washdown pumps

Installing Washdown Pumps: The Ultimate How-To

A washdown pump system is a convenient tool for cleaning debris, such as fish guts and weeds, from your boat. The system consists of a pump that draws in seawater or raw water from the outside through a thru-hull and pumps it up onto the deck. From there, it can be directed through a hose to clean the boat. The installation process is simple if your boat already has a seawater line. In that case, you will just need to obtain the pump, hoses, and clamps to complete the setup. However, if your boat doesn’t have a seawater line, you’ll need to install a thru-hull, seacock, strainer, and pump in addition to the hoses and clamps. By having a washdown pump installed, you can easily keep your boat clean and ready for use.

Which Washdown Pumps Are Suitable?

When looking to purchase washdown pumps for your boat, it’s important to select one that is powerful enough to lift the water from the boat and maintain sufficient pressure as it exits the hose. A pump’s capacity, measured in gallons per minute, directly impacts the amount of water pressure it generates. Based on the size of your boat, select a pump that meets your capacity requirements. For instance, a washdown pump with a 3GPM capacity should be able to produce up to 50 PSI, which is ideal for a small to the medium-sized boat.

Another factor to consider when choosing a washdown pump is its installation location. Make sure the pump you select fits in the designated housing area. Otherwise, you may need to opt for a smaller pump or consider mounting it in a different location.

Steps To Install Washdown Pumps

Below are five steps that you can utilize to install washdown pumps.

1- Determine The Ideal Location For The Pump

Select a convenient spot for pump setup where pipes and wires can be kept as short as possible. It’s important to pick a dry place that’s protected from moisture. The location should be easily accessible.

2- Mount The Pump Onto AStable And Secure the Portion Of The Boat

Attach the pump securely to the boat, utilizing a rubber barrier between the pump and the boat surface to lower any noise transmission caused by vibrations. This mounting location should be on a strong part of the boat, such as a bulkhead.

3- The Boat Requires A Water Supply Line

Installing a washdown pump on a boat requires a water supply line. If there is an existing seawater line, it can be easily incorporated by adding a T-connector or Y-connector. If no line exists, a new thru-hull fitting complete with a seacock valve must be installed. This will serve as the water source for the washdown pump. Proper installation is necessary to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the pump.

Expert Tip: Avoid drawing water from the raw intake line to power the washdown pump. Opt for a marine hose with a higher PSI capacity than the pump to ensure proper engine cooling.

4- Install An Outlet Plate Through The Deck

To install a washdown pump below the deck, install an outlet plate through the deck and connect the pump’s outlet hose to the underside. The top side of the outlet plate can be equipped with a regular hose and nozzle for cleaning purposes. If the pump is in a storage locker, a coiled hose can be connected and kept there until needed. An accumulator tank after the pump’s outlet and check valve can help extend the pump’s lifespan by reducing water pressure spikes.

5- Use Marine-Grade

When wiring a washdown pump for a boat, make sure to use marine-grade wire that can handle the amps the pump draws. All connections should be made with marine-grade crimp-on butt connectors and heat-shrink tubing. If the boat has an electrical distribution panel, the circuit should go to and from it and have a dedicated fuse or breaker. If not, run the circuit directly to and from the battery with a fuse close to the positive terminal, and install a waterproof switch.

Some More Tips For Installing Washdown Pumps

To protect your washdown pumps, consider adding a strainer or filter between the thru-hull and the pump’s inlet. This will prevent debris from causing damage. A check valve at the pump’s outlet is also important to prevent backflow into the pump. With a washdown pump, you can access water anywhere on your boat, from showers to fish cleaning stations. This versatile pump is a valuable investment for your vessel.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *