The filter is probably one of the most important aspects of your tank. It’s the one thing that you don’t want to malfunction, especially if you have your tank fully stocked with fish. KC 10 internal filters are popular and shouldn’t give you problems. But “shouldn’t” isn’t a foregone conclusion.
There could be a range of issues going on, depending on what your KC 10 is doing. There could be a power source issue, a clogged-up motor, a clog in the line (a substrate issue), an incorrect filter installed, or a clogged impeller.
Some of these issues might be an internal problem with the KC 10 and some of them could be caused by user error, such as a particular substrate or installing the filter the wrong way. Of course, if it’s an issue with the motor, unless you are a mechanic, it might have to be replaced entirely.
Why is My KC 10 Internal Power Filter Not Working?
How long you’ve had your filter may play a role in the problem as well. If you’ve had your KC for a while, and you have a sand substrate, you should consider replacing it altogether. The most important thing is to get your tank back up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible.
An issue with the Power Source
If you have your tank up against the wall, with the outlet nearby, you might be surprised at how often a plug will slide out of the outlet a little, all on its own. You don’t have ghosts, of course. Some people just have outlets that don’t grip very well. It’s a common enough problem that it’s worth mentioning.
If your plug is not holding in the outlet, you should consider replacing the outlet and plugging the filter in somewhere else until you do. A recent power surge is more than capable of tripping the circuit breaker. It’s also possible that you have too many things plugged into a small area and that tripped the circuit breaker.
This is always something to look out for but it’s a far more common problem for those who have a sandy substrate. You should be able to see some degree of suction from one end. If you can clearly hear the motor running but see or feel no sign of suction, you’ve located the problem.
This is one of the most common issues with filters, not just the KC 10, so it shouldn’t be a surprise when it eventually happens. Sandy substrates tend to ball up in little clusters and those little clusters end up being too much for your filter.
This runs along the same line as the clogged filter, it just may not have made it all the way to the filter yet.
Flow Rate is Off
This could be the result of not having changed the filter cartridge when it’s supposed to be changed, which is about once a month. If you have a sand substrate, that change rate may be affected. It could be as soon as two weeks, rather than a month.
Either way, it’s something that you have to stay on top of. You may have to pull the entire filter out of the tank and give it a good, thorough cleaning.
How Do I Fix My Power Filter?
Issues with the power source are relatively easy to fix, at least where your KC 10 Power Filter is concerned. Power surges and things of that nature could cause damage to the entire system, depending on whether or not your power filter is plugged into a surge protector or the wall.
If the motor in your filtration system is fried, then there’s really nothing else for it but to get a new one.
Fixing a Clogged KC 10 Power Filter
If your power filter is clogged, you’ll probably notice that there is only a little bit of suction or none at all. You will have to check the filter itself, the impeller, and the lines. Any one of these can get clogged.
- Unplug the filter
- Remove it from the inside of the tank
- Disassemble it
- Check for clogs as you disassemble the filter
- Rinse out the impeller
- Rinse out the intake tube
- Check for materials coming out of either
Once you reassemble everything, place the filter back in the tank and plug it in. All you want to do is see that it is working effectively. Any problems or issues that are due to something other than a clog will present themselves at this point.
The only way to eliminate a clog as the problem with your filter is to remove it entirely, disassemble it, and clean it throughout.
Filter Has Stopped Working Entirely
You’ll know your filter is not working if it’s completely silent. Even quiet filter has a low, humming sound emitting from them. You can check for clogs (it’s always a good idea to do so) or you can check the circuit breaker.
In a worst-case scenario, simply unplug the thing and let it sit quietly in the corner of the room for a few hours. Take care of your fish during the wait. Plug it back in and see if runs like it’s supposed to.
Ultimately, if your KC-10 stops running, with no clogs or any other evidence of damage going on, you will have to have it replaced. That is unless you know enough about small motors to get it up and running again. The KC-10 is a pretty solid, in-tank filter, so it shouldn’t come to that.
But every filter has a finite life span. Some might suggest purchasing a repair kit but it’s probably more cost-effective to just purchase a new filter.
All Things Considered
You have to have a good filtration system in your tank, otherwise, it’s not going to stay clean. The fish and the plant life within will begin to suffer. KC-10 Power Filters are genuinely good filters and if you take care of them, they will take care of you.