Check Bilge Pumps and Float Switches Regularly to Assure Great Grady Days on the Water.
Grady-White boats are engineered with excellent quality bilge pumps that
should last many years with routine maintenance. Functioning bilge
pumps and float switches are critical safety devices that should not be
taken for granted. A really good habit to develop is to check the water
level in the bilge before leaving the dock. Some amount of water in the
bilge is normal; however, if there is more than two inches of water in
the bilge, make sure that the bilge pump(s) and/or float switches are
functional and, if not, repair them or replace them. (Check water inlets
as well, especially seacocks, in the event that accumulated water is
other than incidental.)
Here’s how to test the system. The helm bilge switch is a two-position
switch, with “On” and “Off” positions. The helm switch “Off” position is
really a “standby” position since the automatic float switch can still
activate the pump if water accumulates in the bilge. The helm switch
should normally be left in this “Off” position. Switching to the “On”
position will immediately engage the bilge pump, and the pump will
remain on until the switch is turned off. If a pump doesn’t come on,
repair the switch or the pump as needed. Note that many boat models have
more than one pump, and the switches are labeled FWD BILGE for the
forward pump and AFT BILGE for the aft pump, and each system should be
You can also test the function of the automatic float switch by
depressing the lever at the back of the switch housing (“up” is the
normal position for this lever). If the float switch and bilge pump are
functioning properly, the pump will engage. If the test fails, repairs
may be necessary.
Combination bilge pump and float switches (both devices in a single
housing) are used in the forward bilges of some boat models where space
is limited. These units may be tested by depressing a red button on the
end of the housing opposite the end with the hose attachment. If the
unit is operating properly, the pump will engage.
To check out the location of your bilge and related switches, refer to your owner's manual.
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