You may have heard of a tow valve before but you may not know what it is or if you need one. Here is everything you need to know about a tow valve for your jet ski.
A tow valve is a device that blocks off the main feed line from the pump to the motor on a jet ski. It keeps the valve closed so that water does not flow into your engine through the cooling system while you are towing your jet ski.
Why a Tow Valve is Important
One of the biggest concerns with owning a jet ski is ruining your engine. You do not want to be towing your jet ski and have the engine overflow with water. You never know when you will have an emergency on the water and when you will need to attach your jet ski to a boat and tow it to shore.
Sinking your jet ski is the worst thing that can happen, and if you are towing it across the water too fast, the pressure will build and water will flow into your cooling hose and enter the engine cylinders. Once this happens, your jet ski is not too far off from completely sinking! If you are in this situation, take it to a mechanic right away so they can try to salvage it.
One little tow valve can fix all of these problems and can prevent you from becoming bankrupt, or losing your jet ski.
It can be a big hassle to tow your jet ski without a tow valve because you will have to go no more than 5 miles per hour all the way to shore to ensure no water gets inside your jet ski. If you have a tow valve, you can take 5 minutes and connect it, and then you can tow your jet ski at any speed you want without worrying about your engine overflowing.
Once a jet ski engine overflows with water, there is not much you can do to salvage it. The cost of the damage done to an engine filled with water can be as high as $6,000! You might even have to buy a whole new jet ski. Not everyone can afford that, so taking care of the one you have is very important. The last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars to fix your jet ski.
Just like you have to take care of your car and get it’s oil changed, you have to take care of your jet ski. To make sure your jet ski is safe, always carry a tow valve with you in case you have to tow it back to shore. Tow valves are very inexpensive and there are many different options out there for you to buy. You can order a tow valve online and have it shipped to you in no time.
There are many ways you can become stuck in the water on your jet ski. Your battery could die on you, you could run out of oil, the engine may not be functioning correctly, and so many others. It is not a good idea to tow without a tow valve ever, and no matter how much you think you are exempt from accidents, you are not.
Where to Buy a Tow Valve
There are lots of options online to buy a tow valve. On Amazon and Ebay there are a few options:
- WaveEater Towing water supply valve – You can order this on Amazon for around $20 and it will cut off the cooling water hose to keep the engine from flooding. This works on a lot of different jet skis and will keep your engine safe while you tow your jet ski.
- WaveEater Sea-Doo towing water supply valve – Sea-Doo made their own version for all of the Sea-Doo 4 stroke engines. It sells on Ebay and Amazon for around $20.
- WaveEater Towing water supply valve for 2-strokes – If you have a 2-stroke jet ski this is the tow valve for you. It is selling on Amazon for around $20. You will need to take a valve with you just in case and this is a great option.
- Small Jet ski Sea-Doo tube pinch clamp – This is a cheaper option that Ebay sells for around $8. It is super easy to use and you just pinch off the hose to make sure water does not get to the engine.
- SharkBite – In stores like Home Depot, you can find some valves that will be compatible with your jet ski. Before you go to a store take the measurements of your hose and the area around the hose so that you can make sure the valve will fit correctly.
Some people like to buy the parts cheaply and make themselves a clamp, but I would recommend getting one that has been tested before to make sure that water does not get in. Buying a tow valve will not be expensive at all and it may even be cheaper than making your own.
Would you rather spend $20 on a valve or have to spend thousands to repair your jet ski? A valve may be small, but it has a very important job and buying a valve is a must when it comes to operating your jet ski.
Which Jet Ski’s Need a Tow Valve?
It is very rare for a jet ski to have a tow valve already built-in. If you are buying an older jet ski model you will definitely need to purchase your own tow valve. If you are buying a new jet ski, you should ask if a tow valve is already installed.
Most likely, you will need to buy the $20-ish valve and install it yourself. It may seem like a pain, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Flooding your jet ski is one of the biggest and most expensive mistakes you can make. So, buy a tow valve to save yourself from any headaches.
It is not too common to have to use the valve, but you never know when an emergency is going to happen.
When just purchasing a jet ski, it is not likely that you will be thinking about what you will need in order to tow your jet ski to shore. But you should be thinking about what you need in case of an emergency and a tow valve is one of these things. Yes, you need life jackets and safety buoys but you also need to think about how to avoid damaging your jet ski.
Every single jet ski should have a valve installed so that they can clip the hose when they need to. It is not a hard process to attach a tow valve to your cooling hoses, but here is an explanation to help you out.
How to Attach a Tow Valve
All different kinds of valves have different instructions, so refer to the instructions you get with the valve. It is not too difficult or complicated to install one. Before you do install one, I strongly recommend you go to a local dealer to show you which hose is the correct one to put the valve on so that you do it correctly.
You just take the valve and open up the access point to the cooling hose (usually near the back end of the jet ski). Once you have found the correct hose you tighten the valve around it, and usually, there is a switch to tighten it or loosen it for when you do not need it.
The valves themselves are very small so be sure that you measure the width of your jet ski’s cooling tube so that you can purchase a valve that will fit and tighten your hose up enough. Once you find a tow valve that works for your jet ski, I would buy an extra one just in case of an emergency. Always take safety precautions before getting in the water!