Allotment Articles 2.
Looking After A
There are quite a few simple actions that you can take to extend the life of your pond pump. After all it is an expensive item to purchase and you donít want to replace it any sooner than you have to. The length of the guarantee seems to get longer on new models as the years go by, but with neglect they still have a limited life.
The main problem that occurs with pumps is that they burn out. If this is due to the bearing becoming so worn that it ceases to turn allowing the pump to overheat there is little you can do, but there are many other causes that can make the pump overheat. Indeed it is such a common problem that some pumps have a thermal cut out switch to protect them built into the body of the pump. Even so it is advisable to make sure that if the pump is turned on then water is flowing at all times.
The First thing to check daily is that the Fountain is working. Fountainheads are notorious for getting blocked up with fine particles of muck that have been sucked up by the pump. A little poke with some fine wire will easily cure a blocked fountain.
A good filter on the inlet side of the pump will help alleviate this problem to some extent and large foam blocks can be added to the inlet of some pumps to assist in this matter. Even so the inlet filter must also be cleaned regularly in a bucket of fresh water. You will be surprised at how much muck this will hold.
Regular maintenance of the pump itself is also important. This is easily done on most modern pumps because they come apart with a simple twist of the wrist, but do be careful when reassembling to reposition the seals carefully.
If the pump is of a modern design, with a ceramic shaft, extreme care must be used because the ceramic, whilst being very hard and durable, is very brittle and fragile, and will break much more easily than a pencil. A little too much pressure when re-assembling at the wrong time can easily snap the shaft in some smaller pumps.
Often when a pump jams it has been caused by a little bit of fine grit that has got in to it and a thorough clean will cure the problem like magic.
The older type of steel shafted pumps, have their own problem when removed from the water and the main one is that they are prone to rusting and seizing up. So in all cases it is advisable to leave the pump in the pool for winter. However do make sure that it is well below the ice level, because if water freezes inside the pump, the ice will shatter the case of the pump.
When winter comes it is best to clean the pump thoroughly, because if left stationary, any algae in it might solidify and jam the pump in the spring when it is turned on again. If you want to leave the pump running all winter, which is not to be recommended, then make sure that the filter box does not freeze up, or else your pump will empty the pool as ice blocks the proper route for the water and it starts to flow everywhere. Also make sure that none of the pipe work freezes, because if it does then the water will stop flowing and your pump will burn out.
Another problem that can sometimes occur with pumps is that they start leaking water around the cable inlet and then they short out. This is invariably due to the pump being lifted out of the water by the cable. Never do this. Some pumps have a handle to prevent the need to do this, but if your pump does not then lift the pump out by firmly holding the main body of the pump even if this means reaching deep into the pond and getting your arm wet!
Cables sometimes perish due to the action of the water and sunlight. This is especially true of rubber cables that are attached to certain makes of pump. If this happens it may be possible to reposition the pump nearer to the side of the pool, so that more cable can be attached to it using a special connector. Donít try to join it under water. Some cable connectors claim to be waterproof, but they eventually leak due to incorrect installation. If you are lucky it may be possible to send your pump back to the manufacturer to have a new cable fitted, but this can only be done with certain makes and will be expensive.