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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've noticed my filter (HOB) is not pumping out as much water as it use to. It seems to come out of the end portion where it falls back into the tank VERY slowly (like instead of a constant sheet of water it sort of trickles). Anyone know what the issue might be or how to fix it?
 

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Sounds like the media needs cleaning.

Do you have a Pre-filter on the intake tube, if so it may be clogging up & needs to be cleaned.
 

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you could also check for a sludge buildup around the impeller
 

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With my HOBs, if my filters get clogged the flow output will follow the path of leas resistance. So, if your filter gets clogged the water will flow out somewhere else.

I have marineland bio wheel type filters as one of the filters would plug, the other one would get more flow output. When the water coming in is greater than the water going out the water would go out the relief, which was the unfiltered section above the intake tube.

Your filter should not control the water volume being pumped into your filter. I would look at your impeller maybe it's worn out or needs cleaning.

Another thing I'd look at is your intake tube. Is it plugged or does it have algae buildup?

Or maybe your filter needs replacing......
 

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Sounds like something a good cleaning of your media wouldn't fix. During your next water change, take out the media, swish it in the dirty water to dislodge any sludge buildup on the media. (might take a few tries before you get off enough, and don't be afraid to use something else to help it out manually (hands, paper towel, etc.)

Just remember, whatever you do, do NOT use untreated tap water to clean the filter or you will kill off all your beneficial bacteria living in the media.
 

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To keep any filter working at top performance and to make it last, clean the impeller and the well it sets in. HOB can fail in short order if a bit of sand gets into the impeller and is left to score the impeller or shaft so cleaning them often is far cheaer than replacing them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Its the cheap "Topfin 10" from Petsmart (came with the tank kit, about a year old). I did think it might be the filter media or intake, but after cleaning both (and replacing floss bag + carbon) as well as cleaning impeller and intake (thought intake might be clogged but was actually quite clean) still no improvement.

Impeller was actually really dirty after the past 2 weeks of fighting some slimy algae. Cleaned it all off. Still rotating but no improvement of flow. I honestly dont know if impeller is slower or faster than when I first got it though, I never thought to check.

Any other ideas? If it does indeed need replacing is there a way to just replace the impeller, or is it cheaper to just go ahead and buy a new filter?
 

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Did you brush out the area that the impeller spins in? Try removing all of the media and see what happens, just to see the difference in flow.
 

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I would double down on cleaning the well where the impeller sets. If it is not borken or really worn so that it drags, there is very little else to slow the thing down. On the electrical end of the question, the impeller moves in time to the 60 cycle frquency of the power so we can be sure that is right if it moves at all. That pretty wells leaves drag to be the only item left if there are no broken blades, etc.
 

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Make sure your intake tube is pushed down on to the top of the impeller properly. There should be very little space between the end of this tube anf the impeller housing. If the tube swings over top of the impeller housing to increase/decrease flow ensure it's set to the high flow position.
If that is not it then remove the filter media and the intake tube. Fill the filter with water and plug it in, you can keep pouring water into the impeller. See if the flow is back up. If not then it is an impeller problem. Make sure it isn't making any unusual noises indicating that the impeller may be hitting the sides of its well. Make sure you haven't broken an impeller blade. Ensure the unit is clean.
If the flow was good with the intake pipe removed then the problem lies with the intake. The pipe is plugged? The pipe is not positioned correctly? The water level is low? The pipe is leaking air? There is air trapped in and around the impeller? You can usually hear the difference between the impeller working in water versus air. If there is air trapped try turning the unit on and off a few times to see if the air bubble will pass thru it. It is supposed to be able to self prime itself but if the flow is impeded or the water level low it may not be able to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, ended up cleaning it again today (finally had time to inspect it better). Blades aren't broken. The wire that holds the blade/magnet looked crooked so I bend it back until it was straight again. Flow is definitely better, but still pretty low. I think I'm going to give up on it and switch to something with greater gph.
 

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It may not seem much but if the shaft is even slightly worn or out of round, it makes a big difference. Uusally noise is the first thing to notice but if you can actually see it is not straight, it is likely quite bad. A new shaft can sometimes fix filters but then it can also need a new impeller as they wear each other when bad. On that filter, I would likely go for a new filter as the parts are sometimes as expensive as the whole/
 
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