Bilge pumps are an essential piece of equipment and even they require attention and servicing. A clean bilge pump is a happy bilge pump’ and a happy bilge pump keeps your boat afloat.
Some of the boat accessories basically include manual bilge pumps and electrical bilge pumps, here I will provide a detailed guide to servicing the Johnson Viking Power 16 Bilge Pump. This Bilge pump is a single-chamber, self-priming diaphragm electric pump. The pump is designed with a large single diaphragm and a long stroke, this way a lot of water is pushed through the valves in each stroke and any debris is flushed through. This pump is the ideal choice for shower drain, waste water and bilge pumping. Its compact design and flexible orientation give a very adaptable mounting and installation and should be inspected once in a while to make sure the diaphragm and valves, which are made of rubber, don't fail when needed.
09-47148 Membrane kit
09-47149 Pump Housing Complete
09-47263 Clamp Kit
Before the service, make sure the thru-hull cock is in the closed position and the electric circuit is open.
Bilge Pump Head Clamps
The bilge pump chamber is secured with two half moon shaped clamps, these are fixed together around the chamber and housings’ rim and, with two bolts, clamp the two together. When fitting the clamps back, tighten the screws with more force than less, otherwise the bilge pumps’ head might leak, and if so, just tighten further.
Inspection of Diaphragm
The diaphragm is attached to a rotating arm, that is powered by the motor and gear, the diaphragm is protected by a plastic disc to avoid wear on the rubber diaphragm, clean the diaphragm and look for any cracks or wear of the material both on the front and back side of the diaphragm.
Inspection of Valves
The valves are positioned in the bilge pumps head assembly. The one way valves are made of rubber flaps that open and close according to the direction of flow, some debris can get caught and disturb the normal operation of the valve, make sure no objects are present and look closely for any cracks or fatigue of the material.
Hose Connector and Check Valve
The check valve, or joker valve to some, is fitted at the outflow hose connector, this can get debris, gunk and calcium build up and prevent normal operation. A good method to clean this would be using an all purpose cleaner and degreaser.
Before reattaching the fitting, inspect the O Ring, any debris or dirt will disturb a good seal. Apply a thin layer of multi purpose grease, the grease will make the fitting fit in smoothly as well as maintain ist rubber characteristics.
After the service, open the seacock and turn on the electrics and test to see if any leaks are present, in case the pumps’ head leaks, you may need to tighten the clamps further.
This bilge pump is a good product and lasts years as long as taken care of and spares can be found, I have mine 10 years and still going strong.