How to Troubleshoot Your Pond Pump

What You'll Need
What You'll Need

Replacing a pond pump can prove to be expensive, so it’s always worth considering an extensive check to see if you can service or repair your faulty pump. One of the biggest factors in pump failure is irregular maintenance. But you can check for several different specific problems if your pond pump isn’t working effectively.

Removing the Pump from Water

For safety reasons, always unplug a submersible pond pump and remove it from water before carrying out any form of maintenance or visual check.

Never lift the pump from the water by lifting on the power cord. This can cause permanent damage to the wiring. The damage often remains unseen yet could result in a nasty jolt when you plug it back in. If you have trouble removing a pump by hand, tie rope around the handles for extra leverage.

Clearing out the Tubing

One of the major causes of pump failure is the clogging of tubes. Using a screwdriver, remove the hose clamp and release the tube. Carry out a visual check to identify any obstructions or impairments. You can blow out tubing with compressed air or rinse it with clean tap water.

Unblocking Filters and Impellers

Pond pump filters can also become blocked very easily. Most pumps have a screw-on filter, while others have a filter you can access by unscrewing part of the outer casing. Remove the filter and wash it copiously under a hose or tap to remove debris.

Underneath the filter lies a small impeller, which sucks water into the pump. Gently coax the impeller round with the end of a screwdriver. If the impeller moves easily, replace the filter and move on to the next step.

If the impeller is rigid, use the screwdriver to remove traces of slime and debris which gather around the blade until the entire mechanism moves smoothly again. Replace the filter and any parts you removed.

Checking for Power

Before submersing the pond pump, plug it in at the mains and turn it on briefly to check that the motor is operational. Do not leave it to run for long periods outside of an aquatic environment.

If the pump runs freely, unplug the unit again. Refit any tubing and return the pump back to its original underwater location.

If the pump doesn’t operate, check the power cord for any snags, splits or breakages. Also check the wiring of plugs in case a connection has loosened because of mishandling or vibrations. If the power cord shows signs of physical damage, do not reuse it. Although cords can sometimes be replaced, it is more likely you will need a new unit.

Dealing with Overheating

If the pump seems to be in good working order but overheats, you will probably need to dispose of the pump and purchase a new model. Repairing a pump tends to be a short-term solution.