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Common Pond Pump Problems and Solutions

Common Pond Pump Problems and Solutions

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Garden ponds are a great addition to any landscape that provides a touch of elegance and beauty. Plus, garden ponds require a pump that sends water to the filter that keeps the pond clean.

However, some pond owners complain that they face issues with their pumps. Such problems would require immediate repair before the pond gets affected.

In this guide, we’ll tell you the common pond pump problems that most owners face. We’ll also offer solutions and maintenance tips to keep your pond pump running well.

What’s Wrong with My Pond Pump?

If you have a pond in your backyard, you probably know how crucial it is to use a pump to keep the water moving. A pond pump improves water oxygenation and inhibits the growth of algae.

However, pond pumps might malfunction or make strange noises. Here’s a list of some of the common pond pump problems.

  • The pump is humming but not pumping
  • The pond pump impeller isn’t spinning
  • The pond pump keeps floating
  • The pond pump keeps stopping
  • The pond pump is too powerful

Let’s examine the causes of those common problems and discuss possible solutions.

Humming but Not Pumping

Is your pump suddenly making strange noises like humming or buzzing? There are a few possibilities why the pump might be making those noises without working.

The Pump Is Clogged

The pump could sometimes get clogged with dirt or algae, preventing the water from passing through it. This will result in an overheated pump that makes humming noises.

You should unplug the pump and thoroughly clean it to resolve this problem. Unplug it, then remove any dirt, rocks, leaves, or objects in the way.

You can use toothpicks or a brush to help you in the process. Rinse your pump with clean water, then plug it back. See if the humming stops and the water flow is restored.

The Pump Is Too Small

Your pump may struggle to handle the water amount in your pond. Eventually, it’ll overwork itself and malfunction, causing it to make noises.

If this is your case, you should upgrade to a larger pump that can accommodate the size of your pond. A pond calculator can help you estimate the flow rate your pond needs.

Additionally, you can speak with an expert for advice on choosing the ideal pump.

The Pump Is Air-Locked

Air-locked means that the motor is unable to pump water because air is trapped inside it. This may happen if your pond’s water level is below the pump’s intake.

It could also be due to a leak in the tubing. To fix this, you’ve got to let the air out of the pump and bring the water level back to normal.

To let the air out, you can tilt the pump enough to let the air escape. Additionally, look for any leaks and patch them up with silicone or plumber’s tape.

Pond Pump Impeller Not spinning

The pond pump impeller is an essential part of the pump. Without it, the water won’t move. There are a few possibilities for the impeller to stop spinning.

Impeller Is Clogged

The impeller might get clogged with debris, such as leaves or dirt, causing it not to spin. Similar to the process of cleaning the whole pump, you have to start by unplugging it.

Then, remove the impeller cover and gently clean it and its surrounding area. Use a soft brush or cloth to clean it.

Put everything back in place and plug the pump back to check if the impeller is working.

Not Enough Power

Another reason the impeller might not spin is if it’s not getting enough power. Power shortage may occur if there’s a damaged cord, or the pump is too far from the outlet.

You need to check those factors and ensure they’re ideal for your pump. You might need to relocate the pump to a nearer outlet or change the chord with a new one.

Impeller Needs Replacement

After some time, a pump impeller might stop working and need a replacement. This happens usually when you shut off the water pump for a long period, like during the winter.

To check if the impeller is working, first, ensure the pump is turned off. Then, try to manually spin the impeller using a tool, such as a screwdriver or a pen. If you’re unable to spin the impeller by hand, you need to replace it.

Why Does My Pond Pump Keep Floating?

Sometimes a pond pump keeps floating to the surface instead of staying at the bottom. A couple of reasons could be causing this to happen.

The Pump Is Too Light

The first reason your pump might be floating is that it’s too light for the water pressure, causing it to rise to the surface. This means the pump needs some additional weight to keep it down.

You might use a rope to tie some bricks or screw a slab to the pump. The extra weight will help keep it submerged in the water.

You might also anchor the pump to the soil with hooks or stakes.

The Pump Has Trapped Air

Another reason that might cause the pump to float is that there’s air trapped inside it. The air would then cause the pump to rise to the surface.

Once again, you can empty the air using the previous method of tilting it and releasing air.

Why Does My Pond Pump Keep Stopping?

If your pond pump is working but keeps stopping, it might be any of the reasons we previously mentioned. However, a few other issues might cause a pond pump to malfunction.

The Pump Is Overheating

Most pumps automatically turn off if they overheat. However, if that doesn’t happen when your pump overheats, turn it off manually and give it some time to cool down.

Overhearing may be a result of a clogged pump as well. This also means you should clean the pump to prevent such a problem.

Leakage in the Hose

The hose is the part that connects the pump to the pond. If the hose is working out, it may leak water and lower the water pressure.

To fix this problem, unplug the pump and check the hose for any signs of wear or damage. You can try to seal the damages or replace the hose with a new one.

Worn Out Motor

The pump’s component that transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy is the motor. It might not function properly, or at all if it’s old or rusty.

This will cause the pump to malfunction. If this is the case, see if the motor is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and request a replacement or repair.

The Pump Is Defective Or Damaged

The pump might be worn out or has experienced power outages. To resolve this, you have to examine the power source. Put the pump through a multimeter test to check on the electrical circuits.

Moreover, replace damaged components or the entire pump if required.

Can a Pond Pump Be Too Powerful?

This is a common question among pond owners. The answer is yes, a pond pump can be too strong for a pond’s shape and dimensions.

A powerful pump can generate excessive water flow and pressure that can lead to issues such as:

  • Erosion of the pond’s edges
  • Muddy appearance on the water
  • Wildlife disturbance
  • Increased noise and splashing sounds
  • Higher costs and energy consumption

To avoid such problems, pick a pond pump appropriate for your pond’s size and depth. When choosing a pump, it should be able to circulate the entire volume of the pond every two hours.

You can also use a flow control valve to keep the water flowing at your desired level.

Final Thoughts

Pond pumps are essential for maintaining the cleanliness and beauty of any pond. Sometimes they experience common problems that compromise their durability and performance.

As such, it’s essential to understand these problems and how to fix them, to keep your pump functioning well.

You should also regularly clean the pump and the impeller and check the power supply to maintain the pump. Moreover, you’ve got to select the appropriate pump size for your pond to avoid causing other issues.

Following the tips in this article, you can enjoy a clean pond for many years.


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