Greetings friends, I have been involved in indoor hydroponics for a long time and I can say with certainty that Aerogarden hydroponic systems are the most common today.
This has led to many users having a lot of questions. The most common question I hear is about the pump.
The pump in each Aerogarden model is designed to deliver water through channels directly to the roots of the plant. In addition, the water is enriched with oxygen during movement, which increases the yield.
However, many Aerogarden owners find that over time the pump stops working. There are several reasons why this can happen and I will talk about them in this article.
Plant roots blocking the pump
The most common reason why the Aerogarden pump does not work is because it is blocked by roots. As the plant grows, the roots penetrate everywhere they can, including the pump. Aerogarden engineers have taken this into account and equipped the pump with a sponge filter that is difficult for roots to penetrate.
However, as practice shows, roots still get into the pump. They can bypass the sponge or completely block it. As a result, the pump fails to do its job.
- The pump does not run or runs with an unusual sound.
- The water does not circulate through the system properly and as a result the plants may droop slightly.
- When you open the bowl you will see that it is clogged with roots.
- Disconnect the bowl from the base and move it to the sink.
- Remove the plant along with the deck from the bowl.
- Clean the entire bowl and pump of roots.
- Remove the pump from the bowl and clean it well including the filter.
- Trim the roots by 30%.
- Reassemble and start the system.
Normal wear and tear over time
All devices sooner or later wear out and hydroponic systems are no exception. This is especially true for the pump, as it carries the largest mechanical load in the system.
If the pump is worn out, it will not work properly or will stop functioning at all. This usually happens after several years of service.
- The pump does not work or works intermittently.
- The pump makes an unusual sound or whistling noise.
- Remove and clean the pump.
- Reassemble the system and run it to see if the pump works.
- If the pump does not start working properly, it needs to be replaced. This can be done by contacting Aerogarden service.
Electrical issues or surges
Electrical problems can also cause the pump to fail. Power surges or constant power outages have a negative effect on home electronics including the hydroponic pump.
As a result, the pump may simply burn out or stop working for some time. This is not a normal situation and you need to fix it because otherwise the whole system can fail.
- The pump is not working properly.
- The lights in your house often go out.
- The voltage in your electrical system is unstable.
- Turn on the system and make sure it is working, i.e. the light and all indicators are on.
- Make sure the plug of the pump wire is plugged into the socket in the base.
- Turn the pump on in test mode.
- If the pump does not work, contact Aerogarden support and replace the pump with a new one.
- Once the pump issue has been resolved, be sure to install a voltage stabilizer for the hydroponic system.
Pump does not work on a new hydroponic system
It often happens that after purchasing and starting the Aerogaren hydroponic system, the user discovers that the pump does not work. Before applying for warranty, it is necessary to check all possible reasons why this may happen.
In all Aerogaren models the pump only works for a certain amount of time and the rest of the time it is off. For example, the Aerogaren Harvest pump runs for 5 minutes and rests for 25 minutes. At the same time, the Aerogaren Bounty pump has a separate pump mode for each type of plant.
- The pump does not run when you first start the system.
- You have not heard the pump running for several hours of system operation.
- Make sure the pump wire plug is inserted into the socket located on the base.
- Read the owner’s manual and determine the pump schedule for your model.
- Run the pump in test mode.
- If the pump does not begin to operate, contact Aerogaren Support.
Here I want to tell you what to do if the pump cannot be repaired or replaced with a new one.
All Aerogarden models can be operated without a pump at all. In this case you get something similar to the Kratky method where there is no pump and the plants pull water from the bowl on their own.
The disadvantage of this is that you have to constantly monitor the water level in the tank and not let it drop below the current root level. Another disadvantage is a slight decrease in yield.
The second thing you can do is to install an aquarium pump. It is unlikely to be hooked up to the deck like the original, but it will do the job.
A third alternative is to install air stones in the bowl. Just buy air stones and an air pump and connect everything. The air stones will oxygenate the water and create water movement in the bowl, replacing the original pump.
Preventative Maintenance Tips
To avoid Aerogarden pump failure, you need to properly maintain your system. Let’s quickly go over exactly what needs to be done.
The first thing is to clean the system regularly. Do this at least once a month. Clean all the walls and other parts from dirt. Use vinegar if there are salt deposits on the walls.
Always disassemble the pump and gently clean off the dirt along with the filter. Use a toothbrush for convenience. After cleaning, pour only clean fresh water into the tank.
The second is root pruning. Every time you clean the system, or even more often, trim the roots so they don’t clog the pump. Pruning the roots also reduces the risk of root rot.
Third, never allow the system to go without water. If there is no or too little water in the tank, the pump will suck in air and quickly break down.
This is the end of my story, I hope it was useful for you. I wish you success and all the best!