Often with pond maintenance we see clients struggling to get their pool pumps used for their koi ponds able to prime again. This is a very common issue as these pumps (external centrifugal pool pumps) require an air-tight fit and be filled with enough water to catch. If you are struggling with this, here are a few areas to consider when having pump priming issues.

Sometimes debris backs up the pump’s impeller. Take the impeller off and get rid of anything that could be blocking it.

Priming Problems: What to Do When Your Koi Pond Pump Stops Working Properly

There are several reasons why your pump won’t prime. If you are unable to solve the issue by the time this article is over, contact a professional koi pond maintenance company. Read on to learn the most common issues associated with the pump, as well as how to solve the situation.

The water level in the koi pond/ waterfall is not high enough.

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Check your skimmer seal / opening

The water should be at the mid-level or higher in order for the pump to work properly. If it is not, the circulation system could take in air via the skimmer. If too much air goes in, the pump will not prime. Take off the cover. Look for the gasket and take it off as well. Look to see if it is in good working order. Typically, it is the gasket that is causing issues; if this is the case, put in a new one. Add a little lubricant when you put it in. Vaseline is not appropriate for this situation. Put the cover back on and make sure everything is secure. Do not tighten it with a tool, because you may inadvertently do too much.

The strainer basket might have something in the way

Take out the skimmer basket and clean it to remove any issues. Use a hose for the best results. Often-times, large debris can get sucked into the filter. From rocks, to vegetation, to fish, and other wildlife. Making sure your filtration returns are covered appropriately on the ponds edge is very important for good pond circulation. Pond pumps can pull around these objects and cause the water pressure to drop significantly.

The glued fittings have leaks.

There are glued fittings near the suction area of the pump. Occasionally, the glue is not evenly distributed around the pipe. As a result, there will be air channels that pop up. Sometimes, when the pump is turned on, water then comes out of this opening. If the pump works as it is supposed to, air is sucked in the hole. If you do not notice any water coming out, flip the pump on and put a little water near the joint. If water moves in, there is a hole present.

The threaded fittings have leaks.

Does the pump have threaded fittings near the suction side? There could be a leak. As with the glued fittings, test to see if there is a problem. If there is, remove the fitting and put plumbing tape around it (about four layers). There is more help available in the “How to Glue Pool Fixtures Together” guide. Also consider if one of these fittings is closed when it should be open, sometimes these get turned off and issues arise. If you still can’t figure it out – Give us a call today (714)613-0123


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(714) 613-0123