Why Is My Outboard Not Pumping Water?

Author : Efrain E. Silva

This headline is not meant to scare you, but as you dive forward, reader, I want you to really, really think about it : Has this issue happened to you or maybe to a friend? What have you tried and what have you not? What has worked and what has yet to work? IF YOU HAVE TRIED SO MANY THINGS, let me illuminate you on some tips that actually work. I want to shed some light on your dark, here, so to speak, so let me begin with that…..

Start by checking your impeller. Nine times out of ten, it is there that the problem lies, when it has anything to do with circulation or even an over - heat. For instance, if there is an over - night, you can likely diagnose that it is coming from an impeller that no longer works like it should, either because it has dried out, gotten hard or simply called its agent and taken a vacation on you instead of doing its job this time, he heh. And if the issue is of circulation, of course, not pumping and moving around water as it should, then I might add that this is for sure the first place to look…now, in this case, what might be the problem? Well, let me just be the first to say that you are not alone. Others have already faced this and diagnosed it, in various different experiences, most of them noting that the problem is likely to be that it failed from one of these reasons mentioned or simply because you never check the impeller at all ( big ‘no no’, as it ought to be checked once a year, at the least ) .

You might, next, also check the water intake itself, if the impeller has not been the problem. This is your plan B for diagnosis. If the intake is blocked, be it by sand in the water, large amounts of algae, or just about anything else your boat might have run into, then the outboard will not pump as it should. Simple enough, right? We so often drive our boats around ( I ride on my friend’s, who owns one, though I claim it as mine, he he heh ) without even thinking about all the nasy things people throw into the ocean every day, or even into our lakes and rivers…pollution at its worst, all of which can and does get so easily caught up in the rudder, intake, and other parts of the boat as it goes on by.

Remove any foreign object blocking it, if such is the case. And then just let your engine cool down a bit. Once the temp is back to the usual, if it is, you can turn the engine off and back on again. Simple fix.

So these were a couple great fixes that are the most common that people see in outboards not pumping. Try them. Maybe your problem is easy to fix.