View Full Version : How often should your bilge pump automatically come on?

07-28-2010, 12:44 PM
I generally keep my boat out of the water since I don't have a slip so it really isn't that much of in issue. Last week though my family had rented a place on the lake for a family reunion so I brought the boat and kept it docked in the water the whole week. I noticed that my bilge pump would kick on automatically and let water out about every 20 minutes or so. Don't really know how often that is suppose to happen if the boat is just sitting in the water. I would hate to think that if I left it out for the night and the sensor or something were to stop working that it would sink the boat. I don't really know where most of the water is coming from either. It is hard to tell. Anyway, should I be concerned that the boat is letting in enough water every 20 minutes to kick the bilge on?

07-28-2010, 01:09 PM
I would recommend investigating where the water is coming from. The frequency would depend how much water is coming in. U didnt mention what year boat you have but I would venture to say it is coming in around the shaft packing

07-28-2010, 01:55 PM
Your leaking to much water.

Kaneboats and myself left our 08 LSV's in the lake for 7 days while on vacation--the only time I saw either boat pumping water out was during a nasty rain storm that lasted about 2-3hrs and both pumped out water about 3 times.

07-28-2010, 03:27 PM
Your leaking to much water.

Kaneboats and myself left our 08 LSV's in the lake for 7 days while on vacation--the only time I saw either boat pumping water out was during a nasty rain storm that lasted about 2-3hrs and both pumped out water about 3 times.


But I think your boat has the dripless shaft seal, does it not?


When properly adjusted, the non-dripless shaft seal should drip one drop every 30-45 seconds so if your bilge is kicking on every 20 minutes, you are obviously leaking more than than thru the shaft seal. You can tighten the packing nut to reduce the leak but if your boat is older, it might be time to change out the packing.


07-28-2010, 04:04 PM
Al, your correct in that I have the dripless seal. Didnt think about that, I would still think the other style would not let enough water in the bilge to run the pump that often-maybe it sould come on once a day?

07-28-2010, 05:33 PM
I have an 05, have no clue whether the shaft packing is dripless or not and Ive never even seen mine come on unless its storminggggggg.

07-28-2010, 07:10 PM
conventional seal is very susceptible to significant leaks. Unfortunately the worse the leak the more the bilge runs and then the battery is at risk. If that goes then no more bilge and you will sink (not sure if it will completely sink - anyone???). So check the seal....

07-28-2010, 11:58 PM
Thanks for the info. I figured that was to much water. Never really new it before because the boat is has never been kept in the water.

Oh yeah it is a 1999 Outback. I will check into the shaft seal and try to figure out where it is coming from.

Thanks again!

07-29-2010, 12:00 AM
Depends on how full your ballast is, how full your gas tank is, it will get totally under water though and you wont be able to see it, I do know that much as I have seen it happen.

Mine prob. pumps out about every 20 to 30 minutes. Shaft is dripping as it should, about 10 drops/minute.

07-29-2010, 03:09 AM
I have a 99 Mobius - basically the same boat. I replaced the seal at around 150 hours and it probably needs it agin - 316 hours. Getting to the seal is a pain because you will have to remove the floor section between the motor cover and the back seat (must remove motor cover first). You will want to be in the water when you check it. I use a medium pipe wrench and a channel-lock pliers. The channel-lock works on the jam nut (skinny one). If you back that off, then you can use the pipe wrench on the big nut to slow down the leak. Supposed to leak a little, couple drops a minute? Use both wrenches when tightening - avoid over tightening (they tell me).

I have never been really successful at stopping the leak for long. I have even had the drive shaft professionally realigned just in case that was causing the packing to wear due to non-concentric rotation. Still not much luck.

Good luck -

07-29-2010, 12:57 PM
Dude, you're leaking way too much water! Sure your drain plug is even tight?

Mine kicked on once last Sat., and we were on the lake for almost 9 hours with 4 adults and 8 kids getting in & out of the water all day!!!

07-29-2010, 05:21 PM
I leave my boat in the water from Saturday morning to Sunday evening EVERY weekend. I have NEVER seen my bilge pump kick on while the boat is just floating unles there is a rain storm. If your bilge is kicking on that frequently, you have an issue. I would be worried the float would stick or battery would die after sitting like that over night. At most I would expect it to kick on once or twice over night, definately not multiple times in an hour while just sitting still.

07-29-2010, 09:37 PM
A couple of weeks ago I noticed that there was a lot of water in the boat when I pulled out and took out the drain plug. The first thing that I found was that my bilge pump was not working. The next time we went out, I pulled up the access to the v-drive, and discovered that the perko flush valve had split, and water was gushing from the valve into the bilge even when the boat was not running. So I would say to check the inlet hose where it connects to the bottom of your boat, the engine, and any connections in between.