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Cleaning my Mag Drive 24 & 12 Pumps


Getting ready to remove and clean Mag Drive 24's

Getting ready to remove and clean Mag Drive 24’s

Just getting around to posting this up. I think it’s useful information that someone might like to know.

On advice of friends in the saltwater aquarium hobby I try to clean my Mag drive pumps (main returns & refuge) every 1.5 – 2 years. In the past I’ve accidentally ran a set of Mag Drive 24 pumps to exhaustion (~3 years and their insides fused together). In this post I will show you how I clean my pumps!

I started this process at 11:00 AM and finished at about 4:00 PM.

  • Start by turning off metal halides (just in case).
  • Turn off Automatic Top Off (ATO).
  • Get buckets & pump ready for display tank’s head water (4 – 5 gallon containers for me).
  • Turn off main return Mag Drive 24 pumps (2).
  • Use small pump (700 gph) to pump out head water from sump into containers (as it drains down from the display).
  • Cover exposed SPS corals with damp paper towel – keep wet for duration of change – Also check to make sure slow moving creatures aren’t left out of the water (ex. cucumber).
  • Remove Mag Drives and place in large cantainer, tote in my case (12:oo PM).
  • Fill with white vinegar – I used 5 gallons.
  • Run for three hours – Be sure to have your pumps some what covered in case they flip over and pump liquid up and out! Also keep in mind the vinegar temp. My large Mag Drive 24’s inside of the closed tote headed the vinegar up after a while so I cracked the top a bit and added a little cold water.
  • Check aquarium temperature to make sure temp is normal. Make adjustments if need be.
  • Rinse pumps in freshwater, clean off any debris and look for any problems.
  • Some people take their pumps apart and check the shafts for wear and tear but I did not. The last Mag 24 I tried this with I was barely able to get the magnet/shaft back in the pump without breaking it (very strong pull and little to hold on to).
  • Re-install pumps on new vibration pad (I use a heavy filter pad).
  • Turn mag pumps on and pump the head water back into sump (so your pumps don’t run dry!)
  • Turn ATO back on
  • Turn metal halides back on, which I would have done earlier if the display tank got cold (finish about 4:00 PM)
  • I then repeated the cleaning process with my Mag Drive 12 refugium feed pump.  (Probably could have done it at the same time in a different container)
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Posted on May 25, 2012, in Reef Maintenance, Saltwater Aquarium Reef Tank and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Cleaning my Mag Drive 24 & 12 Pumps.

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