Join Date: May 2005
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This: " If I unclip the pump from the screen / mount and shake it, then the air bubbles slurp out of the hose and then it starts flowing"
...makes me wonder if there a backflow preventer on your bilge hose? If so it can trap a pocket of air that will compress below the (however many feet of) water in the bilge hose that will prevent the pump from working correctly.