Cleaning Your Freshwater and Raw Water Strainers

Our Boats
Discover Sportsman Design Studio Pricing Compare Dealers Store
Return to Blog

Cleaning Your Freshwater and Raw Water Strainers

Keeping your boat in proper condition can seem like a lot of work. However, with some simple tips for easy regular maintenance your boat will be in tip top shape at all times.

January 30, 2024
Cover image for the post Cleaning Your Freshwater and Raw Water Strainers

Michael Cheser
Content Marketing Supervisor

As a boat owner there's a lot of little bits of knowledge that will make life much easier. One of which we will cover today and it's likely something you didn't know to do, especially if you're a first time boat owner. Have you ever been on the water, turned your freshwater or raw water pump on and you didn't have much pressure? If this does happen to you, the first thing you'll want to check is the strainer which keeps all the debris out of your pump.

Photo of sportsman boats deck coring material being placed during the build process.

Most of the time a loss of pressure to one of your water pumps is caused by a build up of debris in the strainer. You're less likely to get debris in the freshwater as it's not picking up water from outside of the boat, if you're losing pressure here you can check the strainer but you might have a pump going bad. As for the raw water, this is generally the culprit for a clogged strainer and this isn't a bad thing, it just means it's doing its job correctly. As your raw water pump pulls water from the outside of the boat in it's filtering all the debris out, preventing it from entering the pump and ruining it. After a while if you've been running the pump in areas of heavy debris, say washing the deck while moving through some seaweed, you may need to clean the strainer to have things back up and working properly.

Photo of sportsman boats deck coring material being placed during the build process.

Looking further into the cleaning process, first we must locate the pumps. If you're on a Sportsman your pumps will be inside the bilge area and on the same side as your freshwater or raw water outlets. The next three steps are as follows...

1. Access the strainer: Begin by unscrewing the filter to easily slide it off and access the strainer.

2. Inspection: Inside, locate the metal strainer and remove any debris present, such as grass or other foreign objects. Thoroughly rinse it with a hose if needed.

3. Reassembly: Place the cleaned strainer back into the pump, ensuring it sits centrally. Slide the filter back over it and securely thread it back onto the pump.

Even though you'll likely find the majority of the debris in your raw water pump it's good practice to clean the freshwater strainer whenever you're cleaning the raw water strainer to ensure they're both clean and working properly. These little maintenance practices will make sure you encounter less issues down the road and your boat is working at its fullest potential.

To view our full tutorial check out our Tech Talk Episode on the topic.