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Live Well Not Filling All The Way #13316036 10/19/19 03:58 AM
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Wormin Offline OP
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My Ranger's liverwell doesn't ever get full. I can launch the boat with the livewell actuator position on empty and the live well fills 1/4 of the way up. I put the actuator on Auto and turn the toggle switch to manual and both pumps turn on. I verified both pumps are on by holding my hand on them and feeling the vibration. Water is spitting out of both sides of the livewell. The pumps will run for an hour and never get close to filling up the livewell. I replaced the flappers on the valves a couple of months ago. I also verified that the livewell does not leak once I take the boat out of the water. Any ideas on what the problem is?

Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Wormin] #13316057 10/19/19 04:44 AM
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Get boat on trailer.
Put garden hose in livewell.
Find leaky whatever.....

Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Wormin] #13316079 10/19/19 05:32 AM
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With the switch on open or fill turn both pumps on wait 2-4 minutes and close it off. I have on older ranger and that's how I have to fill them. Pumps put more water in the well then can drain out so it fills, when you get the desired water level put it on recirculating leave pumps running or put on auto to keep fish.

Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Wormin] #13316090 10/19/19 09:29 AM
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Water coming out of both sides doesn’t necessarily show that both sides are working properly. Rangers have oddly plumbed livewells. Likely your pumps are 500 GPH. They are cartridge pumps so easy enough to change out. Go up to 750 GPH or even 1000 if you can handle the discharge. I have had the same problem in the past with my Ranger.

Last edited by squib; 10/19/19 09:32 AM.
Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Wormin] #13318632 10/22/19 01:38 AM
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sounds like your passive fill/empty valve isnt shut and you're turning on the recirc not the fill

Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Wormin] #13319485 10/22/19 10:43 PM
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Mine was doing the exact same thing and it was because only one of the pumps was working. I thought both were running as well, but when I removed the bad one it was obvious that it had not been running. It may also be running, but the impeller not pushing any water. I had to remove my oil tank, and the false floor to get to mine, and that was the only way I could tell that one wasn't running. Replacing the bad pump fixed mine. Hope that helps.


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Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Wormin] #13319601 10/23/19 12:46 AM
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I have a 2007 Ranger and had same issue I replaced the valves and problem solved on mine.
I am guessing it is I. The flapper valve somewhere.

Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Wormin] #13320012 10/23/19 02:08 PM
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Mine does the same thing. It will not fill up. I guess I don’t understand what most of you have said about valves and some such. I guess I don’t understand how that it eventually doesn’t fill up with the pump running constantly.

Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Wormin] #13320020 10/23/19 02:13 PM
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On Ranger livewells, as they fill more and more, the pumps draw some of their water from the actual livewell---it is just the way they are plumbed. So they will be pumping water, but they may be drawing 95% from the livewell with only 5% from outside. And if both pumps are not functioning properly, you may be drawing no water from outside. I'd be glad to talk you through it if you want to call. PM me if so.

Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: bloo_rainger] #13320122 10/23/19 04:13 PM
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Jeff From Iowa Offline
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Originally Posted by bloo_rainger
Mine does the same thing. It will not fill up. I guess I don’t understand what most of you have said about valves and some such. I guess I don’t understand how that it eventually doesn’t fill up with the pump running constantly.


sounds like your valve is letting it drain

fill it with water on the trailer and have the plug out of your hull so you can see if water is draining

Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Jeff From Iowa] #13320567 10/24/19 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff From Iowa
Originally Posted by bloo_rainger
Mine does the same thing. It will not fill up. I guess I don’t understand what most of you have said about valves and some such. I guess I don’t understand how that it eventually doesn’t fill up with the pump running constantly.


sounds like your valve is letting it drain

fill it with water on the trailer and have the plug out of your hull so you can see if water is draining


This valve we speak of. Where are they located?

Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Wormin] #13320582 10/24/19 01:01 AM
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on my boat there's an actuator near the throttle controls that opens and closes a valve in the livewell drain. the valve and/or cable fail often on older boats. the valve itself is probably located at the thru hull fitting or near your bilge pump and livewell fill pump

if this valve isnt shut your livewell will never stay fill higher than the lake surface

Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Wormin] #13321231 10/24/19 04:58 PM
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The valve on mine is at the backend of the actual livewell as stated before I have to remove my batteries to get to it. It has a cable that actuated from the livewell switch at the console right hand side.

Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Wormin] #13321259 10/24/19 05:22 PM
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Pretty sure this value my be my issue. I just need to locate it now!

Re: Live Well Not Filling All The Way [Re: Wormin] #13321512 10/24/19 09:26 PM
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The drain-empty / fill / recirculate valve is located just behind the pumps. it is just a lever that is moved by the cable that comes from the selector over by your gear shift. It is a pretty simple wheel type valve, the works with water pressure to close the directions of flow. There is rubber flappers in it that is the valves, and they can get dried out, or covered with gunk from fishing dirty water. If they are dirty they don't seal. They can usually be just cleaned-off and they will work again just fine. It comes apart with Philips head screws. As recommended above, it is real easy to check the valve - set it to fill or recirculate and fill the livewell in the driveway. If it leaks or drains, the valve is your answer/problem. Move it to empty/drain, and if it runs out, you probably can go back to the pumps for your problem. The pump system is completely separate from the valve, and nothing on the dash has anything to do with the valves. It's probably a good practice to move that valve often to ensure the cable doesn't freeze up.

What Squib said above makes perfect since. With only one pump working mine would not get above the lake level. By the way, I was in a tournament when i discovered mine wasn't filling completely. Occasionally I would start the big motor and put it in reverse and gas it up a bit. That will fill the livewells quickly. Good luck.


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