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Old 04-01-2014, 07:57 PM   #1
rwong2k
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Aquaclear 30 issues/questions


Hi,

I have 3 aquaclear 30's

one's brand new so it runs fine

the other 2 have issues.

I've cleaned them out

1) has a grinding noise, I've cleaned the filter, propeller, magnet
2) has a louder grinding noise and I've cleaned it also

I've had them for 3 years and I clean them out every few months.
Is it end of life of these guys or can this be fixed, my latest one is silent

I've also noticed and I researched that it's an known issue that after a power outage the aquaclear doesn't start properly until you tap it.

any comments or suggestions?

thx

Ray
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:06 PM   #2
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Its likely that the impeller or shaft may have debris or have worn down.

These are wear and tear parts on a filter. Have you tried using a q-tip to clean the shaft?

I have an aquaclear that refused to restart after the power cut out. I used a trick with KY petroleum jelly and it has worked ever since.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:36 PM   #3
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I find the main problem with HOB filters is partly due to design, partly user error. The design has water pass through the impeller and well before it goes to the media. That is a pretty basic part of HOB filters but it does have potential to be a problem. Little bits of sand or debris can get stuck in the impeller well or between the shaft and the impeller where they can quickly wear the parts enough that they become too loose to run quietly. The solution it to clean this area often and well. That's where the user can fail to do what is needed to make them run longer.
The failure to start is almost always a problem with the impeller. It is the only moving part and the coil of the motor is molded inside expoxy where it is really hard for it to fail. Failing to start after a power failure is often caused by poor cleaning leaving too much drag (algae?) on the impeller until it is tapped. The tapping gets it running again but it really doesn't fix the problem of a dirty impeller.
When they get too worn to run or get noisy, a new impeller and shaft will often fix them.

To help the impeller get started there is looseness built into the blades and impeller magnet. The magnet should rotate just a bit so that the it gets going before the drag of the blades is involved. If this area gets grunged up, the mag doesn't get momentum built before the total load hits and it may fail to start. Good cleaning required.

Last edited by PlantedRich; 04-01-2014 at 09:41 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:33 PM   #4
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Is the impeller shaft bent by any chance? Or is the magnet worn out? Anything that doesn't allow the shaft to sit straight can cause a noise.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:45 PM   #5
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the shaft doesn't look bent and the magnet looks ok.

might be debris but I've cleaned and cleaned it with a q-tip a few times,
little bit annoying
but you're right, I really should be cleaning these things more often,

I guess I'm used to my eheims that go 4-6 months without cleaning (and I use a prefilter sponge on the intake) but even those things I should really clean more often.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwong2k View Post
Hi,

I have 3 aquaclear 30's

one's brand new so it runs fine

the other 2 have issues.

I've cleaned them out

1) has a grinding noise, I've cleaned the filter, propeller, magnet
2) has a louder grinding noise and I've cleaned it also

I've had them for 3 years and I clean them out every few months.
Is it end of life of these guys or can this be fixed, my latest one is silent

I've also noticed and I researched that it's an known issue that after a power outage the aquaclear doesn't start properly until you tap it.

any comments or suggestions?

thx

Ray
Hi Ray,

acitydweller is likely correct; I would suspect the problem is the impeller shaft. I have four Aquaclear filters and at 3-5 years they become noisy. This problem can happen even sooner if I run the filter 'dry' while trying to start the input tube siphon.

I inspect the steel impeller shaft and I can see where it is worn, sometimes I can even see where it is noticeably less than the original thickness. Replacing the steel impeller shaft usually resolves the noise problem (also the re-start problem). If that doesn't do it then I replace the impeller.

To test, use the impeller shaft of your new Aquaclear and swap it with the 'problem' filter shafts and see if the problem is resolved.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:16 PM   #7
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oh that's a great idea! troubleshooting 101,

let me give that a shot

will this eventually happen on my eheim filters also?
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwong2k View Post
oh that's a great idea! troubleshooting 101,

let me give that a shot

will this eventually happen on my eheim filters also?
Hi Ray,

My experience has been that eventually all impeller shafts will wear down and need to be replaced. That said, canister filters typically have thicker (and possibly a harder) steel shafts and don't need to be replaced anywhere near as often.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:35 PM   #9
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Hey Ray,

While I think of it you have a very good aquarium club up there in BC; if you are not a member you might want to check out Vancouver Aquatic Hobbyist Society (VAHS). They have great meetings, auctions, and speakers.

GSAS has 'shared' some great speakers with VAHS including Christel Kasselmann, the plant explorer and plant bible author from Germany and Ian Fuller, the world recognized Corydoras expert from England.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:38 PM   #10
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great information

the 20 years I've been keeping planted aquariums I've never replaced a shaft before except when I broke my eheim one by accident. that was a ceramic one I believe not metal

thx once again
Ray

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Old 04-02-2014, 04:51 PM   #11
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I have dropped Impeller magnet's in sink and tiniest chip out of one can affect how quietly it run's.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:01 PM   #12
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If you have a steel shaft it is more likely to get wear as the ceramic is much harder. One way to look for worn shafts is laying it on a totally flat surface in the dark. Then shine a light on the far side and look for light leaking through under the shaft. Worn or bent spots will let light leak through even when you can't see the defect otherwise.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:19 AM   #13
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great information plantedrich
thx !
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