My Pump Has Stopped

My pump has stopped working:



If the flow has gradually dropped over a few days this suggests clogging of the inlet strainer. Disconnect the power to the pump before handling. Clear the pump strainer of debris, and then reconnect the power. If the flow is only partly restored, dirt might have built up inside the pump/rotor/valve and a more thorough clean of the pump might be in order.  © www.watergardensolutions.co.uk


Most modern pumps have a built-in thermal cut-out that turns off the pump if it starts to overheat. When the pump has cooled down, or is turned off for a while and then turned back on, it will often restart. Overheating can be caused by clogged strainers or dirt building up in/around the pump. Remedy this before trying to turn the pump back on. Overheating also results from wear and tear or scaling of the pump bearings. Wearing parts can sometimes be replaced to prolong the life of the pump. Contact Us for advice.

Drawing in Air?

If the pump is drawing in air, for example if it has started to run dry, it may also overheat. Some of the newer specialist pumps have electronic controls that automatically turn the pump off if they draw in air, and turn them back on again a short while after, to try and expel air bubbles from the system, but they may shut down completely if they have been drawing air for too long. In these cases, turn off the pump at the mains to allow it to reset, check that the pump cannot draw in more air, and then switch it back on to see if it will restart.

Trip Switch?

All outdoor equipment should be protected by an RCD (Residual Current Device) “trip-switch” which is included on all new installations, but might be missing on old installations. The RCD can be a switch on your electric distribution board, or a device built into a plug or socket. It is distinguished by a “Test” button.

If a fault has been detected the switch will trip out, turning off the connected power. Sometimes the switch will trip even if there isn’t a fault - perhaps due to a short power cut, or a lamp failing at the end of its life. Some types of RCD are “non-latching”, which means that they need to be manually turned back on (or reset) after a power failure. © www.watergardensolutions.co.uk

Check if some obvious damage has caused the RCD to trip out e.g. due to a spade cutting through the cable, or rainwater entering a connection. If the RCD has tripped for no obvious reason, and everyone is safely out of contact with the wiring or the pond, try turning it back on. If the power restarts the pump, perhaps there was no fault. Check that the RCD is functioning correctly by pressing the test button. It should trip out. It can then be turned back on. ©

If the trip switch cannot be turned back on, because it immediately cuts off the power again or cuts out again a short time after, then there is a fault on the circuit. Do not continue to run the pump. Turn off or disconnect the power to that circuit and get it checked.


If the power-switch is on, and RCD latched on, but there is no movement from the pump, the fuse in the plug/socket may have blown or the overload trip-switch on the circuit board might have shut off. If fuses/overloads trip repeatedly, you must turn off the circuit and have it investigated.

If the pump still doesn’t run even though the RCD and fuse/overload indicate no problem, the pump may have failed. Disconnect the power and get the pump checked. ©

N.B. Mains power can be very dangerous if mishandled. Always disconnect the power before handling the pump or working in the pond. If in any doubt about electric wiring or appliances – call in professional help. ©

What about the fish?

If your fish are used to having moving water from a filter, fountain or waterfall then the failure of the pump might cause problems, especially in hot weather. Ideally fit a temporary backup pump or a economically priced air-pump with airstone (available from specialist aquatic suppliers), whilst you sort out the main pump problem. In the short term, see the FAQ sheet “Help, there is a power failure

Contact Us if you would like to arrange a service of your pump or filter system.


See more Frequently Asked Questions

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