Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
The reason I suggest trying to fix it is because they are really so simple. It is a basic coil of wire with a metal plunger that makes an electro-magnet. If the power cord is good, the coil is sealed in epoxy, etc. and is really hard to break. So that leaves things like dirt on the plunger to stop it moving and the really hard to fix one of the return spring not strong enough. When you have it apart, try sticking some metal down in the hole while turning the power on/off. No danger of shock, here. You should see or feel the metal jump as the magnet starts/stops. This will prove that part good. Then I like WD-40 for cleaning up any little film from old lube that may have hardened. Look at the little spring for breaks or obvious wear. If it has been setting compressed for a long time, it may have lost it's "bounce". This is the tough one for finding a replacement of the right size and strength. When mine was too weak, I filed down a bit of nail and added to make it stronger.
Best of luck. If it's broken,. you can't hurt it!