You Never know What is Around the Corner


This is not the Skippy that I cleaned as that one doesn’t have anything growing in it. The filter material in this one is used skimmer box filters cut into smaller pieces.

Just when I thought I had everything under control and I’m not sure if it is fate or lady luck, but things took a minor turn for the worse this morning.

Following my usual pattern, the first thing that I do is to check the ponds and feed the fish. If everything has come through the night safely and no half eaten fish or leaking ponds anywhere, then I go in and have my breakfast and coffee. Mainly the coffee.

If there are problems as there were this morning, then I determine if it is an emergency or if it can wait.  In the case of the latter, I go through the breakfast routine, read the morning paper, and check emails  before venturing out to fix whatever the problem may be. This mornings problem was one of the latter kind as I had two pumps that had quit overnight. One was to the big 5000 gallon pond and this one was the main pump that circulated the water through the Skippy filter and back into the pond. The pump was a 2000 gph and pushed a lot of water. I knew that I had a similar one that I could use as a replacement and it was close enough that I hardly had to change any plumbing so it was a quick changeover. The “New” pump is pushing 2500 gph slightly bigger but not enough to create any problems.


2500 gph pump

Looking at the disgusting state of the Skippy filter, I decided that it was time to clean it out. I did the same thing as a backflush in reverse as I attached a hose to the spigot on the bottom of the tank and led it away onto the garden. Then I started flushing from the top using a hose pipe until I was satisfied that the water coming out of the backflush hose was pretty clear. It took me about an hour to clean the filter material which is laverock. Then all I had to do was turn off the spigot and start the big pump and we were back in business.

What it did do was make things more efficient as I changed  the filters in the skimmer box three times today and it will probably be the first thing I will need to do tomorrow morning.

The second pump is a very small 500 gph pump that I use in the  return box for a disappearing stream. I had to shovel off the pebbles that dress up the box and then remove the grating to get at the pump. This time, I did not have a handy replacement having had a similar problem with the “Little Old Man”disappearing stream about a month ago. At that time, I had to go and buy a new one which is exactly what I did this morning. I drove the five miles to Lowes in Bee Caves and purchased a 500 gph exactly the same as the one that just quit.On the way home, the car steered itself into Starbucks there and I ended up with a grande latte and a Stephen King Audiobook to help me on the drive home.


500 gph pump

Fixing this pump was a really simple project as all I had to do was replace the old one with the new as they were identical pumps.  Putting the grating back into place and then shovelling the pebbles around to make it look nice was the final action.

BTW, if any of you are wondering, pumps like everything else wear out and most have a limited life. All have warranties usually a year for the small pumps and two years for the bigger ones. Invariably, and of course, they all fail just outside of the warranty. I probably have twenty or more pumps of different types that have gone bad over the years. I will end up taking them to a Junkyard if for nothing more than cleaning up my property.

I just wish  that all of my home projects were to run as smoothly as these two did but then again, where would be the challenge. Sometimes it’s better if you have to think about it a bit.

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