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Lovatt
06/11/2016, 03:36 AM
I recently bought a second hand bubble King mini 180. I stripped and cleaned it to the letter of the manual and made sure the rear bearing was seated correctly with the "O" ring. The skimmer is working perfect but it's got quite a bad vibration noise.
When I stripped it down to clean it was very gunked up and did have a small calcium deposit around the rear bearing. I noticed that half of the shaft that fits into the rear bearing was shiny and clean but the other half had a rust coloured residue build up. Once I cleaned it off I noticed half the shaft had score marks and the other looks very smooth.

I didn't get a video or picture before I cleaned it unfortunately
http://smg.photobucket.com/user/liamlovatt/media/fish%20stuff/54C1F146-8F42-4467-B804-B99243012392_zps8p1et07r.mp4.html


Here is a video of the noise
http://smg.photobucket.com/user/liamlovatt/media/fish%20stuff/92B18D43-B2A6-4D41-8B79-D7293739602B_zpsmzqggab9.mp4.html

Thanks in advance :cool:

Lovatt
06/11/2016, 06:44 AM
I just found this video on YouTube and my noise is almost the same and also goes away when the airflow is slightly restricted or blocked completely

http://youtu.be/aXjdD64ppkQ

Lovatt
06/11/2016, 04:14 PM
A couple of better pics of the impeller. I have tried putting Vaseline on the impeller end and it has made it near silent.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v404/liamlovatt/fish%20stuff/A12A1A8D-84F5-4447-9888-B9332E275631_zpsktcb4bvy.png (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/liamlovatt/media/fish%20stuff/A12A1A8D-84F5-4447-9888-B9332E275631_zpsktcb4bvy.png.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v404/liamlovatt/fish%20stuff/12DD685C-1579-4496-B171-EBAF470E80BA_zpssjz0txzd.png (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/liamlovatt/media/fish%20stuff/12DD685C-1579-4496-B171-EBAF470E80BA_zpssjz0txzd.png.html)

slief
06/11/2016, 04:37 PM
Yikes. That's bad.. You need a new impeller. That impeller is toast from neglect. In fact, that's about the worst I've seen on the end of an impeller shaft. There is a pretty good step down from just below the magnet due to the calcium causing friction and wearing away the metal. It could have been worse though. Based on what I see there, I'm actually surprised the block didn't get overload and die too.

From the looks of it, the previous owner didn't clean the bearing or the impeller properly and allowed calcium to build up in the bearing orifice and on the impeller shaft end. The result was that the shaft had constant friction inside the bearing and actually wore the metal down on the end of the shaft. The obvious wear would cause it to not stay centered in there and make the noise you are seeing. You do not want to have petroleum products in your water. While that may seem like a temporary bandaid as it's keeping the shaft from chattering against the bearing, the bearing will get ovaled out if it isn't already damaged and worse, you will get the petroleum from the vasoline in the water. I would shut the skimmer down until you get the parts to fix it. You libel to damage the inside of the magnet cavity if the magnet is rubbing the inside of the motor.

Assuming you have a VS09 model, this should be the correct impeller. The VS09 would have the black needle wheel. The VS07 has the white needle wheel.
http://royalexclusiv.com/Spare-Parts/Mini-Red-Dragon-Red-Dragon-1-BK/rotors/Mini-Bubble-King-Pumpen/complete-rotor-Mini-Bubble-King-180-VS09-MBK-pump-1000::848.html

These are the bearings.
http://royalexclusiv.com/Spare-Parts/Mini-Red-Dragon-Red-Dragon-1-BK/screws-consumables/carbon-bearing::243.html

Lovatt
06/11/2016, 04:53 PM
Thanks for your helpful reply. The Vaseline was only a temp fix to help me isolate and locate the problem. The skimmer is no longer running as I was quite sure the impeller wasn't running central so I didn't want to cause anymore damage.

Do you think any damage is likely to have been done to the motor block?

slief
06/11/2016, 05:25 PM
Thanks for your helpful reply. The Vaseline was only a temp fix to help me isolate and locate the problem. The skimmer is no longer running as I was quite sure the impeller wasn't running central so I didn't want to cause anymore damage.

Do you think any damage is likely to have been done to the motor block?

The good thing is that the motor is still running. I would look down into the motors bearing cavity and make sure there aren't gouge marks in there from the magnet coming in contact with the walls of the motorblock. If there isn't obvious gouge marks or if they aren't very deep then you should be just fine. The fact that the impeller still spins given what I see on your impeller is a VERY good sign and a testament to just how good these blocks are. There had to be a lot of friction and extra load to cause that kind of wear on the impeller shaft.

Lovatt
06/11/2016, 05:46 PM
Great news as I don't remember seeing any marks in the motor block but I'll take a closer look.
Do you think just changing the bearing might be a solution?

slief
06/11/2016, 06:00 PM
Great news as I don't remember seeing any marks in the motor block but I'll take a closer look.
Do you think just changing the bearing might be a solution?

No. You absolutely need a new impeller. That impeller is toast. There is a lot of metal worn off that impeller and the tolerances between the bearing and the impeller are very precise. With that much metal missing, the impeller will not stay centered in the block. The shaft is just slightly narrower than the diameter of the hole in the bearing under normal circumstances. There is no lateral movement. Just enough space to keep the impeller rotating within the bearing without friction. With the wear there, you will have play or slop between the bearing and the shaft. There is absolutely no question that the impeller needs to be replaced.

Lovatt
06/11/2016, 06:06 PM
I sort of already knew the answer to that but I just wanted to make sure. Even if it did make the vibration better I take it that it would quickly wear the bearing into an uneven shape again as the impeller is so off balance?

Thanks so much. You have been very helpful

slief
06/11/2016, 07:08 PM
I sort of already knew the answer to that but I just wanted to make sure. Even if it did make the vibration better I take it that it would quickly wear the bearing into an uneven shape again as the impeller is so off balance?

Thanks so much. You have been very helpful

Yep. The impeller in it's present condition will oval out the hole in the bearing as I already mentioned. My guess is that your bearing has already seen better days and should be replaced when you replace that impeller. :thumbsup:

Like I said, the tolerances are pretty tight. I would suggest taking the pump apart every few months and giving each part a vinegar bath an scrub with a brush so that everything looks like new. Then rinse, reassemble and put it back into the system. If you stay on top of your maintenance, that skimmer pump will last a long time. We have many customers with the same block who have been running it well over 10 years without failures. That Red Dragon pump when properly maintained is one of the best skimmer pumps ever made. They really are reliable pumps with a bit of regular maintenance which shouldn't take you any more than about 20 minutes every 3 to 4 months.

Lovatt
06/17/2016, 01:34 PM
Wow you guys know how to pack a spare part lol!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v404/liamlovatt/fish%20stuff/FA47902C-6D27-4EBA-9FF1-1188BC8618DC_zpsjhngga9m.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/liamlovatt/media/fish%20stuff/FA47902C-6D27-4EBA-9FF1-1188BC8618DC_zpsjhngga9m.jpg.html)

Thanks for your help. Silence has returned! As the spares prices are reasonable I desided to also get a new motor block along with a new Bearing, impeller and change all o rings and seals so it's as good as a brand new skimmer again!

slief
06/17/2016, 03:51 PM
Wow you guys know how to pack a spare part lol!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v404/liamlovatt/fish%20stuff/FA47902C-6D27-4EBA-9FF1-1188BC8618DC_zpsjhngga9m.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/liamlovatt/media/fish%20stuff/FA47902C-6D27-4EBA-9FF1-1188BC8618DC_zpsjhngga9m.jpg.html)

Thanks for your help. Silence has returned! As the spares prices are reasonable I desided to also get a new motor block along with a new Bearing, impeller and change all o rings and seals so it's as good as a brand new skimmer again!

Great to hear! Very glad to help! I'd be the old block is just fine. If nothing else, at least you have a spare block. Just do yourself a favor and take the pump apart and clean it every 3-4 months. If you do that, that pump and impeller will last you many many many years.

Lovatt
06/18/2016, 02:31 AM
Will do. All my equipment gets pampered so it will be on my maintainence shedule.

Thanks again

apt220
10/31/2016, 02:51 AM
Hi slief,

I also need an impeller for the VS09, however the link you provided no longer works. How can I get one?

slief
10/31/2016, 08:59 AM
Hi slief,

I also need an impeller for the VS09, however the link you provided no longer works. How can I get one?

Unfortunately we are currently out of them in Ft. Myers. You can check with Aquarium Specialty as they have orders coming in regularly from Germany or you can order it direct. The price listed in the link below includes 18% VAT which you can subtract when you do the Eu to US conversion. Shipping will be a bit costly but not that bad. They use UPS so it would get here relatively quickly.

http://royalexclusiv.net/Spare-Parts/Mini-Red-Dragon-Red-Dragon-1-BK/rotors/Mini-Bubble-King-pumps/complete-rotor-Mini-Bubble-King-180-VS09-MBK-pump-1000::229.html