Any pond enthusiasts out there?

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Post by DancingBear on Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:55 pm

I have been running through pumps in my pond on far too regular a schedule. I use a 1200gph Beckett pump but have used several other types/brands. The Beckett is in there because it is simple and easy to fix...too easy. It only takes me five minutes to swap out an impeller but I'm getting tired of the ceramic shafts breaking at the drop of a hat. I have my pump TOTALLY isolated from anything bigger than the head of a pin yet it snaps an impeller every sixty days or so.

I'm wondering if any others have looked at pond pumps. Working underwater 24/7 is a tough gig but there must be something out there that will run for a year or two before bailing out. I can find expensive pumps that promise everything but so far they all go belly up after a short while regardless of sticker price.

I tried replacing the shaft with other materials but they created other problems.

Any advice?

TonyM
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Post by jerryhawthorne on Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:38 pm

Tony, I have luck with Cal Pumps (also 1200GPH). In about 10 years, I'm on my third. Never had any impeller problems, mostly seal leakage. The one I'm running now has a magnetically coupled impeller, on two years with no problems. At least it should eliminate shaft seals going bad.
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Post by DancingBear on Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:04 pm

Thanks, Jerry. I will look at their offerings.
My original choice was to use a Cal-Pump Torpedo4000. I liked their design and figured I could do a bit of a rework to beef up the sealing areas. Didn't help. I liked the pump and still have it on the bench to give it a go again but I'm not sure I can do it any better than what it was. It's a weird plenum-through shaft draw device.

From what I gathered when I shopped before Cal offers a stainless-steel housing pump. Have you used those?

I've had mixed luck with those, one lasted a year but the other is still going twenty down the road. It is my backup and operates my gravel-bed sump filter in case the main pump goes out. It's not powerful but it's never failed. I should give them another shot. I knew the Torpedo had problems before I purchased it.

It's hard to find quality stuff anymore. The "good-better-best" theme propagated by Sears to success is now more like a "bad-worse-pathetic" choice. I've collected a bench full of pumps over the years, hoping to salvage parts or maybe some more time. It's all plastic. Once they go it's usually over.


TonyM
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Post by jerryhawthorne on Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:14 pm

Tony I have used both the PW1200 (which may be discontinued) and the PW2500. Not certain which one I have in now but as I recall it was the 1200 with magnetic drive. The only style pump that seems to fit well with the installed water outlet.
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Post by DancingBear on Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:35 am

Jerry-
I like that series/type pump but I can't use it with my filter system. The main purpose of my pump is to pull waste down into the gravel so it must have a vacuum. One thing that has really added to the life of any pump-seals is a "chromium remover". The tap water here is loaded with chromium, a bad corrosive in the right environment. A capful of the stuff every few months makes the water less caustic.

Alpine is a pump that has caught my interest but I have no experience with them. They are now offering a low-volume solar pump, one that switches back and forth between solar and AC. I have yet to read a review on any of their pumps that I trust.

Magnetic drive is a big plus but I've found a few ways to make a seal last a lot longer. Smearing a good layer of teflon grease on the bearing before re-assembly seems to help a lot. It doesn't come off easily with water so stays in place. Spendy stuff but worth it.

Beckett has been really good at replacing broken shaft/impellers. I have called them twice and been sent three replacement free each time. Once I said model number (1200) they made the offer. I suspect it is a problem child for the company. Not sure. Just a hunch. The second time they even noted they had sent three to me previously. Easy going place.

There are many pumps out there now but finding a good one is difficult.

Tony
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