Water Pressure Gauge: An Introduction

If you love being out on the water, then you know how important it is to have a boat engine that is in good working condition. One of the most important parts of your boat is the water pressure gauge. This gauge helps you to keep an eye on the water pressure in your boat engine so that you can avoid any potential engine problems.

In this article, you will learn the basics of boat water pressure gauges, so that you can know how to keep your boat engine in top condition.

What Is a Water Pressure Gauge?

A water pressure gauge is a monitoring device that is used to check the water pump and impeller on your boat.

The water pressure gauge will give you a reading of how much pressure is being exerted on the water pump and impeller and alert you if either of these components is not working properly.

Where Should a Water Pressure Gauge Be Installed?

A water pressure gauge should be installed on your dash so that you can easily see it while steering.

However, you will need to run a wire from the gauge to the water pressure sender port on your outboard motor. This can be done either with a hard wire or a soft wire depending on the fitting on your outboard motor water pressure sender port and what comes with your water pressure gauge kit.

A hard line is used for compression style fitting while a soft flexible line is used for nipple style fitting.

How Does a Water Pressure Gauge Work on an Outboard Engine?

A water pressure gauge on an outboard engine measures the pressure of the water flowing through the engine. The gauge is typically mounted on the engine's intake manifold, and it consists of a Bourdon tube, a pointer, and a dial.

The boat's engine has an inlet tube that is filled with water when the boat is steering on the water. The gauge is attached to the end of the tube. As the water pressure increases, the tube expands and the pointer moves. The dial is calibrated to show the pressure in psi (pounds per square inch).

Do I Need a Water Pressure Gauge on My Boat?

Water pressure gauges help to prevent engine overheating by providing a visual indication of the water pressure in the system. If the water pressure extremely drops or rises, it is an indication that the engine is working under non-ideal conditions. 

While most boats come with a water pressure gauge installed, it is always a good idea to check it before heading out on the water. If the gauge is not working properly, you risk exposing your boat engine to potential damage. 

If you are not sure whether or not your boat has a water pressure gauge, it is a good idea to invest in one. They are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most marine supply stores.

Best Boat Water Pressure Gauges

There are many different types and brands of boat water pressure gauges on the market today. Some of the best boat water pressure gauges on the market today are mercury water pressure gauges. These gauges are very accurate and easy to read.

For brands, you should consider Faria pressure gauges. Faria pressure gauges are available in a variety of sizes and styles to fit your specific needs. They also have a wide range of pressure ranges, so you can find the perfect gauge for your boat.

When choosing a boat water pressure gauge, it is important to choose one that is durable and easy to install. It is also important to understand your specific needs before purchasing one. For example, if you have a pontoon boat, you will need a pontoon pressure gauge.

You also want to make sure that the gauge is compatible with your boat outboard.

How Can You Adjust Your Boat Water Pressure?

If your boat is not performing as well as it should be, it might be because the water pressure is not set correctly. Luckily, this is an easy problem to fix.

If your boat is taking on too much water, you can adjust the water pressure by loosening the lock nut and turning the water pressure adjustment screw of your outboard counterclockwise. This will lower the water pressure and hopefully stop the boat from taking on too much water. If your boat is not taking on enough water, you can do the opposite and turn the adjustment screw clockwise to raise the water pressure.

Check the pressure with a pressure gauge to see what the new setting is. If it's still not where it needs to be, repeat the process until it is. 

Tip: You should only turn the screw one full turn at a time, so as not to over-adjust the water pressure.

5 Common Water Pressure Gauge Problems and How to Fix Them

FAQs

  1. Pressure spikes: The gauge may be damaged if the needle spikes too high. Check for faults in the boat’s engine water pressure system and ensure that the pressure regulator screw is set correctly.
  1. Extreme temperature: Both high and low temperatures can damage the boat's water pressure gauge. To troubleshoot this problem, make sure the gauge is properly insulated and protected from the elements.
  1. Corrosion: The water inlet tube to the engine may be corroded. Inspect it for signs of corrosion and contact a professional for cleaning.
  1. Clogging: The gauge may be clogged if there is debris in the line. Check for blockages in the line and release them to make sure nothing is blocking the flow of water.
  1. Vibration: The gauge may be damaged if it is subject to vibration. To troubleshoot this problem, make sure the gauge is securely mounted and protected from vibration.

How accurate are water pressure gauges?

Boat water pressure gauges are generally accurate unless there is an issue with the water intake pipe, such as clogging. In that case, the gauge may not accurately reflect the amount of water pressure in your boat engine system.

What should water pressure gauge read on a boat?

Water pressure gauges on boats should read within the range of 8 to 12 PSI unless the vessel is equipped with a high-power engine that can generate up to 30 PSI. To ensure accurate readings, it is important to regularly check that the gauge is properly installed.

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