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Troubleshooting Pump Problems from Aquascape



Aquascape Pump CutawayThe pond pump is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your customer’s pond, and it’s good to know how to take care of it in case your customers have questions. Oftentimes, pumps burn out or die prematurely due to improper care and installation. By informing your customer how to take care of their pump, you can ensure it will last several years.

Issue: Pump Hums but Pushes Very Little Water

Possible Cause: Impeller may be seized by debris

Troubleshooting: Unplug and remove the pump from the pond and inspect the pump intake to ensure there is no debris restricting the impeller. Remove any debris, like rocks or sticks, which may have become lodged around and above impeller.

While the pump is still out of the pond, lay it on its side and plug in the pump to see if the impeller spins. If the impeller does not spin, use a screwdriver or similar tool to kick start the impeller.

Possible Cause: Pump may be air-locked.

Troubleshooting: Air has gotten into the impeller chamber. Tilt the pump while it’s in the pond to allow air to be released from the chamber or remove the pump from the pond and re-install, ensuring that the impeller chamber is flooded with water.

Issue: Pump Pushes Very Little Water

Possible Cause: Plumbing clogged with debris.

Troubleshooting: Disconnect the pump from the pipe. This will allow the plumbing to drain. Clogged debris may back-flush out of the plumbing and into the pond during this procedure. Inspect the plumbing to make sure no debris is lodged inside.

Issue: Pump Is Not Running

Possible Cause: Poor electrical connection, tripped breaker, blown fuse, or other interruption in power supply.

Troubleshooting: Check to make sure all electrical connections are working and that a qualified electrician installed and tested it. Note – Long extension cords may cause voltage drop at the pump and the amps to rise above maximum level. This can cause the pump to heat up and burn out the motor.

Issue: Pump Operates Intermittently

Possible Cause: Not enough water in the pond.

Troubleshooting: Most pumps must be submersed in water to operate properly. Low water levels may cause the pump’s internal thermal shut-off to activate. The thermal shut-off will deactivate once the pump is cooled down. The proper water level must be established in the pond for the pump to work properly.

Possible Cause: The pond is too small to support the volume of water needed for the stream.

Troubleshooting: The pond must be designed to provide enough water to the stream and waterfalls for proper circulation. When the pump is first started, it may be necessary to add a few inches of water to the pond in order to account for the water used to feed the stream and waterfalls. Upper pools and “check” dams in the streams are also very effective at holding water upstream when the pump(s) are not operating. Ponds that are too small may not be able to supply enough water to start the streams and waterfalls. This will cause the water in the pond to drop below the opening of the skimmer upon initial start-up and starve the pump of water.

Just Enjoy!

Remember, your customer’s pond should not be an endless source of frustration and confusion. But do remind them that routine, general maintenance needn’t be a burden. After all, how many tasks do they (or you, for that matter) get to perform in the warm sun, with the sounds of frogs and birds all around with friendly koi nibbling at fingers?  Enjoy it!

date Posted on: Thursday, April 14th, 2011 at 9:22 pm
Category Pond Tips.
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33 Responses to “Troubleshooting Pump Problems from Aquascape”

  1. Peter

    Can the fan be replaced on a pump? Debris got in and broke the fan.

    May 5th, 2011 at 7:49 am
  2. Peter


    May 5th, 2011 at 5:49 pm
  3. PondMeister

    Which pump is it? Usually not cost-effective though but let me know which exact pump.

    May 5th, 2011 at 7:36 pm
  4. PondMeister

    Is it a Tsurumi Pump?

    May 5th, 2011 at 7:37 pm
  5. Peter

    took it apart and the fan is in tack. The motor hums but does not spin.

    May 7th, 2011 at 6:08 am
  6. Peter

    Number on bottom 165-007-14.

    May 7th, 2011 at 6:09 am
  7. Peter

    This is an aquasage pump.

    May 7th, 2011 at 6:17 am
  8. Katy Landscapers

    Thanks for sharing these tips. Very handy.

    May 11th, 2011 at 2:42 am
  9. PondMeister

    Your pump may have one you a favor by dying. The new pumps are wayyy more energy-efficient.

    The Bad news:

    Aquascape sells no parts for their pumps. I do have names for repair and seal replacements. Schaaf Equipment (708)-598-9099 is a certified Crane repair place and Bergman Specialty 800-548-6648 has the seals for these pumps. Be advised the seals alone are about $85 and I am not sure they have the new improved seals that Aquascape started using when they reworked the pumps 1 1/2 yrs ago. After replacing the seals and fixing the problem with the pump, you still have an old pump.

    The Good News!

    The Aquasurge Pump also by Aquascape is the perfect replacement pump if you currently have a Aquascape Pro 3000 or Aquascape Pro 4500.

    The Top Three Reasons for replacing your Aquascape Pro 3000 or 4500 with an AquaSurge are:

    1. Price is about over $100 cheaper

    2. AquaSurge 3000 gph pump takes only 180 Watts vs. 280 watts for the Aquascape Pro 3000. The AquaSurge 5000 gph pump takes 250 Watts vs 625 Watts for the Aquascape Pro 4500.

    3. The AquaSurge is the FIRST pump in the industry to have a THREE year warranty. The Aquascape Pro line has a 2 year warranty.

    If you have any questions whether the pump is strong enough, please compare the 2 charts below. The “Head Height” is the VERTICAL height from the pump to the TOP of the BioFalls. To this you add 1 foot for every 10′ of horizontal distance your pipe travels from the pump to the BioFalls. Find or interpolate the Head Height on each chart to see the amount of water provided by each pump. The AquaSurge 5000 only takes 250 watts compared to 625 watts for the Aquascape Pro 4500.
    Pump Performance: AquaScape Pro Pumps

    Just a heads up – if you are switching from an Aquascape Pro (SFA) pump to an Aquasurge, you will need the Conversion Kit 29705. The Aquascape Pro pumps have a 2′” female threaded outlet and the Aquasurge has a 1.5″ male threaded outlet with a 1.5″ female threaded adapter. The “Kit” only has 2 parts. One part is for the Classic style skimmer and check valve assembly which has a black 2″ Flexible pvc hose between the pump and the check valve. If you have this simply cut-off the hose and glue into the 2″ slip fitting with pvc glue and screw the 1.5″ male thread into the 1.5″ female threaded part on the Aquasurge pump.

    If you have the Signature Series skimmer and check valve, you merely unscrew the hard plastic piece between the pump and Check valve and screw in the 1.5″ male into the Aquasurge and the flanged side into the bottom of the check valve assembly.

    Video showing Conversion from Aquascape Pro pump to Aquasurge pump with Classic Series Skimmer

    Video showing Conversion from Aquascape Pro pump to Aquasurge pump with Signature Series Series Skimmer:

    The Aquasurge pumps are at: http://www.thepondoutlet.com/home/tpo_1257886488756/page_2499_192/aquasurge_pumps___energy_efficient_free_shipping.html

    There is no tax and Free Shipping unless you are in California where we have tio charge you tax. We can ship immediately to you from one of our 7 different Aquascape warehouses .

    Feel free to call me if you have any questions.

    May 28th, 2011 at 7:04 pm
  10. Dick Giers

    My impeller on my Aquasurge 3000 pum is broken (out of warranty 3 weeks ago). Can I get a replacement?

    June 15th, 2011 at 9:04 am
  11. Dick Giers

    Awsome response; Great company to do business with. I thought great customer service was gone forever. You’re a #1 business. Thanks a million.

    June 19th, 2011 at 5:07 am
  12. PondMeister

    Thanks Dick! We appreciate your business.

    June 19th, 2011 at 9:43 pm
  13. Alan T

    Hello. I have a little sister gravity filter system and noticed that water doesnt seem to drain from the filter system into the pond. It seems that it will work for a few minutes then I’ll notice the waterfall will slow down and water will overflow out of the top of the filter. It just started doing this recently and nearly drained my entire pond. Any suggestions?

    July 24th, 2011 at 5:36 pm
  14. PondMeister

    This is why I do not like Gravity Fed Filters. I used to have a TetraPond Gravity Filter and I traveled a lot. Would get clogged and overflow and could drain the pond in a heatrtbeat. Something must be clogging it on the output. Best to call Little Giant direct at 800-809-1393

    July 24th, 2011 at 10:34 pm
  15. zinaida

    I have had nothing but problems with my two pumps. They have been replaced. Getting expensive. Parts are impossible to find. Installer is too far away to service and there is no to call upon. Only one is across the border and not allowed to work here. I am beyond frustration. I have not had waterfalls the entire summer. I am not counting a day or half a day they may have worked at the begining. It seems impossible to communicate with Aquascape staff. Can you help?

    September 7th, 2011 at 12:42 pm
  16. PondMeister

    What problems have you been having?

    September 26th, 2011 at 12:36 am
  17. mike

    Awesome to have a valuable resource like this available. Kudos to PondMeister. My question is, can pumps get weaker ove time? The first year mine worked great and towards the end of this season, the water was barely coming thru my rock and it quit altogether. However, when I disconnect the hose it pumps the water out just fine. It will still come thru the hose as long as it’s at the same level, but as soon as I raise the height jsut a few inches, it refuses to push the water out. I soaked the pump in vinegar over nite to hopefully clean out any gunk, but it made no difference. Thanks much.

    October 17th, 2011 at 10:42 am
  18. Peggy Smith

    PondMeister (Richard),

    Thanks so much for returning my phone call so quickly with answers to all my pond pump questions and simple instructions on how to correct the problem. I’m happy, and my fish are happy. I won’t hesitate to use your expertise again.

    Peggy Smith

    October 19th, 2011 at 7:15 am
  19. PondMeister

    Which pump model do you have? Might be something clogging the pump. Reach down and try to spin the impeller. Something may be blocking it. Also check your tubing all the way to the BioFalls. Try backflushing your BioFalls by putting a hose and making sure the tube is clear. Sometimes things get stuck in the hose and slow the flow. Please call me at 805-241-0141

    October 26th, 2011 at 11:48 pm
  20. Dave

    I have a little giant WGFP75 pond pump. I noticed this morning it making a high pitched sound. is there something going wrong with? How would you suggest I trouble shoot?

    December 3rd, 2011 at 5:42 am
  21. Micheal Cheairs

    Gday, I am a newcomer to swimming pools. We bought a house in wintertime with a pool area which we know hasfailed to be remedied for at minimum twenty-four months. My wife and I opened the tarp two weeks ago and have been shocking it. It began with a good deal of dark green stuff in the bottom that we removed out. Now it’s very light green, however it is failing to get any better. I found a small business not far away, has anyone heard of these folks or suggest any others? Affordable Pool Service & Repair, 2942 N 24th St #114, Phoenix, AZ 85016, (602) 910-2295. Any type of tips is going to be appreciated.

    February 10th, 2013 at 3:34 pm
  22. PondMeister

    Hi Michael,
    Yipes – I have no clue.
    We are a pond supplies company…not pools.
    They are completely different.
    Please contact a pool supply company

    February 10th, 2013 at 9:44 pm
  23. PondMeister

    Hi Stacey,
    Sorry to hear about all the issues.
    If you want any strategical technical construction advice, please contact Aquascape Tech at 877-766-3489.
    Please mention I gave you the number and you have Aquascape gear.
    Liner prices have been like oil prices the last couple of years.
    What size liner are you looking for and what other equipment do you need? ?

    February 10th, 2013 at 9:44 pm
  24. Kelly Rushing

    I have an aqua scape pump and when I plug it in it throws the “breaker” on the outlet. There is a large clear tube where the main power cord goes into, what is this? Any help would be appreciated.

    April 8th, 2013 at 2:15 pm
  25. john

    Removed pump from pond and filled trash can with water and pump ran fine.
    Placed pump back in pond and not even a burp.
    Pulled pump out and placed pump back into trash can with wire which is attached (to check for short) pump ran fine.
    Placed pump back into water…nothing.

    Working with an electrician thinks wire to pump needs to be resealed. It’s just a guess.

    May 21st, 2013 at 5:24 pm
  26. PondMeister

    What make and model pump?

    May 21st, 2013 at 5:27 pm
  27. Steven

    How can I remove the impeller from my aqua surge 3000? I have taken it apart and there does not seem to be any screw left to remove the impeller from the body.

    June 20th, 2013 at 6:17 pm
  28. PondMeister
  29. Steven

    Thanks. I took out the impeller and it was very hot. What caused the impeller assembly to overheat. I am cleaning it with cider vinegar to see if that helps. Any other ideas?


    June 21st, 2013 at 3:34 pm
  30. Starch

    installed pump .24 hrs later pond has lost 4″ water.dont kno why.

    November 24th, 2013 at 9:29 am
  31. Starch

    also,weather has changed.was55 & cold in 20’s last night.client txtd depth.she added amonia tabs.heading there now

    November 24th, 2013 at 9:33 am
  32. Starch Highsmith

    my error..didnt make sure water was flowing into pond before departing.everything is workin fine..but good to have this resource in lieu of future problems.

    November 24th, 2013 at 11:34 am
  33. Richard Blandford

    Need help on how to lock the strainer on Aquascape 5000 pump?

    April 13th, 2015 at 1:13 pm