Pump Maintenance

jcook54

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How often do you guys pull and clean or swap out your main return pumps? I put this in the same category of skimmer maintenance in that it's not fun but is required in order for my equipment to function at it's best. I always plan to take care of these "deeper" maintenance items every 6 months but never do. It's usually an annual thing unless I notice something specifically isn't right.

The reason I ask is I purchased an extra main return pump for my frag tank and I was shocked at how much more flow it had when I hooked up the clean new pump. I know that bacterial mulm and other crud can get into a pump and slow it down some but it was really a noticeable and significant improvement. The pump I use is a Jebao and I only swapped out the pump part so the power supplied was exactly the same and things started getting blown around the tank. I even had to unplug my ATO so I could raise the water level in the sump to make up for the difference it made. Based on this experience, it looks like I'll be pulling and clean with return pump on my display tank as well.
 

Adam

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On my last system I had flow meters hooked up to the skimmer pump and the main return pump. I'd clean the pumps when I saw a 10-15% drop in performance. That usually meant quarterly cleanings. My new system has been running for almost 5 months now and I haven't cleaned anything but the skimmer pump. guess it might be a good idea to give them all a once over at this point.

Sure would be nice if there was a way to give the pumps a good high speed reverse automatically once a week.
 

ichthyoid

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Run it in Homer bucket of fresh water, with a cup of citric acid for an hour, every 3 months.

Then,
Neutralize the citric acid solution with lime and spread it in a flower bed or garden.
 

Steve Burton

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I run a Jebao return pump in my DT also, and I have a spare which makes it so easy it gets done at least twice a year. My frag tank is overdue, thanks for reminding me, no telling how long it's been for that. I really need a duplicate for that also. My biocube, I've done once in 4 years.
 

Adam

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I need to get another DCP-15000 as a backup. And a DCP-2500 for the frag. Them rotate then for cleaning.
 

Rainblood

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is citric acid the best way to do it? does it have any adverse effects on the washers/bearings, etc?
 

ichthyoid

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Vinegar (aka- acetic acid) can act as a solvent when used on pumps/powerheads which contain polyvinylacetate (PVA) based adhesives. PVA is a common & cost effective adhesive under normal circumstances.

Vortech’s are notorious for this.

The effect is premature failure of the glue holding the wet side components together.

Ecotech could change out the adhesive & eliminate the issue, but they are just as likely happy to sell us new wet sides...until we switch to citric acid ;)

Fwiw, both acetic & citric acid are organic acids & dissolve calcium well. The citric avoids the PVA solvent issue due to it’s slightly different chemical properties.
 
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