Articles: Cruising

How Many Times Does Your Bilge Pump Run? Bilge Pump Counters

When we are out on the water enjoying the sights and sounds, it can be easy to forget to do checks that keep your time on the water safe. Regular checks of your vessel should never be put aside but when a good time is being had as we hardly feel like lifting hatches or floorboards to check bilges.

A device to make this chore easier is a bilge pump counter. This device counts the number of times your bilge pump is activated. Note that it doesn’t count how long it runs for, just how many times it runs. A simple display at your helm can indicate whether your bilge pump is activating automatically too often or whether you have a slow leak close by.

One bilge counter is needed for each bilge pump and they will alert you of a possible issue in your bilge. They come with a reset button so you can zero the count before every trip or after the leak is fixed. You should still check your bilges from time to time just to be sure, however, a quick look at one of these displays will let you know if you have a problem down under. It is also a good idea to lift the float switch from time to time to check the automatic function of your bilge pump. It can be dirty work but doing this will help you sleep.

Keep in mind that these counters aren’t just useful while at sea. If you leave you boat for a period of time and come back observing that one of the displays has counted activation of one of your bilge pumps, there may be an issue and you can troubleshoot from there.  Given the affordable prices of these units and simple installation, it is well worth the peace of mind.


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