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The garden pump is an essential device that facilitates the pumping of water. While handle pumps were used in the past, a modern pump is now powered by electricity and can be permanently installed or mobile, depending on the design. This makes the application possibilities of the device extremely extensive. It becomes problematic when the device no longer draws water and the function is restricted as a result. If your pump no longer sucks, you will find helpful tips on how to do this.

Garden pump no longer sucks

If your own garden pump suddenly says goodbye, it becomes problematic to pump water from the well or the pipe provided for this purpose. If you just forgot to connect the device to the power, the error is easy to fix. In most cases, however, the fault lies elsewhere, depending on the power supply. Here it is important to compare possible causes and to act accordingly. Below you will find 7 tips that will help you quickly find a suitable solution. But before that, it is important to know about the two types of garden pumps:

pump types

suction pumps

Suction pumps use negative pressure to pump the water. Vacuum pumps only work every now and then up to one certain amount of funding, which makes up the entire function. The cool water is sucked in due to the pressure, transported upwards and is thus available to the gardener. The garden pump is positioned out of the water compared to positive displacement pumps.

positive displacement pumps

This type of pump is known to most gardeners as a submersible pump as these must be completely submerged in water to function. This also means centrifugal pumps. This variant delivers hydraulically by displacing the liquid. It is thus diverted into the delivery line and can be used. It is precisely this function that can be the cause of possible problems.

Now you have a good overview of the different types of pumps and can check which form you use in the garden yourself. Remember: Suction pumps work away from the water, while positive displacement pumps require you to put them directly into it. This makes it even easier to find out what type of pump you are using. For both there are special causes that could prevent them from sucking. For this reason, a direct comparison is necessary.

eliminate causes


Air is one of the most common problems related to pump operation. Over time, air accumulates in the device, which means that no more water can be drawn. In this case it is important to close the pump ventto enable the function. This is particularly important if you have bought a new model, because there is still a lot of air in the delivery hose after unpacking. In this case, proceed as follows:

  • Use the operating instructions for the feed pump
  • Refer to the owner's manual for bleeding instructions
  • differs from manufacturer to manufacturer
  • Bleed pumps

After that it should be functional again. If this is not the case, there may be a defect or another problem. This is particularly important for models that have automatic ventilation. If this only works insufficiently, the pump is damaged and you should repair it.

tip: If you are still the proud owner of a handle pump, air in the pump can also be the problem. For this reason, proceed as with the other pumps and remove the air from this one in order to be able to use it again.


In addition to problems with the air, the tightness of several components of the pump can be the problem. If one of the following components is broken or no longer functional, the device will no longer draw water:

  • hose
  • seals
  • valves

Above all, it is the suction hoses that are damaged when the garden pump sucks poorly. The water penetrates through cracks or small holes and for this reason only small quantities can be pumped, which is not ideal for use in your own garden. This is particularly annoying if you are permanently dependent on the water. So check the individual components and replace them as necessary.

tip: Pay even more attention to the tightness of a hose made up of several elements. If the joints are only moderately closed or even broken, the pump will no longer be able to pump water.


Another typical cause is the possible blockage of the delivery hose or the pump itself. Leaves in particular are often sucked in and for this reason block the garden pump, while mud or soil often directly render the hose unusable. If you suspect a blockage, you should check and clean the garden pump. Don't be afraid to put on gloves here, because even well-tended gardens can become clogged by the strangest of things. After a while, blockages can even lead to the hoses breaking.

depth of the water

The water depth means the existing water level, which must be sufficient for the corresponding pump type. With submersible pumps in particular, a certain water depth is necessary so that the device can sink completely into the water and thus carry out the intended function. Depending on the size of the pumps, a different depth of water is required because smaller devices require less water to be completely covered without touching the ground. In most cases, the required depth is listed in the instructions for use. As a solution, increase the water level a little and see if the device sucks again.

tip: If you are using a suction pump, check that the suction opening is completely covered. If the opening is half in the water, only a correspondingly small amount of liquid can be pumped.

intake line

The suction line is just as important as the water depth. This means the supported length of the conveying hose that the device can allow in relation to the conveying capacity. The higher this performance, the longer the transport hose can be, which makes it easier to overcome certain water depths. High-quality and effective devices support suction lines down to depths of seven to nine meters. Such a suction line is ideal for drawing water from great depths. Make sure that the suction line is only defined by the flow rate. If you need a higher flow rate, you will have to buy a new device for better or worse.

tip: There can also be a problem with the foot valve if it is damaged or simply missing. Check the bottom of the suction hose for the foot valve and replace if leaking or worn to get the pump running again.

Wrong pump type

When choosing your garden pump, make sure that it really is a self-priming device. In many cases, people choose the wrong model to pay attention to the different suction types. So there are two types:

1. Not self-priming

With this variant, the suction line must be filled with water for the entire service life in order to support the function. If there is no liquid, the device draws insufficiently or it does not function. As a consequence, you can only use the garden pump insufficiently.

2. Self-priming

A self-priming pump, on the other hand, does not need water to pump it. The mechanism draws the cool water by itself and then promotes it for use.

Depending on the pump type, a different installation of the pumps is necessary. You should always place the suction line deep enough in the water or fill it with liquid before using it for the first time. A self-priming garden pump is ideal if you don't want to do this work, but it's also more expensive in most cases. Double-check the instructions for use or the manufacturer's information for this function, as this can quickly determine why the pump is not working properly.


Finally, the filters of the garden pump have to be addressed, because they also have an effect on their function. These are especially necessary when sucking in to prevent the ingress of dirt particles or other substances. Filters suffer from heavy wear because they are in constant use and therefore wear out more quickly. When the filters break, the garden pump clogs up, which can be a big problem. Therefore, pay attention to the filters and check if there is a problem with them that can be solved. Usually you only need to change the filter.

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