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View Full Version : Skimmer crapped out....where to start troubleshooting


Coralgurl
08-02-2013, 04:35 AM
Yesterday morning my skimmer started making a horrible rattling noise. I thought maybe a snail crawled in somehow and jammed things up so turned it off. Plugged it back in and wasn't so lucky. Problem is, I can't get it out of the sump without completely draining the sump and pushing it out the end. Ya ya no need for comments on this :biggrin:

I removed the bubble plate and tried feeling around, pretty useless. So the plan is to drain it tomorrow night and get it out. I just don't know what to look for other than the obvious...snail or something.

The manual has no instructions for trouble shooting so can someone point me in the right direction? I dont want to pull everything apart and not know what to do next or look for. Thankfully if it's the pump it's got a 3 year warranty......

Coleus
08-02-2013, 04:40 AM
most of the time, the pump is the main problem with skimmer. So if you can take the pump out without the whole skimmer body then do that first, and then see if it is the pump that is making the noise. If it is then open it up and see if the impeller still working. Good luck

sphelps
08-02-2013, 04:42 AM
What kind of skimmer, must be related to the pump. If you can just remove the pump, clean it and try running it in a bucket or something you could probably solve the issue.

gregzz4
08-02-2013, 04:46 AM
Good advice and is where I'd start
Pull the pump, or at least the impeller, inspect for damage/wear/magnetic coating swelling etc
Some of the older impellers were poor quality and were coated with plastic. The metal would swell while rotting and cause big issues
Also, your impeller housing could be getting a buildup of calcium
So, try your best to pull the pump and clean stuff out

Could be you get lucky and find something simple, but whatever it is you'll most likely see something amiss

gregzz4
08-02-2013, 04:50 AM
And once you get it fixed ...

You've brought up a topic we all will want an answer to;
Why do you have to dismantle your sump to pull your skimmer ? :razz:

gregzz4
08-02-2013, 04:57 AM
K, nevermind
I just perused your build thread and think I understand what you meant
You have to slide your sump sideways to pull the skimmer ? ACK

Good luck with the cleaning :biggrin:

Coralgurl
08-02-2013, 05:06 AM
Thanks everyone.

I had planned on a water change tomorrow anyway so hopefully I can get at it with the water out.

It's a super reef octopus SSS 5000 int skimmer.

Coralgurl
08-02-2013, 05:10 AM
K, nevermind
I just perused your build thread and think I understand what you meant
You have to slide your sump sideways to pull the skimmer ? ACK

Good luck with the cleaning :biggrin:

It has to come out the end. We have 2 ft on each side to push, did it once before. I should be able to get the base out with the pump with the body off. Either way is awkward but doable.

Coralgurl
08-02-2013, 04:09 PM
I got the skimmer apart last night and thankfully it was just a snail that got stuck in the intake. Does not appear to be any damage to the teeth (wrong terminology...) inside the pump but will test it before putting it all back together. Since I had it apart, decided it may as well get a cleaning, so soaked the pump and bubbly tray in a vinegar bath. Will still do a water change as it will be easier to put it back together without water.

gregzz4
08-03-2013, 03:04 AM
Nice to hear some good news

Coralgurl
08-05-2013, 04:44 AM
Is it normal after cleaning out the skimmer - vinegar bath - for it to overflow? It's been running for almost 2 days and it won't settle back down. I've pulled the plug on the cup so it's just dumping back into the sump but no matter what, it keeps over flowing. I couldnt rinse it after, just soaked in plain water, I've done a water change but no difference. I'm leaving for a week tomorrow, the tank and inhabitants are all fine, but I don't like leaving it like this....

gregzz4
08-05-2013, 05:02 AM
After cleaning your skimmer you can expect some adjustments :smile:

Have you checked your air intake, and your impeller ?

Most times, skimmer problems are with blocked air flow/inlet/intake stuff

Coralgurl
08-05-2013, 05:28 AM
Everything looked good when I had it turned off, but will check again. Thanks :biggrin: