Has Fluval quality gone downhill? My second filter died.

chadcf

I've had my 125 up and running for about 2 years now. It has both an FX4 and an FX6 on it (totally overkill) and both have had issues. The FX4 first, last year after about 8 months of use the motor died on it. I contacted fluval via email and they sent me a new motor and impeller assembly under warranty, so that was good. Well now my FX6 has started surging and cutting out. I cleaned out the impeller well to no effect, then I spent $60 on a service kit for it with a replacement impeller and bushing. That didn't help either. I'm also on 2 weeks of Fluval not responding to email so I'm going to have to try and call them. Luckily they have a 3 year warranty, but it's a real hassle and doesn't bode well for long term longevity here.

Am I just unlucky, or are these filters just not all that reliable?
 

BigManAquatics

Most people seem to rave about the Fluval canisters from what i have seen, so i want to lean towards unlucky...like maybe they were built on a friday when the employees were about to step out for beer-30 or something...i don't run anything big enough for a canister so wouldn't know first-hand....but 2 in a short time would certainly shake my confidence in a company.
 

OutsideFoodBlob

Do you have any power issues? Like mini outs/flickers where the power cuts off then back on in a matter of seconds? I’m not doubting that there could be manufacturing problems behind what’s happened. But just wondering if there is a power/electrical issue that might be sneakily killing them and thus the unlucky.

Hopefully some fluval canister folks will weigh in soon. Maybe they aren’t made like they used to but I can’t see how it’s a sound business model to constantly have to send customers replacement parts.
 

jaysurf7

Im surprised that happened, maybe that certain batch of filters that you got where made with different parts as their norm due to manufacturing situations not sure. Imo there one of the best filters money can buy. I have Fluval 303 filter that's still up and running on my 60 gal for about over 23 years now, it still works pretty much as the day I got it, it's the old model though. A lot of things things not just filters where made better back then as far as quality as opposed to today I've noticed, it also could be an electrical issue also not sure,Hopefuly they can resolve the issue by getting in touch with them i know how expensive filters like that can be.
 

carsonsgjs

Can’t say I’ve had an issue with fluval filters, or any of their other products, over the years. Yet to have a single component fail (touch wood).

I also don’t recall seeing many issues reported here about the range of fx filters so I’m also thinking you may be unlucky or there is something else going on here as others have alluded to.
 

Andy S

I run three Fluval canisters, a 406, 206 and a 106. The only problem I have had is that the aquavalve on the 206 leaked when I serviced the filter. It wasn't drastic, more of a weep than a leak but I replaced it anyway. I'm on a small Greek island where the electric supply is less than perfect. Voltage goes up and down like a dog's back leg and it is rare to go a whole week without some sort of power cut, sometimes just for a couple of minutes and sometimes for a few hours. I have never had a problem with them firing up again once power is restored. As soon as we have power back they just start running again without a hitch.
 

Wayne73

Sorry to read about your run of bad luck, those are two mighty powerful filters, its highly unlikely an im not criticising your ability to do maintenance, but could their a serious blockage on the intake pipe,chances of that being the case on both filters are massive. I run a 407 on 55 gallon,touch wood with no issues,but I do hope you get the problem resolved.
 

chadcf

The two filters failed about 10 months apart so not any one thing that triggered it. I've never found any blockages or any real building anywhere. I really don't know how I'm so unlucky. I called fluval today and they had me submit pictures and the receipt for a warranty replacement motor.

I just hope the replacements are better and I can have some trouble free years. A lot of the plants on one side of my tank have melted off due to the lack of water flow, though luckily the FX4 and a HOB are doing fine keeping the water parameters in check while this filter is out of comission.
 

Wayne73

The two filters failed about 10 months apart so not any one thing that triggered it. I've never found any blockages or any real building anywhere. I really don't know how I'm so unlucky. I called fluval today and they had me submit pictures and the receipt for a warranty replacement motor.

I just hope the replacements are better and I can have some trouble free years. A lot of the plants on one side of my tank have melted off due to the lack of water flow, though luckily the FX4 and a HOB are doing fine keeping the water parameters in check while this filter is out of comission.
Fingers crossed fluval come good for the fx6
 

CHJ

While Fluval's 40x and 30x series cans and I are not friends, I love my FX6s. I have a very serious hate for Fluval outside of their FX6s. Aside from the FX6, I consider Fluval to have always been junk (things like half of SPEC 3 tanks are DOA, then their pumps and lights fail/dim within the year. Never knowing if your 40x/30x will ever start again if you clean it.).
As for my beloved FX6s I've only had to do a little maintenance across all of them, ever, when 1 or 2 figured out how to ingest some sand through a prefilter. If they make a weird noise it is time to clean the prefilter.

You aren't running a sand substrate without prefilters are you? I have to ask as I killed my first HOB with a fine silica sand substrate.
How are the pumps failing? Rotor locking in place? Locking in place and burning up? Rotor spins freely but with power it doesn't spin on its own? Leaking?
 

chadcf

The tank currently has black diamond blasting sand in it, it doesn't really move around or get sucked up. The FX4 motor just quit one day, didn't spin the impeller at all. The FX6 now is not spinning smoothly, surging, starting/stopping, etc.

 

Andy S

I'm no electrician but I would guess there is either a problem with intermittent power or more likely there is wear either in the ceramic shaft or the rotor which allows the blades of the rotor to catch on the body of the pump. Take it to bits and check the fit between the rotor and the shaft and also check the tips of the blades and the hole the rotor fits into. If the blades are catching you should see some evidence of it either on the blade tips or the hole. It's not unheard of for the ceramic shaft to break. Another possibility is the two rubber washers that the shaft fits into, are they a tight fit on the shaft?
 

CHJ

Black diamond. Are you running prefilters? With fine substrate you need to always run a prefilter if you have motorized filtration.
Can you pull that impeller and rinse the thing out in a clean bowl? I'm guessing you will end up with black diamond in the bowl.
 

chadcf

I've never had sand in the filter, it does not kick up easily. Pretty heavy and dense which is why I chose it so it doesn't blow all over the place. Also I tried the service kit with anew impeller and bushing and that had no improvement so I also think the motor has a loose connection or something causing inconsistent power.

Luckily Fluval was better on the phone than email and they're going to send me a new motor.
 

Andy S

I've never had sand in the filter, it does not kick up easily. Pretty heavy and dense which is why I chose it so it doesn't blow all over the place. Also I tried the service kit with anew impeller and bushing and that had no improvement so I also think the motor has a loose connection or something causing inconsistent power.

Luckily Fluval was better on the phone than email and they're going to send me a new motor.
Excellent. Glad you are getting it sorted, regardless of what the problem is. Let's hope the new motor gives you years of trouble free filtering, as it should be.
 

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