Stratos Boats Livewell Guide – How to

Stratos Boats Livewell Guide – How to

Stratos Boats Livewell Guide – How to

by September 28, 2013


Recessed Trolling Motor Install – How To

My bass boat is one of my  favorite places to

July 7, 2013

Bass Boat Carpet Replacement – How To

If you’ve purchased a used boat and need to replace

June 10, 2013

This article serves a simple purpose; to serve as a guide for the livewell operation for the Stratos Boats Extreme series of bass boats.

I bought this boat 4 years ago now and have been unable to find a complete guide (or manual) for the operation of this boat’s livewell system. In this article I will share what I have learned  from various forums, as well as trial and error.

If you don’t own a Stratos or Ranger you may find this article useless.  However somebody will definitely find this information useful at some point. When you do, please leave me a post and add your tips. It would be much appreciated by me and other Stratos owners. Manuals or wiring diagrams would be especially useful! Just send me a quick email and I can add them to this article.StratosLivewellControls - Header

The Stratos Boats 21ss Extreme was built with all the bells and whistles. Its features include dual livewells with a full aeration system and timers. The 22ss,21ss, 20ss and 19ss all have the same basic operation as far as I know. The only changes were minor. The newer Stratos 294, 201, etc., also share some similarities in design as the Extreme series bass boat livewell designs were used as starting points for their design. Owners of these boats may find this guide useful as well.


There are four Flow-Rite actuators on the driver’s side. To operate them you simply push/pull the dial to the desired operation you want. The actuators correspond to the livewell side you want to operate: starboard or port. The top dials set what you want the pumps to do, while the bottom dials set the re-circulation mode. Stratos Boats also use the Quik-Lok system from Flow-Rite for its water connections. Flow-Rite has a fantastic website and if you are having issues with broken actuator cables, valves etc. definitely check out their site here.

In the event that you have an electrical issue with your switch, you can find the electrical wiring diagram for the Stratos Boats livewell switch here->Stratos Aerator Switch Wiring Diagram. This PDF covers several models of Stratos Boats. The Extreme series is the upper left diagram. 

StratosLivewellControls- 2 - 520

On the console you will find two(2) dials that operate the livewell pumps and one(1) that sets the timer mode. The pump dials are labelled “MAIN” and “AUX” . The names don’t clearly describe their operation, in my opinion, and need some clarification.


This pump is used to recirculate/ pump out live well water. I have re-labelled this dial to read “Recirc Pump” for clarity on my 21ss.


This pumps in fresh water from outside the boat. I have re-named this dial as “Fresh Water Pump” for clarity on my 21ss.

Livewell Time Modes

MAN – This will set the pump to continuously run. It will only engage pumps that are set on the AUX or MAIN dial. If all the pumps are in the “OFF” position nothing will happen until you set a pump dial.

AUTO – This engages the timer. It is set to run 3 minutes on/ 3 minutes off to conserve battery power. The Extreme models of bass boats use a PTL-2 type solid state “shotgun shell” timer. It’s the 3-wire type. These are prone to failure and if it fails don’t worry too much about it. You can easily upgrade to a timer that has multiple settings. They are readily available at most retailers or even eBay. I have upgraded my timer to include several timer options depending on how many fish I have in my livewell.

Livewell Top Actuators

Auto –  If you have the live well actuators set to auto, it will let water out and put new water in. On the auto system, it just overflows through the overflow drain; so it lets however much out as it puts in.

Pump Out – This will pump out water when the recirculate pump goes instead of aerating it. This is useful when filling up weigh bags during a tournament. Simply set it to pump out and have someone stand by the outlets to fill the bag with water for your weigh in.

Recirculate – This will only recirculate the water currently in the livewells. It will also aerate the water you already have returning it to the livewell. Use this setting with additive or in dirty water you don’t want mixing with your good water.

StratosLivewellControls-1 - 520

Livewell Bottom Actuators

Empty – Obviously empty will empty the respective livewell. Use this to empty livewell when trailered. It will allow water to drain onto the ground out of the livewell. If you have the boat in the water and place the dial on empty; the livewell will fill up to the current water level.

Recirc – The recirc setting closes off all water sources from the outside other than your freshwater pump in.  Use this when you are idling in a muddy area, polluted marina, or want to keep water in the well like if it was treated with rejuvenade or something along those lines. I set my livewells to recirc when pulling the boat out to weigh in at tournaments as well. This actuator also activated the Power Jet Aerator system to add extra oxygen to your livewells.

Auto –   The auto setting will let the livewell fill up, lets water freely flow back and forth between the well and the lake, and automatically closes when you get on plane.

I have placed the Stratos Boats Extreme owners manual here as well in case anyone needs it->1998-2001 Stratos Boats Owners Manual. I hope this helps some of you guys out there. If you have any more useful information on the Extreme models drop me a message!

Tight Lines!



One of our readers, Christian, emailed us two more wiring diagrams to share on the site. Here ->is the Stratos Function-Wire Color/Stripe Reference chart. It includes information for Stratos models before and after 1992. And here-> is the Stratos Hull Wiring Diagram for 1992 models and onward. Thanks for sharing Christian!

3 Comments so far

Jump into a conversation
  1. Durand
    #1 Durand 3 August, 2015, 11:57

    How do I get a replacement console just the name plates as mines have faded away

    Reply this comment
    • Grant Pentiricci
      Grant Pentiricci Author 22 September, 2015, 08:21

      Your best bet is trying to find used plates in better condition. Or touch up your existing plates carefully with paint, and protecting them with varnish.

      Reply this comment
  2. kenneth
    #2 kenneth 18 August, 2015, 10:59

    my stratos is a 2002 and has only 2 actuators on driver side. i need some help with the operation of areator system.

    Reply this comment

Leave a Comment