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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1.5 gallon pico that I run a Palm mini in. For months its run just fine, but lately its started to stop pumping after 3 or 4 days. The motor is running, I don't find any obvious sludge or anything it just stops pulling water through the filter.

I take it apart, clean it, put it back together and it seems to work great for 24 to 48 hours then it stops again.

Any ideas?
 

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Are you keeping the water level up? This is the most common reason my little Red Sea Nano can stop moving water.
 

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Need to have a bit more info? When you find it has stopped pumping have you noted the impeller is still moving or is it stopped? this is one step on finding the cause as you cut out half the potential troubles. It can be lack of flow due to something in the water path or it can be something totally different like the plug is loose in the wall!!
Not like I want to make it sound simple but then I've been on a number of service calls where things just needed to be plugged in again or a GFCI in another room had been tripped.
Some of the most common reasons for HOB to be found not running is the way we clean sometimes. They little mag drive motors have so little torque that it takes very little to keep them from restarting after a power blip.
 

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The impeller would likely have a magnetic ring, as well as a blade bit and another bit on the other side.
You might be able to turn them individually, but when pressed together they have a little nub (that can wear down), that makes them turn together.
This is to protect against obstructions catching the blades and melting the motor. I have an old millennium filter I can no longer get impellers for.
I just tack the three centre bits together with a tiny dab of superglue near the outer edge. Like really small, you don't want any wicked to the central axle, which would make it hard to turn.

It lets go about every 2 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are you keeping the water level up? This is the most common reason my little Red Sea Nano can stop moving water.
Hmm, the water is more than high enough to make it into the intake (which is down on the water) but it does evaporate pretty quickly. Does the water level matter as long as its high enough to get pulled in the intake pipe?

Need to have a bit more info? When you find it has stopped pumping have you noted the impeller is still moving or is it stopped? this is one step on finding the cause as you cut out half the potential troubles. It can be lack of flow due to something in the water path or it can be something totally different like the plug is loose in the wall!!
Its running, it seems to be spinning (I can only tell by taking it down and apart but it seems to go smoothly) and yes its plugged in with no GFCI issues. Its humming away, but nothing is spilling out of the spillway.


The impeller would likely have a magnetic ring, as well as a blade bit and another bit on the other side.
You might be able to turn them individually, but when pressed together they have a little nub (that can wear down), that makes them turn together.
This is to protect against obstructions catching the blades and melting the motor. I have an old millennium filter I can no longer get impellers for.
I just tack the three centre bits together with a tiny dab of superglue near the outer edge. Like really small, you don't want any wicked to the central axle, which would make it hard to turn.

It lets go about every 2 months.
This is totally Greek to me, lol. Any possible links to pictures of video that might help explain it better?

I would have the border collie take a look at it-!
He would only care of there were teeny sheep inside the tank...or a frisbee. :laugh2:
 

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I have the same filter and the water level does matter: the pump is not strong enough to get the water over the elbow and start the flow back up.

A quick fix for that is to pour some water into the filter from the top (slide out the top cover first :)).
Just in case, check the plastic intake tube for small cracks above the water line.

Good luck.
 

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On the impeller point, there is a small stop of some type on most impellers. This stop lets the magnet portion turn for a bit of rotation before it reaches the stop and start moving the impeller blades. It seems to me that this is done to let the motor start in phases, first the magnet and then the resistance of the blades. I'm told that this is done to let the small torque get it moving a bit easier rather than trying to start with pump water immediately. Either case you should be able to move the blades back and forth a bit while holding the magnet in one place but not turn all the way for a full rotation. If this small stop is broken some way, the magnet can turn while the blades stay still.
If the impeller is turning my next guess would be that the small pump is not enough to get the water going up and over the tank lip when it gets low. That might be the harder deal long term but easy to find by filling the tank fully and trying things?
 

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Water level matters. Mine will run for a while as the water drops, but it will not start unless the water in the tank is quite high.

Check that the intake is clean, too. I find that the grid in the little intake tube holds on to the strands of algae, which then catches other debris that plugs it. Tube is quite narrow, and plugs easily.
 
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