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Fish Pond Filter and Pump Cleaning

ByKevin Simon

Nov 12, 2019

This time of year most of us don’t go into our gardens that much, as already we have cut back plants, done the last grass cut, general tidy up etc. Now with your pond you may have cut back any dead plants, cleaned away any weeds etc from your waterfall / fountain. Your water may look clean and the water flow from your pump and filter may be running as normal, but coming upto the cold winter and this year especially as we are forecast a harsh cold winter your filter and Pump need a good service and clean to keep it running perfect.

As you can see from the photos on this page even though your water make look clean and you think your filter and Pump are working great, it’s not until you look inside that you realise that they can be full of muck and especially over the winter this can put strain on your system. Here I will be giving a breakdown of the basics of cleaning your pump and filter, you can do the basic maintenence yourself.

Though KS Pond Services offer a full clean of your filter ie completely remove and clean all filter medium and reassemble, clean pump ie remove cage and fully service and clean implerer, check all pipe work to make sure no problems will occur from frost etc.

KS Pond Services cover most of the Midlands and Staffordshire area at very competitive prices, For a full service of your filtration system prices start from just £40 Though this does depend of on the size of your filtration system, get in touch for full details through our contact page HERE


Clean of dirty fish pond pump and cage

First to clean your pump make sure you have turned the power off, Your pump will normally be in the deepest part of your pump, to take out of the water find your pipe that goes from your filter into the water and gently pull the pipe out of the water with your pump. DO NOT pull the pump out from the electrical cable as this will put strain on the cable and can break the internal wiring.

Most pumps are surrounded by a cage, this is normally in two parts held by clips or flat screws that need half a turn to release. you will then see the pump inside, remove the pump. As you can see from the pictures this can have a lot of muck in. give the cage a good clean to make sure the groves / gaps are clear. Normally get a bucket of water and use a brush to clean. Some pumps have small filter medium inside refer to filter cleaning below on cleaning this part.

The pump has a impeller inside that looks like a fan, now you can give this a good clean by taking this apart to get to the impeller, though this can be difficult on some pumps, so mainly just make sure there is no debris within the fan part.

Put the pump back into the cage, within most cages there is a small cap that the power cable goes through. MAKE SURE the cable isn’t trapped as you clip the cage back together. Then gently put the pump back into the pond where it came from. Don’t worry if the pipe floats this is normal as there will be air in the pipe and once switched back on will sink to the bottom.


Your filter is normally an external box with a pipe that comes from your pump, then piping back out to your pond or waterfall etc. These can be round, square or rectangle. To clean these depends on the type, refer to any documents you have for your filter. Though here are the basics for each type. Though most of made up of different grades of foam, these are designed to hold any debris the different coarses of foam will hold small or large debris. Then there is solid medium, this can be plastic balls, pipes, shapes or coarse rocks or stones. This part is designed to have has much surface area as possible to hold lots of muck out of your pond. Again to clean make sure power is turned off first.

If it is round this is normally a pressurised filtration system. Most of these have a basic self cleaning system (Refer to your documentation), where as you normally have handles that you pull up, this squeezes the filter medium inside and on the filter there is a valve that you turn, and once power is back on this will allow dirty water to come out of an additional outlet on the top, make sure you have a pipe on this to allow the water to go away from your filter, once clean water comes out turn power off and the valve back and that’s it for the basic cleaning. Though this inst perfect, that’s why as a company we do the advanced cleaning below.

For a square or rectangle filter, these normally have a loose lid that can be removed and you will see chambers with the different types of medium in, you may also have brushes as well, to clean these types of filters refer below to the advanced clean.


To do a full clean you can take apart the filter, ONLY DO THIS if you are confident or have done this before. Normally there is a metal band that you unclip that opens up so you can gently remove the top to get access to the filter medium. Normally this is different grades of foam at the top then at the bottom is solid medium. Remember the order you take these out.

Top clean the foam, the best way is either use a hose or bucket, do one at a time wet it fully and give a squeeze like you would a household or car sponge, repeat this until clean. The solid medium remove out of the filter give a clean in a bucket. Once these are done get as much water out of the filter as possible, some have a drain point at the bottom, so you can open this and the water will flow out. If no drain get an old cup or beaker to remove the water.

Reassemble the filer putting back in all the medium you have removed making sure that any o-ring seals are put back in place and all clipped back together properly. If you have removed any pipes or drain points make sure they are back on fully tight.

Once all back together switch on power making sure there are no leaks etc,if there are remove and reseat connectors,pipes, strap etc where ever the leak is coming from.

UV Lights

Now you should replace your UV bulb if you have one, every 12 months as a max. This keeps your water crystal clear. Replacing these is different depending on your equipment, so always refer to your documentation. As well as replacing the bulb it is always a good idea to check to make sure the glass sleeve that surround the UV bulb is clean. On some models this can be difficult. but if you can see the clear glass tube that the bulb goes in give it a clean at the same time.


This is just preemptive just check your pipe work to make sure non are brittle as when we have frost or icy conditions this can crack your pipes, always in winter have your pump running as this will help with pipes freezing. See our other article on winter tips for you pond HERE

Final Note – Always refer to your documentation for you Pump and filter, as there are lots of different types of systems I have only given the basic info on the most common systems. Do remember doing some of this work you will get DIRTY and SMELLY , so make sure you wear old clothes. Again if this feels a bit daunting and you are in the Midlands or Staffordshire area get in touch HERE for us to do this all for you.

By Kevin Simon

I run this blog & also self employed cleaning out fish ponds, but due to spinal problems not able to do as much, now started a youtube channel showing my converted Peugeot Partner micro camper also as interest in photography so now vlog about the trips and of course Lego figures out in the wild photos.

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