How Do I Keep My Pump Clean?

A question about keeping a pump clean.

I would like to know how to keep the pump clean from algae and leaves and stuff.

Is there a way to cover the pump with something yet still lets the water flow through it?

Doug says:

It sounds as if you have a pump unit that sits in the bottom of a small pond and not a biological filter setup with a screened pre-filter.

There is no way to avoid getting "stuff" attracted to a pump. The water flow is toward the pump and anything floating is going to go there eventually.

This is why we use filters to catch this stuff before it gets to the pump. Cleaning the filter on a small in-pond pump is a daily part of pond maintenance I'm afraid.


There are several things you can do to make it a little less likely you'll have a major blockage (that can overheat and ruin your pump)

Do skim out the leaves and other large debris daily so they don't have a chance to settle to the bottom of your pond and plug up the pump.

Second, with small filters at the bottom of ponds, you can construct a "cage" out of small diameter hardware cloth of stiff screening. This will act as a screen to stop the really big stuff (leaves etc) from getting to the pump and blocking it off quickly. The larger screen area will absorb more "stuff" before it blocks off water flow to the pump. You'll have to clean off this screening regularly but it will be longer between cleanings than if you have a simple screen on a pump intake.

In practical terms, the screening will stop material that's bigger than it's openings but allow other dirt to go through. So the smaller stuff may still plug up your pump if you don't make your filter-cage openings small enough. The reality is that this filter-cage will plug up too - just not as quickly as a smaller pump opening.

You Still Have To Clean

Keeping the pump clear of algae means following all the rules of good pond care. It will still get algae - the good kind - but that won't block it up too much. A cleaning every few weeks will take care of this stuff.

Other major algae problems are indeed a problem and they're written about in the algae section.

You're not alone in this problem. All filters - no matter the size or the size of the pond - have to be cleaned regularly. Smaller pumps with filters built into them simply have to be cleaned more often. It's a fact of pond life.

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