Washdown Pumps, Hoses & Kits
Washdown pumps make rinsing fish blood, stinky bait, and spilled drinks off your deck easy. A washdown pump allows you to quickly rinse off the mess the second it hits your deck. » Read More
Cleanup Made Simple
Marine washdown pumps make boat cleanup simple and on the spot. By having an endless, pressurized water source, messes can be rinsed off before they have a chance to dry. The washdown pump is prevalent on fishing boats, where they are used to clean up fish blood and bait mess, but they can be useful on all boats.
Whether you’re hauling up a muddy anchor, cleaning up after bailing mahis, or washing off the mess tracked in from the sandbar, a boat washdown pump makes cleanup simple.
Diaphragm Washdown Pump
The washdown pump is a relatively simple system. They draw water directly from under your boat through a seacock, pressurize it, and discharge it wherever the person using the washdown chooses.
There are slight variations in how this is accomplished. Most washdown pumps utilize a high-pressure diaphragm to achieve the pressure needed to wash off boat decks or muddy anchors. This might differ from other pumps, such as bilge pumps, that typically utilize centrifugal pumps to move water.
High-pressure diaphragms are also advantageous for washdowns because they are self-priming and aren’t damaged if they run dry. Diaphragm pumps are best suited to provide the power wash that your boat deck or muddy anchor needs.
Washdown vs Livewell Pumps
Washdown pumps are typically high-pressure, low-volume options, whereas livewell pumps are typically low-pressure, high-volume pumps. A washdown pump could provide around 3 gallons of flow per minute at 45 psi, while an average livewell pump will provide 13 gallons of flow per minute at much lower pressure.
The washdown pump also differs from livewell pumps in that they are not designed to run for hours on end, like a livewell pump.
Pressure Switches & Ignition Protection
To maintain the desired pressure, but not burn out the pump motor, most are fitted with a pressure switch. This pressure switch will sense when the washdown hose is in use and turn on to maintain the pressure. When not in use, the pump will not run.
Another important detail for a washdown pump is whether or not they are ignition protected. Ignition-protected devices are designed to prevent any sparks created by the motor from escaping. Since most washdown pumps are mounted in the bilge, they must be ignition protected to avoid igniting any fuel vapors trapped in your bilge.
The marine environment can be hard on electrical equipment like a washdown pump. Your pump must be made of materials that do not easily corrode. Most are constructed out of polypropylene with stainless hardware. The motor powering the pump is typically sealed to avoid corrosion. Be sure to avoid a cheap-looking pump with unfinished metals that could corrode.
Washdown Pump Installation
Pump installation is fairly straightforward. Most are mounted in the bilge, with easy access to the seacock of your boat. When attaching the inlet hose to the seacock, be sure to use the appropriate hardware. A broken fitting could lead to your seacock pouring water into your bilge.
Wiring a washdown pump can be a bit of a task as the switch is typically run to the console. The required wire gauge could vary, so be sure to consult a voltage drop graph to choose the correct wire. All electrical devices on your boat should be fuse or breaker protected, so install one in line with your washdown pump. The manufacturer should provide information on what size fuse to use.
Hoses for Washdown Pumps
For the most part, a washdown pump is completely out of sight. The only noticeable portion of a washdown system is the hose. Although most washdowns can utilize a normal garden hose, it is recommended to use a hose designed for marine washdown use.
Normal garden hose fittings do not stow well, and the metal fittings can ding your deck if the hose is dropped. Dedicated washdown hoses are designed to coil into tight spaces, resist UV wear and hold up to boat use.
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