View Full Version : Why you should always keep a spare pump.
09-23-2010, 07:24 AM
Maybe a better title to this thread is how I spend my afternoon and evening. I have (or had until yesterday) one of those little sequence pumps on my lily pond. I have known for a year that the bearing were going out because it had a high pitched squeel. I thought I'd just run it until it died, and then switch it out with my 1/15 hp W. Lim Pump. They both have 1 1/2" inlet and outlet so it should be a really easy switch. Right? WRONG. The sequence unions were female and the Lim are male. And I couldn't find the other half of the unions for the Lim. So I had to rig up a way to block off the pump outlet piping from the barrel so I could refill it with water to protect the bio film on the Kaldnes in there. Then off to Lowes. Ace hardware is closer, but closed 3 minutes before I got there. Lowes didn't have the part I need. The union is course threaded and nothing lowes had was even close. So back home, and into the woods to dig through my piles of old plumbing and parts. I NEVER throw any PCV stuff away so I knew the other half of the unions had to be there somewhere. I finally found them. One was attached to piece of pipe, but the other was attached to a barrel still. I had to drag that barrel out of the woods and about 1/4 mile to the house (I don't drive back there in my truck because of tree limbs). Got the unions cut off, everything glued back together for reinstallation and guess what......I FORGOT to put the threaded thingy back on the union before gluing it. So now it's ruined . My wonderful sweet DH is going to some pool supply places today to see if he can get me some new unions that will fit. If that won't work, I'm going to have to rig up my spare mag drive pump on that barrel so I can keep things circulating and order some replacements from W. Lim. What a frustrating evening. I spend hours out there (did I mention it was 98° yesterday), until it was too dark to work anymore and got NOTHING done.
09-23-2010, 07:50 AM
Yup!, Been there, done that. To add, a good thing to keep in the "pond tool box" is a couple of PVC spare parts and at least 2 of the rubber flexible couplings (fernco fittings) and standard couplings for each size pipe. That way if you do mess up, like forgetting to put the split nut on the union before gluing on the buttress ( ah...huh. huh... you said buttress! sorry Beavis and Butthead moment) you can just cut and repair. i have been trying to use the fernco's for each expensive or hard to get component of the plumbing like pumps and ball valves. I try to have an long section of pipe connected to these expensive components also so in case I need to change something down the road I can reuse as much as I can.
A good back-up pump would be a submersible also. They can be plopped in real quick and with the use of flexible hose plumbed temporarily until you can make a permanent repair. This is where those inexpensive pumps come in handy. You know the ones that throw alot of water and are about $100, but use 2 times the electric of a good one. I can't wait until I am done with my build so I can compile a few ideas together that may help someone building their first pond so they don't make the same mistakes I have. This build is very fresh, so I need to do that soon.
09-23-2010, 08:31 AM
yep...having a longer section of pipe on these expensive and hard to get component would have been a wonderful thing. As it was, there was just enough pipe to glue the bushing on. I mean JUST enough. So there is no way to salvage it. CRAP. Gonna make a call to Lim as soon as they open and get new ones on order. In the mean time, I'll stick a 1800 magdrive submersible in the piping that will at least keep the water circulating. The nice thing about those mag drives is they don't have to be in water to run. It is really an ideal back-up pump and can be easily hooked up with a couple of ferncos. Gotta love those fernco fittings!!
09-23-2010, 08:44 AM
Ooooo, sorry about your crappy day, Carolinagirl. I know of what you speak! Many times out there until I couldn't see what the heck I was doing because I thought I could do something quickly but it didn't work out and then I'd be in the middle of a mess. Yup. Know it all too well.
So it really wasn't that you didn't have the spare pump but that you didn't have the proper fittings and I'm with you on that one too. I have such a collection of fittings you wouldn't believe but NEVER the right one! It is beyond me how I can have accumulated such a pile of plumbing parts and still not have what I need when I need it.
Fernco fittings are a godsend. Squidhead, I finally figured that one out too. All the valves and unions are on ferncos so I can move them, reuse them, redo things. Finally smartened up after wasting so many expensive fittings.
Something else I figured out is the heck with the unions. Who needs them with ferncos? Valves, yes, but unions? I don't see the need.
I took keep a couple spare submersible pumps for emergencies.
09-23-2010, 09:21 AM
I agree on the non-union valves. Much cheaper without the union option. I have even started using threaded valves with male adapters and ferncos. The fernco is the union and if the valve needs replaceing I just have to unscrew the threads and pop a new one in without using PVC glue. If I want to remove the valve completely, just a section of pipe and the ferncos and no cement. Lot's of options.
09-23-2010, 09:23 AM
you win, you night was worse.
09-23-2010, 09:36 AM
Just got off the phone with William Lim. Wanna know something just funnier than all get out? He sais the inside of the pump nozzles are standard 1 1/2" threaded for PVC. Which means all of this stress was for nothing!! I could have just screwed the threaded couplings out of the sequence pump and screwed them right into the Lim pump. The pump is at home so I can't verify this but boy an I gonna feel dumb if I get home and find out he was right. Geesh.......
09-23-2010, 09:53 AM
Glad you found a resolution even if it was too late.
Oh man, Squidhead!!! That is a GREAT idea!! That's what I'm doing from now on. Screw PVC glue!! Priceless idea!
09-23-2010, 11:46 AM
I have both a Sequence and a Lim, and they interfit on my piping with no problem. My sequence is now my spare in case the limb pump goes down.
09-23-2010, 12:18 PM
this is a pain when fittings are not the same from pump to pump.
but i do have a few pumps on hand
09-23-2010, 12:21 PM
I'm so glad I'm not the only one that has a stash of odds and ends in pvc and fittings. I have 3 piles going right now. But it seems Murphy lives at my house because no matter how many fittings and pipes I go through. I just emailed Cindy before I opened this thread and told her I've started trying to replace glued fittings with Fernco's so change outs would be easier.
They also come in handy as a pressure relief when you're a dumb azzz. I have a gate valve just past the pump on the water inlet to my static filter. The gate needs to be open so the water has a place to go when the pump is on. Last weekend, I forgot to open the gate and turned the pump on. All of a sudden, 6400 gph were spewing out of the top of the pump because the fernco blew off. YIKES, it could have been an underground glued fitting that gave out instead.
09-23-2010, 01:15 PM
I got it fixed! I checked the pump....the wet end is threaded inside so I could use a standard 1 1/2" threaded male PVC fitting there. It only took a little over an hour to get the new pump in place. I am sure glad that's done! The only bad thing is now I have to use a smaller mag drive on the shower filter for the new pond. I really wanted to use that lim pump but the sequence pump had other ideas. Oh well....it was a cheap pump. Guess I got my money's worth out of it.
09-23-2010, 04:52 PM
How long did you have the sequence for?
09-23-2010, 05:05 PM
I am not sure....maybe 3 years or so. I am pretty sure the motor burned up...it smelled really bad and was VERY hot when I took it out. It wasn't one of the nice big sequence pumps, it was a smaller sized one.
09-23-2010, 05:35 PM
Man, you shpuld still get more then 3 years out of a pump. I have some that I've had for like 10 years. I am not using them at the moment but some have run for 5 years or so with no troubles. All I ever did to them was clean the impellers form time to time.
09-23-2010, 06:23 PM
Yep...I could not agree more. I have some pondmaster magdrive that have been in constant service for over 10 years. I guess you get what you pay for and I honestly didn't pay much for this one. It's a sequence 4200SEQ12. I just checked their web site and noticed that this pump has a 3 year warranty. I guess it wouldn't hurt to check....maybe it's still under warranty? That would be WAY cool!
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