Terrible noise from Aquaclear 50 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Terrible noise from Aquaclear 50

My Aquaclear 50 has been running since the end of April and ever since i plugged it in for the first time it's been making a terrible noise (almost like a rattle) coming from the impeller/motor area (i would post a video of the sound but i don't know where to upload a video). I can hear it from a couple feet away. I thought maybe it would correct itself over time from slime build up but it hasn't. The leveling device is also on properly.

I took the motor and impeller out and cleaned them very well and put it back in with no difference. I contacted Hagen Canada and told them the issue and they sent out a new motor and impeller. It's water change day, so i installed it today and when i plugged it in it immediately made the same noise, only louder. Would anyone have any idea why this is happening? I have sand substrate but it has never gotten stirred up next to the intake and i have a fluval pre-filter sponge on it.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 04:46 PM
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That's strange. Mine only do it when purging all the air out when first starting up but after water starts flowing over the spillway, it quiets down to where I can barely hear it. Is the intake tube seating properly and free of any leaks along the way?
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 05:11 PM
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Impeller shafts often have a rubber bushing at each end and they can get lost pretty easy. I might suggest doing a check that they are both in place. Perhaps verify the shaft is good by rolling it along a flat surface while shining a light on the back side? Any light leaking under will show if the shaft is not straight and true. I have no way to test the impeller other than replace if they are noisy and the shaft is good. I moved away from HOB due to the frequent noise questions.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 05:11 PM
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rinse it out well and make sure no sand or gravel in the impeller as well.. If it continues might behoove you to get new impeller as it May be out of balance.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 05:19 PM
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Sounds like you got some sand in your impeller.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 05:32 PM
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I'm not sure what the issue is with your filter, but I think it's worth me mentioning my experience...

My Aquaclear HOB filter sometimes makes a sound quite like how you describe yours - loud, awful, sort of like a rattling. All I need to do to fix it is push down the lid on the top of the filter, and the rattling sound stops. That's it. Done.

Worth a shot if the filter still makes all that noise after you've gotten parts replaced. It could be as simple as that, if you haven't tried that yet! Good luck.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Hagen sent me a brand new motor and impeller and i just installed these today. Nothing was in contact with sand, as far as i can tell.

Intake tube seems to be seated properly and i haven't noticed any leaks. I don't see a rubber bushing on the impeller shaft. Making sure the lid is on tight makes the noise even worse.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 06:23 PM
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Ok, I have one of these and of course, mine runs perfectly quiet. So, my guess is your missing something - but what?
In the exploded view below, the locking ring portion (H) of the motor housing (I) slides up into the plastic filter housing (A) just like in the picture below, then you rotate the motor housing (I) clockwise to lock it into place. Assuming you have that correct, lets move on.

The impeller (G) slides down a stainless steel rod inside the motor housing (I) with no rubber plug on the top end so that should be pretty straight forward.

Sitting inside the plastic filter housing (A) is a removable piece of plastic (F). This is the top part of what what the impeller (G) uses to generate water flow. I believe there is only one way to install this but, for argument sake, the small round hole should go to the back right (look close in the picture below and you will see the small hole and its placement).

Only other thing I can think of is the angle adjustment (J). This is used to get the plastic filter housing (A) to sit level on your particular tank. Can't imagine leveling the plastic filter housing whould make a big difference on noise, but it might (think making the impeller sit perfectly vertical VS leaning a bit).

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immortal1 View Post
Sitting inside the plastic filter housing (A) is a removable piece of plastic (F). This is the top part of what what the impeller (G) uses to generate water flow. I believe there is only one way to install this but, for argument sake, the small round hole should go to the back right (look close in the picture below and you will see the small hole and its placement).

Only other thing I can think of is the angle adjustment (J). This is used to get the plastic filter housing (A) to sit level on your particular tank. Can't imagine leveling the plastic filter housing whould make a big difference on noise, but it might (think making the impeller sit perfectly vertical VS leaning a bit).
The plastic piece above the impeller (F), can things get caught in it and make noise? I haven't cleaned that part and i was nervous to take it apart in case i broke it. I'm pretty sure i leveled the filter correctly, i moved the black plastic piece around until the filter was sitting upright properly and not leaning backwards.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 08:29 PM
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The plastic piece above the impeller (F) lifts straight up and is made pretty solidly - very unlikely you will break it. During re-assembly, it literally slides back down into place.
Once you remove parts (C) and (B), and lift out parts (D) and (E) - filter assembly still hanging on your tank - you should be able to lift out the impeller cover (F). Note, part (B) has a slot on the side that indexes with (F) to hold it into place.

Once you lift out (F), look inside. You will see the top of the impeller and there is room in there for all kinds of little items. I have gotten snails caught in mine.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immortal1 View Post
The plastic piece above the impeller (F) lifts straight up and is made pretty solidly - very unlikely you will break it. During re-assembly, it literally slides back down into place.
Once you remove parts (C) and (B), and lift out parts (D) and (E) - filter assembly still hanging on your tank - you should be able to lift out the impeller cover (F). Note, part (B) has a slot on the side that indexes with (F) to hold it into place.

Once you lift out (F), look inside. You will see the top of the impeller and there is room in there for all kinds of little items. I have gotten snails caught in mine.
I'm going to try that tonight or tomorrow. I do have mini ramshorn snails in my tank so it'll be interesting to see if something like that is getting caught up in there. Thanks for the detailed instructions.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 08:52 PM
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So the Aquaclear has a steel shaft with no bushings to deaden the sound? Does that mean the shaft is fixed solid so that it can't be changed if it gets worn by something like sand??

I got interested enough to dig out an old AC filter and Immortal is correct. The shaft is simply metal and seems to be fixed in place with no form of sound deadening provided. That also makes the shaft a "one and done" if sand gets in between the impeller and shaft. The cover rattle is one complain I see fairly often but if not that, I'm guessing the filter is done as the shaft is worn. Putting a new impeller on a worn shaft may not help. I normally find I have to change both the shaft and the impeller when either is worn.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 09:30 PM
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From what I've experienced, sometimes the impeller needs a little persuasion to start or be quiet. I put the intake (D) to low, then insert a bamboo skewer through the opening in (F) and give the impeller a prod to get it going. Maybe the impeller is off balance as the impeller fins only snaps onto the impeller and is allowed to have some movement. Or maybe the impeller fins are not seated correctly and is hitting (F). Alternatively the metal shaft is loose and needs to be pushed back down.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 09:39 PM
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maybe.. check the magnet for wear..
https://youtu.be/tpI9SjMIHj8

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 09:41 PM
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OP says he tried with a brand new motor and impeller and still got the noise...

Unless it's just two bad motors, I'm at a loss

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