Must I remove pumps this winter?

robin321(z6 PA, USA)October 20, 2008

I have two pumps in a skimmer box, and I have always removed them for the winter in the past. Is there a problem if I leave them in? They are pretty jammed in the skimmer box, it is very difficult to maneuver to disconnect them, and impossible for me to re-connect them in the spring. I always have to pay someone to reconnect my pumps.

I will have the pumps turned off and a cattle-trough heater in the pond.

Thanks for your help!

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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Robyn, it is always wise [and recommended by the pump manufacturers] to remove the pumps from the pond if they are not going to be running over winter.
Especially if they are in shallow water, where they can be frozen in for most of the winter.
You could end up with a cracked pump housing.

Also submersible pond pumps, [and out of pond types] should be taken apart and the impeller housing cleaned out at least once a year, especially if the pumps are shutdown and are being stored in the pond or on a shelf in the garage etc.
The gunk that accumulates inside the impeller housing and around the impeller shaft, could set up like cement over winter. That goes for check valves too, that some folks have on their piping runs.
When you plug the pumps in next spring they could possibly be seized up and could burn out.

Sorry if it wasn't the answers you wanted to read and there is no intention of scaring you, but better the truth, than the possibility of having two useless pumps in your pond next spring when it thaws out.

You may get away with leaving them in your skimmer, but there have been numerous posts to this form, from folks who have lost their pumps after winter is over, through neglecting to do the required maintenance on them and storing them properly.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 5:13PM
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I am also considering removing the pump this winter and using a bubbler. Thanks, Horton, for the suggestion of cleaning the impeller. I will do that.

Do I need to store the pump in water in the garage or can it be just put on a shelf?


    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 6:00PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Anne, if your pump is a mag drive type [no oil] then just remove the impeller cover [some have 4 screws] and pull the impeller/rotor assembly out carefully.

Now days the magnetic type pumps have a ceramic shaft that is quite brittle, so pull it out straight from the body of the pump, don't twist or bend it as you pull.
You will feel some resistance, that is just residual magnetism, keep pulling till it is free from the pump housing.
Clean everything out/off, I used an old a toothbrush and warm water,[no detergents] re-assemble and your pump is ready to store on a shelf.

If your pump is an oil cooled type [very unusual these days] then after cleaning the impeller, store it in a bucket of water to keep the motor seals moist or it could possibly leak oil into the pond next spring.
The oil that is used is non-toxic, but it does leave a sheen on the ponds surface if it leaks out.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 6:49AM
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