We fully tested and reviewed seven electric bilge pumps from three different makers in the 700 to 1250 GPH size range.
We tested the Attwood V750, V900, and V1250, from Rule the 800, model 20R, and the 1100, model 27D, with two Shurflo Piranha pumps, the 700 and 1000, filling out the field. Much commonality in layout and features exists in this group of bilge pumps.
All the pumps have vertically orientated motors, pumps designed to snap into the base, and a base designed for horizontal mounting. The base on each also doubles as a screen to prevent loose debris in the bilge water from entering and jamming the pump motor. All pumps came with 16 AWG power wires with top quality insulation.
Some differences do exist in these pumps. For example, on a Shurflo pump you can unscrew a ring and remove the motor to clear debris without disturbing the base of exhaust hose, this is a nice feature not found on the other brands.
Power wires in the Shurflo pumps, at 71 inches, were over twice as long as the wires on the other pumps. The Rule pumps can be purchased with longer wires for a couple dollars more.
Bilge Pump Performance
As we ran this group of bilge pumps through our performance testing we encountered widely varying results.
On average the Attwood V750, with its 3/4-inch outlet, pumped at only 57% of rated capacity while drawing 2.3 amps. The V900 did a little better. It used a larger 1-1/8 inch outlet to pump at about 75% of its rating while averaging a 2.6 amp draw. The Attwood V1250 also uses a 1-1/8 outlet pipe and managed to pump at 68% capacity at 3.2 amp draw.
The Rule 800 pumped at 60% of its rating while averaging 2.8 amps. Rules 1100 pumped at 72% at 3.8 amps.
The Shurflo pumps had better performance. The smaller Piranha 700 with its 3/4-inch outlet managed to pump at 80% of its rated capacity while drawing on average 3.6 amps. The top perfromer in this group was the Shurflo 1000, it pumped on average at 89% of rated capacity while drawing 4.3 amps. All the pumps passed our dry run test.
Street prices for the electric bilge pumps in this group are in a fairly tight range. The least expensive, at $23, is the Attwood V750. Most expensive was the Attwood V1250, its cost $35. All the others fit into a $26 to $31 price range.
The Shurflo Piranha 1000 has the best performance in this group electric bilge pumps. When coupled with its long power wires and easily removeable motor this pump gets a nod from us. We installed it as the primary pump in our Contender.