When the Pump Stops Pumping

3 minutes read

It’s been our experience that once a pump goes on the blink it becomes extra weight in the trashcan. There’s very little middle ground. They either pump up a storm or they hum with no water flow at all. You’ll also notice that pumps go out on you at the worst possible moment. You may have a dinner party planned or it’s prom night and the waterfall is the backdrop for the pictures you plan to take. The pump may decide to go out just as you begin your PP treatment. But before we get too carried away and start shopping for a new one it’s worth a try to see if it’s only a matter of a good cleaning.


If you notice that your waterfall is less than it’s original flow chances are there is debris at the intake of the pump preventing full water flow and constricting the power of the pump. If left like this, over a period of time, the pump will be damaged and rendered useless. Keeping the water intake area clear is a must. Make it a part of your weekly cleaning regimen.


If you have a submersed pump the first thing you do is unplug it. This will stop any suction. Pull the pump out of the water and pull out any debris that you can with your fingers. Some pumps have covers on the intake that easily lift off and allow easy cleaning. Do this and make sure once you’re finished that you replace the cover. If you experience problems with your pump becoming clogged every other day or so it would help if you placed it into a pump basket. These are readily available. We carry them. We have found that if you line the basket with filter material it catches more silt and leaves but restricts the water flow. It’s best to allow your filter to trap this debris and forego the filter material in the basket.


Once you’ve cleaned out any debris from the intake the water flow should return to normal. If the cleaning didn’t help you may as well toss the pump. Submersibles can’t be repaired.


If you have an external pump with a leaf basket you are still required to do a little cleaning. The leaf basket is there to trap large debris before it can go through your system. Just like with a swimming pool leaf catcher you must periodically dump the leaves. It’s a simple matter of turning of the pump, unscrewing the plastic dome of the leaf catcher (or priming pot), pulling out the basket and dumping the contents. Once everything is back in place you can turn your pump back on. Like the submersible pump, you can burn out the motor of the external pump by leaving debris in the leaf basket and restricting the flow.


One of the many benefits the external pump has over the submersible is that it can be repaired by replacing parts. If the pump is not working properly you can bring it in and we’ll be glad to order any parts you need.

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