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Old 08-27-2010, 12:45 PM   #11
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Take 1 of the pumps apart and just rinse it good in the sink. See if you can get a small brush to clean inside the impeller shaft too. Then just drop in the impeller and plug it in (out of the water is fine for a few secs). If the impeller starts to spin or rattle, you know it's not the motor and the problem is how the impeller is seated.

I think with the ATO possibly straining the motor, the pump can pull in tiny pieces of grit just enough to stop the impeller from spinning. I don't think head pressure has anything to do with it.

Like Mike, I've used Quiet One and Mag pumps for years with no issues.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:55 PM   #12
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I'll give that a shot tonight with the first Mag 12 pump and let you know how it goes. Thanks for the help so far.
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Old 08-28-2010, 06:53 PM   #13
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All right, sorry I didn't get to the test until today -- I was having some "real life" issues with my "car"...

Anyways, I plugged in my old pump without the cover: it spun just fine, so I'm guessing the motor is still good. All of the parts are soaking in vinegar right now.

What are your thoughts? It would seem possible for me to get a working pump out of this? I've tried different impellers and covers and haven't had it consistently work, but maybe I'm doing that wrong, since all of the parts (including my brand new impeller/cover setup) seem to be working.
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:56 AM   #14
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I would have to say if it works without the volute cover, when you put the cover on it's binding the impeller somehow. The cover on the Quiet One (at least on mine) 1/4 turns to lock in place. Maybe try that not locked in all the way. If you try it with a Mag (mine has the cover screwed on), maybe try it with the screws not tightened all the way down.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:39 PM   #15
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All right, it's the Mag 12 that I have right now that has this issue, so hopefully I can get it on there in such a way that it's not all the way tight and it will start/stop reliably.

I think I'm going to run it now without the ATO mechanism. I'm guessing at this point it did more harm than good?

Thinking ahead a step: if I can get this Mag 12 to work reliably, at some point I'll probably want to change the plumbing so that I'm running both the Mag 12 and the Quietone that I'm using as my backup now. I don't know if this will be an issue at all, but since the Mag 12 is rated for about twice the gph as the Quietone, if I had one going to each corner of the tank on its own return, would that cause any problems with the tank with it being a lopsided flow? I don't have corals in there now, but after I move I want to start having corals.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:27 PM   #16
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You have had too many failures to all be the pumps you tried. I want reiterate the ideas above.
My suggestion is to bypass your controller at a time you can monitor the pump(s). I have a Quietone 6000 and I have been using it for years with 3 feet of head. When I clean my pumps, once every 6 months, I use a lubricant on the impeller shaft but you should not need it out of the box.

Another possibly is there is something consistently getting into the pump and jamming/breaking the impeller.

When troubleshooting you need to eliminate everything that could be effecting the issue.

As you had the original pump for a year before any trouble then something has changed in your setup, not the pumps.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:59 PM   #17
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Just for a different perspective... could it be the battery backup? I remember reading that those battery backups like to "simulate" AC power, when really they're just modified square waves. Electric motors don't like this. Computers are fine with it because they have their own power supply anyway and they're built to work with some variation of input.... stuff.

Meh, can't find the link I'm lookin for. Just search for battery backup on here, it's on the site somewhere.

So what I'm saying is, when you buy another pump, just plug it into the wall/surge strip and NOT the battery backup.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:22 PM   #18
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I've decided that the battery backup I have is deficient in more ways than one, and corrado, what you're saying makes sense about they way it supplies power. I've been plugging the pumps into the surge protector only (no battery backup) since some time during the Mag 12 process (I don't know if I ever tried this particular pump on anything but the battery backup). I'm going to try my old Mag 12 tonight, probably running it in my spare SW can I use for water changes for a couple of hours to make sure it's OK before I install it on the tank.

Hopefully all will go well, but I'll update tonight regardless, unless for some reason I don't get to it.
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:13 PM   #19
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Well after a while and some experimenting, I was finally able to get my old Mag 12 to work again. As far as I can tell, the problem was where the impeller connected to the cover. I could get it going maybe once or twice, but after it stops, it had a hard time getting started again because it was such a tight fit. I just took my Dremel and carved out that part of the cover a little bit to make it a looser fit and I haven't had any problems since.

Thanks for the help, everybody. I'll more than likely be changing the plumbing at some point to incorporate two return pumps, and at that same time I'll probably be switching from the flexible pipe to PVC. There will be pictures at that point, though I don't know when that will be.
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