troubleshooting tips

Today’s water feature product production companies have created some exceptionally reliable and energy-efficient pumps for ponds, waterfalls, and fountains.  However, like most mechanical devices, problems can still occur.  Fortunately, most of today’s pumps are predictable and a few easy checks can usually solve most water pump problems.  Here is a shortlist of ways to troubleshoot your pump if you have run into problems.

Check water flow.

Your pump cannot push water if there is not any water to push.  Check to see if there is anything blocking or slowing the water from the pump.  If you have a skimmer box with a debris basket, a full debris basket can slow the flow creating a dam that keeps the water from your pump.  A closed skimmer door flap can cause the same problem.  If your pump runs dry for too long it can overheat and damage it beyond repair.  The pond could also have a leak that drops the water level below the pump once again causing the pump to run dry.

Flush out the plumbing

Disconnect the valve fitting connecting the pump to the plumbing.  This will flush out the water in the plumbing and if clogged, will hopefully clear any major debris that was keeping the pump from working properly.

Inspect the pump

Remove your pump from the water to inspect it for any obvious issues.  Make sure it is unplugged when you do this.  Check the intake portion of the pump for any major debris that may have possibly lodged itself in the impeller.  Most pumps will handle smaller debris with ease however, larger debris such as gravel can get sucked up and prevent the impeller from motion.  If you do find this type of debris, removal is typically easy, and clearing it should allow the pump to run properly.

Check the power supply.

You may be surprised how many times we have been called to inspect/repair a pump only to find that the actual problem was the outlet.  Sometimes it is as simple as resetting a tripped breaker or, possibly the outlet is just no longer working.  To find out if this is the case, plug the pump into a different outlet, if it works then you know the problem is with your electrical outlet.  If the pump trips the GFI then the pump likely has a more serious issue and will need to be replaced.

If you have run through these steps and the pump still is not working, it may need replacing.  Some pumps come with a warranty.  It may be worth reaching out to the manufacturer to see if it can be replaced under warranty, many pumps include manufacturer dates and information on the pump itself.