Boat at Dusk

Best Boat Bilge Pump

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There are a few pieces of marine equipment that you want to pay particularly close attention to ensure functionality. Some of these may be necessary in case of emergencies, while others may help to prevent those very same emergencies from occurring in the first place. Bilge pumps fall into the latter category.

As the name suggests, a bilge pump is a pump that is used to remove water from a ship’s bilge. Most of the time it’s just removing small bits of rainwater, errant wave spray, etc., that get into the boat. But not always. Sometimes it’s working to remove water from the vessel before the boat sinks!

Whether you’re going to be relying on a single bilge pump or multiple ones, you’ll want to be sure that the model you select is capable of reliably removing water from your vessel. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know what to expect from a bilge pump until you get your hands on it. This is where our review guide will come in handy.

Over the course of today’s guide, we’re going to take a look at ten of the best bilge pumps on the market, and we’ll compare and contrast them so you know exactly what to expect.

We’ll start off with the Best Boat Bilge Pump, the Attwood Sahara S500.


Best Boat Bilge Pump

Name
Top Choice!
attwood Sahara
Runner-Up
MAXXZONE
Budget Pick
ECO-WORTHY
Preview
attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump, 12-Volt, 1.5-Amp Draw, ¾-Inch Interior Diameter Hose, 29-Inch 16-Gauge Wire
MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 1100gph Auto with Float Switch (Blue - Automatic)
ECO-WORTHY 1100GPH 12V Marine Electric Bilge Pump for Boat Caravan RV Submersible Non-Automatic
GPH
500 GPH
1100 GPH
1100 GPH
Price on Amazon
$56.73
$29.99
$15.99
Top Choice!
Name
attwood Sahara
Preview
attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump, 12-Volt, 1.5-Amp Draw, ¾-Inch Interior Diameter Hose, 29-Inch 16-Gauge Wire
GPH
500 GPH
Price on Amazon
$56.73
View on Amazon
Runner-Up
Name
MAXXZONE
Preview
MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 1100gph Auto with Float Switch (Blue - Automatic)
GPH
1100 GPH
Price on Amazon
$29.99
View on Amazon
Budget Pick
Name
ECO-WORTHY
Preview
ECO-WORTHY 1100GPH 12V Marine Electric Bilge Pump for Boat Caravan RV Submersible Non-Automatic
GPH
1100 GPH
Price on Amazon
$15.99
View on Amazon

Our Top Pick: attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump

attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump

Key Points at a Glance

  • Automatic
  • Powered by a 29-inch wire
  • 500 gph
  • Horizontal mounting
  • ¾-inch hose compatible
  • Good for boat up to 20′ in length

The Details

attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump

The attwood Sahara S500 is our top choice of bilge pump because of its combination of useful features and excellent build quality. Compared to other products in its price range, the S500 is designed to run smoothly for extended periods of time, though it may be a little pricier than some of its budget counterparts.

The switch is one of the best parts of this bilge pump, as the built-in float switch is mercury-free and it’s designed to start the bilge pump automatically when water levels rise to the point that they need to be pumped out. To get started with this pump, you’ll need to connect it to a power source using the provided 16-gauge, 29-inch wire.

For drainage, the S500 works with a ¾-inch interior diameter hose, and the output spout fits snugly when you attach a hose to it. Typically, this pump will turn on when the water in your bilge reaches a height of two inches, and it will automatically shut itself off when the water gets to between ⅛ and ¼ of an inch.

You can also test out this pump when it arrives by turning the knob on the exterior, which will move the float switch and get the device started. When it comes to installation, this pump is relatively easy to install because of its compact footprint and the ability to position it both vertically and horizontally, depending on how much space you have available.

The S500 features a max flow rate of 500 gph, so it should be suitable for bilge pump duties on smaller boats. It is also certified for use with vessels that are 20 feet long and larger, though we’d recommend using several of these bilge pumps together on a larger ship thanks to the relatively low flow rate.

This is the best boat bilge pump available!

Sale
attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump, 12-Volt, 1.5-Amp Draw, ¾-Inch Interior Diameter Hose, 29-Inch 16-Gauge Wire
  • Reliably provides bilge water pumping for boats of...
  • Meets automatic switch pump requirements for any...
  • Also convenient and useful for boats of any size
  • Compact and durable package includes pump, wire...
  • Installs quickly and easily in tight spaces,...


Our Runner Up: MAXZONE 1100gph Automatic Submersible Bilge Water Pump

MAXZONE 1100gph Automatic Submersible Bilge Water Pump

Key Points at a Glance

  • Comes equipped with a float switch
  • 1100 gph
  • Saves power until the switch is tripped
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Water-cooled
  • Good for boats around 30′ in length

The Details

MAXZONE 1100gph Automatic Submersible Bilge Water Pump

The MAXZONE 1100 gph submersible bilge pump ranks highly thanks to its excellent flow rate and relatively affordable price point. While it may not be quite as well-made as our winner, it is still reliable enough to trust as your boat’s primary bilge pump, and its higher flow rate ensures that it can accomplish the job of two smaller pumps.

Like many modern bilge pumps, this model comes with a flow switch already installed, ensuring that you don’t need to operate it manually or install your own switch. When you get your hands on this pump, all you’ll need to do is connect it to a power source like a battery and then attach an output hose to pump out the water.

If you attach this bilge pump to a battery, you’ll appreciate that it doesn’t siphon off any power until the internal float switch is tripped. This means that you can keep this pump attached to your battery without having to worry about running it dry over long periods of time. This also cuts down on the risk of overheating the pump.

The MAXZONE bilge pump is also designed to be as reliable as possible, and it’s equipped with a snap-on strainer base as well as an anti-fouling impeller. This cuts down on any long-term maintenance that you have to perform and reduces the risk of this pump not working when you need it most.

The MAXZONE is our runner up choice among the best bilge pumps.

MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 1100gph Auto with Float Switch (Blue - Automatic)
  • Flow Rate (GPH): 1100GPH; Volt: 12V; Current(A):...
  • Wire Lead(M): 1m; Outlet Diameter: 29mm/ 1.14 Inch...
  • Built-in float switch! (No separate float switch...
  • No power use until pump is activated by internal...
  • Equipped with built in electronic controlled reed...


Best Budget: ECO-WORTHY 1100gph Submersible Bilge Water Pump

ECO-WORTHY 1100gph Submersible Bilge Water Pump

Key Points at a Glance

  • Compatible with 1-⅛ inch hoses
  • Watertight seal
  • Run-dry capabilities
  • Submersible
  • Works with a regular switch and a float switch
  • Good for boats around 30′ in length

The Details

ECO-WORTHY 1100gph Submersible Bilge Water Pump

If you don’t mind using a relatively simple bilge pump, and you’re just looking for something that has as high of a flow rate and as low of a price as possible, this model from ECO-WORTHY is the best choice available. While it may not be as pretty as something like the S500, this bilge pump can get the job done affordably.

With an 1100 gph flow rate, this bilge water pump is unrivaled by even some of the more expensive pumps on this list. So why is this bilge pump so affordable? One of the most notable omissions in this product is a float switch, so you’ll either have to install your own or rely on a traditional power switch.

If you’re always in sight of your boat’s bilge or you trust yourself to manually activate your bilge pump, this shouldn’t be much of a problem. On the other hand, we’d recommend an automatic pump if you’re liable to forget about your bilge’s condition. More importantly, this bilge pump features a reliable motor, which is rare to find on such an affordable product.

You can also rest easy knowing that this bilge pump can be entirely submerged, and it runs more quietly than most other models within a similar price range. If you don’t mind giving up some luxuries in exchange for a more affordable price, we’d highly recommend getting your hands on this bilge pump.

ECO-WORTHY 1100GPH 12V Marine Electric Bilge Pump for Boat Caravan RV Submersible Non-Automatic
  • Flow Rate: 1100 GPH; Voltage: 12 VDC
  • Flow: 1100 gallons per hour or 5000 L / hour,...
  • Typical Uses: Suitable for hydraulic systems fed...
  • Ideal For Fishing Boats, Cruisers, Runabouts,...
  • Built for the harsh marine environment, are...


Another Favorite: Amarine Made Automatic 760gph Submersible Bilge Water Pump

Amarine Made Automatic 760gph Submersible Bilge Water Pump

Key Points at a Glance

  • Equipped with a built-in float switch
  • Low-noise and low vibrations
  • Quick-release strainer
  • Compact design
  • Resilient plastic housing
  • Good for boats around 24′ in length

The Details

Amarine Made Automatic 760gph Submersible Bilge Water Pump

If you’re looking for a more affordable bilge pump that offers automatic operation, this model from Amarine Made might just get your attention. This affordable model comes included with a built-in float switch, making it an excellent choice for less handy boaters who may not feel comfortable installing their own switch.

This boat combines its float switch with a reed sensor that will also automatically shut it off when the water levels get low enough. This will fully take your bilge pump off your mind and will ensure that it doesn’t accidentally end up overheating or draining your battery if you forget to switch it off manually.

The Amarine Made bilge pump is also designed to be fully resistant to a marine environment. The housing itself is made out of durable ABS plastic and the shaft is made of stainless steel, which will be sure not to rust. This model’s durability also means that it can take a beating without getting damaged.

If you don’t fully trust the float switch on its own, you can also integrate a panel switch so that you can override the float switch, just make sure you don’t forget about it! Overall, this product combines a surprisingly affordable price point with excellent performance and reliability, making it one of our top five.

Sale
Amarine Made Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 760gph Auto with Float Switch-New
  • Compact, automatic, fully submersible electric...
  • Built-in float switch! (No separate float switch...
  • Equipped with built in electronic controlled reed...
  • No power use until pump is activated by internal...
  • Compact, efficient, long life motor ; Rustproof...


Another Favorite: AIRTAK 1500gph Bilge Pump for Boat DC12V

AIRTAK 1500gph Bilge Pump for Boat DC12V

Key Points at a Glance

  • Vertical and horizontal operation
  • Snap-lock strainer base is easily removable
  • 1500 gph
  • Heavy-duty marine sealant for watertight seals
  • 29mm hose outlet
  • Good for boats up to 36′ in length

The Details

AIRTAK 1500gph Bilge Pump for Boat DC12V

This bilge pump from AIRTAK is one of the best-performing models available in its price range, and this is mainly due to its relatively high degree of water flow. This model is about two or three times more effective than other bilge pumps in its price range, with a total water flow rate of about 1500 gph.

Combine this with the AIRTAK bilge pump’s impressively low price point, and you’ll find that this bilge pump offers a lot more value for money than the competition’s products. To ensure that nothing gets clogged in this bilge pump, it’s equipped with a strainer base that can easily be snapped off and cleaned out.

Made of corrosion-resistant materials like ABS plastic and stainless steel, you also won’t have to worry about water damage when using this bilge pump. Its motor and wiring are sealed off with marine-grade sealant, ensuring that water won’t get inside and ruin the more delicate parts of this affordable bilge pump.

Its compact size and efficient flow rate, combined with its more affordable price point, help make this bilge pump an excellent choice of backup, in case your mounted bilge pumps simultaneously stop operating. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t rely on this as your main bilge pump as well.

AIRTAK Bilge Pump for Boat DC12V 1500GPH Small Bilge Pump 12 Volt Electric Water Pump Low Noise
  • Compact efficient long life motors: Small volumn...
  • Exclusive Moisture Ting Seals: Bilge pump is made...
  • Cleanable Strainer: The pump base is used by high...
  • Easy to Install: Design common installation...
  • Wide Application : Bilge pump can be used in...


Best Boat Bilge Pump Buyer’s Guide

Who Should Buy a Bilge Pump

Bilge pumps are an essential investment for anyone who doesn’t want to go through the hassle of manually pumping the water out of their boat whenever they want to use their vessel. Bilge pumps can be used to help counteract leaks while your boat is running, but they can also help prepare it for use.

For example, if your boat has been docked at the marina and it has recently rained, you’ll likely need to pump rainwater out of the bilge before you use it. Keep in mind that these bilge pumps will need a battery to run, so they won’t be usable on the smallest of boats.

Important Features to Consider 

Bilge Pump Size Output Needs

One of the biggest questions boaters have is how big of a bilge pump do I need? This depends on the size of the boat, of course. Typically the manual for the boat will specify the size requirements for the pump, but if you can’t find that, you can always look at your existing pump and see what it is. If that doesn’t work, here are some details on getting the right pump for your boat size.

Flow Rate

The first thing to consider when buying a bilge pump is your ideal flow rate, and this will depend on what you intend to use your bilge pump for. If you’re just going to be draining your vessel before you use it, you’ll want to invest in a bilge pump with a lower but still respectable flow rate, around 500 to 750 gph.

On the other hand, if you intend to use your bilge pump to help you keep your boat afloat when you spring a leak in an emergency, you’ll likely need one that can pump around 1000 gph.

As mentioned above, be sure to check your boat’s manual to determine the right pump size.

Quietness

If you have a relatively small boat where the bilge is close to your control station, you may want to invest in a quieter bilge pump so you don’t end up annoyed by the sound it produces while operating. The amount of noise that a bilge pump produces is largely up to how well-insulated it is and its manufacturing tolerances.

A better-insulated bilge pump will help isolate its internal sounds from the exterior, and superior build tolerances will ensure that components aren’t out of line with each other, which can produce some unpleasant noises.

Reliability

As with ay boat safety item like the anchor, marine VHF Radio, and Boat Spotlight , you’ll need to ensure that your bilge pump is functioning correctly. A more reliable model will be something that you can be confident in, in any situation. No matter if its maintenance or emergency, you need the pump to work when you’re on the water.

Whether or not a bilge pump is reliable depends on how well it is constructed. While it may sometimes seem like this correlates with the price that you pay for your pump, this isn’t always the case. We’ve reviewed expensive bilge pumps that fail within a day and we’ve used cheap bilge pumps that run for years.

Automatic or Manual Operation

Automatic bilge pumps have become more and more popular over the past few decades, to the point that you may not even have to trip a manual switch to get water out of your bilge. Some pumps come with switches already included, while others come without a switch so that you can pick the ideal type for your needs.

Float switches are typically responsible for automatic bilge pumps, as they float on top of water, activating the pump when the water in your bilge reaches a specific level. On the other hand, a panel switch can be hooked up to your boat’s control panel so that you can activate and deactivate the pump manually.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will leaves or other debris clog my bilge pump?

While leaves or other debris was previously a problem, most modern bilge pumps (and every model on this list) come included with a filter/strainer base through which the water is sucked in. You do need to clean the filter from time to time, though.

How do I power my bilge pump?

Most bilge pumps are powered directly from a boat’s battery. All you have to do is connect the included leads to your battery, so make sure that the leads are long enough to reach it. The wiring is generally pretty simple, and you don’t usually need an electrician or to be experienced in wiring.

How are bilge pumps cooled?

The vast majority of bilge pumps are cooled by the water that they pump. While this previously posed a hazard if a pump was left running after pumping out all the water, most are now run-dry capable.

How do you install a bilge pump?

To install a bilge pump, you’ll need to position it in your boat’s bilge, connect it to your battery, and attach a hose to the output hole so that the water can drain over the side of your boat.


Other Products We Looked At:

Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump

Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump

The Shorline Marine bilge pump is an excellent choice for customers that want something relatively affordable while still maintaining a respectable flow rate. This pump is capable of pumping 800 gallons of water per hour, and it features superior construction and durability compared to other products in the same price range.

We also appreciated the versatile design of this bilge pump, as its base is designed to be mounted both vertically and horizontally, thanks to the screw holes on both ends of the frame. The base also includes a built-in filter that helps keep any debris out of the delicate inner workings of this bilge pump.

The output barb on this bilge pump is designed for maximum compatibility, so it works with your typical ¾-inch bilge hose. One thing that was a little confusing is that the wires are colored the wrong way. Unlike other bilge pumps (or any other piece of wiring) the red wire is the ground while the black wire is the hot one.

Key Points at a Glance

  • 800 gph
  • Can be mounted vertically and horizontally
  • The base also acts as a strainer
Sale
Shoreline Marine Fully Submersible Bilge Pump, 800GPH with ¾’ Outlet Hose Barb
Shoreline Marine Fully Submersible Bilge Pump, 800GPH with ¾’ Outlet Hose Barb
Features a durable plastic housing that can withstand the harshest marine environment; Comes with a universal mounting base for effortless installation and cleaning
−$21.87 $20.17

Rule 500 GPH 25DA 500gph Standard Bilge Pump

Rule 500 GPH 25DA 500gph Standard Bilge Pump

This bilge pump from Rule features a moderate price, and though it may not have the highest flow rate, it is both reliable and easy to use, much like our top choice, the S500.

This model is available in both 12V and 24V variants, and it also features alternate flow rates at different price points, including 360 gph, 800 gph, and 1100 gph.

Unfortunately, this model doesn’t come included with a switch, so you’ll have to install your own, though the benefit is that this gives you the choice of either a manual or automatic switch. There are also a few extras that you can use with this bilge pump, including an angled outlet to make it easier to install in confined spaces.

The built-in backflow preventer also helps ensure that this bilge pump keeps operating smoothly in the long term. This model even features EM protection on the motor and wires to ensure that high heat doesn’t end up damaging the more delicate parts of this pump’s inner workings.

Key Points at a Glance

  • 500 gph
  • Works with both float switches and panel switches
  • Backflow prevention
Sale
Rule 500 GPH 25DA Standard Bilge Pump-500
Rule 500 GPH 25DA Standard Bilge Pump-500
Non-automatic, used with a panel switch or Rule float switch; Submersible and ignition protected
−$11.31 $28.44

attwood Tsunami Manual Bilge Pump

attwood Tsunami Manual Bilge Pump

The Tsunami Manual Bilge Pump from attwood is true to its name, being manually operated, though it makes up for it by being one of the more affordable models on this list. This is also one of the most compact bilge pumps available with a flow rate of at least 500 gph, making it ideal for the smallest boats.

This model also comes equipped with a unique shaft seal to ensure that no water gets inside of it and damages the bilge pump’s key components. This bilge pump uses a standard ¾-inch outlet that allows it to connect to standard bilge hoses, ensuring that you don’t need to buy another one when you purchase one of these.

The impeller has no problems with sand, though it may cause some issues in the long run. Any bits of debris large enough to damage or stop the impeller are caught by the external grill over the intake. This is an excellent replacement for a hand pump, but don’t expect it to stop anything more significant than a small leak.

Key Points at a Glance

  • 500 gph
  • 29-inch wire
  • Double filtration
Sale
Attwood 4606-7 Tsunami T500 Bilge Pump, 500 GPH, 12-Volt, Barbed ¾-Inch Diameter Outlet, 29-Inch Wire
Attwood 4606-7 Tsunami T500 Bilge Pump, 500 GPH, 12-Volt, Barbed ¾-Inch Diameter Outlet, 29-Inch Wire
Features premium-quality bearings and state-of-the-art brushes, alloys, and magnets; 12-volt pump has a barbed ¾-inch outlet and is connected with 29-inch wire
−$8.00 $24.76

Johnson Pump 22702 Pro-Line Bilge Pump – 750 GPH

Johnson Pump 22702 Pro-Line Bilge Pump - 750 GPH

Up next, we have the Johnson Pump 22702, which offers a flow rate of 750 gph and a higher price point than many of the other choices on this list. This is a heavy-duty bilge pump that is designed to be much more reliable than many of the other choices on this list, making it effective as both a backup and a main bilge pump.

Despite its relatively high price, it isn’t significantly more expensive than most other bilge pumps, and its price is in line with our top choice, the S500. What you get for your money is a submersible bilge pump with a respectable flow rate, though it may not come with as many bells and whistles as the competition, which is why it didn’t make it into our top five.

One of the best things about this pump is that it features a relatively compact form factor compared to its impressive flow rate. Like with most other pumps, this model’s mounting bracket features a built-in strainer to stop any large pieces of debris from getting into the inner workings and causing significant damage.

Key Points at a Glance

  • 750 gph
  • Submersible
  • Manual operation
PROLINE Bilge Pump 750 GPH 3A
PROLINE Bilge Pump 750 GPH 3A
Fully Submersible; Ignition Protected; 12 Volts Of Pumping Power; Package Dimensions: 4.0" ( H ) x 12.0" ( L ) x 8.0" ( W )
$39.46

Amarine Made 1100gph 12v Marine Bilge Pump

Amarine Made 1100gph 12v Marine Bilge Pump

The final choice on our list is this 1100 gph bilge pump from Amarine Made, and it’s an extremely affordable and compact model that doesn’t have too many fancy features. What it does offer is a reliable set of components in a small form factor that makes it a suitable replacement for something like a hand pump.

This bilge pump is fully submersible, and the delicate components are sealed off from any water infiltration, ensuring that this pump can keep running for a long time and that you don’t have to worry about water levels in your bilge. This bilge pump is made of suitable materials for a marine environment, including stainless steel hardware and an ABS plastic housing.

Despite its affordable price, this bilge pump has a few impressive features, like the ability to run dry without burning out the motor. The base of the pump features a strainer that snaps and locks onto the housing. The only downside to this pump is that it doesn’t come included with any switches, so you’ll need to buy your own.

Key Points at a Glance

  • 1100 gph
  • Compact and efficient
  • Durable thermoplastic body
Sale
Amarine Made 1100gph 12v Boat Marine Plumbing Electric Bilge Pumps (1100gph 12v)
Amarine Made 1100gph 12v Boat Marine Plumbing Electric Bilge Pumps (1100gph 12v)
【High Flow】: for use from 22-234L / Min (1.32-14.04 cubic meters / hour)
−$14.01 $24.99

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a wide range of bilge pumps to choose from, across a wide range of price points. You’ll have to decide whether you want your pump to come included with a switch, what type of switch is installed in it, and the ideal flow rate for your intended application.

Our top choice, the attwood S500, may seem like it’s a little pricey compared to many of the other choices that we’ve featured in this guide, but it comes equipped with everything you need except for an output hose. This makes it easy to install for beginner users, and its reliable construction makes it well worth your money.

In second place, we have the MAXZONE Bilge Pump, which offers a higher flow rate than the S500, but it isn’t built to comparable standards. While the MAXZONE model is still reliable enough to be worth your money, it doesn’t have as many extras as the S500, leaving it as our runner up.

On the other hand, the ECO-WORTHY Bilge Pump is the most affordable option on this list, though it doesn’t come included with a switch, so you’ll realistically end up spending a bit more money on it.

We hope that this guide has helped you choose the ideal bilge pump for your needs, good luck out on the waves!

Sale
attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump, 12-Volt, 1.5-Amp Draw, ¾-Inch Interior Diameter Hose, 29-Inch 16-Gauge Wire
attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump, 12-Volt, 1.5-Amp Draw, ¾-Inch Interior Diameter Hose, 29-Inch 16-Gauge Wire
Reliably provides bilge water pumping for boats of any size; Also convenient and useful for boats of any size
−$28.25 $56.73
MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 1100gph Auto with Float Switch (Blue - Automatic)
MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 1100gph Auto with Float Switch (Blue - Automatic)
Flow Rate (GPH): 1100GPH; Volt: 12V; Current(A): 3.8A; Head(M): 3.0M; Wire Lead(M): 1m; Outlet Diameter: 29mm/ 1.14 Inch (1-1/8"); Width: Approx. 81mm
$29.99