Troubleshoot Pumps & Plumbing Issues


Your pond pump is like the heart of your water garden, so here are a few tips to keep your pond running smoothly all through the season.

If you shut your pond down during the winter season we recommend removing the pump from the filter and storing it in a bucket of water in a frost free location. The water will help maintain the life of the seals on the pump while in storage. Depending on how long the pump has been out of operation over the winter, you may need to “kick-start” it.

Plug the pump in prior to installing the pump back in the skimmer and see if the impeller (that’s a propeller without the fan blades!) is spinning. If the pumps impeller does not start spinning on its own, unplug the pump and then use a screw driver or similar device to assist the impeller for the first few turns. Once the impeller begins spinning the lubrication will be reintroduced between the seals and the pump should start on its own.

The pump can now be installed back into the water feature. If you sense that your pump isn’t working properly, you may want to use the following troubleshooting guide to get things flowing right. If you are still having problems – no worries! . Give us a call or drop by our store. The Pond Clinic retail team and service department technicians are here to help.

Issue: Pump Hums But Pushes Very Little Water

Possible Cause: Pump may be air-locked.

Troubleshooting: Air has gotten into the impeller chamber. Tilt the pump while it’s in the pond to allow air to be released from the chamber or remove the pump from the pond and re-install, ensuring that the impeller chamber is flooded with water.

Issue: Pump Is Not Running

Possible Cause: Poor electrical connection, tripped breaker, blown fuse, or other interruption in power supply.

Troubleshooting: Check to make sure all electrical connections are working and that a qualified electrician installed and tested it. Safety Note: Long extension cords may cause voltage drop at the pump and the amps to rise above maximum level. This can cause the pump to heat up and burn out the motor, or in some cases start an electrical fire.

Issue: Pump Operates Intermittently

Possible Cause #1: Not enough water in the pond.

Troubleshooting: Most pumps must be submersed in water to operate properly. Low water levels may cause the pump’s internal thermal shut-off to activate. The thermal shut-off will deactivate once the pump is cooled down. The proper water level must be established in the pond for the pump to work properly.

Possible Cause #2: The pond is too small to support the volume of water needed for the stream.

Troubleshooting: The pond must be designed to provide enough water to the stream and waterfalls for proper circulation. When the pump is first started, it may be necessary to add a few inches of water to the pond in order to account for the water used to feed the stream and waterfalls. Upper pools and “check” dams in the streams are also very effective at holding water upstream when the pump(s) are not operating. Ponds that are too small may not be able to supply enough water to start the streams and waterfalls. This will cause the water in the pond to drop below the opening of the skimmer upon initial start-up and starve the pump of water.

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