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Old 10-05-2010, 01:02 AM   #1
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Eheim 2028, leaking...possible o-ring?

Aarrgh! I have finally found the filter (on Craig's list) that I have wanted for a very long time. It's an Eheim 2028, and it came with ceramic rings and Ehfisubstrate. I will need to buy filter pads, and some replacement tubing, but-all-in all I am VERY happy with the purchase. I filled the intake hose with water, pushed the gray lever back against the double taps, water poured in...all seemed fine. I plugged it in, and off it went. Utterly quiet, and all seemed well. I sat there for a while, glorying in the moment.

Then I unplugged it...disaster. Several streams of water went zipping down two sides, from the point where the head joins the body. I plugged it back in...and the leaks stopped. Unplugged...leaked again. Oddly, with the power off the leaks will also stop instantly if I pull the gray double tap release lever toward the big priming button. That may be just because no more water is going in at that point, but I thought it might be worth mentioning.

I have examined the seal between the head and the upper edge of the plastic body closely under strong light and it seems to be in perfect condition. No wear, no cracks. I will replace it if I have to, but I am open to anyone's thoughts or ideas at this point. The filter was not used for long by it's previous owner (6 months or so) and he claimed that it did not leak for him. I did try lubing the seal with silicone grease...no effect. Also, the priming button seems very sluggish. although it is the first one that I have ever seen in real life so it is hard to be sure. It is a bit hard to press down and takes about a minute to come back up...groaning all the way. If pressing it is supposed to pull water into the intake tube, I can say that it does NOT do that. I pressed it three times, with no results. Is this the part that contains the o-ring that I see mentioned elsewhere as a possible source of leaks? Or is the seal between the head and the body also called an o-ring?

I am also looking for tips (or links to directions) for replacing the o-ring(s?). I am SO close to getting this thing running! Help!

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Old 10-05-2010, 01:27 AM   #2
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I found a site with what appears to be very good directions for replacing the o-ring in the priming button, so I think I am ready to go with that...if indeed that is the problem.

After further research, it seems that if it's the o-ring inside the priming button then the leak will come out around where the electric cord goes into the head and/or from the hand grips on the head. If the leak is coming from the point where the head joins the body, then it is the gasket at that point that is the problem.

Does this jibe with anyone else's experience? How do I replace that gasket? I have found several descriptions of how to replace the o-ring in the prime button, but nothing yet on how to replace the gasket.

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Old 10-09-2010, 01:38 AM   #3
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Nevermind, the gasket is an easy pullout job. I pulled it, cleaned it, lubed it with silicone grease, replaced. No improvement. So I have ordered a new one from Trilby Tropicals, and a new o-ring for the primer button as well. If anyone else comes across this thread and wants instructions for replacing the o-ring to the primer button and lubricating it, go to atomicrice.com. They have a 35 page pdf tutorial with pics on this subject that is HIGHLY usefull!
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:57 PM   #4
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I posted a thread a few weeks back about a leaky head on my Eheim 2026 and in my case I was able to finally figure out what was wrong.

Some things to possibly look out for:

1) In my case I must have banged one of the head corners on the floor when I took it apart as I finally discovered it was slightly puffed up there when I ran my finger tips over it.

Even though the large head gasket looked fine apparently this puffed up corner edge kept the head from fitting flush. I sanded it down on that exact spot until it was very smooth and the head did not leak anymore.

I also thought my pump head gasket might be leaking before I figured out the real problem as it looked like water was coming out where the electrical cord goes in. I ordered a new pump head gasket from AtomicRice as well and it did not solve my leakage problem.

I did notice that the original Ehiem head lubricant on the pump head gasket was dried and caked and the button was not priming well. I relubed it with new Silicone lubricant when replacing the pump head gasket and now it just glides up and down.

This is the lubricant I use on all hose connection and gaskets:

Lifegard Pentair Aquatics Silicone Lubricant

2) Another thing to look for is any cracks in the clear plastic flow rate hose connection when you have the pump head apart. This is the piece that the the dual hose connection fits inside. Sometimes this can get a crack in it which then leaks water into the pump head. There is a single gasket at the bottom of it as well which can be relubed. Make sure the dual hose connection is aligned correctly before before pushing the flow regulator lever forward and making the final connection so you do not crack this piece in the pump head.

3) One other place where a leak can form is a small hairline crack in the dual hose connection. If you see water or feel water dripping from the dual hose connection then there is probably a small crack in it. These cracks can happen when one of the hoses does not enter the dual hose connection straight on. If there is a contant sideways pressure on the dual hose connection or you yank on one of the attached hoses it can cause the dual hose connection to break or crack and leak.

As far as it only leaking when it was turned off I noticed something similar on another one of my Eheim canisters. It was running fine when wide open but it would leak at the head when I throttled the flow back. I finally noticed that one of the head clamps was not closed all the way. It was on one of the newer Ehiems with the side head clamps instead of the corner head clamps. One side was latched flat but it was not hooked onto the head.

My point being that when the filter is running there seems to be little inside head pressure to force water out of the side of the head as the water is going straight through . When you throttle flow back it seems to create more internal head pressure and then water will try harder to fiind a way out.

Your case might be similar in that when it was running the pressure kept the water moving in one direction and when you unplugged it the water will try to flow backward into the head on both hoses instead of only one (input). This might help isolate where your leak is.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:01 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input! I did see your post about your leak when I was originally researching my problem. I ended up replacing (and thoroughly lubricating) the o-ring on the primer button, just for the sake of general preventative maintenance. I was fairly sure that this was not the source of the leak, but doing so has resulted in a functional primer button, so I am glad I did it. I also replaced the gasket between the head and the body, as I do believe that was the problem. After cleaning that channel, and lubing the new gasket, I can say that it is 98% leak free. It still leaks for about a minute after the power goes off. But then it stops...well, mostly. Still an occaisional drip. I think the clamp on the corner of the two sides where it drips may be slightly out of whack. I am going to experiment with adding a tiny shim to the spot where the clamp pulls down on the head. It wont take much, a piece of cloth, maybe.

My issue here is that I have never had a canister filter before, and I am now conscious of the potential for a catastrophic water damage situation if anything goes wrong with this new filter. Several years ago, I had a 90 gallon tank crack and spill most of it's contents, so I am hyper aware of the potential results. When that happened, though, the water all went outside my wood stand, and the stand suffered no damage. My house (and basement) was a mess...but thank God for linoleum floors!

I will be placing this canister in a large Rubbermaid tub under this tank, with a water alert alarm in the tub. That should give me plenty of notice of any problems...if I am home! The first time we have a power outage is going to be a stressfull time for me, until I can get home to check on it, anyway.
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