As the proud owner of a gorgeous ornamental pond, you take pride in the relaxation factor it creates. A clean, well maintained pond is a thing of beauty, but if your pump fails, clean and beautiful may be the last words you use to describe this water feature. Regardless of how expensive or how reputable a brand name you buy, if you don't properly maintain your pond pump, it's eventually going to give you problems. And while you can always pull your pump, dry it out, and send it back for pond pump repair, if the issue is caused by poor maintenance, odds are good your warranty isn't going to cover the cost. Common problems that occur with pond pumps include the following -- some of which can be prevented by simple regular maintenance:
If the water in your pond is particularly hard -- meaning it contains a lot of minerals -- lime can build up on the rotor and form a cement-like material that makes it impossible for the rotor to turn. Soaking your pond pump in vinegar on occasion can help loosen and prevent a full-scale build-up. If you neglect to do so, you'll likely have to send your pump off for repair.
Also called long-string algae, this aquatic plant produces prolific strings that are just perfect for clogging pond pumps. This type of algae thrives in ornamental ponds that feature shallow water and are located in full sun. The best way to prevent the clogging and eventual breakdown of your pump from blanketweed is to control its growth in your pond. Visit your local pond retailer to find additives that reduce the nutrient levels in your pond. This is the best and most natural method of controlling this invasive aquatic plant.
If your pump is a type that uses a pre-filtering sponge, you must remove and clean the sponge intermittently. If you fail to maintain the sponge, it can clog completely and cause the engine to burn out in short order. This type of repair is rarely covered by warranty.
Crushed or Severed Cable
Sometimes, the problem isn't with your pond pump at all. Often damage occurs to cables that are buried underground. Someone could cut into them by digging or crush them by driving over or parking on them. As the pond owner, you may have no idea that this happened. If you send your pump in for repair and no problems are found, it's time to check the electricity coming into the pump.
Worn-Out Thermal Switch
Most pumps must remain submerged in water to continue working properly. If the water level in your pond drops below the level of the pump, the thermal switch may shut the pump off to keep it from burning out. Once the level rises, the pump begins operating again. The problem with this situation is that the thermal switch can wear out after extended periods of turning on and off repeatedly.
Debris or air in the chamber can cause the pump's impeller to seize or lock up. When this happens, you'll be able to hear the pump running, but very little water will move through it. If this happens, the debris must be removed or the impeller kick-started. Don't try this yourself at home. Contact a professional in pond pump repair when you have an impeller problem.
Following the manufacturer's instructions on your pond pump will help you maintain it properly. A professional cleaning by a company like Kona Land and Water Escapes three times a year as the seasons change is another way to help prevent those costly repairs and replacements.