Pond Pump Maintenance & Troubleshooting – An OC Guide
The pond pump is very much the “heart” of the pond. And it is easy to see why the comparison fits; without the pump fresh oxygenated water would not circulate, fish and filtering bacteria would fail to flourish – with a ‘heart’ the pond is lifeless.
This is why it is so important to take care of your pond pump. Thankfully most modern pumps are designed to carry on working without much work being done by the owner.
However, there will come a time when simple maintenance needs to be carried out. There might also be a situation where the pump stops working and you will need to do some troubleshooting to discover what the problem is.
And that’s exactly what we are going to look into today.
The following guide will run through some maintenance tips you can carry out on a submersible pond pump.
Ready? Let’s get to it.
Troubleshooting a broken submersible pond pump
The great thing is, standard submersible pumps utilize a simple design and have very few parts. This of course makes troubleshooting and maintenance that much easier.
Here’s what to do to if your pond pump begins to give you problems:
Step 1: Check the water intake
One of the most common reasons a submersible pond pump stops working properly is if the waterline has fallen below the pump intake, and the skimmer has run dry.
In this situation, there is nothing at all wrong with the pump. It is running as it should but not positioned correctly to receive the right amount of water.
Listen out for a “hum” or “gurgle” sound while the pump is in the skimmer. This is a tell-tale sign that not enough water is going through.
Step 2: Check the flow
Another issue that will stop the pump from pumping is a simple blockage.
Check that no debris, or large rocks and litter, have blocked the front of the skimmer opening.
If you haven’t cleaned the pond recently, or your filter is failing to do its job properly the skimmer net will quickly become full and will hinder the overall flow and the performance of your pump.
Step 3: What about the power
‘Is it switched on?’
‘Of course, it’s switched on!’
A sly look at the power outlet in the basement sees that the plug has been pulled out of the socket.
Power to your pump is the first thing you should really check if the entire unit doesn’t seem to be working. Switched off, unplugged, or maybe a blown fuse; either way, your pump will be out of action and the fix is very simple indeed.
You want to be sure that the power is covered before you decide to take the lid of things.
Step 4: Is the pump vapor-locked?
This simply means that air has got trapped inside the volute of the pump. When this occurs the air actually prevents the water from getting through. The result is a pump that is vapor locked.
A vapor lock can generally be fixed by tilting the pump from side to side so that the air is able to escape the intake.
Step 5: General Wear & Tear
How old is your pump, and how often do you clean it? If your unit isn’t working as it should it could be that it has reached the end of its operational life.
Is the housing cracked or split, are any cables frayed? Is the pump covered in algae and mold? If you can say yes to any of these then the unit is in need of some TLC, (or renewal).
To try to get your pump working again if it has bee n left to its own devices for too long is to give it a thorough clean.
And that’s exactly what we look into now, as we delve into cleaning and maintaining your submersible pump.
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Step by step Maintenance Guide
Keep your pond pump in tip-top condition is the best way to prevent malfunction.