livewell pumps

surfside74surfside74 Posts: 8 Greenhorn
Hey everyone,

I have had a problem with the livewell pumps on my 22' pathfinder boat. They were the stock shurflo (blue and white ones). I recently replaced one of the shurflos with a rule tournament edition one (red and white) because it went bad (second one in three years). I have had a problem getting both types of pumps to pull a prime when the boat is first put into the water at the dock from the trailer. I usually have to get up on plane or go at least faster than idle for them to start flowing water. Once it starts flowing it works great. My question is this normal? I have heard most people say that this is not unusual and it is due to air bubbles trapped in the piping but I just want to make sure that it is not something I'm doing or some other type of problem.


  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,353 Moderator
    the livewell pumps you have been using are centrifical pumps. Which means they push water but cant pull water. They also cant push air.
    something in your plumbing design allows the air to remain trapped. Some bilges have limited area in which to mount pumps and hoses, and there placement and setup is dictated by the space allowed, instead of the most efficient design. I have had some success with using a 90 deg elbow and mounting the pump horizontal. The discharge hose barb on the pump should be facing up. As long as the pump is mounted below the waterline you shouldn't have any problems with air. Currently your pump is holding air and its not being displaced until you go fast enough for the hi speed pickup to displace it with pressured water. Its more common than you think.

    Formerly Catmandew
  • Tangled UpTangled Up Posts: 92 Deckhand
    Your pumps are above the waterline. Try to adjust them below the waterline by turning them horizontal
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 3,149 Captain
    Tips above will work and if not you can hook up a check valve inline before the pumps.
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    Captain Keith Magnussen - Crooked Rod Charters
  • Captain A-DadCaptain A-Dad Posts: 90 Greenhorn
    Make the outflow go up so water is in the pump at rest. Sometimes I have to run pumps awhile if they are dry or suck on the outflow
  • campertopcampertop Posts: 722 Officer
    Common on the Pathfinder, Usually a hard push in reverse gets the water flowing
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