Is your submersible pond pump pulling a vanishing act on you, delivering less of that beautiful, burbling water flow? Whether you’re a pond enthusiast or a newbie, submersible pond pump troubleshooting is a skill that’ll put you back in the captain’s seat. Don’t worry—by the end of this expanded guide, you’ll have all the tools you need to get your pond paradise back in tip-top shape

Submersible Pond Pump Troubleshooting

The Importance of a Properly Functioning Submersible Pond Pump

Let’s set the stage first. Imagine a pond without a pump. It would be like a fish tank without a filter, a garden without sunlight, or a car without an engine. A submersible pond pump is crucial in your pond’s ecosystem machinery. It filters and circulates water, helps in gas exchange (so your fish can breathe easily), and makes those water features dance like they’re on Broadway! A submersible pond pump malfunction is more than just a minor hiccup; it’s a full-fledged problem that needs immediate attention.

Early Warning Signs: Don’t Skip These!

Alright, folks, your pond pump is innovative. It will try to signal you before it entirely clicks out. Here’s what you need to watch for:

  • Unusual Noises: If your pump makes sounds that remind you of a horror movie, it’s a clear sign that something’s off.
  • Reduced Water Flow: Your once-bubbling fountain slowing down to a dribble is a big no-no.
  • Electrical Glitches: If the power supply is inconsistent or you notice flickering lights near the pond, you might face an electrical issue.
  • Visual Cues: Any significant water discolouration or a mysterious appearance of floating debris also spells trouble.

Common Problems: The Usual Suspects

The usual suspects in the submersible pond pump troubleshooting lineup are clogged impellers, burnt motors, electrical failure, and airlocks. Let’s break these down:

Clogged Impeller

What It Does to Your Pump

Think of the impeller as the heart of your pump. When it’s clogged, your pump can’t circulate water properly, much like a blocked artery in the human body.


The water flow is noticeably reduced, and your pump might also produce a humming noise.

Troubleshooting Steps

  1. Disconnect the power source (safety first!).
  2. Remove the pump cover or casing.
  3. Please take out the impeller and clean it using warm water and a soft brush.
  4. Put everything back together and restart the pump to see if it’s working better.

Burnt Motor

The Culprits

Overheating often causes motor issues. Other times, it could be due to a power surge or a faulty electrical setup.


A foul smell—think burnt toast—is a dead giveaway. You might also hear a loud grinding sound.

Troubleshooting Steps

  1. Turn off the electrical supply.
  2. Inspect the motor for signs of burns or melting.
  3. If you spot anything concerning, it’s best to consult a professional rather than DIY your way through it.

Electrical Failure

Types and Safety Measures

Faulty wiring or a tripped circuit breaker can mess with your pump’s electrical system.

Troubleshooting Steps

  1. First, check the circuit breaker. If it’s tripped, reset it.
  2. Inspect the pump’s wiring for any fraying, cuts, or other types of damage.
  3. If you spot damage, turn off the power and consider replacing the damaged wires.

Air Locks

What’s an Air Lock?

Airlocks happen when air bubbles get trapped in the pump, causing water flow obstruction.

Troubleshooting Steps

  1. Turn the pump off and then on again multiple times to try to dislodge the air bubbles.
  2. Tilt the pump at various angles while it’s running.
  3. If these steps need to be revised, consult the manual or contact customer support for advanced solutions.

Must-Have Tools: Your Troubleshooting Arsenal

Before rolling up your sleeves, ensure you’ve got your toolkit ready. For most submersible pond pump troubleshooting jobs, you’ll need the following:

  • Screwdrivers: Flathead and Phillips
  • Pliers: Needle-nose and regular
  • Voltage meter: For testing electrical components
  • Rubber gloves: Because safety never takes a holiday
  • Protective goggles: To shield those peepers
  • Bucket: To hold any parts or water during the process
  • Soft brush: For gentle cleaning
  • Lubricant: Non-toxic, water-safe types only

Step-by-Step Troubleshooting Guide: Your Roadmap

It’s time to dive deep into the submersible pond pump troubleshooting process.


  1. Turn Off Power: First, always turn off the power supply to avoid accidents.
  2. Visual Check: Before disassembling anything, give your pump a quick visual once-over. Look for broken parts, disconnected wires, or signs of wear and tear.

Cleaning and Maintenance

  1. Open the Casing: Use your screwdrivers to unscrew and remove the pump casing.
  2. Clean Inside: Gently clean out any debris or build-up with a soft brush or cloth.
  3. Lubricate: Apply a thin layer of non-toxic, water-safe lubricant on moving parts to ensure smooth operation.

Electrical System Check

  1. Circuit Breaker: Confirm that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. If it has, reset it.
  2. Wire Check: Carefully inspect for any damaged or exposed wiring.
  3. Voltage Test: Use a voltage meter to ensure the electrical supply is consistent and within the recommended range for your pump.

Motor Inspection

  1. Smell Test: Use your nose to detect burnt smells from the motor.
  2. Visual Inspection: Check for visible signs of damage like burns, melting, or discolouration.
  3. Consult an Expert: If you need clarification on what you’re looking at, it’s better to call the professionals.

Impeller Check

  1. Visual Inspection: Make sure the impeller isn’t blocked by debris or tangled in algae.
  2. Functionality Test: Briefly turn the pump on to ensure that the impeller is spinning as it should. If not, it might be time for a replacement.

Advanced Troubleshooting: The Next Level

If you’ve covered all the basics and are still facing issues, you may need to venture into advanced submersible pond pump troubleshooting. This includes:

  • Voltage Testing: Use a voltage meter to confirm that all internal electrical components are functioning correctly.
  • Seal Replacements: Seals can wear out over time and may need to be replaced to prevent leaks or improve performance.
  • Motor Rewinding: This is not a DIY job! If the motor coils are damaged, consult a professional.

Prevention: An Ounce of It Is Worth a Pound of Cure!

Remember, the best way to minimize problems is regular check-ups. Make it a point to clean your pump every few weeks, check for blockages, and ensure that the electrical system is in good health. An ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure.


So there you have it, folks—your all-in-one guide for submersible pond pump troubleshooting. A smooth-running pond pump is critical to maintaining your tranquil oasis, so don’t ignore the warning signs. And remember, when in doubt, consult a professional. Happy pond keeping!