How to Remove Rocks Stuck in Jet Ski Impeller

It can be a real pain when rocks get stuck in your jet ski’s impeller. It can hinder your jet ski’s performance and cause severe damage. In today’s article, I will explain how to remove rocks that are stuck in your jet ski impeller.

How to remove rocks that are stuck in jet ski impeller?

The key to removing rocks from a jet ski is to access the intake grate located at the bottom of the jet ski. You can use a metal rod to dislodge rocks.

How do rocks get stuck in jet skis?

How to remove rocks stuck in jet ski impeller

A jet ski’s intake sucks in water that is then sent through the drive shaft and then pushed out by the impeller. Sometimes, rocks and other debris can get sucked into the intake grate and can make their way through the drive shaft and to the impeller.

What to do if rocks are stuck in jet ski impeller

It is important to turn your jet ski off immediately if you notice rocks are stuck in the impeller. If you continue to press on the gas, it can cause a lot of damage to both the impellers and the engine.

You should try to get someone to tow you to your dock. Once at your dock, transfer your jet ski to dry land and put it on an elevated surface. This could be your jet ski trailer or a storage rack. Make sure the jet ski is completely turned off and remove the key. Do not try to run your jet ski out of the water, as this can just cause more damage.

Next, grab a flash light and a skinny metal rod. Go under the jet ski to where you can access the intake grate (pictured below).

Carefully stick the metal rod through the grate and see if you are able to poke out the rocks. You can use the flashlight to help improve visibility.

It is very important that you don’t push too hard with the metal rod, as this can cause damage to the impeller. If the rocks are still stuck, you will have to remove the intake grate.

Removing the intake grate

jet ski intake

Luckily, this is pretty easy and can be done with a socket wrench. While it depends on the jet ski model, most bolts are 10-12mm.

Once you remove the bolts, take off the grate. This will give you much more access to the backend of the impeller.

removed intake grate

Try sticking the rod through the drive shaft again and try to dislodge the rocks. If this still doesn’t work, you’ll have to remove the impeller. Attach the intake grate back to the jet ski and then head to the back of your jet ski where the impeller is located.

Removing the jet ski pump

jet ski pump

Most jet ski pumps are attached with 4 bolts. You can easily remove these with a socket wrench. Once the pump is removed, it should be easier to dislodge the rocks from the impeller. You might have to slightly rotate the impeller to help remove the rocks. I suggest you wear gloves to prevent yourself from getting cut from the sharp impeller edges.

jet ski impeller

Take apart impeller

If the rocks still won’t budge, you will have to take the impeller apart.

If you don’t have much experience with jet ski mechanics, you probably should take the jet ski to a shop and have them do this. I don’t have much experience with this, but you can watch this video below to walk you through the process.

Check the wear ring

After the rocks are removed, it is important to inspect your jet ski’s impeller. Check to see if there are any significant chips on the impeller. If there is a lot of damage, you might to need to replace the impeller. An impeller with a lot of chips will not perform as well in the water, and can significantly reduce your jet ski’s top speed and fuel efficiency.

You should also check the impeller’s wear ring. If it has a lot of damage, you should replace it also.

Why it’s important to remove rocks immediately

A lot of people will continue to ride their jet ski when rucks get stuck inside the engine/impeller. This is a very bad idea, as it can significantly damage your jet ski. Even if your jet ski is still running, the impeller will not reach peak performance if there are rocks inside of it.

How to prevent rocks from getting in your jet ski

The number one way to prevent rocks from getting in your jet ski is to avoid shallow waters. Rocks almost always enter your jet ski when you get too close to the bottom. You should also avoid riding a jet ski at night

If you get stuck in shallow waters, you should cut off your jet ski engine. This will stop your intake from sucking in water, which will prevent rocks and other debris from getting pulled in. Get off you jet ski and try to guide it to deeper waters by walking on the ground.

If you anticipate that you will experience shallow waters, I suggest you wear water shoes to help guide your jet ski through the water if you need to hop off.

How to tell if there are rocks in your jet ski

There are multiple ways to know if there are rocks in your jet skis. For one, you might start hearing a banging sound of rocks hitting against your jet ski’s drive shaft or impeller.

If a rock gets stuck in the impeller, it will probably cause your jet ski to shut off. If it doesn’t shut off, it will likely cause your jet ski to go very slow. The last time I got rocks stuck in my jet ski, it would only go up to 10 mph. This can also be caused if you get a rope stuck in your jet ski intake

If you suspect you have rocks in your jet ski, it is important to never stick your hand or other objects into the impeller while your jet ski is still in the water. You must take the jet ski to dry land and turn the jet ski off and remove the key.


It can be very frustrating when rocks get stuck in your jet ski. While you can reduce the chances of this happening by avoiding shallow waters, sometimes rocks in the impeller is unavoidable. The key is to act fast by turning off your jet ski and getting it to dry land.

In most cases, you should be able to remove the rocks by taking off the jet ski intake grate.