DIYer Adapts Rule LoPro900 Bilge Pump for Kayaking


Xylem’s Rule brand LoPro 900 bilge pump is designed to deliver big pumping power in tight spaces on a variety of marine vessels. As Barry Walstead discovered, it’s also a great fit for a kayak.

Walstead, the assistant manager at Ship to Shore Marine in Gig Harbor, Washington, blogged about a DIY project in which he attached the Rule LP900 bilge pump to his kayak in just six steps. Some features of the pump — a 180-degree rotating motor cartridge, the ability to pump at super shallow operating conditions and automatic turn on and shutoff — are also useful in getting rid of excess water in a kayak, he discovered.

For less than $200, Walstead adapted the Rule pump to his kayak for a more enjoyable experience on the water.

Here is how he did it:

Step 1: Mounting the pump

The mounting location of the pump varies for every kayak model and is often determined by the location of the kayak seat. It is best to mount the pump at the front bulkhead of the kayak to ensure that enough water can be pumped out if needed. Mount the pump longitudinally along the kayak’s centerline.

Be cautious when mounting the pump and pay attention to the type of plastic used in your kayak. It’s best to use a marine adhesive sealant or any waterproof sealant.

Step 2: Securing the battery box
When mounting the battery box, use a micro case box and again attach to the forward bulkhead of the boat. In order to secure the box, use stainless machine screws and locking nuts with a little marine silicone to seal. For all attachment points, use small loops of shock cord and scotch bundling straps.

Step 3: Drill holes
Using equipment that is large enough, drill circles through the kayak and follow by smoothing off any rough edges. Mark the holes carefully to be sure the drill is in the correct spot.

After making sure the screw fits without any issues, mask the entire surrounding area with plenty of marine adhesive to seal it in place.

Next, drill a hole in the bulkhead of the kayak for the wire gland. Use a wire seal for duplex and triplex cable. Drill the battery box to accept another gland for the wire.

Use plenty of masking tape and again work the point of the bit through from one side and then carefully back through the other. Be careful because the plastic can be brittle and could shatter the lid of the box. To be certain that the glands are watertight on an uncovered triple wire, squeeze some silicone into the seal and around the threads.

Step 4: Put everything together
After installing, give the adhesive at least seven days to fully cure. If not given the full time to cure, the pad eyes could pull off, resulting in a complete start over. Next, use Velcro to secure the pump inside the foot well of the kayak, then tie a loop to connect the hose and valve to prevent backflow.

Step 5: Install wiring
Once the pump is in place, pull the wires through the glands (sealing with a little silicone inside the gland) and tighten them down. Next, mount the battery box and pull the wires through. The wiring portion is very simple since the pump is automatic. Add additional Velcro straps wherever needed.

Use a cordless 12-volt drill battery — the lithium battery will provide more power and a lot less weight. Next, use standard marine-grade spade connectors that fit right on the battery contacts. This model is best to use because is also fits perfectly in the micro case box. For this wiring step, follow the instructions for auto function, meaning there will be one wire that is not used. Simply cover the end of it with electrical tape to protect.

Step 6: Test it out
After all the wiring has been completed, give it a test run!

For more information on the Rule LP900 pump, please visit rule-lopro-series.htm.

To read Barry’s full blog post, please visit

South Shore JUN17