Homemade PVC Bilge Pump

There are times in a mans life when he has to admit certain things to himself. One of which may be that when you build VERY inexpensive boats (CHEAP BOATS) you might need a bilge pump.

After a short Goggle search I found this:

Building Hand Bilge Pumps

So I decided to try to build one my self.

Here it is. It is made of:

1" thinwall PVC about 24" long,

1" end cap,

1" street L,

24" fiberglass tent pole,

2 long screws that fit tightly in the hollow tent pole,

10-24 nut and bolt,

a piece of plastic cutting board cut to fit snugly inside the PVC tube,

some scrap inner tube rubber,

a wooden disk for a handle,

a little bit of Snoodle.

The output port

The input port


The plunger valve

I cut the plastic cutting board material to make a plug that was a snug fit inside the PVC tube. Then after drilling a center hole I drilled 4, 3/8ths inch holes around the center.

Then I cut a piece of inner tube so it was just a little larger in diameter then the PVC tube, centered it on the tent pole, and screwed the holed plug on. The photo also shows that I made an o-ring groove in the plug, and installed an o-ring. That step was completely unnecessary, and if you are going to build one of these skip the o-ring. You can see how rough a cut is on the inner tube. It could be better, but this worked well.

I drilled a center hole in the end cap, and 4, 3/8ths holes around it. Then I used a rat tail file to elongate those holes, being careful to leave an area outside of the elongated holes on inside for the inner tube to seal against. Then using the center hole, I bolted another piece of inner tube cut to fit snugly to the inside of the cap.

I drilled a 3/8ths inch hole through the top center of the street L inserted the tent pole through the hole, and screwed a wooden knob to the outside end.

Then I just shoved the end cap on one end and the street end on the other. NO GLUE IS USED!!! 

The snoodle is just for a floatation test, I will adjust the amount of snoodle used to ensure the bilge pump floats.

It takes a few strokes to prime the pump, but once it starts pumping it works very well. I may sew a section of nylon cloth into a tube that fits snugly over the output port to aid in directing the water overboard.

If you give me money, I'll try to spend it.