Habitat - Indoor :: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:48 am   Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

Has anyone had this issue before with their Fluval 406? Yesterday, Sheldon's filter started leaking out of the weep hole on the right hand side near the clamp that keeps the lid on and the electrical cord. At first, I wasn't too concerned because I have the filter sitting in a bucket for something such as this. However last night when there was two inches of water in the bottom of bucket I started to get very concerned. I opened the lid and cleaned the water out of the little part of the lid where the weep hole was and figured that maybe it just ended up in there when I cleaned the filter last week. This morning however, the leak was back and so was the water in the bottom of the bucket.

I intend to go home and swap out the bottom piece of the filter canister to see if that helps but I don't want to bother if someone has a better idea of what is going on. The gasket on the bucket and the lid seem to be in good shape but its possible that the bucket one is shot and I just couldn't see that without removing it.

Thanks!
1 RES - A girl named Sheldon
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cutepanda86
 
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:54 am   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

Most filters need a little maintenance now and then. Even there FX's. I see that Big Als Pets ( https://www.bigalspets.com/nsearch/?q=fluval+406+parts# ) has the cheapest OEM replacement parts. May just need a simple maintenance kit ?
How old is it ? They do have a 3 year limited warranty.

Products must be registered with them for warranty work BUT :

Even if not registered or out of warranty give Fluval a call , maybe something simple. Be nice and truthful about the issue and I found they sometimes sent me a part I needed at no charge even when out of warranty. Can't hurt.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:10 pm   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

The unit is like three months old. It shouldn't be leaking. I had Fluval send me a new motor because after a year the unit died and poor Sheldon was without a filter all day while I was at work. i do have extra gaskets so that might be the thing to try first.

Thanks litefoot.
1 RES - A girl named Sheldon
1 feeder fish - affectionately named Fishy - RIP 5/27/12
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cutepanda86
 
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:50 pm   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

I'd check for any cracks on the casing, and that the hose fittings are snug. You might need to add a little smear of vaseline on the o-ring too. And, maybe get a water leak alarm just in case.
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steve
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:30 pm   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

The casing seems sound. The only water leakage is from the weep hole in the lid. I'm cleaning the gasket now. The hose fittings are definitely snug as I replaced the aqua stop valve about 6 months ago. You can get a water leak alarm? How would that work and where would it go?
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:31 pm   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

This is a good one : https://www.amazon.com/Zircon-Leak-Aler ... eak++alarm

Also comes with one that has WiFi email alert that I used on my rental properties.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:51 pm   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

Thanks litefoot. I put my filter in a bucket so it doesn't sit on the bottom of the filter stand. Right now it appears that the gasket was shot. I'm going to keep an eye on it though to make sure.
1 RES - A girl named Sheldon
1 feeder fish - affectionately named Fishy - RIP 5/27/12
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cutepanda86
 
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:21 pm   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

Also as Steve said Vaseline on the o rings helps. I asked plumbers what's best for rubber o ring's , was told a petroleum free grease was the best. Been using that for decades and it helps seat them better without them rolling or pinching causing leaks.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:30 pm   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

A good suggestion - which petroleum free grease do you use? Luckily, I had a brand new one that I installed. So far so good - no water in the bucket. Ordering a new one from Big Al's. At less than $4, it's worth to have one.
1 RES - A girl named Sheldon
1 feeder fish - affectionately named Fishy - RIP 5/27/12
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cutepanda86
 
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:23 am   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

It would not appear to be the gasket. Leak returned by the time I am heading to bed. Will provide an update in the morning. I may have to replace the bottom canister portion of the filter.
1 RES - A girl named Sheldon
1 feeder fish - affectionately named Fishy - RIP 5/27/12
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cutepanda86
 
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:47 am   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

There are two that are sold side by side at Lowes. Make sure no one mixed them up. This type is safe for nitrite / rubber o rings !
This is what I use for years with no problems : https://www.lowes.com/pd/Danco-Grease/1092167

That leak: reviews always talked about this problem with the 406 and fluvals smaller filters . One leak area has always been with the type of clamps used . Too weak and get weaker with age , sucks air and leaks water out. Some leaks squirts out from an area settles somewhere else making hard to find where it's truly leaking. Like trying to find a roof leak on your house , travels all over. Problem never were you think it is. The clamp area , water hits the back side of it , goes up lands on top filter , that fix is a piece of air line split to apply tension to clamp / seal.

There are just too many parts in that head on the 406 many things to leak !
See the video for total "cleaning and maintenance" breaks it down very well !

There are "several" videos on the leaks with the ( 406 ) . Some have very simple fixes !
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=fl ... ORM=HDRSC3
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:31 am   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

Very cool. Next time I'm at Lowe's I will check it out.

To be honest, up until this point, I have never had a leak. Parts break or things go sideways but typically nothing too crazy. However, this morning was an adventure. I decided that I would replace the canister just to see if that helped or not. When I went to put the aqua stop valve back on, it snapped into three pieces. Needless to say - water started going all over. I managed to get the new one on and then get all the air out of the tubing and everything seems to be running smoothly when I left for work.

Thanks for the link. I'll have to watch a few of these. Right now, I'm crossing my fingers for no water when I get home. If there is, the only left to swap out is the motor housing.
1 RES - A girl named Sheldon
1 feeder fish - affectionately named Fishy - RIP 5/27/12
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:02 pm   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

Was the gasket replaced or just lubed? What do you mean you replaced the canister? My first real canister was a fluval 304 and man, I just did not like that design they used.
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:30 pm   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

The gasket was replaced. It continued to leak after cleaning and reinstalling the old one. I replaced the bottom portion of the filter that holds all of the media or what they call the canister.

I've been using the 406 for the last four years. The first one bit the bog one on the 3 year mark and in the year since, I've been cobbling filters together because even though they still sell the 406 and its parts, they seem to not be as good as that first filter.
1 RES - A girl named Sheldon
1 feeder fish - affectionately named Fishy - RIP 5/27/12
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cutepanda86
 
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:53 pm   Re: Fluval 406 - Slow Leak

Similar story with the XP3 filters.. super popular then they started to cheapen the manufacturing. Garbage since then. Maybe Sheldon is giving you hints on what she wants for Christmas :)
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