Air pumps getting too hot has been a huge problem for many hydroponic growers for the last 10 years. Problems like this often result in huge consequences, especially on the root system. This got me wondering, why are hydroponic air pumps getting too hot?
So, why are hydroponic air pumps getting too hot? Air pumps get hot as a result of the friction that happens between their parts while running. It can also happen due to the presence of the pump itself in a hot area or under direct exposure to the sunlight.
The problem with air pumps getting too hot is not that we are cautious about how well the pump is running. The main issue here is that hot air pumps produce air that is higher in temperature than the average air in the room.
This hot air raises the reservoir’s temperature dramatically above room temperature and can severely affect the root system. Thus, to keep the nutrient reservoir’s temperature as stable as possible, we have to maintain a pump that produces air with the lowest temperature possible.
Before we know how to solve this issue, we must first get to know what are the causes of making an air pump get too hot. and produce air with higher than normal temperatures.
Why Are Hydroponic Air Pumps Getting Too Hot?
There are a lot of reasons why an air pump might get hot and produce hot air. We need to know what are these causes before proceeding with how are we are going to solve this issue.
Too Big Air Pumps For Small Hydroponic Systems
There is a tremendous amount of growers out there who purchased commercial hydroponic air pumps with an output that is 5 times higher than the required air supply.
They are thinking that there is no problem getting a larger air pump for their system as they might need a larger output later on when they upgrade their system. This way of thinking is one of the main reasons why many people are getting hot air through their systems.
Larger hydroponic air pumps do need to work more to produce bigger outputs. While this happens, more friction is done between its parts. This higher friction frequency does produce more heat than smaller pumps.
When you are using a large hydroponic air pump with a small nutrient reservoir, a lot of heat builds up. Moreover, as the volume of the nutrient solution decrease, the rate at which it’s temperature increase gets higher.
So, make sure to bring an air pump with an output that is compatible with your system’s requirements, nothing more and nothing less.
The Pump Needing A Lubricant
As I have mentioned above, a lot of friction happens between the moving parts inside the pump. Sometimes the higher pump’s temperature can be solved by simply lubricating these moving parts every once in a while.
Cheap And Low Quality Hydroponic Pumps
There is a 90% chance that this might be the original cause why is your hydroponic air pump getting too hot. Low-quality air pumps that were made in China are now flooding the entire worldwide market, especially the US.
At some point in every hydroponic grower’s journey, cheap air pumps that are made in china were used either as a spare pump or just to start up the system.
Cheap pumps are often made from raw materials with extremely poor quality parts. These cheap parts are made from materials that get hot faster when compared with high-quality hydroponic pumps. Moreover, low-quality pumps can also produce loud noises that will definitely bother you especially if you are running the hydroponic system inside your house.
Try and invest in getting a high-quality hydroponic air pump that can significantly decrease the air temperature.
Keeping The Pump Under Direct Sunlight
Well, the place where you put your hydroponic air pump really matters. Don’t place the pump under direct sunlight the entire day and expect it to produce cold air, this doesn’t make sense.
When sunlight falls onto an object, its temperature rises dramatically. No matter what is the object, the final result will be the same, and the temperature will increase.
Some people who are using their backyard to grow hydroponic plants place their pumps under direct exposure to the sun all day. As a result, the pump’s temperature increases significantly that it produces air with temperatures that sometimes reach as high as 90°F.
The ultimate solution for this problem is to simply move your pump into a more shady area to protect it from the sunlight effect.
How To Cool Down A Hydroponic Air Pump?
Cooling a hot hydroponic air pump can be done in several ways. Most of these ways are just creative ideas that were implemented by other growers. However, you shouldn’t proceed with any of these methods before checking first the mentioned points above and see whether if there is something to be done or not.
Use A Cooling Fan
Do you have a hot hydroponic air pump? The solution can be as simple as using a cooling fan to blow off the heat. Directing a cooling fan on your air pump will dramatically reduce its temperature back to the levels that are considered normal.
I know that a solution like this might not be the perfect choice for many growers, especially for the ones who are concerned with the increased monthly electricity bills. However, it’s a method that will produce results instantly.
If you are living in a state where the average temperature is above 95°F, I advise you to get an air cooler instead of just getting a fan. If your average room temperature is high, there is no point in using a fan as it will continue to blow hot air to the pump. An air cooler will be the perfect fit for this situation as it is already cooling down the air before passing it to the pump.
Use a Larger Air Stone
I have mentioned before in a previous article that air stones could add too much stress to the pump. This stress will result in producing a lot of loud noises. Moreover, it can also make the pump heat up.
Small air stones restrict the amount of air coming out from the pump which results in increasing the air pressure. So, as pressure increases, the air temperature also rises up. Larger air stones on the other hand will allow more air to pass from the pump into the hydroponic system. Thus the air pressure will be lower which will decrease the air temperature dramatically.
Pass The Airlines Through An Ice Bucket
Using an ice bucket to cool the air coming into your system is a clever and simple idea. It can be done by coiling the airlines several times and place them inside an ice bucket. The coiling is done to increase the surface area of the airline tubes exposed to ice.
Unfortunately, this might not be the most practical method. Constantly replacing melted water with new ice cubes will definitely be a headache for any grower.
The last and final method is to invest some money into buying a water chiller. I don’t recommend this option for several reasons. The main issue is that why to bother and go to buy a water chiller when you can get a new high-quality hydroponic pump that will do the trick.
Water chillers could be a reasonable option for those who already own one. However, if you don’t own a water chiller, don’t go and buy one. All you have to do is to purchase a new air pump.