Pump Replacement

There are many signs your pump may need replaced. Lets start with the most common. If your power keeps tripping (cfci or breaker is tripping), this could mean your pump is starting to draw more power than the outlet can handle. This is usually what happens when pumps are starting to go bad.

Try to run an extension cord to an alternate outlet, and see if that outlet trips; if it does, then more likely than not, your pump needs to be replaced. If it doesn’t trip, there is a possibility you have an issue with you outlet or the line that feeds the outlet.

When you can hear that the pump sounds louder than usual (usually a loud hum or screeching sound), this means your bearings are going out. The options here are to let it go and put up with the noise until the pumps stops working or replace it now to cut back on the time your pond will be sitting idle during the pump replacement process.
If your pump shuts off then kicks back on in a few minutes to an hour, this is usually a thermal overload which is a built-in protection mechanism that most pumps have these days. Since a majority of the pumps manufactured today are water-cooled in nature, when the pump isn’t submerged deep enough to keep pump cool, the pump shuts down to protect itself. This is not normally a sign of a bad pump, rather a sign of a leak or even as simple as your skimmer pad needing to be cleaned.

Suppose your pump isn’t pushing any water but there is a vibration like it is on. Your pump could have blockage like a frog, fish, algae, or a rock. It could also mean your impeller is jammed or has broken free from the shaft, which means time for a new pump. In ether case, the pump will need to be unhooked and pulled out for further investigation. Make sure the pump is unplugged before attempting to unclog or take apart any pump.Your fingers will appreciate this greatly.

REMEMBER you have another option, which is to skip all or some of the steps outlined above and let our trained service professionals take care of it for you. Just fill out a contact form and, as always if you have fish or a function coming up, mark the form urgent; and we will contact you immediately and get it replaced as fast as we can.

Filter and Pump Upsizing and Upgrading

If you’re planning on purchasing a larger pump, here’s some helpful knowledge to consider…

First and foremost, can your falls or stream handle more water? It can be very difficult to know where exactly all edges of the pond liner are. If the water gets too deep before it returns to the retention portion of your feature, it can run over the side of your liner and, in most cases, the water level will drop quickly; or, even worse, it runs over slowly enough that the auto-fill on your pond keeps up with the leak and you are constantly adding chlorinated water without knowing it. The result of this could be fatal to your fish.

Is there enough power? Most outlets outside are after-market – pulled off an existing outlet from inside the house. Depending on what is drawing power from the same circuit as your pond, this could prevent you from installing a larger pump. Larger pumps draw more power. This should be investigated prior to purchasing a new, expensive pump.
You will also want to consider upgrading to a higher quality pump. As pump sizes go up, less expensive pumps’ failure rates go up as well.

Check for warranty as well as ease of redeeming said warranty. Most internet companies require that you send them your pump for repair (local companies are starting to adopt the same policies as well); and all the while, your pond and fish are without moving water for weeks. Pond Doctors guaranties all manufacture warranties and will put a temporary pump in if a manufacture holds us up – we WILL NOT hold you up. On top of that, if you purchase a pump from us that we stand by and we install it, Pond Doctors will warranty the labor as well. It won’t cost you a dime.

If you are going through pump after pump, it’s probably time to buy a higher-end pump; it will cost less in the long run. If your pump is out now, contact us right away.

Pond Maintenance Tip: 
If your water flow is slowing, chances are your pump is clogged. Keeping your pump free of debris will lengthen the life of your pump.

Leak Detection: How to Find A Pond Leak!
While some water loss in a water garden is normal due to evaporation and sometimes splash out, significant loss can be a problem. The first, and usually most difficult, step in fixing a leak in a pond is to actually find the leak. Follow these steps to make the job of finding a pond leak little more efficient.

Step A in Finding a Pond Leak

Turn off the pump. If the water level continues to drop, skip to Step C to continue the search for your pond leak. If the water level stays the same, see Step B.

Step B in Finding a Pond Leak

You have now determined that the leak is not in the main basin pond. Now you need to narrow it down a bit further. The pond leak is either in the plumbing or in the waterfall / stream. Closely inspect your plumbing, particularly at any joints, making sure there is no leakage here. Next, inspect your waterfall and stream for leaks. Most of the time, the problem is caused by plant matter or other obstructions raising the water level behind the weir and causing an overflow over the liner. Perhaps a stone has settled, or your pond liner has slipped below water level in an area. If it hasn’t rained in a few days, check around the perimeter for a wet spot. If you find one, you have a good idea where to look more closely for the source of the leak. If you still have not found the problem, it time to have us out to do some more subjective detection work to narrow down the leek further.

Step C in Finding a Pond Leak

At this point, you have determined that the leak is in the pond itself. Leave the pump off, and allow the pond to continue to leak until it stops. If it does not stop before reaching a level dangerous to fish and plants, you will need to temporarily remove them from the pond. While the water level is dropping check around the edges to make sure that the pond liner has not sunken down or rocks have not been displaced. When the water reaches the point where it is no longer dropping, you should be looking for any irregularity in the pond liner from a large gash to a tiny pinprick. It is always a good idea to let us know when you are starting this process, as it can take a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on rain to narrow things down, and we want to make sure we know in advance that we’re going to need to squeeze you in pretty quickly so we don’t loose track of where your pond is leaking if we get rain. When we have found the source of your pond leak, it is time to make repairs.  We will make sure you are aware of all your options so you can make a well informed decision.

As always, if you wish to try a narrow your leak down yourself or have no time or interest in this sometimes tedious process, we are happy to take over at whichever point you feel comfortable turning this headache over to us.

Maintenance Tip

Having someone specific to have hands and eyes on your water feature on a regular basis will help them get to know your water features trends. Evaporation rates (changes seasonally), splash factor (will very dependent on wind), and weather (rain, heat, sunny verses cloudy) will all affect water loss. Knowing these trends will help to identify a leak and rectify the problem before it worsens or causes other problems.

Rock Movement or Settling

If your rocks seem to have moved around, settled, or just plain disappeared, chances are it’s time for some level of restoration. This could mean anything from light re-stacking of a section of boulders to simply adding river rock in a few places to a complete overhaul.
Most of the time, boulder movement starts at the bottom of the pond . This could be very dangerous for your liner! Most punctures in liner are caused by a fold in the liner that gets pinched between moving rocks. You can spruce up the top of the pond so it looks nicer for the time being, but the root cause of the problem should be addressed. 
As with anything, routine maintenance goes a long way. One of the services that come with Pond Doctors’s annual pond cleaning is an inspection of the structural integrity along with a report of any problems and urgency of said problems so you can make an informed decision on when and what to do to head off any disasters.

Pond Maintenance Tip

Routine maintenance is a must to prevent future problems and ensure a long-lasting water feature whether it be a koi pond, a pondless waterfall, or a bubbler. Although some are easer than others, all water features need some level of maintenance. Click here for more info nod pond maintenance.