could Check Valve damage air pump

Vertigon_z

Exodon
MFK Member
Jan 16, 2019
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Good Morning All,

I am currently running a tetra whisper 100 air pump on one of my set ups. I had the first one stop pumping air after about 3 weeks of nice powerful bubbles. Now the replacement is starting to show less signs of power. I have 2 imagitarium check valves attached (1 on each air outlet) and I am starting to think that it can be the check valves causing too much strain on the pump itself. Could check valves damage an airpump....I know the restrict the airflow to some degree but this will be the 2nd air pump replacement in 4 weeks and if so what are some good low restriction valves that will not cause back pressure to damage the internal parts.. Any advice?
 

skjl47

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
May 16, 2011
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Hello; Not sure I have the answer. My first question is are the check valves oriented correctly? I figure you most likely got that right.

I have not used a check valve in a long time. For me the check valve purpose is to stop a siphon being created when the power goes off or the air pump is unplugged. Before I ever knew of check valves the way I have and still do stop a siphon effect is to have a loop of air hose above the tank(s) or to have the air pump itself above a tank.

The other thing that comes to mind is the backpressure itself. You mention lots of air bubbles at first. Do you bleed off any excess air ? Over time I have learned to have some gang air valves around and when there is a lot of excess air. I bleed some into the room so the backpressure is reduced.
 

Vertigon_z

Exodon
MFK Member
Jan 16, 2019
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Thanks for the response, I have configured the valves correctly. Wow I will definetly try the Loop method as it seems alot less stressful on the pump. As far as excess air goes I do not have any excess bleeding out as all lines are snug and checked every day I get home.
 

skjl47

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
May 16, 2011
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Tennessee
Thanks for the response, I have configured the valves correctly. Wow I will definetly try the Loop method as it seems alot less stressful on the pump. As far as excess air goes I do not have any excess bleeding out as all lines are snug and checked every day I get home.
Hello; First if you make an air line loop test it by unplugging the air pump for a while to make sure it is high enough to break a siphon.

Next is I am not talking about air leaks. I am talking about bleeding off excess air pressure deliberately. Using a gang valve I sometimes open a valve and let some air out into the room. This relieves some pressure on a pump.
 
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Vertigon_z

Exodon
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Jan 16, 2019
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Ahhhh okay I see what you mean but other than the check valve nothing is too demanding on the pump itself. If I remove the check Valve then there is only 1 bubble bar and 1 (3)inch air stone. The tetra whisper 40 I use on smaller tanks have been running without check valves for 8years and no issues or loss in power I will get a replacement then try the loop method without check valve.
 

skjl47

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
May 16, 2011
4,265
3,392
164
Tennessee
Ahhhh okay I see what you mean but other than the check valve nothing is too demanding on the pump itself. If I remove the check Valve then there is only 1 bubble bar and 1 (3)inch air stone. The tetra whisper 40 I use on smaller tanks have been running without check valves for 8years and no issues or loss in power I will get a replacement then try the loop method without check valve.
Hello; This is why I stated in my first post I may not have an answer. For example the smaller tanks are usually less deep so an air stone at the bottom makes less back pressure than a deeper bigger tank. The air pump has to work harder to push air down to the bottom og the deeper tank.

Another thing I think is true based on experience but likely can not back up is that bleeding off some air helps keep pumps alive. I think it has to do with the volume of air that can move thru only a few air stones or such. This may not make sense but I tend to think it is easier on a pump to run more air devices than fewer. Say run six air stones rather that three.

I also a few decades ago pretty much stopped using air stones. In my sponge filters I remove the air stones and have just the open end of an air tube making large bubbles. The large bubbles are not so pretty but create plenty of circulation. Air stones force theair thru small spaces to give tiny bubbles this make more back pressure. Also an air pump pushes dust from room air thru the airlines and in time that dust clogs up an air stone.
 
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Vertigon_z

Exodon
MFK Member
Jan 16, 2019
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S skjl47 Thanks a bunch I replaced my pump and followed your advice and so far everything is great. Thanks so much for the input!
 
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