We recently reviewed the UltraReef UKS 180 skimmer, and had many positive things to say about it. While doing our tests, we were also able to measure the loss of efficiency caused by poor maintenance.
Let’s be clear, most people don’t practice regular maintenance on their skimmers. They simply clean the glass, which is the bare minimum, and little else. Every so often, they might clean the injector. But properly cleaning the pump is incredibly important.
When we took the skimmer’s measurements during testing, we noticed that the measured values were not the ones claimed by the company. That’s why we took some time to figure out what had happened. The first thing that came to mind was that we needed to deep-clean the pump, both injector and impeller.
The injector can get clogged up by calcium and salt deposits, decreasing the inlet air. To keep it clean you have to let the air tube drink a glass of osmosis water once a month. You can find the complete procedure in this article.
The second thing to look at is the foaming pump. During normal functioning, a small snail, a calcium deposit, or a pebble can end up on the impeller, and the apparently insignificant issue can cause the foamer to have a drastic inlet air drop.
A thorough cleaning made a big difference.The maintenance-free foamer had an air inlet of roughly 430+10%=~470 l/h
Once we finished the cleaning, we measured again and got a value of 730+10%=~803 l/h
Not conducting maintenance brought about an inlet air drop of 41%!!! A significant difference.
Clean your pump and your foamer’s injector often! The injector should be cleaned once a month, and the pump once every six months. You can also acquire an inlet air measurer, like the Sander we are using, so that you can see when the pump has to be cleaned.
[Translated by Matilde Capannini]