Boat & Caravan Water Pumps

Boats and caravans use remarkably similar water systems and unlike domestic plumbing most will use an electric water pump to pressurise the water system. Jabsco and Whale are two of the market leaders who manufacture domestic boat water pumps for marine and caravan use. Plumbing can seem like an intimidating subject, however marine and caravan systems are generally remarkably simple and you can really improve your confidence by understanding the fundamentals of the role of the pump; the heart of the system.

How do electric boat water pumps work?

Most pumps manufactured by Whale and Jabsco are lightweight and compact. They mount somewhere inconspicuous (but where periodic access is still available) and their role, as the heart of the water system, is to cycle on and off in order to maintain the water system at a set pressure, an internal pressure switch enables the pump to do this job. For marine water systems this will generally be somewhere between 15 and 45psi.

The Whale Universal Water Pump range is popular with boaters; the UF0812 is 15psi, UF1214 is 30psi whilst the UF0815 and UF1215 are both 45psi, and as a result these pumps would suit different sized boats with a differing number of outlets. It can be tempting when choosing a new pump to go for a higher pressure, thinking it will increase the flow from taps and showers. This is a common mistake however as increasing the pressure also increases the strain on the system which can spring leaks which then need to be traced and repaired and could end up elsewhere in the system. It is much better to increase the flow rate instead.

Flow rate is another major consideration when choosing a water pump. The flow rate tells you exactly how much water the pump can move in a given time and is therefore usually measured in gallons or litres per minute (GPM, LPM). Most of the pumps in our shop range somewhere between 6 and 15 LPM and this is adequate for most boats found on the river. Jabsco’s Par Max range offers a variety of pump with differing flow rates; The Par Max 1.9 (31295-0092) has a flow rate of 7LPM, ideal for a small boat or caravan with just one or two outlets. The Par Max 2.9 series have a flow rate of 11LPM which will suit most inland cruisers, however if you have lots of outlets or require a powerful shower for example it might be worth looking in the Par Max 3.5 series which has a flow rate of 13.2LPM.

Installing electric boat water pumps

Installation is another factor worth consideration when choosing a pump. As mentioned above, the pump needs to be installed somewhere unobtrusive but where it can still be accessed every now and then. Whale’s Lightweight water pump, the Watermaster FP0814 offers solutions for installation where space is limited as it is very light and easy to handle, can be mounted vertically to maximise the use of space and has adjustable feet to allow it to fit the footprint of your old pump even if it was a different model. Another consideration with regards to installing a new pump is what hoses you’re your caravan or boat water system uses. Both Jabsco and Whale supply various fittings with their pumps to suit both flexible hose or rigid HEP20 fittings. The Whale Watermaster  FW0814, FW1214 and FW1215 are all supplied with 15mm quickfit outlets as standard and come supplied with ½” BSP threaded connections or ½” hose tail connections.