How To Replace the Bilge Pump Float Switch on Your Boat | BoatUS
Articles, Blog

How To Replace the Bilge Pump Float Switch on Your Boat | BoatUS

August 14, 2019

You know, the best float switch in the world won’t do
you any good if it fails to work. The bilge pump is an essential safety item
on your boat, and if it fails, it should be replaced straight away. Put it off, and your boat could sink underneath
you. The best electric bilge pump in the world
won’t do you any good if the float switch that controls it fails to work. The float switch is a very simple device. It sits in the bottom of the boat. As the bilge water rises, it comes on and
switches on the pump. But this one’s no good, so we’ve got to replace
it. Replacing it is a simple matter. First thing is to get the old one out of the
boat. With the switch loose, I trace the cables
to just above the existing crimp connections, and I’m going to cut these here. Before we cut though, I need to make sure
that I’ve disconnected the battery, so I’m going to go ahead and cut the cable. With the wires cut, I’ve made one connection
already, and I’m about to make the second connection. Strip the cable. (Tight for space in the bilge of this boat.) Twist the ends together so they don’t come
unraveled. And to make my job a bit easier, I’m going
to crimp one half. I’ve connected it to the power, and now I’m
connecting it to the switch. So I’m putting that into the connector there. And here’s a good tip: If you do much boat
electrical work, do get yourself a good set of crimpers. They do make a better joint. Give it a little tug, make sure it doesn’t
come apart. So, we’re good there. What I’m going to do now, is just warm this
up, shrink these down on the cables to make them watertight. We’ve made all the connections, and with those
out of the way, I’m just going to reinstall the switch. Actually, as we’re reinstalling exactly the
same type of switch that we had previously, I don’t even have to exchange the mount. I’m just using the old mount. All that’s left to do now is just to put some
water in the bilge and see if it pumps. So that job took me all of 30 minutes, cost
me less than $40, and now I can safely leave the boat knowing that if I get any rainwater
in here, it will be safely pumped over the side. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you on the


  • Reply Ron Miechkota June 27, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Does the bilge float switch connect to the battery?

  • Reply Crisis Contrived May 5, 2019 at 6:01 am

    that told me nothing accept to disconnect the battery before starting. wasted time

  • Leave a Reply