Since man first strayed far enough from the land to require liquid hydration, freshwater systems have been present on boats and a requirement to work correctly.

These systems might be as basic as a bucket or barrel with a stringed cup and issues with Fresh Water systems can be a major headache or danger. If your boat was built today with cruising or entertainment in mind, it likely has at least a minimal manual or electric water system on board.

When troubleshooting, remember there are many levels of complexity in systems with water heaters, accumulator tanks, and sophisticated filters. Keep in mind that simpler systems are also going to be simpler to fix and maintain. Onboard freshwater is necessary for the ice machine to keep cocktails chilled in the sanitation systems and cleaning your dishes.


How to Troubleshoot Fresh Water Pump on Boat

When you’re out at sea, and the water doesn’t flow, that could be a problem. Here’s what you do if the new water system is not working.

If you board your ship and discover that none of the taps or showers is producing freshwater, always make sure the pump is switched on as a first check.

For your helm station or DC, go to your main electrical panel. A freshwater system or water pump can be found there. Verify that this is on and that some of the onboard DC systems are powered.

Are There any Strange Sounds in Fresh Water System?

The next step is to check the freshwater tank if this turns on and you hear a pump operating.

Some boats feature a place where they can monitor the water level, but most don’t. In this situation, we advise only filling out the tank. Take a home, fill the tank with at least 20 to 50 gallons, and then retest the system. If you have water, you may have a problem with the pump or clogged filters, but the system is still making noise and not operating. Check to see if any filter elements need to be examined or cleaned near the water pump.

If you get onboard your vessel and find that you are unable to get any freshwater coming out of any faucets or showers then here are a few means to amend the issue.

Freshwater onboard is important for cleaning up, using the sanitation systems and for that ice maker to keep those cocktails cold. Use the following steps to diagnose, troubleshoot and fix your boat’s water systems.


Steps for Troubleshooting Boat Fresh Water System

  • First check I always do is make sure the pump is turned on. Go to your main electrical panel for your DC (direct current, or battery driven systems) or your helm station. Here you will find a freshwater system or water pump. Make sure this is on and that some of the DC systems onboard have power (either inspect the battery voltage monitor or make sure lights onboard are working).
  • If this turns on and you can hear a pump running then the next step is to check your freshwater tank. Some vessels have a spot to check this water level but more often than not they don’t. In this case we recommend simply topping off the tank. Take a house and fill up at least 20-50 gallons into the tank and retest the system. 
  • If you have water and the system is still making noise and not working then you may have an issue with the pump itself or clogged filters. Inspect the water pump and see if there are any filter elements around it to be checked or cleaned. 
  • If the pump is not making any noise, it is simply recommended to check the power lines feeding the pump. Simply cut these two wires and test with a multimeter. If power is good then it is recommended to replace the freshwater pump and this should correct your issue.


What About Foot Pumps for Potable Water?

The troubleshooting process for a foot pump that pumps water through a sink fixture is similar to that for a hand pump.

Inspect the fixture for obstructions. Inspect the supply pipe to the fixture for kinks, breaks, and clogs.

After that, disconnect the hose from the pump’s supply line and test the water flow by sucking on it or by transferring the hose end to a lower area of the boat. It may need to be rebuilt if there is a decent water supply to the foot pump, but you still have difficulties getting water to shoot from it.

As previously mentioned, the parts may be obtained, and you can repair the pump in a single day.

Searching for a professional marine electrician in San Diego? We got you covered! Contact Zisser Marine Service now. We’ll be quick to examine an issue with your boat and address it!