Vacuum Troubleshooting Guide
Muck Buster Series
Pond Vac II; Pond Vac Plus; Pond Vac Pro
The first step is to understand what is the proper function of the vacuum.
The normal process is as follows:
-Open the yellow ring on the handle all the way to slow down suction timing. Only close yellow ring with finger to increase suction when needed for a heavy object.
-The vacuum has an approximate 40 seconds of suction with 20 seconds of drain out to waste. As the vacuum body fills with water the float will rise and turn off the motor. This usually takes 30 to 40 seconds. When the motor turns off it activates a 20 second timer. The motor will turn on again in 20 seconds even if the tank is not drained completely.
-The vacuum body should be elevated slightly above the water level of the pond on a sturdy foundation. This will ensure that the waste water will drain properly by gravity during the drain out period. The bottom of the tank body needs to be 12 inches or higher than the end of the drain hose. At the end of the drain out hose is a one way flapper valve. Be sure that this valve is able to open so that the tank can drain. If some debris is lodged in the drain hose or the flapper valve then the tank may not drain completely. If the flapper valve is stuck open then you will not have good suction during vacuum cycle.
- The vacuum motor has a black foam filter sleeve inside to protect the motor from debris. Be sure this foam sleeve is clean and in place.
- This type of vacuum is suitable for ponds less than 3000 gallons and less than 4 feet deep. It will work on larger ponds but you will need some patience due to the on / off cycle. If your large pond has certain limited areas where debris always accumulates then this vacuum will also be very suitable.
-Any type of vacuum will be challenged in a pond with a lot of pea gravel or small stones. Our Vacuum comes with 3 different heads. If the pond has rocks and gravel on the bottom then use the smallest opening head. Some hobbyists will design their own head with holes in it in order to push the head through the gravel to suck up dirt but not the rocks.
If you are having problems then the first step is to test the function of the motor. These steps are based on the Pond Vacuum II. The PVII-Plus and the PV-Pro have longer off cycle times.
1) Remove the vacuum motor head from the body. Remove all hose connections.
2) Remove the black foam sleeve and inspect for dirt or tears. Clean the foam sleeve in tap water. If foam is torn we have replacement foam sleeves. (The sleeve is not a warranty item.)
3) Turn on the motor without any hoses attached. Let run for 45 seconds to test motor function.
4) Use your finger and push the float up to the top of the motor. There is a magnet at the top of float. When the float magnet touches the motor it activates the shut off switch and the 20 second timer
5) The motor should turn off. Release your finger and let the float drop. Check for obstructions which may prevent free movement of the float.
6) Count approximately 15 to 20 seconds and the motor should turn back on again.
7) Repeat the steps above a few times to be sure that the vac motor, float and timer are functioning properly. If this checks out then the vacuum function is OK.
If this test procedure indicates improper function in the timer or float then the first thing is to check the top of the float. A small magnet is glued to the float. . If the motor does not turn off when the float touches the top then the magnet might be missing. The float can be removed by removing the black cage in which it slides. Look at the top of the float for a chrome magnet. If the magnet is missing we can send you a replacement float and magnet. (This is a warranty item if within the 2 year period.)
Some older units do not have the black foam sleeve. Instead they have a white fabric bag. If your unit has this white fabric bag the vacuum may have problems. Call us and we will send you a black foam sleeve and the vacuum should work fine.
Inspect the hose connections and be sure they are on tight. Check for blockages inside both hoses. Run a flexible garden hose all the way through the hose and out through the flapper valve to push blockages. Check that the flapper valve is able to open and close.
The Motor should attach to the body with a gasket in between. Sometimes the body will be a little distorted if the vacuum was stored without the motor attached. (Especially if left out in the sun.) If the body is distorted it is very easy to push back into shape with both of your hands working there way around outside of body and forming it back into a circle. Then be sure the motor is attached tightly to the vacuum body.
So if you have gone over all these details then you will have a good working knowledge of the vacuum and will also know what to expect of the vacuum.
If after these inspections it appears the vacuum is faulty, then you must contact your original distributor for a warranty claim. If there is nothing wrong with the vacuum then we will not be able to warranty it.
In 99% of cases the problem is simply improper use or wrong expectation of the vacuum.