Boatwork Monday: Fixing the pressurized water pump

Our pressure water pump has not worked since we moved aboard; it didn’t turn off, even when there was plenty of pressure in the system. We’ve been using the foot pumps (which are thankfully at all the sinks) so I’ve been able to procrastinate and put off fixing it. So where to begin?

After asking some friends for some opinions weeks ago, I found a copy of the manual on-line. The four possible reasons our pump would not turn off even when pressurized are:

  1. No water in tank
  2. No or low voltage to pump
  3. Stuck or broken outlet valve
  4. Faulty pressure switch


I easily crossed off 1 and then 2 with the use of a multi-meter. If it was option 2, I’d have to figure out where in line there was a loss in voltage and possibly replace the electrical line. Not a project I currently want to undertake.

I had to take out the pump and disassemble for both 3 and 4 so I was dreading that.

So after the kids and wife were asleep, I put on my headlamp and went to the cockpit to take apart the pump. The valves looked okay. I gave them a good wipe and put them back in. The only thing left is the pressure switch.

I was expecting a complicated electrical switch, but it was quite simple and elegant. I basically took it apart, cleaned up some gunk, and put it back together. I was assuming the gunk clogged the line that activates or deactivates the pressure switch. After putting everything back together it worked.

Now I just need to clean & flush the water tanks.