Most fish are kept in backyard ponds like moving water. Pond pumps are used for this purpose in addition to producing oxygen, as they circulate the water of the whole pond. So, when they keep stopping for some reason, the pond faces some serious problems.

Pond pumps can stop abruptly for various reasons. The main reason they keep stopping is due to clogging. Although it is the chief reason, it is not the only one.

Let’s discuss why your pond pump keeps stopping. While at it, we’ll see what effects these issues have on the pond and how to resolve them.

reasons for pond pumps to keep stopping and how to solve them

As stated above, the main reason that the pond pumps keep stopping and starting is clogging. But it is not the sole reason. Let’s take a look at the reasons below and how you can take care of them.

Why Your Pond Pump Keeps Stopping

1. Clogging

If you see your pump is stopping frequently by itself, it will be mostly due to clogging. The clogging can be caused due to various reasons. Debris, rocks or boulders, and algae are the usual suspects in this case. They block the water so that it can not enter the pump. As little to no water enters the pump, dirt deposits in it and makes the pump stop and restart frequently.

How to solve it

Check the pump cage’s exterior to see if there is any debris, leaves, or algae that is clogging the inlet of the pump. If there is, clean it using a hosepipe, stiff brush, hand, or a jet washer.

Then open the cage and check the interior. If anything is blocking the water, clean it using the previous method. After that, check the pump inlet. If anything is restricting the water supply, pull it out using tweezers.

After you are done checking the cage and inlet, inspect the impeller. If there is any algae or debris, clean it with an old toothbrush.

2. Overheating


Another reason that makes the pump stop abruptly is when the pump is overheated. A pump will overheat due to clogging. When the pump is clogged and the water supply becomes minimal, the pump will be forced to work harder. This will result in air bubbles being created and the pump being overheated.

How to solve it

As the main reason for overheating is clogging, just unclogging the pump will do the trick most of the time. But, it may happen if the parts of the pump are old and worn off as well. So if you find out that your pump has some parts that have seen better days, it is best to replace them as soon as possible.

3. Vapor lock

Vapor lock is the term used for expressing the situation where the air is trapped inside the pump. This also indicates the time when instead of taking in water, the pump is taking the air in. This causes the pump to stop too. Another reason for vapor lock is if your pump isn’t completely submerged.

How to solve it

It is very easy to solve this problem. As vapor lock happens due to the formation of air bubbles, just tilt the pump which will release the air bubbles. Also, make sure your pump is submerged.

4. Unsteady flow of electricity

Most pond pumps are an electronic device. So to function properly, it needs a proper and constant flow of electricity. If the electricity supply is interrupted for any reason, the pump will continuously stop and start. This will happen if the electric cable is damaged for some reason.

How to solve it

Check the cables so that there aren’t any damages to them. While you are at it, ensure the electricity flow is unobstructed as well. Whenever you are tinkering with any kind of hardware, absolutely make sure that you have turned the power off, otherwise, you might get electrocuted. If you notice the fuse is broken or any sort of frequent short circuits, immediately shut the pump off and get help from experts as early as possible.

5. Insufficient power supply

As with every piece of electronic equipment, the pond pump needs a minimum amount of power supply. If the supplied power is below that amount, it will not function properly.

How to solve it

This problem may arise if the breaker box and the outlets in your home or your pond aren’t functioning properly. So, get those checked out, preferably by an electrician.

Read Next: Best Solar Pond Pumps

6. Inactivity for a long period

One of the things you should never do with an electronic device is to keep it powered off for a long period. No matter how powerful and efficient the device had been up to that point, being inactive for a long amount of time will have a negative effect on it. The same thing will happen with a pond pump. If it is left unused for an extended period, when it is started again, it will most likely turn off soon automatically.

How to solve it

If the automatic restart isn’t working, try unplugging the pump for 5-10 seconds and then plugging it back again. Repeat this process a few times. If the pump doesn’t work properly even after that, get it checked.

7. The problem with the fuse

If there is no movement from the pump even after the switch is turned on and the RCD being latched on, then it is because the fuse has been blown off. There is another reason it might happen, which is the overload trip switch on the circuit board being shut off.

How to solve it

Turn the circuit off and investigate it. If the RCD, the fuse, or the overload doesn’t indicate any problem and the pump still doesn’t work, there is a high chance that the pump has failed. Turn the power off and get the device checked.

How does a faulty pump affect the pond?

A pond pump that doesn’t work properly is a source of catastrophe for a pond. It adversely affects the pond in more ways than one.

1. Affects circulation of water

The main function of the pond pump is to circulate water. So if a pump does not run constantly, the water will not be properly circulated. As a result, the pond will be stagnant. Stagnant water gives rise to many problems such as diseases for fish, algal bloom, etc.

2. Affects the production of oxygen

Another function of the pond pump is to produce dissolved oxygen in the pond. But if the pump keeps stopping, enough oxygen will not be produced. The biggest victims of this will be the fish in the pond. As they can not breathe air, all of their necessary oxygen comes from water. So if the dissolved oxygen levels are low, they will not breathe properly and suffocate. After a certain amount of time, they will start to die off one by one.

3. Affects fish movement

Most of the fishes that are reared in backyard or garden ponds are like moving water. So a pond pump is a great addition to the pond for them. But a malfunctioning pond pump will mean there is little to no moving water in the pond. So the fish will not be able to have their preferred habitat and will be stressed. This will also result in their deaths.

Pond Pump Maintenance

In order for the pond pumps to keep working properly, you must keep them under proper maintenance all the time. Here are a few ways you can do so :

  1. Small Debris and other sediments regularly clog the filter up. Make sure that this does not happen. In order to do so, clean the filters on a regular basis. Also, conduct seasonal cleaning and maintenance .
  2. Make sure the water can flow freely into the pump. You can do this by cleaning the debris net in the skimmers and the filter mats.  Also, ensure that the water level always stays above the pump so that it does not run dry and burn out.
  3. Not only small debris, but large ones can also clog the pump up. Check the bottom of the skimmer and remove them.

Final words

As pond pumps are a must-have in ponds nowadays, it is very important to keep them functioning properly. Now that you know why your pond pump keeps stopping,  it is best to solve these issues as soon as possible to ensure a healthy and thriving pond.

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