Aquaponics - Pump rebuild ver 2.0

Only 26 hours after showing off my pump rebuild version 1.0 to international aquaponics legend TCLynx, my pump started screeching, then ground to a halt.

It used to look like this.

The two bits of wire coming from opposing sides support the shaft because...

1. It's a shaft from a different pump and doesn't fit

2. Because it was a loose fit, it wobbled around all over the shop and caused a great deal of wear.

So you could describe my pump as "having seen better days".

A lot better days, and a lot of better days.

Its been running for years in an aquarium, then spent a few years in a shed, then got re-deployed into my aquaponics system.

Soon after It's re-deployment, I had to buy a new impeller. The impeller is the bit that spins around and shifts the water.

A few weeks after that I had a look at it and found a lot of wear on the front bearing.

That's why I originally put the wire in place to hold the shaft from wobbling.

So as a result of all the screeching and grinding to a halt, I pulled it apart and found what may well be the thing causing all the problems. 

It's possible the shaft is no longer within original design specs due to what may be some wear.

Interestingly, there is no sign of wear on my stainless steel wire loops. Perhaps the designers never intended it to be rebuilt with wire.

The pump's shaft looks like this.

The black plastic attachment on the shaft sits at the back of the pump in recess.

An impeller fits over the shaft, and this fits into the pump.

A face plate clips over the front, and this provides the front support for the shaft.

Or should do.

Once it started wobbling, the plastic wore out within weeks.

My original repair worked, but now that the shaft is worn, I think it requires support over a larger length.

Remembering my hand made screws I made for my fishing lure eyelets, I figured I could make a sleeve to act as the front support out of yet more stainless steel wire.

I found a rivet with a slightly larger diameter shaft than the pump's shaft, and added a few coils of my stainless steel wire.

Trimmed the excess.

Leaving me with a convenient sleeve on a wire.

Then neatly installed the sleeve into the front plate using the wire to wrap around the pump, and stop it from falling out.

The project was rushed a little because I had no water flowing through the aquaponics system, but I had it finished within an hour and 15 minutes from when the pump stopped to when the water was flowing again.

I even managed to increas the flow rate from the 70LPH or so it was flowing at a few days ago as seen here...

To a new and improved 135LPH.

Not a bad result.

I have a new pump on the way, but I really need this one to last until I take delivery of it. 

It would also be nice to have this one still running so I have a backup if the new one fails at any stage.

I love wire.



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