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Nitro Bilge Pump


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I recently purchased a 2018 nitro Z 20. The previous owner took very good care of it and it’s in good shape.  shortly after I got home with it, a rain storm passed through. Because the plug was still in the boat I ran out to turn on the bilge pump. That’s when I realize there’s no automatic bilge pump in the boat. It’s manual only from what I can tell. there’s no float switch and it doesn’t appear that the pump is fully automatic. It’s a Johnson 1600 GPH. 

When you turn on the automatic switch, the light comes on for about two seconds, then goes out. The manual pump works great though.

 

I’m very surprised that a boat like this would not come with an automatic bilge pump. Does anyone know if this is the standard package or should it have come with an automatic bilge pump? I’m hoping that if I have to add a float switch that the wiring harness already has a wire coming from the dashboard auto switch. I think if I add a float switch to the current wiring on the pump, it will make it automatic only in the manual function will not work. There’s only two wires to the pump 

 

Thanks for any advice. 

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2018 in a fairly new boat.  I doubt it came that way.  Sounds to me like a former owner had a faulty float switch and removed it rather than fix it.   A manual switch alone will work as long as you are in the boat and can notice water in the bilge.  It's when you leave the boat in the water that it's a potential problem.  I once rode my boat 18 miles to an offshore park on an Island in Miami.  When I docked my boat, the boat in the slip next to me was sitting on the bottom in 6 feet of water.  The owner had ridden out to the park with the rear bilge plug out.  When he docked the boat and left, it filled with water and sunk due to no automatic bilge pump.  Oops!

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Saw where one didn’t have automatic bilge, plug in, sitting in driveway. Filled up with rain water blew a tire.

 

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  • Super User

Auto bilge pumps are an option. All but one fishing boat I've had lacked them. Not sure why you'd leave the plug in, always take it out when pulling out. They're not a difficult install should you want one. 

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3 hours ago, J Francho said:

Auto bilge pumps are an option. All but one fishing boat I've had lacked them. Not sure why you'd leave the plug in, always take it out when pulling out. They're not a difficult install should you want one. 

Thanks for the reply. From what I’ve seen it’s just the opposite. Any rigged boat I’ve had came with an auto bilge pump. But I’ve heard it’s not standard on Nitros. 
That’s why I’m asking.
As for leaving the drain plug in, I see your point but you can’t do that when leaving a boat in the water. 
I’m hoping the wiring harness already included the “auto switch” wire. If I’m lucky Nitro ran the wire but just didn’t include the float or automatic pump

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  • Super User

Guess we all have various practices.

I never leave my boat in the water during a storm, simply pull it out and pull the plug.

Driving in rain? Pull the plug.

Parked in driveway? Pull the plug 

I fish in light rain often and have yet to eject water via the bilge.

In my circumstances the only time the bilge pump would get used is taking on a wave and operation would be manual.

 

On my 3rd bass boat and used the bilge once....... accidently pulled the lanyard out with speed ?

 

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Many bilge pumps on the market with the float switch built in, no extra wires needed.  On my previous boat I used the Sahara model with built in float switch, worked great for all the years I owned it...

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47 minutes ago, airshot said:

Many bilge pumps on the market with the float switch built in, no extra wires needed.  On my previous boat I used the Sahara model with built in float switch, worked great for all the years I owned it...

Thanks Airshot. Maybe this is what I have then but I can’t tell for sure til I pull it out. I’ve had fully automatic pumps before but they were the type that came on about every two minutes to check for water. You would hear them buzz for a couple seconds then if they felt no resistance they would turn off if they felt resistance, I would keep pumping. 
The pumps I’ve had with a built in float were more oblong shaped to give room for the float. This one is round. 

The type that’s in this boat is a Johnson 1600 GPH. When I look this pump up online, it doesn’t appear to be fully automatic. I’ll probably just have to wire in a float switch to this one. 
Thanks again for your reply 

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  • Super User

I would just replace it with an auto bilge pump. Keep the old pump as a back up. Just put two alligator clips on the wires and keep it in dry storage in case of a pump failure. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Solution

I was finally able to get my bilge pump problem resolved. Johnson makes a float switch that clips onto the side of the pump. It has three wires going to it. I connected brown to brown (pump wire to switch wire) then black to black. The float switch also had a brown/red wire.  I connected the brown/red wire directly to the battery positive post.

This enabled me to not only have a manual pump function, but the automatic function works when my battery switch is turned off. 
But my original question did get answered. Nitro boats do not come standard with an automatic bilge. 
It’s an added option. 
Thanks to those who replied offering help. 

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