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 (extrenal 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.

Check your skimmer 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.

The strainer basket has something in the way.

Take out the strainer basket and clean it to remove any issues. Use a hose for the best results.

The skimmer basket has something in the way.

Take out the skimmer basket and clean it to remove any issues. Use a hose for the best results.

The cover of the strainer basket is leaking.

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 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.

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The valves are closed.

Water needs to be able to move through a discharge valve and a suction valve. Therefore, one of each must be open.

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

There is an issue with the impeller.

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Koi Pros

Address - 529 W Blueridge Ave #F110 Orange, CA 92865

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