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Old 04-04-2005, 01:52 PM   #1
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Fluval 404 not starting after unplugging

Lately I have noticed that about 75% of the time, my Fluval 404 impeller will not start after it is unplugged. I unplug them frequently to do water changes. The impeller does start if I jiggle the filter. This is happening on two filters. I am concerned that a power outage when I am not home will result in failure to filter. I have opened up the impeller assembly, and it is clean, no debris. Any ideas?
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Old 04-04-2005, 02:58 PM   #2
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Replace the impeller? Maybe its sticking just enough that when you go to start it, it sticks so much as it won't start. Go to a lfs and price them. If they aren't too much, get one, and see if it works.
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Old 04-04-2005, 03:49 PM   #3
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stewie - I did better than that. I decided to resort to that last ditch tactic called ..... RTFM!

That's short for "Read the Freakin' Manual", something that is hardly ever done!

So, it says on page 8, the impeller is self cleaning and doesn't need much care. Hmmm. Then why did I mess with it? See page 9 for impeller maintenance. Hmmm. Why didn't I read this before? I dunno, it all seemed so straightforward.

At the bottom of page 9: "specific notes concerning Fluval 304 and 404" ...."comes with a ceramic shaft fixed on the bottom of the impeller well by a rubber support. ...(reinsert the ceramic shaft) paying close atention to the rubber support to ensure that it (the shaft) has not come out of its seat."

So I am thinking, rubber support? I never saw any rubber support. I just stuck the shaft and impeller right back in never minding anything else. Well, guess what. When you make sure the ceramic shaft goes into the rubber support at the bottom of the impeller well, then the filter starts right back up after plugging it in.

Duh. I feel so dumb. But, on the bright side, never miss the opportunity to let others learn from your own stupidity! So, for all you fluval 304 and 404 owners out there, pay attention! Read this, and RTFM!
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Old 04-04-2005, 03:59 PM   #4
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Tom - You had me very concerned with this thread. I would have never guessed that it was the rubber support. Now that the issue is settled, I will be sure to keep an "eye" on it in the future. (Whew!!).
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Old 04-04-2005, 04:14 PM   #5
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JC- I knew you would be stopping by this thread! I must add that the Fluvals performed flawlessly UNTIL I took the impellers out and re-installed them incorectly. I just took me a while to get to realizing that it could be something I did, instead of the filters fault. User error, such a tragedy

If you do take the impeller out, most likely the shaft will come out with them. When re-installing, put the shaft back in FIRST, to get it into the holder, then drop the impeller over it. I did it the reverse, and while the filter worked, it would not self start after power went off. Now that I have fixed it, they are a bit quieter too.
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Old 04-04-2005, 04:59 PM   #6
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Tom. No need to turn off the fluval when doing wcs. I never do. It's also a great idea to use a sponge prefilter on the intake. So much less work rinsing off a sponge then working on a clogged filter.
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Old 04-04-2005, 05:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomK2
stewie - I did better than that. I decided to resort to that last ditch tactic called ..... RTFM!

That's short for "Read the Freakin' Manual", something that is hardly ever done!
Manual? What's that?

I'm an INTP, I don't read manuals.
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
No need to turn off the fluval when doing wcs. I never do.
There's an awful lot of splashing going on if I leave the fluvals on when I drop the water level. I suppose the fish don't mind tho. I guess all I really have to do is unplug the holding tank heater, so that the holding tank water won't get too low while the heater is running. It's just that the holding tank heater is on the same power strip as the Fluvals, so I was being lazy and just flipping the strips switch off. Maybe if I put the heater on the bottom of the holding tank instead of the side, I can leave it all on when I WC, since I never completely empty the holding tank.

Good idea Brian! My simple water changes will now be even simpler! Think a heater could crack if I was adding water that is 50 to 55 degrees, while it was running in water that was 80 degrees? BTW, there never is much stuff in the fluval sponges even without a pre-filter. So far, that is.
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:05 PM   #9
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I'm an INTP, I don't read manuals.
INTP? I'm not the problem?
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TomK2
There's an awful lot of splashing going on if I leave the fluvals on when I drop the water level.
Why don't you just turn the flow down or off while doing water changes? That's what that grey handle is for, you know.
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