well system consists of the tank, a source of water and an aeration device.  Fish need oxygen to stay alive and hence, the job of the aerator in the live well system. 

Sanitation System

The boat sanitation system is a highly regulated system that requires knowledge of the system and the related laws for disposal of sewage from your boat.  This includes whether you are boating on inland lakes, rivers or bays or coastal and offshore (over 3 miles off shore) areas.

It is also important to understand the needs of your boat (how long away from shore, number of people onboard using the system and the system itself) first.  It is equally as important to understand the regulations in place and how your sanitation system will comply with those regulations.

Understanding the types of marine sanitation devices including toilets with macerators, separate macerator pumps, holding tanks and waste disposal onboard and dockside will be covered.

Utility Pumps

Utility pumps have a place not only in the marine industry for which they were manufactured and are sold, but also in many other applications.  We get requests every day for these handy pumps.

The utility pump category includes manual, pool, battery operated, 110V and other pumps for a variety of applications.

Always consider how much water these pumps are designed to remove and how high up they will pump, particularly in the case of the battery operated pumps and manual pumps.