Ever wondered what precious parts your boat comprises? Whether you’re a new or old boating enthusiast, it’s always helpful to know your boat to the core. Some of the information is valuable because it can potentially save your life when you’re out on your fishing boat.
Why are boat water pressure gauges so crucial to the vehicle, and what functions do they perform? I will talk all about it and, more importantly, shed some light on the pressure gauges’ working principle.
When you have a basic understanding of these gauges, you can troubleshoot minor problems to prevent big boat problems. So, let’s get to it.
Boat Water Pressure Gauges
Considering the operation, I would say that the boat water pressure gauge is one of the top three gauges on your boat. It’s a device that measures and monitors the water pump and impeller on your ship.
The monitoring is crucial to prevent the outboard engine from overheating. It continuously checks the water pressure to the engine and alerts you when there is a noticeable decrease so that you can take necessary action.
In addition to that, boat water pressure gauges also indicate the performance of water pumps and tanks. Hence, they can show faulty parts, so that you don’t get into any trouble.
Water Pressure Gauge Working
In terms of design, water pressure gauges are quite like other pressure gauges. Therefore, there isn’t much of a difference between the designs from different manufacturers. Of course, the cooling system methods are different, but we will discuss that some other time.
As for water pressure gauges, there is a water inlet that sits on the outboard engine. The water flowing through the tubes makes its way to the pressure gauge, where it’s interpreted to numerical values for user understanding.
Water Pressure Kits
Usually, boat water pressure gauges come in kits. It makes them more comfortable for the user to install them on the outboard engine. In such a kit, you will find fittings, tube adapters, and the gauge.
In most cases, water pressure gauges measure up to 40 PSI because that’s more than the maximum pressure you will observe on a boat. Generally, high-power boat engines can go up to a maximum of 30 PSI. The average pressure range is around 8 to 12 PSI.
Different manufacturers, such as Yamaha, Mercury, Evinrude, etc., have other models of dial sizes, pressure ranges, and fitting mechanisms.
Boat Water Pressure Gauge Installation Guide
If you are a DIY lover, you may want to install your next water pressure gauge all by yourself. So here is a quick guide on how you can get it done:
Choosing the Right Spot
Firstly, identify the spot on your boat’s bulkhead or dash where you want to install the gauge. Make sure that the place is free from water lines and wires. It must be easily accessible to allow easy reading of the indicator.
Drilling a Hole
Once you have chosen a spot, drill a hole in your dash. The diameter depends on the type and manufacturer of the gauge. A 2⅛ inch gauge is one of the commonly used boat gauges. Make sure to drill precisely, or the indicator will sit loosely in the hole.
To prevent any possibility of loose fittings and water leakage, apply some silicone sealants around the gauge rim. Next, fit the gauge in its hole and tighten according to the given mounting mechanisms.
Connect the Tubes
Find the water tap on your engine block. Remove the tap and connect the gauge pressure tube to the engine. Make sure to tighten the joints and confirm that there are no leakages.
Test your Gauge
You are now ready to test your gauge. Start the engine and check the following:
- The needle must move smoothly inside the gauge
- The gauge doesn’t vibrate in its grove. If so, apply more sealant
- There must be no water leakages at either end of the connected tubes.
How Vital are these Gauges
Among all the gauges you have onboard, the water pressure gauges are the earliest indicators of faults. Therefore, you must never compromise on their working and calibration. As soon as the water pressure drops inside the tubes, the gauges will indicate the apparent pressure drop.
Why Water Pressure Decreases
Although pressure gauges don’t have a role in this, it’s valuable to know why water pressure reduces. Here are some common causes for reduced water pressure to the outboard engine:
- Use of old or faulty impeller
- Faulty Engine
- Blocked water tubes
Is it Possible to Get a Negative Pressure Reading
Negative readings can be a problem with digital gauges. However, analog water pressure gauges usually do not have this issue. If you see a negative reading, it’s time for either calibration or gauge replacement.
A negative reading may seem funny, but it can be a severe problem when you are out in deep waters.
Tips to Maintain Water Pressure Gauges
Water pressure gauges are simple devices that don’t require much maintenance. However, it’s better to keep regular checks for efficient performance. Consider the following:
- Check if the gauge pointer flutters during operation
- Perform gauge calibration after every six months. You will need professional help for proper calibration
- Keep the dial clean and prevent dust or mud.
Water pressure gauges can be lifesavers that prevent engine overheating. After the tachometer, they are the most valuable boat accessory, so you must make sure that they are working.
So, it won’t hurt to invest some extra bucks while buying these gauges. Make sure to check the calibration date while purchasing. Also, calibrated gauges come with certifications, so ask your supplier about the proper documentation.
In addition to indicating heating problems, pressure gauges can also indicate a faulty water pump. For instance, if the indicator shows a consistent low-pressure reading, it could mean that your pump needs some repair and maintenance.
In a nutshell, boat water pressure gauges can make your boating much safer and reliable.